BACK TO SCHOOL WITH A LUNCH BOX WITH A DIFFERENCE

It is hard to believe that the summer holidays for the kids are almost over. How time flies! It has been a busy time in the restaurant and in the Cookery School while I also had a brilliant time recently at the Taste of Cavan food festival. It just gets better every year.

In this blog I am going to share with you a few ideas for those back to school lunch boxes. A biscuit with a difference and a gorgeous wrap. Hope you enjoy making them as much as I know the kids will enjoy eating them!

HEALTHY CRUNCH... Try these biscuits in your child's lunchbox

HEALTHY CRUNCH… Try these biscuits in your child’s lunchbox

HEALTHY ANZAC BISCUITS 

Anzac biscuits are traditionally made with rolled oats, butter, sugar, golden syrup, flour and coconut. I’ve adjusted the recipe to use wholegrain spelt flour, which is an ancient relative of modern wheat – the spelt grain has been around since Roman times. If you want to be super healthy, replace the butter with cold pressed coconut oil or macadamia nut oil. I buy coconut sugar in my local health food shop, but if you have difficulty finding it, replace it with light muscovado sugar.

INGREDIENTS

100g (4oz) wholemeal spelt flour

150g (5oz) coconut sugar

100g (4oz) rolled oats

75g (3oz) desiccated coconut

125g (4 . oz) butter, cold pressed coconut

oil or macadamia nut oil

3 tbsp clear honey

. tsp vanilla extract

pinch of bicarbonate of soda

1 tbsp warm water

MAKES ABOUT 20 BISCUITS

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place the wholemeal spelt flour in a large bowl with the coconut sugar, oats and desiccated coconut.

Put the butter or coconut oil or macadamia nut oil in a small pan with the honey and vanilla extract and warm

through over a gentle heat, stirring to combine. Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the warm water in a

small bowl to dissolve. Stir it into the butter mixture and mix well until it foams up a little in the pan. Remove from the heat and mix into the dry ingredients. Mix well to combine.

Spoon tablespoons of the biscuit dough onto the lined baking sheets. Bake for 6–8 minutes, until crisp and

golden. Leave on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight tin for up to one week and use as required.

CAJUN CHICKEN WRAPS WITH TOMATO AND AVOCADO SALSA

Kids love this dish, and luckily it’s very good for them and full of protein. I always keep a packet of flour tortillas in the cupboard as they often come in handy. Serves 4 plus toddler

INGREDIENTS

4 skinless chicken breast fillets, cut into strips

1 tbsp Cajun seasoning

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp lemon juice

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 red pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips

8 soft wholemeal flour tortilla wraps (1 packet)

1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced soured cream, to serve grated Cheddar cheese, to serve

TOMATO AND AVOCADO SALSA:

1 ripe avocado

1 small garlic clove, crushed

freshly ground black pepper

2 ripe tomatoes, diced

METHOD

Place the chicken in a bowl and rub in the Cajun seasoning, 1 tablespoon of the oil and the lemon juice. Place in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight is perfect if time allows.

When ready to cook, heat another tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the red onion and red pepper for 6–8 minutes over a low heat, until softened, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Increase the heat and add the Cajun chicken to the pan. Sauté for 6–8 minutes, until cooked through and lightly golden, tossing occasionally. Return the onions and peppers to the pan. Sauté for another minute or two, until well combined and heated through.

Meanwhile, make the tomato and avocado salsa. Cut the avocado in half and remove the stone, then scoop the flesh into a bowl and mash with the garlic and a light seasoning of freshly ground black pepper. Fold in the diced tomatoes and set aside at room temperature until needed.

Heat a frying or griddle pan over a medium heat. Add a flour tortilla and heat for 30 seconds, turning once, until it’s soft and pliable. Repeat with the rest and stack them up on a warmed plate.

Spoon the Cajun chicken mixture down the middle of each tortilla, then scatter over the spring onions, soured cream, grated Cheddar and salsa. Roll up tightly and cut into manageable pieces, then arrange on plates to serve.

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