In Episode 34, we bring you some great Thermomix lunch box ideas to make your school and work days easier.
All parents want their children to be healthy, and choosing healthy foods is an important part of that. It’s a balancing act, however, between foods that are convenient to pack (especially at 8am!), foods that children want to eat and foods that are good for them.
Add to that… foods that are cost-effective and allergy-friendly for the increasing number of ‘nut-free’ schools.
So, the recipes that we have chosen for this podcast episode have been chosen with the above factors in mind. We have done a ‘freezer test’ of all of these recipes, and they passed! Of course, they can all be used for adult lunch boxes as well as the cost of eating out every day really adds up!
Recipe 1 – Chicken and Vegetable Meatballs (from The Road to Loving My Thermomix)
These delicious little meatballs were easy to make, tasty and froze / defrosted well. They are also quite cost effective and didn’t contain any unnatural ingredients. By using the Thermomix stock paste, they are literally chicken and vegetables with a bit of salt!
We doubled the recipe and it made 46 meatballs. Perfect to freeze and put into a lunchbox, or even pull out for a quick dinner.
The quantities we used were:
1 onion, 2 garlic cloves, 100g carrot, 200g zucchini, 25g baby spinach, 2 Tbsp vege stock concentrate & 500g chicken breast.
We cooked for 20 minutes at 180degrees, let cool and then froze. There will be some water on the tray from the chicken and vegetables cooking, but just pour this off.
Recipe 2 – Risotto Balls
The Thermomix is famous for it’s risotto, so this little tip is great for using the leftovers. Very cost-effective and time efficient. You can get the kids to do this themselves.
Use your favourite risotto. Once cooled, get a teaspoon of risotto and roll into a ball using your hands.
Option 1: Roll in a polenta / grated parmesan mixture (2:1)… add salt / spices as you like (PS> Thanks to Quick Fix: Every Occasion for this tip!). The mixture can be kept in the freezer for future use.
Place on a lined baking tray and bake for 10 minutes / 200 degrees.
Option 2: Roll in flour (GF works too), then whisked egg, then the polenta / parmesan mixture. 20 minutes / 200 degrees. This gives a crispier crust and more likely to still be a ball if a lunchbox gets bashed around in a schoolbag.
Take from the oven and cool down. Place on a plate / tray with the balls separated and place in the freezer until frozen. Once frozen, put them into a ziplock bag.
Note: both options were delicious… it really just matters how much time you have and how crispy you like your crust. They also both defrosted well.
Recipe 3 – Shredded Chicken in the Thermomix… AND Quick Curried Eggs! (from The Organised Housewife, with an addition from The 4 Blades)
The Thermomix has got your sandwiches sorted! Amazing how quick, easy and cost effective this was. The Organised Housewife shared a recipe for steaming and shredding chicken by putting them thinly across the Varoma tray. At the SAME TIME, we put 10 eggs in the Varoma receptacle to hard boil. We amped up the speed to Speed 4 to get that steam moving a bit more.
After 20 minutes (using cold water to start), the chicken and eggs were cooked perfectly.
The chicken was then shredded in 4 seconds (Reverse + Speed 4). This is so much easier, cheaper and healthier than buying a roast chicken at the supermarket and pulling the meat off it! That being said, if you have leftover meat from a roast chicken you can shred it in the same way.
After cleaning the bowl and peeling the eggs, we put the eggs back into the TM bowl with some leftover mayo, salt, pepper and curry powder. Reverse + 1 turbo blast gave a great curried egg mix. Use a spatula to mix it around and put into a bowl, ready for sandwiches (or eating by the spoonful if you’re like Bec!)
Recipe 4 – A gluten free, nut free muesli bar that's great for lunch boxes (from Mrs D plus 3)
Muesli bars are such a common part of the school lunchbox but boy can the cost of them add up! Not only that, but they can have quite a lot of preservatives and sugar in them.
Mrs D’s muesli bar has the taste of a Carmen’s muesli bar. It was easy and quick to make and both froze and defrosted well. (Note: We used goji berries as a part of the ‘dried fruit’ component, so that’s why ours has a slightly red tinge) Due to the dried fruit component and the addition of brown sugar, we decided not to add the extra honey.
The ‘Fruitless Muesli Bar’ from The Road to Loving My Thermomix is also getting some rave reviews, but we haven’t tried it yet.
Other lunchbox ideas from The 4 Blades…
Mini Frittatas (note: these do not freeze AS WELL… they are bit more watery after freezing than before, but they do store well in the fridge)
Here are some cool tips from this podcast…
* Turn last night’s risotto into today’s lunch by rolling into balls and covering in a polenta / parmesan crust.
* When freezing risotto balls, gnocchi or other balls that may ‘mush’… first freeze on a tray / plate, then transfer to a ziplock bag.
* If you are steaming a greater quantity than usual (in your Varoma), turn up the Speed a bit to move the steam around a bit more (eg from Speed 2 to Speed 4)
* Make the most of your Varoma by using both trays simultaneously (e.g. steaming chicken breasts on the top and eggs on the bottom.
* Be careful with oats in gluten free cooking – some Coeliacs are sensitive to oats, and oats may be processed on the same equipment as wheat.
* Create a section of your freezer specifically for lunchbox items so that you can reach in and create the day’s lunchbox with ease.
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