Easy lunch box fillers - recipes

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iol lif jan 10 lunchbox ST AD Gluten free biscuits9 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Gluten free nutty biscuit treats

Johannesburg - It’s back to school and work for most of us and the chore of finding inspiring ways to get your family to eat their packed lunches can be quite a challenge.

Here are a few helpful tips:

l Remember the rule of 3 – a lunch box should include protein, fruit or vegetables and a wholegrain.

l For the perfectly paired lunch, include high-fibre foods and a protein to help keep you and the kids satisfied through the day.

l Pack a colourful lunch box by adding foods with a wide variety of colour. Slices of peppers, cherry tomatoes, snap peas with a dip or hummus will encourage children to eat vegetables.

l Have fun with shapes by using cookie cutters to cut out sandwiches or even pieces of fruit like melon and pineapple.

l Involve children in the preparation of their lunch box meals.

l Make easy-to-eat foods and cut fruit and meats into bite-size portions.

l Try to keep lunch boxes cool by packing them in an insular cooler bag with an ice brick. Items like cheese and yoghurt don’t taste great when they have been sitting in the sun all morning.

LOW FAT BANANA AND BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

Makes 12

250ml bran-rich self-raising flour

250ml plain self-raising flour

125ml light brown sugar

2 ripe bananas, mashed

250ml coconut milk

1 egg

5ml vanilla essence

250ml fresh blueberries

Combine the flours and sugar in a mixing bowl.

Combine the banana, coconut milk, egg and vanilla essence and mix well. Add to the dry ingredients and mix gently to combine.

Mix through the blueberries, taking care not to break them up. Spoon the mixture into a muffin pan that has been lined with paper cases.

Bake at 180°C for 20-30 minutes until done. Remove and cool.

l In place of coconut milk, use buttermilk or ordinary milk. These muffins can also be frozen.

GLUTEN-FREE NUTTY BISCUIT TREATS

Makes 20-30

125ml macadamia nut butter

125ml light brown sugar

1 egg

250ml chick pea flour

250ml brown rice flour

125ml ground almonds

5ml bicarbonate of soda

80-100ml coconut milk

extra ground almonds for sprinkling

Cream together the nut butter and sugar. Add the egg and mix well. Add the flours, almonds and bicarbonate of soda with enough coconut milk to make a dough that is slightly soft but not too sticky.

Roll spoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on a greased baking tray. Flatten the biscuits with your hand. Sprinkle each biscuit with a little ground almonds, pressing it down with your finger tips.

Bake at 180°C for 10-15 minutes until the base of the biscuits are golden brown.

l You can replace the coconut milk with buttermilk.

BACON, CHEESE AND APPLE FRITTATA

Serves 4

15ml olive oil

1 small red onion, finely chopped

4 rashers of bacon, cooked and chopped

1 red apple, cored and finely diced

125ml ricotta cheese

60ml grated cheddar cheese

4 eggs

2 egg whites

salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a small non-stick frying pan and cook the onion over a medium heat until soft.

Add the bacon and apple and cook for a minute. Sprinkle over the ricotta and cheddar cheese.

Beat the eggs and egg whites well. Pour over the mixture in the pan. Season well.

Cook on a low heat until the egg has set.

Then place under a heated grill for a few minutes to cook the top of the frittata.

Remove and cool slightly before removing from the pan. Cut into wedges and serve.

l You can replace the ricotta cheese with feta cheese.

BULGUR CHICKEN SALAD

Serves 4

125ml bulgur wheat

250ml boiling water

100g cherry tomatoes, halved

1 small red pepper, diced

1/2 small English cucumber, peeled and chopped

2 chicken breast fillets, cooked and diced

40ml chopped mint

salt and pepper

15ml lemon juice

45ml olive oil

Put the bulgur wheat into a bowl and pour over the water.

Set aside for 30 minutes. Drain well in a sieve.

Combine the tomatoes, peppers, cucumber and chicken and add the drained bulgur wheat.

Mix in the mint and season to taste.

Combine the lemon juice and olive oil and mix well. Add to the salad and toss to combine.

l This salad keeps well in the fridge for a few days. - The Star

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