Try these tasty recipes from IDEAS for easy lunchbox fillings. They’ll take the hassle out of deciding what to pack for your children’s lunch.
Pick any of these nutritious easy lunchbox ideas to get your children eating everything you’ve packed and asking for more.
Beef and sweet-chilli sarmie (serves 4)
Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 4 minutes
- 30ml olive oil
- 8 beef minute steaks
- 120ml sweet-chilli sauce
- 40ml freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
- 1 cucumber, peeled into ribbons
- whole avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
- 60ml plain yoghurt
- 30ml low-fat mayonnaise
- sliced bread or rolls
- coriander to garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan over a high heat. Then, fry the steaks in batches for a minute on each side until cooked through. Remove from the heat and drizzle half of the sweet-chilli sauce and 10ml lemon juice over the steaks.
- Place the steaks on top of sliced bread or rolls, then top with cucumber ribbons and avocado slices and season to taste.
- Mix together the remaining sweet-chilli sauce and lemon juice with the yoghurt and mayonnaise. Spoon on top of the salad ingredients. Add some fresh coriander to garnish.
Pita breads with spicy beef and rosa tomatoes (serves 4)
Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes
- 15ml oil
- 3 tsps (15ml) Cajun spice
- 30ml flour
- 400g steak, sliced
- 4 pita breads
- 250g mixed lettuce
- 1 small punnet rosa
- tomatoes, halved
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Mix the Cajun spice with the flour, dust the steak with the flour mixture, and then fry until the slices are just cooked.
- In a heated griddle pan, grill the pita breads, one at a time, until they start to puff up. Turn each one over to brown both sides.
- Stuff each pita bread with steak, lettuce and rosa tomatoes, and serve.
Citrus chicken kebabs (serves 4)
Preparation time: 10 minutes plus 2 hours marinating time | Cooking time: 10 minutes
- 4 chicken breast fillets, cut into large cubes
- 100ml olive oil
- 125ml fresh orange juice
- 60ml fresh lemon juice
- 20ml lemon or lime zest
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 50ml chopped origanum
- 3ml salt
- 8 kebab sticks
- 1 onion, cut into wedges
- 1 lemon, cut into small wedges
- Place the chicken cubes in a sealable plastic bag.
- Mix the olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice and zest, garlic, origanum and salt thoroughly. Pour the mixture over the chicken in the bag and seal the bag. Next, massage the marinade into the chicken for about two minutes. Refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
- Thread the chicken cubes onto the kebab sticks, alternating the meat with onion and citrus wedges.
- Grill or braai the kebabs until just done.
Couscous with chickpeas (serves 4)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
- 150ml couscous
- 200ml vegetable stock, hot
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- ½ yellow pepper, diced
- ½ red pepper, diced
- 30ml chopped coriander
- Place the couscous in a large bowl and pour the hot stock over it until it is just covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to stand for five minutes.
- Once all the liquid is absorbed, use a fork to separate the couscous. Add the remaining ingredients and stir through.
Preparation time: 15 minutes | Baking time: 5 minutes | Oven temperature: 200 °C
- 4 tortillas (flour wraps)
- 10ml tahini
- 90ml good-quality mayonnaise
- baby spinach leaves
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
- 1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 100ml sprouts
- 250ml grated Cheddar
- Put the tortillas on a baking tray and place in the oven to warm.
- Mix the tahini and mayonnaise together and spread onto the tortillas.
- Arrange the remaining ingredients on the tortillas. Roll up and secure with
Spicy sweet potato and vegetable burgers (serves 4)
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus refrigeration time | Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 300g sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 20-30ml curry paste
- 125ml frozen diced vegetables, defrosted
- 3 slices bread, crumbed
- 50ml chopped fresh coriander
- cake flour, for dusting
- 125ml natural yoghurt
- sunflower oil, for frying
- bread rolls and a salad, to serve
- Boil the potatoes until soft. Drain and mash, then return to the heat and fry until most of the excess liquid has evaporated. Mix in the curry paste and add the vegetables, breadcrumbs and half the coriander. Season to taste.
- Shape into burger patties. Dust with flour. Chill on a lined baking tray for half an hour or until ready to cook.Heat a layer of oil in a frying pan and fry the burgers on both sides until golden.
- Mix the yoghurt with the remaining coriander. Serve the burgers on rolls topped with the yoghurt dressing. Serve with a salad.
You can find other ideas for lunchboxes here.
About the book
It can be somewhat of a challenge to come up with exciting yet nutritious meals for the family each night. This full-colour cookbook, Ideas: 365 Recipes for every day of the year (Human & Rousseau), takes the guesswork out of meal planning. With a recipe for each day of the year, you will never again have to wonder what to cook for dinner. They are also organised into months, making it easier to cook something with the ingredients that are in season. The dishes are varied, with everything from honey, mustard and rosemary pork chops to salmon fish cakes, spicy vegetable dhal and Moroccan burgers. The quick recipes will appeal to harried working parents, busy housewives and even the novice cook. It is available at good bookstores nationwide.