Since we have been married I have been making my husband a packed lunch to take to work. He works as a builder and as his job is quite physical he needs a filling lunch that is packed full of energy and keeps him satisfied all day long. I like to keep it as varied as possible with different sandwich fillings, fruits and home made muffins and cakes. I also like to make sure it is healthy, a good source of protein, unrefined carbohydrates and 3 of his 5 fruit and veg a day. . When I first knew him he made his own lunch. It was good in that it contained some fruit (usually a banana) and wholemeal bread for his sandwiches, but it also contained quite a lot of saturated fat, sugar and refined carbohydrates. This took the form of a sausage roll, shop bought cakes and a chocolate biscuit. Most days he had ham in his sandwiches. Over the past few years I have made a few subtle changes which are still delicious but healthier too.
A typical days lunch normally contains the following:
- 2 wraps or rolls. These are normally wholemeal, as they are a good source of unrefined carbohydrates. This means they are digested more slowly than white bread and help keep energy levels stable. Rolls or wraps are also a good source of fibre. Warburton do some nice square wraps which I find are easier to fill and roll.
- A packet of wholegrain crisps or savoury rice cakes. These are lower in fat and salt than standard crisps.
- Apple, pear or orange
- Home made flapjack
- Home made muffin, carrot cake or date and walnut loaf
I like to keep the sandwich fillings as varied as possible throughout the week with meat (lean ham or chicken), fish (tuna, tinned sardines and mackerel) and egg. I also like to include some salad too as this not only makes them more filling but also counts as one of your five a day. Two of my favourite fillings are mackerel pate and curried egg. The mackerel pate is a good source of oily fish, which Government guidelines recommend we should have 1 portion of each week. I use the cooked peppered mackerel fillets which are then blended with cottage cheese and lemon juice. It keeps in the fridge for a couple of days and as well as being a good sandwich filling is also good on toast or as a dip with cucumber sticks. My two year old really enjoys it for tea on a toasted savoury white muffin.
The curried egg filling is one adapted from the River Veg Everyday Cookbook. Eggs are a great source of protein, and are also known to increase satiety levels by keeping you feeling fuller for longer. Hard boiled eggs are mixed with mayonnaise (I like Hellmans light), curry powder, sultanas and spring onions. Sometimes I spread a bit of mango chutney on the roll or wrap.
2 cooked peppered mackerel fillets, skin removed and broken into small pieces
4 tbsp cottage cheese
1 tbsp lemon juice
Place the mackerel, cottage cheese and lemon juice in a small blender and blend until smooth. Add more lemon juice to taste. Spread on rolls and wraps adding some cucumber, tomato and rocket.
1 hard boiled egg
1 tbsp light mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
few raisins or sultanas
1/2 spring onion finely chopped
Rocket and mango chutney
Chop the hard boiled egg
Mix with the mayonnaise,curry powder, raisins and spring onion
Season with pepper and salt and add a little more mayonnaise if required
Spread on rolls or wraps. top with some rocket and a dollop of mango chutney (if desired)
There you have it a healthy, delicious, filling lunch fit for a builder or a King!