Creative lunchbox ideas to keep the kids happy
CORNBREAD CHICKEN BURGERS
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
For the cornbread
1 ½ cups flour, sifted
1 cups maize meal
4 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup vegetable oil
For the filling
½ cup chutney
6 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
3 chicken breasts, flattened and quartered
1 ½ cups coleslaw
4 × 250 ml milk cartons
1. For the cornbread, preheat the oven to 180˚C and grease a 20 cm square baking tin.
2. Mix the flour, maize meal, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, eggs and vegetable oil until combined.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, smooth the top and bake for 20–25 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
5. For the filling, whisk the chutney, 2 tbsp mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice together in a bowl.
6. Place the chicken on a baking tray, season with salt and pepper and pour the sauce over. Bake for 8–10 minutes until almost cooked through then change the oven to grill, baste the chicken with the pan drippings and grill for the last 5–7 minutes.
7. Cut the cornbread into quarters to form 4 square buns, then slice each quarter in half. Spread the remaining mayonnaise on each bottom slice of cornbread then top with the coleslaw and chicken pieces. Close with the top slice.
8. To serve, pack 1 chicken burger along with a banana and carton of milk to create a well-balanced lunch.
BLT SANDWICH SKEWERS
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Makes: 16 skewers
For the skewers
1 tbsp vegetable oil
8 slices bacon
8 slices bread, toasted and quartered
1 ½ wheels feta, cubed
16 small lettuce leaves
16 baby tomatoes
For the dipping sauce
½ cup yoghurt
3 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp tomato sauce
16 short wooden skewers
1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and fry the bacon until cooked.
2. Remove from the heat, drain the bacon on paper towel and cut each slice in half.
3. Thread a square of toast onto each wooden skewer. Fold the bacon in half and thread onto the skewer, followed by a block of feta cheese, a lettuce leaf and one baby tomato. Finish the skewer with another square of toast.
4. For the sauce, mix ingredients together in a bowl and place in 4 resealable containers.
5. To serve, pack 4 skewers, a container of dipping sauce and your child’s favourite fruit into their lunchbox.
MAC AND CHEESE CUPS
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Makes: 12 mac and cheese cups
200 g macaroni
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
4 hot dog viennas, sliced
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
2 cups grated Cheddar
2 ¼ cups milk
4 small yoghurt tubs
4 small handfuls grapes
1 green pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and line a 12-cup muffin tray with paper cases.
2. Cook the macaroni according to package instructions, then drain and mix with the tomatoes, viennas and dried herbs. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
3. Divide half the macaroni mixture between the muffin cups and sprinkle with half the cheese.
4. Cover with the remaining macaroni and top with the rest of the cheese.
5. Whisk the milk and egg together until combined then pour the mixture over the macaroni until it reaches ¾ of the way up the sides of each cup.
6. Bake for 35 minutes or until set and golden brown on top.
7. Serve the macaroni cups with a yoghurt tub, some grapes and a small handful of green pepper strips for a lunch that is sure to fill little tummies.
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