So the kids are on holiday and friends keep popping round unannounced. Here's some imaginative, tasty dishes that can be rustled up in no time
From Mediterranean-style frittatas and salads right through to easy pizzas or pitta pockets, these quick and easy snacks will keep adults and kids happy. There's lots of fresh, spring ingredients throughout these dishes, so you can be sure everyone is eating well, too.
What could be easier than opening a pack of ready-made delicious falafels and loading them into pitta pockets with salad and tzatziki? You can make these the night before they’re needed, then wrap them in clingfilm and keep them in the fridge. See recipe for Falafel salad pittas.
Pre-cooked roast chicken pieces are the main ingredient in this winning American classic salad. There’s fruit, salad veg and nuts, too, all tossed in a creamy sauce for a crunchy sweet-and-savour lunch. You could leave out the chicken to make it veggie or to serve it as a side dish. See recipe for Hearty Waldorf salad.
If you’re keen for a tasty meat-free meal, this salad is just the ticket. Quinoa and pumpkin seeds contains protein (which keeps you feeling fuller for longer) avocados are a good source of ‘good’ fat and blueberries are a well-known superfood. End result? A colourful and super-tasty dish that's also good for you. See recipe for Mediterranean salad.
This filling frittata interestingly uses gnocchi as one of the main ingredients – and all the cooking is done in the microwave. It's also filled with cheese and delicious roasted peppers and, served with a baby leaf salad, it’s a flavour-packed and satisfying lunch. See recipe for Super-quick frittata.
This is another meat-free marvel. Take a pack of ready-rolled puff pastry, some pesto and ripe tomatoes and you have the makings of a mouth-wateringly good tart. See recipe for Super-quick tomato tart.
Homemade coleslaw is always a winner, and this fruity little number is the perfect addition to some grated cheddar for a lunchtime wrap. Plus any leftover coleslaw will work well as a tasty and healthy side dish to other lunch or dinner recipes. See recipe for Cheddar and fruit coleslaw wraps .
These family-pleasers use soft tortillas as the base, so all you have to do is add your toppings and cook them – brilliant! It’s your choice what to put on top, once you have some tomato purée and cheese at the ready. Make them veggie or add chicken, fish or whatever fires your imagination to create your own personal favourite. See recipe for Easy pizzas.
Olive oil, lemon and parsley make a zingy, fresh-tasting dressing for this chicken pasta dish. It’s quick to cook and filling enough to keep you going for the afternoon. Eat it hot or prepare it ahead and take it in cold in a lunchbox. It’s equally tasty either way. See recipe for Chicken and courgette mini pasta shells.
Delicious bacon, low-fat houmous, luscious vine tomatoes and baby leaf salad make a sumptuous filling to pile into a baguette. The sweet-saltiness of the crispy bacon gives it crunch as well as flavour, and the houmous provides another protein punch to help you power through the rest of the day. See recipe for BLT baguette.
Give your salmon lunch a gorgeous twist with sundried tomato paste - this recipe takes 25 minutes and is a matter of quickly preparing the fillet and popping in the oven. What does that leave you with? More time for chocolate eggs. Let's do this.