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LunchBox Recipes with Luka from Boob to Food

If you're like us, Christmas and New Year went by in a blink of an eye and prepping for the year ahead is in full swing!

Thinking of meals to cook and lunchbox snacks can be tricky, and we all need some motivation from time to time. To help you get organised and inspired we've teamed up with Luka from Boob to Food to bring you two deliciously simple recipes that you and your little ones will love. Both of these recipes are perfect for our CrunchBox and 3 Pot Set - we promise, it'll be the last lunchbox you ever buy! 

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Pesto Pasta
Serves 4-6 adults

This recipe makes a lot and is designed to have been had for dinner and then have leftovers for lunches throughout the week! It is yummy served hot or cold so perfect for lunchboxes.

Ingredients

Pesto (makes 1 cup): 

  • 1 cup kale, washed and middle stalks removed
  • Big handful basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast

Pasta:

  • 400g pasta - see notes*
  • ½ finely sliced red onion
  • ½ cup pine nuts*
  • Big handful sundried tomatoes
  • ½ cup capers (drained)
  • Big handful green beans, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Big handful rocket
  • Zest and juice from one lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. To make the pesto, add the kale, basil, hemp seeds, garlic, lemon juice and nutritional yeast to a food processor and blend.
  2. Add the olive oil, one TBSP at a time, while the machine is running and scrape down sides as needed. Then add 1 TBSP of water at a time until you have the desired smooth, saucey consistency. Season with a small pinch of sea salt.
  3. Bring a pan of salted water to boil over a medium heat, then add the pasta and cook as per package instructions.
  4. Whilst the pasta is cooking, pop a frying pan over a medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and fry the red onion until browned, pop the red onion in a large bowl, then cook the pine nuts in the frying pan until golden, then add to the bowl with the onion.
  5. Add the sundried tomatoes, capers, green beans, rocket and lemon zest to the bowl with the onions.
  6. When the pasta is nearly finished cooking, place the frozen peas into the pasta water, let the water return to the boil. Scoop out a mug of cooking water, then drain the pasta and veg in a colander and return them to the pan.
  7. Stir in the pesto, adding a little cooking water to loosen, if needed.
  8. Add in the bowl of remaining ingredients to the pasta pan, and stir through, squeeze over the lemon juice. Season to taste.

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Notes:
I find penne or spirals work best for lunchboxes, but tagliatelle or fettuccine work well for this recipe also. Also works well with pulse pasta for a gluten free option.
If for a nut-free lunchbox, omit the pine nuts or exchange for sunflower seeds


Oat and Date Bar
Makes 9 bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup packed (approx 12) medjool dates (fresh and pitted)
  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter*
  • ½ cup plant-based milk
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch sea salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp dry ginger
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and line a 20cm x 20cm baking tray with Un-Baking Paper.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process for a few minutes until all combined, stopping to scrape down the sides. The mixture should be soft and slightly sticky but still easily spreadable.
  3. Add the mixture to the baking tray and spread in an even layer with a spatula.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the sides begin to turn golden, the top feels firm with a little give and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. Allow the bars to cool in the baking dish before slicing up.

Notes:

For a nut-free lunchbox, you can swap the peanut butter for tahini or sunflower seed butter.