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

Ingredients:

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.

Instructions:

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

Ingredients:

French Baguette

Shop-bought tomato pasta sauce (Or create your own with tomato puree, dried oregano and a little ketchup!)

Cheese, grated

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.

Instructions:

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

Add toppings

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

Ingredients:

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.

Instructions:

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

Ingredients:

1 x tube of Croissant Dough

Sliced Ham

2 x tbsp Dijon Mustard

Sliced Cheese

4 tbsp Melted Butter

¼ tsp Garlic Powder

2 x tbsp Parsley, chopped

Plain Flour

Create these tear-and-share pinwheels for a great alternative to a cheese and ham toastie!

Instructions:

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

Desserts

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’

Ingredients:

Bananas!

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.

Instructions:

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

Ingredients:

280g Nutella

2 x Large Eggs

110g Plain Flour

Such a simple and yummy recipe you’ll wonder why you’ve not made these before!

Instructions:

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

Let cool

Serve

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