Not sandwiches again: three different lunchbox ideas

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 Photo: Getty

As a kid I used to hate sandwiches with a passion.

Cheese and tomato = soggy

Devon and tomato sauce = bleurgh

Egg and lettuce = STINKY!

At the end of each school term I would have a pile of mouldy sandwiches in the bottom of my schoolbag. I remember one particular year when I forgot to clean out my bag at the beginning of the summer holidays and 6 weeks later I had a whole science experiment going in there.

I got into so much trouble for being a foul little beast.

I have no idea how I didn’t starve to death (or why I collected them instead of hiding the evidence) but needless to say my kids don’t get sandwiches in their lunchboxes. Hell, they might even love them but I will never know.

If you want to mix up your lunch box repertoire why not try these fast and yummy ideas?

Bacon, zucchini and herb frittata

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It has eggs, and it has bacon, so really where can you go wrong? You can throw anything you like into a frittata, for instance finely sliced, day-old, roast potatoes love this tasty lunch treat.

Also delish served with a side salad and chutney for a grown up lunch.

Vietnamese rice paper rolls

These look a little fiddly but they are such a lovely fresh alternative to bread. You can use chicken for school lunches, but duck or prawns are fabulous for a lovely weekday dinner too.

Pizza Wraps

Is it a wrap? Is it a pizza? No, it’s a pizza wrap! Using your favorite pizza toppings you can whip up a wrap so delicious you can guarantee there will be spotless lunch boxes at the end of the day.

Bacon, zucchini and herb frittata

Serves 3 with other delights in lunch box

Ingredients 

  • 2 rashes of bacon, lightly cooked and chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons natural yoghurt
  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • a handful of whatever fresh herbs you have. I used basil and thyme.
  • ½ packed cup of grated cheese

Method 

Preheat oven to 180C

Crack eggs into bowl and add the yoghurt. Whisk together until well combined.

Add remaining ingredients and stir well.

Season lightly and place into a loaf tin lined with baking paper.

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing and packing.

Pizza Wraps

Ingredients 

  • 1 wholegrain or multigrain tortilla per person
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste per person
  • a pinch of mixed herbs
  • a generous sprinkle of grated cheese
  • suggested pizza toppings –
  • olives
  • salami
  • ham
  • tomato
  • capsicum
  • pineapple

Method 

Place a heavy based fry pan on the stove on a medium heat

Spread your tortillas with tomato paste all over, and sprinkle with herbs.

Down the middle of your tortilla, add your desired pizza toppings, and cheese.

Roll it like a wrap and place in the frypan, dry frying each side until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

Makes 14 rolls

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 BBQ chicken, or duck for extra yum, shredded
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 2 spring onions, julienned
  • 1/2 packet bean shoots
  • 1 good handful of mint leaves
  • 1 good handful of coriander leaves
  • crushed peanuts, if your school allows
  • 100g vermicelli
  • 1 packet of rice paper
  • 2 tablespoons ketcup manis (sweet soy)
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce

Method 

Fill a baking tray with hot water, and dip your rice paper in for 5 seconds.


(Once upon a time I thought you had to leave it in until it was totally pliable and wet, but you don’t at all. In fact, it still feels quite cardboard-y after 5 seconds but it gets more pliable as it sits, and it’s way more manageable.)

Mix your sauces together in a bowl.

Smear a small amount of your sauce on to your rice paper and then add a strip in the middle of your chicken, then your vegetables, then your herbs, bean shoots and top it with some noodles.

Sprinkle some nuts on top and fold the bottom of your rice paper up, creating a semi-circle. Fold in the sides, one at a time and then simple roll the rest into a neat cigar.


First one is a practice one, OK?

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