Seasonal Recipes using market produce
There are endless variations on pasta, pita bread & eggs limited only by your imagination and of course likes and dislikes. These foods make nourishing and sustaining mid-day lunches.
A few simple recipes - adaptable to suit both children and adults - to help the packed lunch dilemmas...
You can buy pasta made from buckwheat, corn and quinoa as well as wheat cook the pasta and add loads of other ingredients especially lots of vegetables.
It's really easy and fun for children to help make pita bread so if you have the time make up a couple of batches and keep them in the deep freeze ready to thaw and pop in a filling.
Frittatas are endlessly versatile and if you are short of time, there’s no need to make them from scratch, they can be made in minutes with fridge leftovers..
450g wholemeal flour
12g fresh yeast
pinch of sugar
275ml tepid water
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
Smoked mackerel, cos lettuce and potato salad
Falafel with houmous and salad leaves
Roast pumpkin with ricotta cheese
Scrambled eggs with baby spinach
Roast vegetables & pesto.
Place the flour & salt in a bowl and make a dip in the center and pop in the yeast, pinch of sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and 6 tablespoons of the tepid water. Stir gently then cover over with some of the flour from the edge, and leave until it begins to froth.
Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and enough of the remaining water and mix the yeast mixture and flour together to make a soft but not too sticky dough. Knead the dough well for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic and no longer sticks to your fingers. Brush the inside of a clean bowl with a little olive oil, put in the dough, and roll around to cover the dough with oil. Put a dampened cloth over the bowl and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (about 1½ - 2 hours).
Turn the dough on to a floured board and divide into six. Roll each piece with a floured rolling pin, forming ½" thick ovals. Place these on a floured cloth in a warm place. Cover with another cloth and leave to rise for 20 minutes.
Preheat your oven to the highest setting and pop in two lightly oiled baking sheets. When the bread has risen, slip them carefully on to the baking sheets, spray with water and bake for 10 minutes without opening the door. Cool on a rack.
250 g tomatoes
4 spring onions
1 romaine lettuce or handful of rocket
1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley chopped
1 handful of mint leaves chopped
juice of ½ lemon
50 ml olive oil
salt and pepper
2 pitta breads
2 teaspoons sumac powder
This Lebanese salad made from tomato, cucumber, onions and toasted pitta bread has a tangy taste from the sumac, a zingy lemony spice. If you can not find sumac add the zest of 1 lemon instead.
Cut the tomatoes into small chunks, finely slice the spring onions, slice the cucumber, (peeled if you prefer) shred the lettuce or pick over the rocket and combine altogether in a bowl. Mix in the parsley & mint. Combine the lemon and olive oil, season well with salt and pepper and mix into the salad.
Toast the pitta breads until lightly golden. When cool, tear into pieces and combine with the salad. Spoon into a lunch box container and sprinkle over the sumac.
Broccoli green bean & sausage pasta salad
150g french beans cut into small pieces
150g broccoli florets
handful of parsley chopped
teaspoon tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cooked sausages cut into discs
salt and pepper
Bring a pan of water with ½ teaspoon of salt to the boil and tip in the broccoli cook for 2 minutes. Spoon out with a slotted spoon and plunge into a bowl of cold water for 1 minute, drain and set to one side.
Using the same water cook the pasta, adding the french beans for the final 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain, rinse with cold water then drain again. Tip into a bowl with the chopped herbs, tamari, olive oil, salt and pepper and toss well. Mix in the broccoli and sausage and pack into lunch box container.
Pumpkin, spinach & cheddar frittata
175g pumpkin diced
1/2 onion, chopped
Olive oil & butter
Salt & pepper
handful spinach leaves
120g High Weald Cheddar
Roast the pumpkin with the onion in olive oil in a hot oven for 10 minutes. Remove, stir in the spinach leaves and return to the oven for 1 minute to wilt the leaves. Remove and season well
Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in the pumpkin mixture. Take a large fry pan and swirl round a little olive oil and butter over a medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture and cook until it begins to set at the edge
Transfer to a medium hot oven 190°C 375F and bake for 10 - 15 minutes until golden and firm
Slide out of the pan and cool
Cut into wedges, pop in greaseproof paper bag and pack into a lunch box.
5 tbsp sunflower seeds
5 tbsp pumpkin seeds
125g ready to eat dried figs hard tip removed
6 tbsp honey
300g rolled oats
100g porridge oats
2 tbsp hemp
25g desiccated coconut
Great lunch box filler & snack, bars will keep in an airtight container for 7 days.
Oven 180C/350F/Gas mark 4.
Lightly butter and line with baking parchment a baking tray 12 x 10 x1 inch
Blitz the sunflower & pumpkin seeds keeping the mixture quite rough, remove to a bowl
Blitz the figs,& sultanas to a paste
In a large saucepan, melt the butter & honey
Stir in the oats, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, fig mixture, hemp and coconut
Press down into the prepared tin and flatten
Bake for 20 -25 minutes or until golden brown and the softer side of firm.
Makes 16 bars.