Every single mother faces this problem on an every day basis, ‘ What to pack for lunch tomorrow?’
Sometimes no matter how hard and long you thought about it the previous night your kid brings it back and generally it’s something of the nutritious kind. So there goes all the hardwork you put into it. Demoralizing as it is, it is important that you don’t yield and give them the unhealthy junk they crave. Instead you adapt, you research and you find recipes which are not only nutritious but also appeal to their taste buds. The trick here being that they SHOULD NOT know that the food you are giving them is nutritious indeed.
Since obviously you would not be having so much time to go on the internet and through cookbooks searching for such recipes, here is a list of 10 recipes which we feel is easy, economical, time-saving and yummy of course!
1. Curried egg and mayo sandwich: Something for the eggitarians. Link to Instagram Profile
> 1 boiled egg, chopped
> a little curry paste
> 1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise
> tiny squirt tomato purée
> several Little lettuce leaves
> some chopped onion
> slices of cucumber
> slice wholegrain bread, to serve
Method: Stir boiled egg and curry paste into mayonnaise and tomato purée. Pile onto bread with lettuce, onion and cucumber.
2. Dukkah-crusted squash wedges: Who says fried food can’t be healthy?
> 50g blanched almonds
> 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
> 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
> 1 tablespoon ground cumin
> 1 large butternut squash ( If butternut squash is not available you can use sweet potatoes)
> 1 tablespoon olive oil ( groundnut oil will do too)
Method: Heat the oven to 200C. Toast the almonds until golden brown and add the coriander and sesame seeds. Leave to cool. Then add the ground cuming and bash all of it together using a pestle and mortar. Peel the butternut squash and cut them into wedges. Dip them in oil and then in this mix. Put it in a tray and in the oven for 30–40 minutes turning halfway, until tender.
3. Spicy chicken wraps: The traditional chicken roll!
> 1 chicken breast, thinly sliced at an angle
> generous squeeze juice ½ lime
> ½ teaspoon mild chilli powder
> 1 garlic clove, chopped
> 1 teaspoon olive oil
> 2 seeded wraps (parathas or rotis)
Method: Mix the chicken with the garlic, lime juice and chilli powder. Heat the oil in a non stick pan and fry the chicken for a couple of minutes ( 3–4 minutes).
Note: If you have or like avocado, you can add some squashed avocado and red peppers to the roll before putting the chicken filling in.
4. Carrot and raisin sandwich: Who would have thought a carrot sandwich could taste good?
> 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
> 2 tablespoon raisins
> 1 tablespoon olive oil
> ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
> 1 tablespoon chopped mint
> 4–6 slices brown bread
> 3 tablespoon hummus (you can just use mayonnaise instead but the flavour profile will change)
Method: Mix the carrot with the raisins, olive oil and vinegar. Season and add the mint. Spread 2–3 slices of the bread with hummus, top with the carrot mix and sandwich with 2–3 more slices. Cut into your desired shapes.
5. Fish fingers with minty mashed peas: A large list of ingredients so save it for some special occasion!
> 110 gms of fillet of any white fish
> 100 gms of peas
> 1 tablespoon flour
> hint of paprika
> juice and zest of 1 and a half lemons
> salt and pepper
> 1 egg
> 1 slice of bread
> any oil for frying
> bunch of mint leaves
> 1 teaspoon of butter
Method: Place the flour in a shallow bowl with the paprika, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper, then beat the eggs in another shallow bowl. Blitz the bread in a food processor to fine breadcrumbs, then tip onto a plate. Cut the fillets into finger like shapes and dust them in flour. Then dip them into the egg, remove excess egg and roll it in the breadcrumb mixture and fry in a non-stick pan for 2–4 minutes. For the minty mashed peas, add the peas, mint leaves, a little bit of lemon juice and a teaspoon of butter and blitz well in a food blender.
6. Sticky lemon chicken: One of the harder recipes, for the people looking for something exciting!
> 4 chicken breast fillets with skin
> 1 large lemon
> 2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or a generous sprinkling of dried
> 1½ tablespoon clear honey
Method: Preheat the grill to high and lightly oil a shallow heatproof dish. Put the chicken in the dish, skin side down, and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 5 minutes. While the chicken is grilling, cut four thin slices from the lemon. Turn the chicken fillets over and put a slice of lemon on top of each one. Sprinkle over the thyme and a little more seasoning, then drizzle with honey. Squeeze over the juice from the remaining lemon and spoon round 2 tbsp water. Return to the grill for 10 minutes more, until the chicken is golden and cooked all the way through.
7. Frozen fruit sticks with passion fruit and lime drizzle: Feeding your children fruits might have just gotten a little bit easier!
> 100g strawberries, hulled and halved
> 8 seedless grapes
> 100g mango chunks
> 100g melon chunks
> 2 kiwi fruit, peeled and cut into chunks
> 100g pineapple chunks
> juice 2 limes
> 4 passion fruits, halved and seeds scraped out
> 1 teaspoon icing sugar
Method: Mix the lime juice, the passion fruit and icing sugar well until the sugar dissolves. If you want a smoother mixture pass it over a sieve to remove the seeds. Skewer the fruits cut and drizzle a little bit of the above made mixture. Keep it in a freezer for about 45 minutes and bring it out just about the time it’s going to freeze and drizzle the mixture again.
NOTE: You can use whatever fruits you have at home, not these ones necessarily. If you can’t find passion fruit,you can use fresh pineapple juice which need not be strained.
8. Spicy chicken salad with broccoli: An easy way to make your kid eat the dreaded vegetable: broccoli.
> 2 broccoli heads, cut into florets
> 2 tablespoon olive oil
> 5 shallots, finely sliced
> handful pitted black olives
> 4 roast chicken breasts, sliced
> 4 tablespoon soy sauce
> 2 red chillies, deseeded and sliced
> 2 garlic cloves, sliced
Methods: Steam the broccoli until tender and then season. Fry the shallots in the pan for 2 minutes and then add the chilli and the garlic and further fry for 4 minutes. Remove them and add them to the broccoli, chicken and olives. Warm soy sauce and pour over the salad.
9. Creamy mustard mushrooms on toast: Simple, classic and just yummy.
> 1 slice wholemeal bread
> 1½ tablespoon light cream cheese
> 1 tsp groundnut or sunflower oil
> 3 handfuls sliced, small flat mushrooms
> 2 tablespoon skimmed milk
> ¼ tsp wholegrain mustard
> 1 tablespoon snipped chives
Method: Toast the bread and spread on it a little bit of cheese. Heat oil in a non-stick pan and cook the mushrooms until soft. Spoon in the milk, mustard and remaining cheese. Stir well. Coat it on the bread and serve with a glass of orange juice.
10. Chicken, soya and ginger pilaf: A little bit of pan asian cooking just to do away with the monotony.
> 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
> 1 onion, thinly sliced
> thumb-sized piece ginger, grated
> 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
> 3 skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
> 250g basmati rice
> 600ml vegetable stock
> 100g frozen soya beans
> coriander leaves
Method: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, then add the onion, ginger and chilli, along with some seasoning. Cook for 5 mins, then add the chicken and rice. Cook for 2 mins more, then add the stock and bring to the boil. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 8–10 mins until the rice is just cooked. During the final 3 mins of cooking, add the edamame beans. Sprinkle some coriander leaves on top and serve.