Sunday 22 September 2019

Kevin Dundon's lunch box ideas for teens

If you're looking for some lunchbox inspiration and supper ideas to whet the appetites of even the fussiest eaters, here is a helping hand with the tough task of preparing lunches.

Sushi Roll Stuffed with Cooked Ham and Avocado
Sushi Roll Stuffed with Cooked Ham and Avocado

Kevin Dundon

Teenagers are more open to trying new foods and flavours, so be more adventurous in what you put in their lunchbox.

Spicy Tuna Pockets

Ingredients (serves 2)

110g tin of tuna in water, drained

2 tbsp mayonnaise

2 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp Sriracha or Tabasco

1 tsp tomato puree

Salt and pepper

2 carrots, chopped into matchsticks

1 Hass avocado, sliced

½ cucumber, peeled and sliced into long sticks

¼ iceberg lettuce

2 pitta pockets

In a small bowl, mix together the tuna, mayonnaise, soy sauce, Sriracha and tomato puree.

Divide the tuna salad between the two pittas and add the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.

Spicy Tuna Pockets

Feta and Spinach Muffins

INGREDIENTS (makes 12)

200g fresh spinach, chopped

150g feta cheese, crumbled

60g semi-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

50g grated Parmesan cheese

200g self-raising flour

100g wholemeal flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 eggs, lightly beaten

300ml milk 100g butter, melted

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas 3 and grease a 12-cup muffin tray. Blanch the spinach in salted, boiling water for 20-30 seconds.

Lift immediately and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. After 2 minutes, drain the blanched spinach and squeeze gently to remove any excess water.  

Place the spinach on a chopping board and roughly chop. Transfer into a bowl with the feta cheese and the sundried tomatoes and Parmesan. Check the seasoning.

Next, place the self-raising flour, wholemeal flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl and stir once.

Make a well in the centre and add the eggs, milk and melted butter. Stir until just combined, then pour in the spinach mixture. 

Spoon the mixture into the muffin cupholders. Bake the  muffins for 20 minutes, until cooked through and golden.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Place in lunchboxes and store in the fridge or room temperature for a few hours.

Feta and Spinach Muffins

Baked Pasta and Bolognese cups

INGREDIENTS (makes 4 portions)

200g minced beef

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 onion, grated

1 carrot, grated

1 tbsp oregano, chopped

300ml passata

8 lasagne sheets

2 eggs

8 tbsp Cheddar cheese

4 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200˚C/fan 180°/gas 6 and grease a six-cup muffin tray.

In a large pan, over high heat, brown the minced beef for 2-3 minutes until well coloured.

Add the garlic, carrot, onion, herbs, seasoning and tomato passata and simmer for 10-15 minutes until cooked through. Check the seasoning and remove from the heat. Leave aside to cool down for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a simmer and dip one sheet of pasta at a time into the water for 10 seconds or so, just to soften the pasta. Place on a clean kitchen towel to drain excess water, then immediately fit into the muffin tray.

Mix the eggs into the cooled Bolognese sauce and spoon two tablespoons of the sauce into each pasta cup. Sprinkle each one with Cheddar cheese and some Parmesan on top.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbling.

Allow to cool and place two per person in lunchboxes. It will store well in the freezer too for up to a month and is delicious served hot or cold.

Baked Pasta and Bolognese cups

Ham and Avocado Sushi Rolls

INGREDIENTS (makes 12 sushi pieces)

200g sushi rice

300ml water

Salt and pepper

200g ham

1 avocado, sliced lengthways

Juice of ½ lemon

½ cucumber, sliced lengthways

2 sheets nori (Japenese seaweed)

2 tbsp sushi seasoning

Rinse the sushi rice under cold running water, stir, drain and repeat. Pour 300ml of water in a pan, add the rice and bring to a simmer with a lid on. Simmer for about 8 minutes, then remove from the heat. Leave the lid on and allow the rice to absorb any moisture for a further 20-25 mins.

Meanwhile, to prepare the filling, chop the ham, slice the avocado - add a squeeze of lemon to prevent discolouration - and slice the cucumber into long batons.

When the rice has cooled down, prepare a sheet of nori on a sushi roller or parchment paper. Layer half of the rice, then add the filling in the centre. Roll the nori and rice around the filling and aim to link the nori to form a sushi roll. Using a sharp knife, slice into 5-6 pieces and place within the lunchbox. Drizzle with sushi seasoning and cover with a lid.

Store in the fridge until needed.

Sushi Roll Stuffed with Cooked Ham and Avocado

Irish Independent

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