Lunch Box Treats for Elle SA

Elle Magazine asked me to share some lunch box treats for balanced meals and an ice tea recipe. In the March 2014 issue of Elle SA, available now.

LIVING_Dig_in -page-001


We’re back to school and work, and the quest to prepare healthy meals after
a holiday of overindulgence has commenced. Variety and keeping it fun, and
easy is the key, shares food and travel writer Ishay Govender-Ypma

*Lunches for grown-ups*

You got to prepare a list of ingredients for the week or a few days, so you
don’t fall into the greasy canteen or take-away trap. When you’re at work
or your desk, that should be your priority, and not a desperate search for

1. Roast extra vegetables at dinner. Add these to your lunch box with a
light dressing on the side
2. Turn left over roast chicken into salads with cucumber, pecan nuts and
dried cranberries. Or make sandwiches with pesto
3. Heat chickpeas in a pan with a little ground cumin, cardamom and
cinnamon. Add to salads for a flavour boost, and to fill you up *salad tip*
– buy good quality lunch boxes and store dressings separately so vegetables
retain their crunch
4. Keep fruit such as apples, bananas, pears, berries or citrus within easy
reach to eat when hunger strikes.
5, Make a trail mix of nuts, goji berries, cacao nibs and seeds. Keep in an
airtight jar. Limit yourself to 2 tablespoons a day – it’s very moreish.
7. Prepare for afternoon slumps, by keeping raw almonds, a few blocks of
dark chocolate, plain yoghurt or home-made spinach or kale chips close by
8. Try to eat lunch away from the computer where you can be mindful of what
you put in your mouth. We’re more inclined to overeat crunchy foods, and
this is s why a bag of crisps can disappear in minutes when we are
distracted. Substitute with cucumber and celery sticks and home-made hummus
or  low fat yoghurt with mint.

sweet chilli chicken pita with beetroot slaw and lime*Images:Chicken in Pita with Yoghurt dressing*

*Lunch for kids*

1. If kids are fussy bread eaters, use wraps to create pinwheels
2. Get them used to eating leftovers from dinner- such as chicken or
veggies in sandwiches
3. Baby carrots are easy to hold and fit neatly into lunch boxes
4. Always try to add their favourite fruit and dried fruit to the lunch box
5. snack ideas: small pots of low fat yoghurts, little bags of home-made
popcorn and almonds with cranberries
6. make low sugar ice teas for juice bottles or flavour water with honey
and apple juice
7. Keep a cookie cutter nearby for days you have a few more minutes and
shape sandwiches into hearts or fun shapes.

Drinks: home made ice teas (fresh juices do not last beyond a few hours in
the fridge)<>

Dinner party guests: Giles Coren, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Judge Navi Pillay, Commander
Chris Hadfield*