Monday through Friday, I send two young boys off to school toting boxed lunches.
Our container of choice is the Nude Food Lunch Box, for the following reasons:
- They encourage trash-free lunches;
- They are easy to open (important for little hands);
- They've endured two school terms of abuse, so you know they're sturdy;
- The compartments prompt variety, shaking me out of my lunch-packing malaise; and, most importantly
- They are all-in-one piece, so I never have to play find-the-matching-tupperware-lid early in the morning, when I am in no mood for games of any kind.
Our boxes rarely look like the one in the picture above, but they're not too shabby.
They always contain some combination of fruit, carrot sticks, cheese and crackers, organic popcorn, a biscuit, and a sandwich.
The sandwiches are the wild card, their nutritional value varying radically depending upon where we are in the grocery shopping cycle: chicken salad or ham and cheese if we’re flush, vegemite or honey if we’re scraping the bottom of the chiller drawer.
Now that I must leave the house to get an internet connection, I decided it was time to get a lunch box of my own and, today, I finally packed lunch for myself.
Not coincidentally, we were flush and I scored Asian-style Salad with Roast Chicken.
It was a fresh, healthy and a satisfying alternative to the ubiquitous bread-y fare offered by cafes.
One more toasted sandwich, and I would have been in very real danger of requiring two stools to balance my girth at the counter.
Crisis averted, deliciously.
Asian-style Salad With Roast Chicken
1 Lebanese cucumber
1 large carrot, peeled
1 head small Chinese cabbage (wombok)
4 spring onions, finely sliced
½ cup roast chicken, meat shredded
½ cup bean sprouts
½ cup mint leaves
½ cup coriander leaves
¼ cup chopped peanut
4 Tbs caster sugar
2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tbs light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
pinch ground Szechuan pepper
- Place the sugar and vinegar in a small pan over low heat and stir one minute, until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium and gently simmer for 2-3 minutes until syrupy. Pour into a heatproof bowl, cool for 10 minutes, then stir in the soy sauce, sesame oil and szechuan pepper.
- Meanwhile, cut the cucumber lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut the cucumber and peeled carrot into matchsticks and place in a large bowl. Finely shred the cabbage and add to the bowl, along with the chicken, spring onions, sprouts and herbs. Pour over the dressing, toss, and sprinkle with peanuts, OR store the dressing in leak-proof container for tossing later.