One of the best things about finishing school in my view was the end of boring sandwiches for lunch. There is no reason that this needs to be the only option and having a variety of easy salads for lunches can be a good way to improve your child’s diet as well as adding some variety. There are a few salads it’s easy to pack for lunches and if you can add a small ice brick to the lunch box it can be kept cool as well.
What would I recommend ? These are my top 5 for the lunch box.
- Easy Chicken Caesar.
- Wombok with grilled chicken
- Tuna nicoise salad – this is an easy version from Delicious. Roasted potatoes can easily be substituted for the boiled version and add more flavour.
- Mexican rice salad
- Ham and corn pasta salad – a simple favourite from Taste.com and I usually try and use good quality ham off the bone to give it better flavour.
Easy Chicken Caesar
- 300g chicken tenders
- 1 Cos Lettuce
- 100g proscuitto
- 2-3 slices of old bread
- 1/4 cup Aoili mayonaise (or plain mayonaise with 1 clove crushed garlic)
Grill chicken tenders until golden brown and set aside to cool. On a baking tray lightly oiled cook the prosciutto and diced bread at 180C for 8-10 minutes. Prosciutto should be crispy and able to be flaked across the salad. Wash the cos lettuce well and spin dry and then cut into 2 cm slices. Combine lettuce, prosciutto and dressing and serve with grilled chicken and croutons. For the lunch box it may be better to package the croutons separately and add just before eating. (Makes 2 serves).
Wombok with grilled chicken
- ½ wombok (Chinese) cabbage
- 2 carrots
- 1 red capsicum
- 2 stalks celery or 100g beans sliced
- 100 g snowpeas or a small can of corn
- Juice of one lemon
- Olive Oil (2-3 tblesp)
- White wine vinegar (1/4 cup)
- 1 ttblsp each of soy sauce and sesame oil
Cut up finely and toss together. Finely sliced vegetables enhance each others flavour.
Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, soy sauce, sesame oil and white wine vinegar and toss through the salad. The more robust vegetables keep well and you could easily have this as a side with dinner with leftovers for lunch the next day. Just add shredded chicken (150g per person) and make sure you drain well before storing.
Mexican Rice Salad
1 cup cooked rice
1 can of black beans washed and drained
1 small can of corn
1 red capsicum diced
1 punnet cherry tomatoes halved
1 avocado diced
Dressing : 2 Tablespoons of lime juice and 1/4 cup olive oil
Combine ingredients including dressing and mix well.
A nice addition to this recipe is a small bag of corn chips or a tortilla.
Christine Pope is a naturopath and nutritionist based at Elemental Health at St Ives. She typically tries to send her family with leftovers for lunch the next day and it probably works 3 days of the week! Appointments can be made on 8084 0081.