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Posted by Eleanor Ozich on

I make lunches every day for my three kids, and sometimes, for hubby and I, too! To begin the school year well, I thought I'd make things easier by creating a simple, daily system to ensure vibrant, nutritious lunches.

First, I begin with a modern bento box to inspire a variety of colorful ingredients. I’ll
begin with a protein such as cooked meat or eggs, 2-3 varieties of fresh fruit or raw
chopped vegetables, with something creamy for dipping such as hummus, aioli or
herbed yoghurt. A quick pasta salad or dinner leftovers fill the savory compartment,
and last but not least, something sweet to top it all off.

Scroll on below to find a handful of recipes that I continue to come back to for their ease and adaptability. I hope they will help make your life a little easier and your families lunchboxes healthier!

Pasta salad with basil, goat feta + lemon

This is a bright, zippy salad that’s perfect for toting to work, or serving at a spring
picnic. There’s barely any work involved, simply chop up fresh, seasonal vegetables and toss with your pasta in a simple lemon dressing.

1 cup dried pasta, I used a quinoa variety
½ cucumber, peeled and sliced
½ red capsicum, sliced
A large handful fresh basil, finely sliced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
100g goats feta, sliced into cubes

Cook the pasta until al-dente, and then run under cold water in a colander. Combine the pasta with remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and toss to combine.

Serves 4.

Salted almond butter truffles

The key to healthy snacks is to have plenty of them made up so that you can grab
them as needed. These satisfying little truffles only require a bowl or two to make,
and are filled with nourishing ingredients that will make you feel good. Feel free to
switch out the dried coconut for seeds or nuts. You can also add some dried fruit or
dark chocolate chips.

1 cup ground almonds
¾ cup desiccated coconut
4 tbsp almond butter
4 tbsp melted coconut oil 
1 tbsp water 
1 tbsp pure maple syrup 
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup desiccated coconut for coating

Place all the ingredients in a bowl, and mix using a spoon until the mixture starts to
come together. Using your hands, form the mixture into small balls, and then roll in the desiccated coconut until nicely coated.

Transfer the truffles to a plate, then place in the fridge for an hour to set.

The truffles can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container, but I find they
are best kept in the fridge. They also freeze really well. Makes approx 12 truffles.

Mustard-seed aioli

2 free-range egg yolks, at room temperature
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup gentle-flavoured olive oil
Put the egg yolks, garlic, mustard and lemon zest in a blender. Add a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Begin to blend on low and start to pour in the olive oil in a slow, steady trickle. You
will know the aioli is ready when the consistency begins to resemble a thick, glossy
Lastly, add the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
Makes about 1 ½ cups. Store in the fridge.

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