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James McIntosh

Back to school, a week’s lunch box suggestions

Posted by James McIntosh Thursday, 5th September 2013

150-james

It's not just school children that need lunch boxes, I believe adults do too.  You see, I work from home and it's all too easy to nip out every day to buy a sandwich, before you know it with that chocolate bar, yoghurt and fancy apple juice it's costing me £6 each time.  I made a pact with myself last year to make myself a lunch box every day and of the 200 working days per year, a huge £1,200 dent can be possibly made if I didn't make myself lunch.

 

The issue is being organised. When I thought of how long I actually spend in the supermarket or sandwich shop, I realised the till queuing time was longer than the time it would take me to make a lunch box.  So, I worked out a plan, got organised and I've had yummy lunches that keep me going with energy all through the year.

 

I've found the easiest way to make lunch boxes is to do it when making dinner.  Peel a few extra carrots or cut up some extra sticks of celery when preparing the dinner.  None can argue the nutrition of this, but I do agree it's not most exciting.  I love trail mix, and I make my own for work every day.  I have a big jar in the kitchen with nuts, dried fruits and sometimes chunks of chocolate.  I buy what fruit and nuts (not the flavored, salted or dry roasted ones) when they are on offer, place them into the jar, mix them up and take a handful to work in a little plastic box every day.  That stops my 3pm fade as I call it, you know when you struggle to keep awake between 3pm until the end of the day.

 

Sandwiches, these are a food that can either be horrendous or yummy.  I agree soggy tomato sandwiches are not pleasant, but this is where creativity can start.  I've started to remove butter or margarine for low fat hummus as my spread.  Realised that if I can plan it correctly, supermarkets are great places to be at 7pm for reduced priced items for tomorrow's lunch.  Mix and combine is key, chopped up roast chicken with fresh basil that's growing in my window pot mixed with mayo and a little horseradish.  Making extra pasta the night before can form a cold salad.  Using wraps instead of bread, or, indeed using different types of bread like a rye bread for a Danish style open sandwich(all be it slightly heavier).  Making savory muffins (see recipe below) is not only a delicious way to use up left overs, but they freeze well too.

 

Do you have any lunch box tips to share on the Rangemaster Facebook page?

 

Savory Muffins

Shutterstock _74691202

Ingredients(Makes 8)

  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 rashers bacon, finely sliced
  • 1 medium potato, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g cheese, grated
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 75ml milk

 

Method

  1. Pre-heat the Rangemaster oven to 180C / 160C Fan / Gas Mark 4
  2. Cook the onion and bacon in a pan on the Rangemaster hob.  Mix in the potato and season, cook for 5 minutes, stirring continually and set aside to cool.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and add the cooled onion mix.  Add cheese and lightly mix through. 
  4. Add the liquid ingredients and mix together to a batter consistency.
  5. Grease a muffin or cup cake tin and place the mixture into the tin to just below the level of the rim.
  6. Cook in the Rangemaster oven for 15-20 minutes until golden and brown.  Cool on a wire rack.

 

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