How to win at the homemade meal game

The temptation if you're at work or out on a day trip is to splash the cash on expensive take-out lunches. But why, when you can create some incredible homemade lunches all with the aid of a trusty Tupperware box?

 

These recipes highlight the perfect dishes to make the night before and to transport out the next day – including pasta salads, noodle dishes and some hearty bowls of chickpea and lentil delights. Get ready for admiring glances from colleagues and friends...

 

1. Tuna niçoise pasta salad

This is a tasty classic from France that puts a bit of “Ooh la la” into your lunch. All ingredients can be packaged together, but we'd recommend adding the rocket and cherry tomatoes right before you eat for extra freshness and crunch.

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2. Honey and lemon chicken couscous

Couscous sometimes gets a bad rap, but once you figure out it's all about the added extras, it'll be a staple for dishes to take out from home. This recipe uses a whole roast chicken, but leftovers are just as good. The couscous is combined with chicken stock and pine nuts, cucumber, tomatoes and lemon zest to create a bright and filling lunch.

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3. Teriyaki trout with vegetable noodles

This dish is perfect made the night before, then it can either be eaten cold as a flaked fish and noodle salad or it can be heated up again, if there is a microwave around. Top tip: if you're making it as a family meal the night before, make an extra portion and have it for your lunch the next day.

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4. Lamb and chickpea pilaf

Eastern-inspired lamb and chickpeas make the perfect pilaf to takeaway in tupperware. And although it looks fancy, it takes less than 15 minutes to make, by using microwave rice and leftover roast lamb. Add some chopped chillies if you'd like to give it a bit of a kick

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5. Salmon and courgette pasta

This dish will be a cool treat the next day, when it can be eaten as a pasta salad rather than a hot dinner. You can always add an extra spoonful of crème fraîche, a squeeze of lemon and some freshly ground black pepper to pep it up just before eating.

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6. LA-style all green salad

For those days when you're feeling particularly virtuous, try this Californian-inspired salad that's packed full of wholesome veg including broccoli, asparagus and avocado, drizzled in a yogurt dressing and a sprinkling of seed mix for extra crunch.

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