Round-up: Lunchbox ideas for the week – part 6

We are at week 6… hmmm almost halfway through! Have I been away THAT long??? Just realized… this was the week before the school vacation, and wow! I must have been burnt out or something – poor son had 3 rice days? It goes to show how important planning is prior to the start of the week 😦



Cheesy tuna and wholemeal pasta bake, steamed asparagus, cherry tomatoes and tempeh chips. Mid-morning snack: Fruit salad and yoghurt. Snack to share: wholemeal lamb pesto pizza



Tuesday: Brown rice with spinach and mushrooms, salmon teriyaki, veggie spring rolls. Mid-morning snack: Fruit salad.



Wednesday: Flavoured rice, sweet and sour chicken, pickled veggies. Mid-Morning snack: Fruit salad and raw almonds

Thursday: Lamb meatballs in tomato sauce with wholemeal spaghetti, sesame sugarsnap peas. Mid-morning snack: Fruit salad. Post-swim snack to share: Sweetheart brownies.


Friday: Malaysian roasted chicken rice and condiments, salad and chicken broth. Mid-morning snack: Fruit salad.




School Lunchbox: Chicken Shawarma Tuesday

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with flat bread crisps, Chicken Shawarma and Salad

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with flat bread crisps, Chicken Shawarma and Salad

I opened the fridge last night and saw that there were still some leftover pizza dough from Saturday and the cucumber sticks from the California rolls. I have also over bought red peppers (thought we had ran out, bought some more… so there were 4 red peppers lounging in the crisper, duh!) The lunchbox menu wrote itself:

  • Roasted red pepper soup and flat bread crisps
  • Shawarma (pizza dough turned into pita bread, cucumber sticks – pickled)
  • Extra shawarma filling (chicken and veggies,) made into salad.

To turn the pizza dough into a “pita”- like flat bread, I added more flour to make it less sticky, kneaded it a bit longer before rolling it thin and grilling in the pan for about 1 minute on one side, and 30 seconds on the other.

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Chicken Shawarma Filling

  • 1 chicken whole leg, de-boned
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • a pinch of paprika
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • a pinch each of oregano and thyme
  • a pinch of allspice
  • 2 tablespoons yoghurt
  • salt

Mix all of the above and let the chicken marinade all night. In the morning, heat some olive oil in a non-stick pan, lightly fry the chicken but do not over cook. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from pan, slice thinly, reheat pan and place the sliced chicken in the hot pan for 1 to 2 minutes. Switch off heat, chicken is ready.

Garlic sauce (toum) – from the blog of Tony Tahhan

  • 7 cloves of garlic
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup of canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

In a food processor mix garlic and egg white. Pulse till garlic has disappeared. Slowly trickle the oil into the garlic paste while the food processor continues to whizz. The oil, garlic and egg white should begin to emulsify. Once the oil is finished, add the lemon juice. The sauce should be very thick like mayonnaise.

Quick Pickled Cucumber

  • 1/2 cucumber – de-seed, cut into long sticks about 2-3 inches in length
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Mix all the ingredients except for cucumber. When the salt and sugar are dissolved, add the cucumber. Leave in a cool place (not in the fridge) overnight.

Assembling shawarma:

– spread some of the garlic sauce on the pita bread. Add chicken, pickle, a few french fries, lettuce and tomatoes. Roll.

Most of the time, I try to incorporate soup into Ashraf’s lunch box because it is easy to prepare, and usually I try to focus on veggies to increase his 5 a day intake. We invested in a rather pricey Thermos flask/lunch pack but it is proving to be worth every cent as not only it keeps the soups and food warm, we have also not had any leakage or accidents. Here is the recipe for today’s Roast Red Pepper Soup.

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Roasted Red Pepper Soup (Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis over at

  • 4 red peppers, splash with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and roast in 200 degree celcius oven for 25 minutes. Immediately take out and place into a bowl and cover. In 5 minutes, take the red peppers out, peel the skin, remove pith and chop roughly.
  • 1 carrot – chopped roughly
  • 1 yellow onion – chopped roughly
  • 3 garlic cloves – chopped roughly
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 russet potato – diced roughly
  • 4 cups of stock (I used the bones from the chicken leg that I removed for the shawarma for this)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

– Heat olive, add onions, garlic, carrots and thyme – sautee till onions are translucent. Add stock, red peppers and potatoes, a little salt and the vinegar. Simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Taste the seasoning, adjust salt and pepper. Let cool slightly, blend fine.