Wellbeing

6 Gourmet Lunches You Can Make With Your Office Sandwich Press

It takes a certain kind of person to be organised enough to pack lunch for work the night before. Some days, when there’s sufficient leftovers in the fridge, we’re good at it. But most of the time we end up going out and spending our hard-earned dollars on expensive lunches from the corner cafe. $17 for a salad? Uggghhh.

There’s a simple solution to this conundrum and all you’ll need is an office kitchen and a decent sized tupperware container to get it going. Because yes – you can make a delicious lunch from items bought last minute at the supermarket with a little office kitchen ingenuity.

Some of the ingredients in these recipes can’t be bought in individual serves – but consider them staples in your office fridge (hence the tupperware) for you to use throughout the week and experiment with your own combinations. Most office kitchens should have salt, pepper, olive oil, a knife and chopping board – you may just need to dig around a little.

And don’t forget to clean the sandwich press after every use – your co-workers will appreciate it.

1 / 6

Greek salad with Haloumi 

greeksalad

Looking for a light, healthy lunch that still has a salty, fatty hit to make you feel like you’ve gone out and bought lunch? Replace the feta cheese with the golden Haloumi variety.

Ingredients

1 capsicum, sliced
4 cherry tomatoes, sliced
¼ red onion, sliced
½ Lebanese cucumber, diced
5-6 olives packed in water, drained
2-3 slices of Haloumi cheese
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano

Method

–Turn on your sandwich press

–Toss all the vegetables in a serving bowl

–Place the Haloumi slices on the sandwich press and close, cook for 2 minutes

–Remove the Haloumi and slice each piece in half

–Toss the salad in the oil, vinegar and oregano and top with the haloumi. Serve immediately.

Image: Georgia Leaker

2 / 6

Antipasto quesadilla

quesadilla

The antipasto section of the supermarket deli is your best friend here. To remove some of the excess oil, pat any oil-packed ingredients with paper towels first, or try to buy items not packed in oil. (Yes, it is absolutely possible to buy olives packed in water). In this instance, we’ve taken the time to grill the capsicum on the sandwich press to save on unnecessary oil and add extra crunch.

Ingredients

1 red capsicum
1 wholemeal tortilla or flat bread of your choice
4-5 olives packed in water, drained
2 slices of antipasto eggplant, patted to remove excess oil and sliced
1 small handful grated low-fat cheddar or crumbled feta
1 tomato, diced
½ lemon, juiced
Parsley

Method

–Turn on your sandwich press

–Place the capsicum directly onto the press and turn it as it begins to char slightly on each side. Remove and slice into thin strips

–Take your tortilla and fill one half with the olives, capsicum and eggplant. Top with the cheese

–Fold the empty half over the filled half and slide it into the sandwich press

–Cook until the cheese melts and the tortilla begins to crisp

–While that’s happening, toss the tomato, parsley and lemon juice to create a tangy salsa

–Serve the quesadilla with the salsa

Image: Georgia Leaker

3 / 6

Grilled Tofu Satay Noodles

tofu1

Whether you’re vegetarian or just love #MeatFreeMonday, this is a tasty way to get a protein hit to power you through the rest of the day. If you can find a grater in the office, we highly recommend grating the carrot and zucchini so it stirs better into the noodles, otherwise fine slices will do.

Ingredients

½ packet of satay tofu
1 handful of dried vermicelli noodles
1 carrot, grated
1 zucchini, grated
2 tbs of satay sauce
1 handful coriander leaves

Method

–Turn on your sandwich press

–Wrap the tofu in aluminium foil and cook in the sandwich press until it’s warmed through and slightly crispy

–While that’s happening, run the noodles under hot water until they soften. Drain completely

–Toss the carrot and zucchini in the noodles

–Remove the tofu and slice it into thin strips, toss through the noodles with the satay sauce

–Finish it with the coriander leaves and serve immediately

Image: Georgia Leaker

4 / 6

Prosciutto foccacia

sandwich

It wouldn’t be a sandwich press recipe list without a toasted sandwich and we’ve packed this one with fresh veggies to counter that salty prosciutto. Ask the deli for the thinnest shaving of prosciutto – the flavour is strong enough that you won’t realise you’ve cut the calories. We use focaccia here because it crisps nicely in the sandwich press, but you can use any bread.

Ingredients

1 small focaccia
1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
2 thin slices of prosciutto
1 handful of baby spinach
3-4 cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 thin slice of red onion
1 slice of low-fat cheddar cheese
1 tsp dried oregano

Method

–Turn on your sandwich press

–Cut the bread in half and drizzle with balsamic vinegar

–Top with the prosciutto, spinach, tomatoes, red onion and cheese and sprinkle with oregano

–Add the sandwich lid and place it between the sandwich press for five minutes or until the cheese melts and the bread is crisp. The thicker the bread, the longer this will take.

Image: Haley Bell At Home

5 / 6

Steak and asparagus

steak

Oh wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could afford a steak lunch every day? Well now you can. As the sandwich press doesn’t get hot enough to render fat, we recommend looking for something lean. Beef tenderloins are lean and quite reasonably priced at major supermarkets.

Ingredients

1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbs of olive oil
1 beef tenderloin or other lean steak
1 bunch of asparagus
1 tbs Dijon mustard

Method

–Turn on your sandwich press

–Season each side of your steak with salt and pepper and then drizzle with half the olive oil

–Place this on a piece of aluminium foil big enough to wrap around both the beef and the asparagus

–Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and discard. Toss the asparagus in the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Add to the foil packaging and seal it up

–Place your parcel in the sandwich press and close. The steak will cook while the asparagus will steam and also soak up any delicious juices that seep out. This will take 5-10 minutes, depending on how you like your steak cooked

–Serve with mustard and be the envy of the entire office

Image: Georgia Leaker

6 / 6

Egg and mushrooms on toast

egg and mushrooms

Come into work with a nasty hangover? Or maybe you just really like brunch – and who can blame you? Frying an egg on the sandwich press is great, but take it to the next level with mushrooms and a thick piece of sourdough toast and you’ve got the ultimate office brunch.

Ingredients

5 small mushrooms
1 tbs olive oil
1 egg
Salt
1 slice of sourdough

Method

–Turn on your sandwich press

–Slice up your mushrooms and toast your sourdough in the office toaster

–Sprinkle the olive oil over the sandwich press and lay your mushrooms across it, cook until they turn golden, remove and scatter over the toast. Season with salt

–Crack your egg onto the sandwich press and cook until the whites begin to firm up, sprinkle the yolk with salt

–Top your mushrooms and toast with the egg and serve immediately

Image: Georgia Leaker


Georgia is a writer and pastry chef living in Sydney. As a low-income earner, she’s become a dab hand at creating delicious, budget-friendly recipes that satisfy her need for bold flavours and meals worth getting excited about.