[VIDEO] Four brilliant healthy lunchbox ideas | Nick Coffer | My Daddy Cooks

[VIDEO] Four brilliant healthy lunchbox ideas

I did some work with Total Greek yoghurt over the summer and my challenge was to create 9 fun, tasty and healthy new lunchbox treats which would make a change from jam sarnies or salt and vinegar crisps. You have already seen the instant chocolate mousse which I posted earlier on in the week and here are four further delicious recipes.

Probably my favourite of the four is my lamb gyro. It’s my take on the classic lamb sandwich, so synonymous with Greece. I had to be careful to ensure that the lamb stayed soft, moist and succulent when cooled down and I can promise you that it does if you follow my technique. Neither of my two kids are of school age but these gyros have become an instant hit in the house. As has the peanut butter dip. After all, Archie loves yoghurt and he loves peanut butter – what is not to like in mixing the two?! Plus it’s a great way to serve fruit slices…

The fruit smoothie works brilliantly for breakfast as well as lunch. And the pasta salad uses the yoghurt in place of mayonnaise. A lighter choice, a different flavour – and a lovely snack, enhanced by some moreish crispy bacon.

Peanut butter and Greek yoghurt dip

This dip takes no time to prepare and is a great accompaniment to fruit. Feel free to slightly up the quantity of peanut butter if you would prefer your dip to be more, well, peanut buttery!

Preparation time 5 minutes

3 tbsp Total Greek Yoghurt
2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
A sprinkle of ground cinnamon
A drizzle of honey
Slices of fresh fruit to serve (apples, bananas – even pears)

Mix the yoghurt, the peanut butter and the honey together in a bowl.

Top with the ground cinnamon and serve it with the fruit slices to dip.

Lamb gyro with tzatziki

Makes 4 gyros

Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 5 minutes

Four soft, large pitas or flat breads
320g lamb mince
A pinch of ground cumin, ground coriander and ground cinnamon.
½ cucumber
3 tbsp Greek yoghurt
2 tsp mint sauce
2 handfuls of shredded iceberg lettuce
1 carrot, grated
Sultanas (optional)
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Prepare the lamb mince by mixing it together with the spices, salt and pepper.

Heat up a frying pan to a medium heat, drizzle in a little olive oil and fry the mince, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. It will release quite a lot of liquid – you will need to cook it until it is browned and dry.

Make the tzatziki. Mix the yoghurt and mint sauce together in a bowl. Peel the cucumber and scrape out the seeds using a teaspoon. Grate the cucumber and squeeze out any extra liquid. Stir the cucumber into the yoghurt.

Fill each pita with the lamb, the lettuce, the grated carrot, a dollop of tzatziki and some sultanas (optional). If you are using a round flat bread, simply place the fillings in a line down the middle of the bread, fold in both side to create a wrap and fold over the bottom too to close it off. Wrap aluminum foil around the bottom half to keep it all well in place.

Red berry smoothie

There is no hard and fast rule for making smoothies – and thickness is very much a question of personal taste. For these red fruit smoothies, I use a rule of thumb which is to mix double the weight of the yoghurt to the weight of the red fruit. You can experiment with these smoothies by adding some fruit juice too. Apple juice works particularly well.

Makes enough for two small tumbler glasses

Preparation time 2-3 minutes

75g red berries. Blueberries work particularly well and have the added bonus of being good brain food!
150g Total Greek Yoghurt
4 tbsp milk
1 very ripe banana

Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor or blender. Add a little extra milk if you think the mixture is a bit thick.

If you like a sweeter edge to your smoothies, simply drizzle in a little honey.

Roasted vegetables, bacon and pasta salad

The Greek Yoghurt here serves as a lovely dressing. It is absorbed by the pasta, ensuring that the salad is still nice and moist at school. You can use any combination of vegetables…

Makes 4-6 portions for a lunch salad

Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 45-50 minutes

250g farfale pasta
100g Total Greek Yoghurt
1 red pepper, sliced into 1cm strips
1 red onion, sliced
1 courgette, cut into 1cm wide sticks
1 garlic clove, chopped
150g mushrooms, chopped (I prefer chestnut mushrooms)
1 carrot, peeled and cut into sticks
100g bacon, chopped
A drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat your oven to 200ºC/ 400ºF/ Gas Mark 6

Mix all the vegetables and the bacon together in a large baking dish. Drizzle over some olive oil, a small drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a really good drizzle of honey. Mix well together.

Roast the vegetables and bacon in the oven for about an hour until they are well cooked, stirring occasionally. You want them to be soft and a little crispy.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet and drain.

Take the vegetables and bacon out of the oven and stir them into the pasta, together with the greek yoghurt.

Season with salt and pepper and add a little honey if you would like the salad to be a touch sweeter.

Leave to cool down and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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