I’m not frugal… I’m economical

Tuna and Chickpea Salad

Tuna and Chickpea Salad

Given the choice between spending a fiver on my lunch, or going for a ‘sneaky’ post-college drink, I’m always going to choose the drink. This requires forethought however, and planning. Especially as the catering company’s contract means there are no microwaves or kettles on campus (so soup is out!).

Sandwiches are fine to a point, but I don’t like ham, so they tend to be limited to leftover chicken or cheese. The current favourite, for the record, is Dubliner cheese with hot mango pickle and rocket. Though faux-coronation chicken is a pretty close second.

Chopped cherry tomatoes

Irish tomatoes - very exciting!

Man cannot live on bread alone however, so that’s where the salads come in. Cous-cous is a gem, especially when you can just mix it together with some leftover salad from the night before and you’re ready to go. This only works, however, if you’ve eaten something other than cereal for your dinner.

Spring onions and coriander

If cereal was your man (and lets face it, we’ve all been there), actual  lunch preparation might be required. Speed is obviously of the essence. Even if I happen to have some time to kill in the mornings, I don’t want to spend it making my lunch.


And that’s where this wonderful recipe adapted from @CookinBoots comes into play. It’s everything you could want from your lunch and more: it’s cheap, quick to make, full of protein so it’s filling too. Most importantly, it’s absolutely delicious.

Tuna and Chickpea Salad

This makes enough for between 2 and 3 lunches, depending on how hungry you are. It keeps well in the fridge. I normally add some baby spinach and rocket to it, but not until the day I’m eating it or they’ll go mushy.

1 small tin tuna, drained
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed. (You can soak and cook your own chickpeas to reduce the cost of this even further, but the cooking is a bit too much effort for me in the morning!)
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
10 olives
2 heaped tablespoons fresh coriander, roughly chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
Black pepper

1 tsp harissa paste
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Mix the tuna, chickpeas, tomatoes, olives, coriander and spring onion. Season with cumin and black pepper.
2. Mix the harissa paste, lemon juice and olive oil and dress the salad.

2 Responses to “I’m not frugal… I’m economical”
  1. Lucy says:

    nice love the idea of the dressing with harissa and lemon

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