Lunchbox inspiration

I am still flying by the seat of my pants since launch day last week, so let’s do this!  Now to the lunch talk…. I know I never thought I’d live to see the day I would write about this!  If there was a meal you could skip mine would be lunch it’s just not my favourite!   Breakfast I get, it sets you up for the day but lunch…. I know it sustains you till dinner, but the challenge of making interesting lunches is probably one of my biggest battles. 

So here are some tips for setting yourself up for a primo lunch week!

  • Preparation!  If you do the hard yards early on you will be so pleased to open the fridge door to a selection of choice!
  • Plan ahead:  Buy your groceries on a Sunday so you are well stocked with a variety of well-balanced lunchbox items
  • Use a variety of ingredients – don’t just go all carbo loading on it!  (Although that is an easy trap to fall into if you have not  planned ahead)
  • Fresh food is key – who wants to eat limp old carrots or soft apples, blurk!  I hear my boys say! 
  • Plan a baking day.  You just can’t beat homemade!  I really try to do this once a week and it doesn’t always work but that’s  ok we are real people!  Plan your baking for the weekend sometime.  This is actually quite fun once you get into the habit and you can include your kids or hubby (or better still take turns).  Making your own food also makes you more aware of what is going into your food not a bunch of numbers and a list of 20 ingredients. It might also make you realise the amount of sugar that goes into some recipes. 
  • Get a decent lunchbox! Believe it or not, it can also make lunch making a little more fun! Which leads me to my point.

I decided to invest in a decent lunch box.  After going through a few different lunch box styles, I decided to make the move to a bento box.  Now, do you think I could decide on what was what, in the sea of bento boxes?  So I then spent the next month asking whoever would listen, what lunchbox did they use or recommend and why?

After confirming pros and cons I invested in a littlekiwi bento box as seen above.  What’s even better is this is a small kiwi company based out of Geraldine and the owner is a fellow mum of two boys as well!  You can find these awesome lunch boxes at https://littlekiwibentoboxes.co.nz/   The recipe for the Apple and Cinnamon Waffles and Parmesan Melts as seen in the bento box can be found below.

I have one with the four sections for my older son and a six sectioned one for my youngest who’s two.  I must admit the arrival of these littlekiwi bento boxes made me a tad more excited about making lunches for my boys – such a geek I know!  So long glad-wrap (clingwrap), snaplock bags and numerous plastic containers to fit lots of bits and pieces into.  Having a bento box also speeds the lunch making process up – now that is a win in my books. The little-sealed sections actually make you become a bit more inventive knowing you have six items to add every time.  I think I will get one for myself now and make lunches like I do for my boys!!  These are great for salad lovers if you want ingredients separate to make up at work.  So long soggy salads!

Parmesan melts
Ready in:15 minutes

I have little cheese monsters in my house and these are so moorish.  They are quick and easy and store well if you can get them to last long enough in your house.

IMG_6932

Brace yourself for this easy snack…. 

  • 1 cup Parmesan grated
  • Optional additions: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, finely chopped herbs.  I used thyme and flat-leaf parsley in these ones.

Place oval shaped bundles of parmesan on a greaseproof paper on a tray.
Sprinkle with seeds and or herbs of your choice.
Make them any size you want.  If you make them bigger you can always snap them to smaller shapes.

Bake at 220c for 5-10 minutes – check once golden remove and let cool.  

Apple and cinnamon waffles
Ready in: 15 minutes

This is a great way to use up older apples.  The Apple keeps the waffle nice and moist.  I was thinking this would also be nice with desiccated coconut – I love the texture!  I omitted the sugar and used 1TBSP of honey instead.

  • 2 1/2cups plain flour (340g)
  • 2 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups grated apple
  • 3x60g eggs, separated
  • 3 TBSP Sugar (I omitted this and used 1 TBSP Honey instead, you could also use brown rice malt syrup or maple syrup)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 125g butter

Sift flour, baking powder cinnamon and salt into a large bowl.

Stir in sugar (or alternatives)  If your apples are really sweet you could leave any sweetener out altogether.  Make a well in the centre and add egg yolks, milk and butter, gradually stir into the flour mix.  Add the grated apple and mix.

Beat mixture into a smooth batter.

Whisk egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Be careful when folding so as not to knock the air out of the mixture.  Use 1/2 cup of batter for each waffle.

I use  Breville waffle creations that make the perfect size little hearts for lunch-boxes.  It makes 6 whole waffles but when broken into individual pieces you get 36.  I put half in a container for the week for lunch boxes and the other half I layer with greaseproof paper into a container freeze so you are ready to go for another week.

If you are at home with the kids throw these in the toaster and they come up as if they’ve just been made – bliss!

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