Adding a little espresso to your lunch can take it from boring to brilliant. If you’re looking for some ideas on how to incorporate espresso into your meal, then you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll discuss ways to use espresso in creative and unique combinations that will make your midday meal something special. I have not made all of these, yet, but found what looks good and thought I should share.
Espresso Hummus Wrap
This is a great option for those who are looking for a plant-based option when it comes to their lunch. Start by making your favorite hummus recipe, or pick up store-bought hummus if that’s more convenient. Add one shot of espresso and mix together until combined. Spread the hummus over a large wrap or flatbread, add your favorite toppings (think tomatoes, onions, peppers) and you have yourself an espresso-infused wrap.
Espresso-BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich
This sandwich is sure to satisfy. Start by slow cooking pork shoulder with classic BBQ seasonings until tender. Once cooked, shred the pork with two forks and combine with one shot of espresso and 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce. Serve on a bun with coleslaw and extra BBQ sauce for a delicious sandwich full of flavor.
Espresso Bacon Mac & Cheese
This decadent dish is sure to please any crowd. Start by boiling macaroni noodles according to package instructions. In the meantime, sauté bacon pieces until crispy in a large skillet over medium heat; remove from skillet but reserve bacon fat. In the same pan over medium heat, whisk together two shots of espresso and 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour until smooth; gradually add 1 cup of milk while whisking until mixture thickens (about 5 minutes). Finally add 1/2 cup grated cheese (your favorite.) while stirring continuously until sauce is melted and creamy; stir in cooked macaroni noodles, bacon bits, and salt & pepper as desired before transferring mac & cheese into baking dish or individual ramekins before baking at 375°F for 15 minutes or until top is golden brown and bubbly.
Espresso-Crusted Steak Sandwich
This sandwich is a great way to combine savory flavors with a touch of espresso. Start by making an espresso rub for the steak – mix 2 tablespoons of freshly ground espresso beans with 2 teaspoons each of garlic powder and paprika, 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, and onion powder, and ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Rub it onto both sides of the steak and grill until done to your liking. Slice the steak and assemble it on a hoagie roll with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, and mayo for a delicious sandwich.
Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies
The perfect ending to any meal is homemade chocolate chip cookies. To make them even more special, add two tablespoons of freshly brewed espresso into your cookie dough before baking. The result will be chewy and moist cookies with an intense coffee flavor – not too sweet but still satisfying. Serve these cookies warm with a glass of cold milk or hot espresso to complete the experience.
Tiramisu is a classic Italian dessert that everyone loves – but adding espresso makes it even better. Start by making two cups of strong espresso and set aside to cool. Next whisk together four egg yolks, ¼ cup sugar and one tablespoon marsala wine in a bowl until creamy. In another bowl beat three egg whites until soft peaks form then fold into the egg yolk mixture along with one cup mascarpone cheese. Line an 8×8 inch pan with ladyfingers soaked in cooled espresso then spread half the egg mixture over them followed by another layer of soaked ladyfingers topped off with remaining egg mixture. Dust top layer generously with cocoa powder then refrigerate overnight or at least four hours before serving.
As you can see there are many different ways that you can incorporate espresso into your lunches from savory dishes like hummus wraps or sandwiches to sweet treats such as mac & cheese. Next time you’re packing your lunch box don’t forget about adding a shot of espresso – it will make all the difference between an ordinary meal and one that truly stands out.