Food on the go. Finger food. Convenient but delicious and nutritious. Recess time for Primary school kids is a mere 20 mins. Many kids don’t want to spend those precious minutes standing in line for food and most would rather play than eat. I fully empathised with their situation and the solution was easy. Packed lunch. Both my kids and their friends enjoyed bringing packed lunches.
What was packed was only limited by our imagination, their likes and dislikes and our desire for healthy food packed full of all food groups. My daughter preferred white bread and my son liked wholemeal. Filling was easy – tuna salad, chicken salad, ham, sliced deli chicken or turkey sausage or beef pastrami. No processed cheese please!
HINT: Avoid adding sliced tomatoes as the sandwich will be a soggy mess by recess but sliced cucumbers do well.
The chicken filling
Buying ready roasted family sized chicken from the supermarket is both economical and convenient. Most Asians are not particularly fond of chicken breast but using that large breast to make chicken salad appeals to the local taste buds. The rest of the roast chicken can be cut up and served as part of a meal. Photo above shows what I like to pair with the chicken breast which has been de-boned and cubed. Mustard (English or Dijon, use what you have), chopped spring onions, mayonnaise is a must since it binds the ingredients, ground black pepper, and fresh herbs (I grow Italian Basil). Salt? I don’t add any since there is already enough salt in the chicken and the mayonnaise.
Ingredients for the Sandwich
I try to add in as much vegetables as possible. Sliced cucumbers hold up well. If you want to add some lettuce, put those between the buttered bread and the cucumber and don’t let the chicken salad touch the lettuce as the leaves wilt easily. Unless you are serving the sandwiches within an hour, sliced tomatoes turn them soggy. If you are packing these sandwiches into the lunch box, it is best to put some small ice pack with them to keep them cold. Add a bunch of grapes or some cherry tomatoes to load up on raw vegetables.
Makes 10 sandwiches
For the sandwiches
- 1 big loaf of wholemeal bread
- 4 Tbsp of softened butter
- 1 large cucumber, sliced
Filling ( add all into a large bowl and mix to combine well)
- 1 breast of a ready roasted family size chicken, diced
- 5 Tbsp of mayonnaise
- 1/2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 Tbsp sliced Italian basil
- 3 Tbsp finely chopped spring onions
As described above. Make the filling the day before so that it is all ready to make sandwiches in the morning for the children’s lunch box and perhaps your husband’s and even yours! Don’t forget to put them into the fridge as soon as possible at your workplace and to pack a small ice pack for each of your children’s lunch box.
Instead of Bread
Use this filling for wraps. In this case, I would add (a) add perhaps 2 Tbsp more mayonnaise to the chicken salad; and (b) add some mixed salad leaves or alfafa sprouts onto top of each wrap then place the chicken salad before rolling the filled wrap up.
Make some of these and serve them for a quick and easy ladies’ luncheon or as your contribution to a lunch pot-luck.
Other serving Suggestions
These western style Soups have appeared in earlier posts and completes your light lunch very well.
1. Minestrone (Click here)
2. Cream of Mushroom (Click here)
3. Cream of Roasted Capsicum and Quinoa (Click here)
Craving a sweet dessert? Either of these 2 may be prepared a day or 2 ahead.
1. Caramel Custard. Click here.
2. Ginger Poached Pears. Click here.