Start the term as you mean to go on… here are some lunch box ideas and recipes!
Zucchini Slice – Can be frozen
5 large eggs, 150g self-raising flour (sifted), 375g zucchini (grated), 1 large onion (finely chopped), 200g rindless bacon (chopped), 1 cup cheddar cheese (grated), 60ml vegetable oil
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 170C.
- Step 2 Beat the eggs in a large bowl until combined. Add the flour and beat until smooth, then add zucchini, onion, bacon, cheese and oil and stir to combine.
- Step 3 Grease and line a 30 x 20cm lamington pan. Pour into the prepared pan and bake in oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through.
8 eggs, ⅔ cup pitted olives, ⅔ cup sundried tomatoes (sliced), handful of parsley (finely chopped)
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 175°C.
- Step 2 Whisk the eggs until well combined. Mix through the remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture into a pie dish, measuring about 18.5 centimetres. Depending on what you are using, you may want to grease it first.
- Step 3 Bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.
Fried Rice Salad
1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 onion, finely chopped, 1 red capsicum (seeded, finely chopped), 1 green capsicum (seeded, finely chopped), 2 rashers shortcut rindless bacon (finely chopped), 4 cups cooked brown rice, 125g can corn kernels (drained), 6 green shallots (thinly sliced), 1/4 cup light soy sauce, 1/4 cup hoisin sauce, cherry tomatoes, (halved, to serve) Coriander leaves (to serve)
- Step 1 Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok over high heat. Sauté onion, capsicum and bacon for 3-4 minutes.
- Step 2 Add rice, corn, green onions and sauces. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, mixing well. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Step 3 Spoon salad into lunchbox or other sealable container. Top with halved cherry tomatoes and coriander leaves. Keep chilled.
Chicken & Cheese Mini Quiches – Can be frozen
Olive oil (to grease), 2 frozen shortcrust pastry sheets (just thawed), 3 eggs, 2 tbsp milk, 1/4 cup barbecued chicken (finely chopped), 1/4 cup cheddar (coarsely grated), 30g broccoli (finely chopped)
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 200C. Grease ten 1/3 cup capacity muffin pans with olive oil. Use a 9cm-diameter round pastry cutter to cut 10 discs from the pastry. Use the discs to line the greased pans. Line each pan with non-stick baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven. Remove the baking paper and beans or rice.
- Step 2 Reduce the oven to 180C. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a large jug. Divide the chicken, cheddar and broccoli among the pastry cases.
- Step 3 Pour the egg mixture among the pans. Bake for 12-15 minutes or just until the filling has set.
Pasta & Sausage Salad
8 beef chipolata sausages, 250g dried wholemeal penne, 1 cup frozen peas, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard, 1 carrot (cut into matchsticks), 30g baby spinach (shredded)
- Step 1 Cook sausages in a small non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat, turning for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Cool. Thickly slice.
- Step 2 Meanwhile, cook pasta in a medium saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes, adding peas for last minute of cooking time, or until pasta is just tender. Drain. Rinse under cold water. Drain.
- Step 3 Combine mayonnaise, vinegar and mustard in a large bowl. Add pasta mixture, carrot and spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Toss until well combined. Add sausages. Gently toss to combine. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 day.
Banana, Carrot & Cinnamon Muffins
1 medium ripe banana, mashed, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup extra light olive oil, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, 1 1/4 cups self-raising flour, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 cup coarsely grated carrot, 2 tablespoons pepitas
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Line 10 holes of a 12-hole, 1/3-cup-capacity muffin pan with paper cases.
- Step 2 Using an electric mixer, beat banana, eggs, oil, buttermilk, sugar and vanilla bean paste on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy.
- Step 3 Sift flour and cinnamon over the banana mixture. Add carrot. Fold until just combined.
- Step 4 Spoon mixture evenly among paper cases. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until muffins spring back when lightly touched. Stand muffins in pan for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool
Sandwich or wrap or cracker toppings
- Avocado, chicken, cheese
- Avocado, carrot, cucumber, cheese
- Cream cheese, carrot, ham / turkey
- Cheese, tomato pickles, ham
- Roast veg, feta
- Corned beef, cheese, pickles
- Leftover rissoles, tomato sauce
- Sliced cucumber, tuna, mayo
- Mashed egg, lettuce
- Boiled eggs
- Carrot sticks & hummus
- Small tub of yoghurt
- Air popped popcorn
- Leftover roast veg or corn on the cob
- Crackers with tahini & feta
- Homemade veggie chips
- Homemade nut-free bliss balls (preferably with no dried fruit)
- Whitebread for multigrain or wholemeal
- Margarine for unsalted butter/avocado/tahini
- Packet of potato crisps for homemade sweet potato / zucchini / vegetable chips
- Flavoured yoghurt for greek or plain yoghurt (can mix in own berries/cacao nibs/etc)
- Fruit juice for water/milk
- Rice cakes/ crackers for whole grain crackers (vitaweets, etc) or rice cakes with brown rice
- Dried fruit for fresh fruit
- Prepackaged foods for homemade foods