4 portions. Approximate cost: £14.10 for all ingredients, 

Skill level: Easy, 

Total cooking time: 20 minutes, 

  • Prep time: 15 minutes, 
  • Cooking time: < 5 minutes, 

Equipment used: 1 steamer, 1 mixing bowl, 1 jam jar (to mix the dressing), kitchen scissors


More often than not I will cook double the amount of dinner so as to have leftovers for lunch the next day at work.

I am, however, a busy girl and if not cooking dinner (either eating out,  getting a takeaway or being a lazy ass and eating beans on toast) then I’m loathe to regularly spend a small fortune on lunches from a limited batch of local shops (Pret, M&S, Waitrose)

So, I’ve decided to copy them.

On Monday, I had a “Honey Smoked Salmon and Lentil Salad” from M&S. This basically consisted of puy lentils, peas, kale and hot smoked salmon with a little pot of tangy dressing. It cost about £3 something for a small portion, but this really was a small portion and although tasty, I felt pretty unsatisfied.

I’ve since replicated this at home, adding more stuff (mint and spring onions) and although it actually comes to a similar price for ALL ingredients (you will have leftovers), you get much bigger portions (and don’t have to leave the office) so for me its still a winner. (Note – I’ve photographed a dainty portion below – I almost had double in my lunchbox!)

Salmon & lentil salad

To prep:

  • Cook your kale – Add to a steamer and place over a pan of boiling water for 3 minutes. I prefer to avoid using really stalky bits if possible (I save these for smoothies)  and will also cut up the cooked kale with kitchen scissors if the pieces are a little big (I like to eat my lunch with a fork only – much easier)
  • Defrost your peas or beans – I add to a small bowl and add a little hot water. Then after a few seconds drain and rinse with cold water. Voila, no longer frosty.
  • Slice or dice the spring onions, cucumber and mint leaves 
  • Into a large mixing bowl, add the lentils (drained of any water), the diced salad items and the drained peas and kale. Mix well and add 4 tupperware boxes. On top of this flake the 4 trout fillets. Doesn’t it look pretty?
  • Into a jam jar squeeze the juice of a lemon and add 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard and several lugs of olive oil. Add salt and pepper, pop the lid on and shake. The oil will emulsify but could separate by the time you eat lunch the next day, it only needs another mix to fix it. Add to little pots to pour over the salad when about to eat. (I have loads of little pots from our local Indian takeaway, if you’re lacking what a good excuse to order a load of raita, chutneys and pickles with your next curry!)



For the salad:

  • 2 cans of cooked green or puy lentils (approximately 55p each, £1.10 total). Alternatively use a packet of quinoa, wild rice or whatever fashionable foodstuff you fancy
  • 1 bag of kale (£1)
  • 1 bag of peas / soya beans / edamame beans (£2 for a huge frozen bag)
  • 1 bunch of spring onions (60p)
  • 1 bunch of mint (70p)
  • Half a cucumber (40p)
  • 4 hot smokes trout fillets (much cheaper than salmon @ £8 for 2 packets)


For the dressing:

  • 1 lemon (30p)
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper