I make so many packed lunches, that when the school holidays start I am always ready for a break. Thinking of imaginative sandwich fillings, or sandwich alternatives, saps my energy and enthusiasm as the months go by.
I have two great books that give me inspiration as the term wears on. Annabel Karmel's Lunchboxes looks beautiful and has loads of ideas for salads and savoury things as well as pages and pages of sandwich fillings. The Pret A Manger Salads and Sandwiches book I use for its wonderful and substantial salad recipes, although the book is half full of sandwich recipes as well. Their lentil, bacon and walnut salad with a balsamic vinegar and mustard dressing is gorgeous.
Here is my list of favourite sandwich fillings:
- egg mayonnaise and ham ( I make the egg mayonnaise with half mayo and half salad cream, to make it slightly sharper and less sickly)
- cheese, tomato and basil - an old one but a good one
- cream cheese mixed with pesto, chicken and pine nuts
- tuna mayonnaise, with chopped sun dried tomatoes, sweetcorn and spring onions. O would eat this every day if I let her
- Coronation chicken and sliced tomato
- hummus, avocado and red pepper
- ham and sliced, sharp apple
- grated cheese and grated carrot with marmite
Even by the end of term, when inspiration is flagging and we are all having plain old ham sandwiches far too often, our lunchboxes are still things of beauty and never fail to make me smile - even when the morning is dark and freezing cold.
Mine is the Cath Kidston spotty roses one. O has the pink marshmallows and C has the Dalek one, which growls "Exterminate!" at me when I zip it up. G leaves too early for me to make him a packed lunch each day (to my secret relief - four packed lunches each day might send me over the edge) so the gorgeous strawberry one is a gender neutral spare, for whoever has left their lunchbox behind the previous day.