What do you cook when you need a meal on the table pronto? When your boss tells you the lunchtime meeting is going to be outdoors and you don’t have much time to pack, or your other half announces his parents are popping round for the evening? If you’re sick of relying on sandwiches for last-minute weekday lunches and pasta for fast evening meals, you are definitely not alone in the desperate search for fresh new ideas.

As you might expect, there are some great tips for pulling together appealing and elegant last-minute-meals with just a few ingredients. My secret is homemade pizza – and it’s not as hard as you think!

You only have 45 minutes in the morning to pack a lunch for colleagues, what do you make?
I have a favourite…PIZZA. Everyone has pre-made dough either in the freezer or fridge, and since it uses lots of store cupboard ingredients, pizza is easy to prep and an excellent alternative to sandwiches.

What makes this lunch good on the go?
It’s easy, delicious, and great if you’re feeling indulgent.

What is the most important tip for packing a satisfying lunch that is eaten later?
Choose a dish that is best eaten at room temperature. Always go for lots of colour, protein, and include ingredients with texture, wet, refreshing and soft to eat.

Makes 1 pizza, ideal for sharing
Shopping List:

1 pre-made pizza dough or base
1 chicken breast, cut into thin strips
200g ready-made pizza sauce
5 roughly torn basil leaves or 1 teaspoon of dried basil
1 standard fresh mozzarella ball, torn into rough pieces
40g fresh mushroom, roughly chopped
40g tinned sweetcorn
20g tinned or jarred jalapeño, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons Spicy Season-All, Tandoori Spice or Extra Spicy Cajun
1 garlic clove, minced or finely chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
Chilli oil or garlic oil for seasoning

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180˚C/ 350˚F/ Gas Mark 5.

Line a flat baking tray with greaseproof paper and place the pre-made pizza dough on top. Fork the dough and set aside. (If you are using a pre-made pizza base, please don’t fork.)

In a medium sized bowl, pour the olive oil and your chosen spice seasoning and mix well. Place the chicken pieces in the seasoning and mix thoroughly to ensure the chicken is well seasoned. Set aside until required.

To assemble the pizza, spread the sauce evenly over the base leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Top the pizza with the garlic and scatter with the mozzarella and basil. Next add the chicken, mushrooms, sweetcorn and jalapeño. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and salt and drizzle the pizza with chilli oil.

Cook pizza in oven for 15-20 minutes or until the base is cooked through.

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