Whether you’ve got a picky eater on your hands, or the adventurous type who loves to experiment, Jasmine Bandali creates a collection of fool-proof recipes – from midday winners to after-school saviours – to ensure a clean lunchbox or plate, every time
Lunchbox ideas little ones will love.
Makes 1 sandwich Blue food colouring, a few drops 1 red radish, sliced 1 slice cheddar cheese 2 slices bread 2 thin slices deli turkey or chicken 1 tomato slice Black food colouring 1 hard-boiled egg, sliced 1 jumbo frankfurter sausage 1 slice honeydew melon Multicolour goldfish crackers, strawberries, popcorn and baby carrots, to serve A few leaves of romaine lettuce YOU WILL ALSO NEED Bamboo skewers Toothpicks, sharp ends removed
Colour about 3 tablespoons of water with a few drops of blue food colouring in a bowl. Place the radish slices in the coloured water and allow them to soak up the colour for about 5 minutes. Remove and run the under running water to remove excess colouring. Set aside. Cut a curvy edge in cheese slice using a sharp knife. Reserve the excess cheese to make the cheeks and the nose. Make a few small holes in the cheese to make a sponge-like appearance, and cut a mouth into the cheese. Make a sandwich from the two slices of bread and a slice of the turkey or chicken. Cut off the crusts. Place the cheese on top of the sandwich. Place a slice of tomato (just the hollowed out shell, no seeds) underneath the mouth, and a small semi-circle made from the remaining turkey or chicken slice, to create the tongue. Place two slices of hardboiled egg on the cheese to create eyes. Add a slice of dyed blue radish on top of the egg slices. Make two small dots on the radish using the black food colouring on to complete the eyes and secure in place with a toothpick. Use the reserved cheese to create three small circles, one slightly smaller than the other two. Place the two larger cheese circles beneath the eyes to create cheeks, adding the smaller circle for the nose. Secure with toothpicks. Make freckles on the cheeks using the black food colouring. Your sandwich is ready. Now to prepare the skewers, cut thick slices from the frankfurter and cut out stars from the slices, using a cookie cutter. Create stars from the slice of honeydew, and thread the frankfurter and melon stars on to the bamboo skewers. Set aside. To assemble the box, place the romaine lettuce leave at the bottom. Top with the SpongeBob sandwich. Arrange the star sausage and melon bamboo skewers on the side, and fill the bento with fruit, carrots, goldfish crackers and popcorn.
BABY BUNNY CHOW
Serves 4 Sunflower oil 2 onions, sliced 1 can chopped tomatoes 1 tbsp garlic paste ½ tbsp ginger paste 1 tbsp green chilli paste 1 tsp salt ¼ tsp turmeric powder 1 tbsp cumin powder 1 tbsp coriander powder 1kg lamb or beef cubes 2 potatoes, peeled and quartered 2 whole small loaves farmhouse bread, unsliced 1 tsp garam masala A handful of fresh coriander, chopped Place a large pan over a high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onions and sauté until golden brown. Add the chopped tomatoes, garlic, ginger and chilli pastes. Stir to combine. Add the salt, turmeric, cumin and coriander powders. Mix to combine. Add the meat and potatoes. Bring to the boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Stir the mixture at 15-minute intervals for about an hour or until the meat is tender. Add a little water if the mixture appears too dry. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the garam masala over the top, then add the fresh coriander and stir to combine. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the two loaves of bread in the oven for 5 minutes to achieve a crisp and sturdy outer crust. Remove the loaves and cut them in half. Using a sharp knife, hollow out each of the half loaves, leaving a thick wall around the bottom and the sides. Ladle the curry into the bread bowls and serve with the bread middle for dipping.
Hailing from Durban in South Africa, this dish was traditionally prepared for Indian labourers working on plantations, as an easy portable meal. It consists of curry stuffed into a hollowed-out bread bowl. It’s a hands-on, messy affair, with the removed bread used to scoop up the delicious filling
Bento box Dh52.50, placemat Dh35, puzzle Dh84,allPottery BarnKids This is a creative way to get kids to clear their lunchbox. It’s a little labour-intensive, but brilliant as a once-a-week treat that they’ll adore
Kate Spade Hopscotch plate Dh75, napkin Dh55,bothBloomingdale’s Home EAT letters Dh35each,and cutlery set Dh35,bothPotteryBarnKids 53