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Sugar snap salad with black grapes and fetta

Sugar snap salad with black grapes and fetta

Sugar snap peas, with their full flavour and crisp texture, work well with baby spinach leaves and a little peppery rocket to provide the salad base for tangy fetta and sweet black grapes. Serve this quickly prepared lunch dish with thick slices of warm country–style bread or pita bread.

Hot and spicy tuna rolls

Hot and spicy tuna rolls

Here, the soft interiors of large crusty bread rolls are hollowed out to provide a crisp casing for a gently spiced mix of tuna, corn and red kidney beans, and then warmed in the oven. For a light lunch that is satisfying and well balanced, serve with a mixed tomato and leaf salad.

Thai coconut rice with prawns

Thai coconut rice with prawns

This aromatic seafood and rice dish, combining the classic Thai flavourings of coconut, lime and ginger, makes a very tempting lunch. Jasmine rice is a naturally fragrant rice with a delicate flavour. If you do not have any in your pantry, basmati rice makes a good substitute.

Japanese noodles with tofu and bean sprouts

Japanese noodles with tofu and bean sprouts

As interest in Japanese food increases, supermarkets are stocking a wider variety of noodles. To make this tempting lunch dish, Japanese soba – hearty noodles made from buckwheat – are simmered in a soy and ginger stock with smoked tofu and an appetising mixture of vegetables.

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Tuscan bean crostini

Tuscan bean crostini

Here's a delicious snack to be enjoyed hot or cold — toasted slices of baguette topped with a creamy white bean purée flavoured with garlic and thyme, and finished with colourful slices of tomato and leaves of rocket.

Lentil risotto

Lentil risotto

Lentils add extra flavour and texture to this Italian–style mushroom risotto and also make it more nutritious. Serve with roasted or chargrilled Italian vegetables, such as capsicums and zucchini, or a mixed salad, for a satisfying lunch, and one that is particularly tempting on a cold winter's day.

Mushroom and herb omelette

Mushroom and herb omelette

An omelette is the ultimate impromptu meal, prepared quickly and easily from a few simple ingredients. Here the classic French fines herbes version, with fresh chervil, chives and tarragon, is made even better by filling it with garlicky mushrooms.

Mushroom and thyme toasts

Mushroom and thyme toasts

Make this whenever you are short of time and want to prepare a satisfying snack quickly. The rich flavour of chestnut mushrooms is enhanced by cooking them with garlic, herbs and a dollop of tangy crème fraîche, and they taste wonderful piled on top of toast spread with ricotta.

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Cheese and watercress souffl

Cheese and watercress soufflé

Soufflés have a quite undeserved reputation for being difficult to make. This tasty soufflé is, in fact, very quick and easy to prepare and makes a satisfying lunch when served with crusty bread and a side salad. The watercress gives a delicious bite to this soufflé.

Chicken and cashew nut pancakes

Chicken and cashew nut pancakes

Chicken stir–fried with carrots, celery and cabbage, then lightly flavoured with orange and sesame, makes a delicious filling for pancakes, with the option to spice it up with the addition of chilli. This dish is sure to meet with your family's approval.

Chorizo, grilled capsicum and tomato bruschetta

Chorizo, grilled capsicum and tomato bruschetta

This open sandwich of toasted ciabatta bread with a mixed capsicum topping is typical of the style of food enjoyed in Mediterranean countries, where bread, along with plenty of fruit and vegetables, is a mainstay of the diet. A little chorizo sausage adds a spicy note to the sweet capsicum mix.

Egg and anchovy pan bagna

Egg and anchovy pan bagna

Pan bagna is a Mediterranean layered sandwich, often prepared in a hollowed–out round, rustic loaf. Here eggs, anchovies, capers, basil and tomatoes – all ingredients from a classic salade niçoise – are layered in a long baguette, then left so that the flavours can meld.

Falafel pitas

Falafel pitas

Falafel, the traditional Middle Eastern bean patties, are usually deep–fried. This updated version, delicately spiced and crunchy with grated carrot, is baked for a lower fat result, but is just as delicious. When served in pita pockets with salad and dressing, the falafel makes a filling meal.

Fennel and bean salad

Fennel and bean salad

The pleasant aniseed flavour of fresh fennel combines with cannellini beans, green olives, prosciutto and a fresh orange dressing in this appetising warm salad. Serve it with crusty French bread for a satisfying lunch.

Sweet balsamic berry ice cream

Sweet balsamic berry ice cream

Capture the flavour of summer's bountiful fruit basket to enjoy later in the year with this luscious yet reduced–fat ice cream. Made with a light sugar syrup rather than a thick egg custard, it has a fresh flavour that is highlighted with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

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