Lockdown Lunches You Will Love
This time of year, parents are usually packing up the Christmas decorations, returning to work, and remembering what a quiet house looks like after waving the children off to school for the new term.
Not this year.
Once again, we find ourselves in a national lockdown and overnight have to face homeschooling, messy houses, and additional lunchtimes we weren’t prepared for.
Instead of grabbing a speedy meal deal or snacking throughout the day, lunches will now need to be thought about, prepared, and most importantly – enjoyed.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the generic lunchbox fillers of a sandwich, crisps, and a chocolate bar. But why not push the boat out and get everyone involved in creating fun, nutritious and budget-friendly lunches that you can all enjoy?
Here are just a few examples:
Leftover Chicken Soup
1L Chicken stock (bought, homemade, or a stock cube)
400g Chicken (leftovers are perfect!)
2 tsp Olive Oil
1 x Onion, chopped
2 x Garlic cloves, crushed
3 x Leeks, sliced
3 x Carrots, chopped
2 x Potatoes, diced
1 tsp Dried Herbs
1 tsp Black Pepper
This hearty soup is a great lunch option for those chilly days. Keep this recipe in mind when making your next Sunday roast – maybe cook a few extra potatoes and carrots to speed this recipe along.
Fry off onions and garlic until they go soft
Add leeks and fry for 3 minutes
Add leftover chicken, chicken stock, carrots, and potatoes
Season with the pepper and add the dried herbs
Simmer for 15-20 minutes (or until the potatoes and carrots are soft)
Serve with a crusty roll (try blended for a smooth winter warmer)
Alternatively, throw all the ingredients into a slow cooker for 4 hours and enjoy chunky or blended with that crusty roll!
French Bread Pizza
Shop-bought tomato pasta sauce (Or create your own with tomato puree, dried oregano and a little ketchup!)
Additional toppings such as pepperoni, ham, peppers, sweetcorn etc
Who doesn’t love a good pizza? Children of all ages can get creative with their toppings in this quick and simple recipe idea.
Preheat oven to 350°, 170C, Gas Mark 4
Slice the baguette long ways and divide into suitable portion sizes
Spread the tomato sauce over the bread
Sprinkle over the cheese
Cook for 5-10 minutes till the cheese has begun to brown
Try using ciabatta or thick sliced wholemeal bloomer for alternative options.
Tuna And Sweetcorn Fishcakes
4 Large Potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 x Cans of Tuna, drained
325g Sweetcorn, drained
2 x tbsp Olive Oil
50g Plain Flour
Salt and Pepper
Choose these easy fishcakes and serve with a salad, or homemade chips or even in a bun.
Boil the potatoes until soft, then mash
Season to taste
Once cooled, fold in the tuna and sweetcorn
Mould the mixture into 8 patties and cover lightly in the flour
Heat 2 tbsp oil
Add fishcakes and fry for 5-6 minutes until a golden crust has formed
Flip carefully and fry for a further 5-6 minutes
Cheese and Ham Pinwheels
1 x tube of Croissant Dough
2 x tbsp Dijon Mustard
4 tbsp Melted Butter
¼ tsp Garlic Powder
2 x tbsp Parsley, chopped
Create these tear-and-share pinwheels for a great alternative to a cheese and ham toastie!
Preheat the oven to 350°
Grease an 8×8 baking pan
Unroll your croissant dough onto a floured surface
Separate the sheets into rectangles
Pinch the perforations to seal
Spread mustard on each rectangle
Top with the ham and the cheese
Roll up each rectangle
Cut each roll into 5-6 slices and place in a baking tray, cut side up
In a separate bowl, mix melted butter, garlic powder and parsley
Brush over pinwheels and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden
If your child usually has school dinners, I guarantee the desserts are a far cry from the luminous pink blancmange served throughout the 90’s!
Here are just two healthier (but equally as yummy) dessert options that require virtually no effort at all!
One Ingredient ‘Nice-Cream’
A simple and easy ice cream option, great for getting rid of those browning bananas that no one wants to eat. All you will need is a processor, smoothie maker, or blender.
Chop and freeze the bananas for at least 2 hours (if overnight, thaw slightly before use)
Put slices in a blender and mix until thick and creamy
This is ready to eat, or can be kept in the freezer
Optional Extras such as Nutella, Peanut Butter, Honey, Vanilla or other fruits can be added to your blended banana, then blend again until thoroughly mixed. What flavours will you create?
Three Ingredient Brownies
2 x Large Eggs
110g Plain Flour
Such a simple and yummy recipe you’ll wonder why you’ve not made these before!
Preheat oven to 350°
Grease a 9×9 metal baking pan
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth
Poor into baking pan and smooth
Bake for 15 minutes
Article by Caterquip