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Upgrade your lunchbox Posted On 28 August 2019

Couscous salad with Halloumi (serves 4)

Couscous is easy to make, cheap and filling – what’s not to love? Adding fried halloumi on top will add some extra flavour.

Ingredients
250 g couscous
250ml vegetable stock
400g can chickpeas, drained
1 courgette, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 garlic, finely chopped
1 block halloumi, sliced

Method

  1. Tip the couscous into a bowl and add the boiled vegetable stock. Stir well, cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Heat some oil in a pan and fry the chopped veg and garlic until they’ve softened. Season with salt and pepper, mixed herbs and paprika.
  3. Grill the halloumi until charred on either side.
  4. Once cooked, mix the veg into the couscous, drizzle in some olive oil and season to taste. Top with the grilled halloumi.

Chicken Tikka Wraps (serves 4)

These are quick and easy to make – and versatile too, as you can add in salad, rice, sauce or chutney! To make them even quicker to prepare, use pre-cooked chicken tikka pieces.

You can also change the meat to lamb koftas, or try a veggie version jam-packed with your five-a-day!

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
4 tbsp tikka pasta
4 tortillas (or naan bread)
¼ cucumber, sliced
¼ iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 spring onions, sliced
Natural yoghurt with handful chopped mint leaves

Method

  1. Coat the chicken breasts with the tikka paste (the longer you leave it to marinade, the stronger the flavour), skewer them and place under a hot grill until they are cooked through, turning occasionally, and brushing them with the paste.
  2. Lay each naan bread out flat, and lay out the cooked chicken, spring onions, iceberg lettuce, cucumber (and any other vegetables of your choice). Top with cooked rice (optional) and the mint yoghurt. Roll them up and enjoy!

Pea hummous
This would be more of a healthy mid-morning snack at your desk, and a great way of introducing your children to different vegetables. Making hummus from peas gives it a sweeter flavour and makes a bright, green colour to appeal to kids!

Ingredients
200g cooked peas
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp cooked cannellini beans, from a can
2 tbsp olive oil
Strips of pitta bread, to serve
Raw vegetable sticks, to serve

Method

  1. Add the cooked peas, crushed garlic clove, tahini, cannellini beans and olive oil to a food processor and blitz.
  2. Add 1-2 tbsp of water if the texture is too thick, then blitz again until it’s smooth. This can be stored chilled for up to 3 days.

Cheese, Onion and Potato Pasties

Mini veggie pasties with oozing cheese make a great comforting and filling snack.

Pastry work can be tricky and too time consuming if you’re looking to make quick lunches, so cheat and use pre-made puff pastry!

Fillin
2 small potatoes, cut into small cubes
Knob of butter
1 large red onion, diced
3 thyme sprigs
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp cream
140g cheese of choice (strong cheddar works great)
1 egg, beaten

Method

  1. Boil potatoes in salted water for 5-8 minutes until tender. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan and add the leeks and sprigs of thyme, soften for 10-12 mins.
  2. Drain the potatoes and add them to the pan with the leeks and thyme with plenty of seasoning. Stir in the dijon mustard and the cream, leave to cool a little.
  3. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. On a floured surface, roll the pastry to a thickness of a £1 coin. Use a bowl to cut out 6 x 13cm circles.
  4. Mix the cheese into the leek mixture and pile them into the middle of each pastry circle. Brush the edges with some beaten egg, bring the edges together and crimp with your fingers to resemble a traditional pasty shape.
  5. Place the pasties on a baking tray, brush with beaten egg and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm or cold.

Fruity-yoghurt sundae

A low sugar treat perfect for those with a sweet tooth! Ideal for little ones, or adults with a bigger portion!

Ingredients
Natural yoghurt
Strawberries
Mixed berries

Method

  1. Scoop a portion of natural yoghurt into a container.
  2. Blend or mash some strawberries into a puree and swirl through the yoghurt.
  3. Top with mixed berries.

The strawberries and the berries can be replaced with any fruit of your choice.

Chocolate-drizzled popcorn (serves 1)

This chocolatey snack makes a sweet little lunchbox filler. It’s quick and easy to prepare too!

Ingredients
12g unsweetened popcorn
15g dark, melted chocolate

Method

  1. Lay the popcon out on a baking tray and drizzle the dark chocolate on top.
  2. Leave to chill in the fridge overnight to set the chocolate. Simple!
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