Back to school: 3 lunchbox delights

As September sees families preparing to get back to school, we bring you recipes for three lunchbox delights!

​​Easy tuna & egg lunchbox pasties

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Makes: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 Waitrose British Blacktail Medium Free Range Eggs
  • 500g pack puff pastry
  • 350g tub Waitrose Four Cheese Sauce
  • 2 x 160g cans John West Pole & Line Caught Tuna Chunks In Spring Water, drained
  • 25g pack chives, snipped
  • Plain flour, for rolling
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne or paprika, to serve

Method

  1. Cook 3 of the eggs in a saucepan of boiling water for 9 minutes. Drain and cool a little under running water then peel and roughly chop.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Roll out the pastry to make a 38cm square and cut into 4 equal squares. Beat the remaining egg.
  3. Mix the chopped eggs, cheese sauce, tuna and most of the chives. Divide the filling between the pastry squares, brush the edges with beaten egg then pull the four corners up and inward to meet in the centre, folding one corner over the other like closing an envelope. Firmly press the edges together to seal (using more beaten egg if you need). Repeat to make 4 parcels.
  4. Transfer the parcels to a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush lightly with egg. Bake for 25-30 minutes until puffed, golden and piping hot (the parcels may open up a little as they bake). Scatter a pinch of cayenne or paprika and chives onto each pasty and serve.

Avocado & pepper quesadillas

This classic Mexican snack food (think a more sophisticated version of the cheese sandwich) is full of flavours and textures — from the smoothness of the avocado to the piquancy of the red pepper and the salty sweetness of the Gruyère.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15–20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 180g pack Waitrose Red Romano Peppers
  • 1–2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 essential Waitrose Medium Avocados
  • 1 pack 8 Waitrose Love Life Seeded Tortilla Wraps
  • 100g Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 270g pack Waitrose Vine Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Waitrose Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 Cooks’ Ingredients Red Chilli, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander, chopped
  • 1 Cooks’ Ingredients Unwaxed Lime, juice only
  • 110g pack Waitrose Wild Rocket Salad

Method

  1. Seed and thinly slice the peppers, then heat a little oil in a large frying pan and gently cook them for 10 minutes until softened.
  2. Skin, stone and dice the avocados, and scatter onto 4 of the wraps. Then using a fork, mash the avocado roughly onto the flatbread. Spoon over the peppers and sprinkle with cheese. Sandwich a second wrap on top of each.
  3. Wipe out the pan with kitchen paper and cook each quesadilla for 3–4 minutes on each side until crisp and golden, and the cheese within has melted.
  4. Meanwhile, stir together the tomatoes, red onion, chilli, coriander, lime juice and a splash of olive oil.
  5. Cut each quesadilla into 6 equal portions, and serve with the salsa and a scattering of rocket leaves.

Sweetcorn Fritters With Crispy Bacon And Guacamole

Golden sweetcorn fritters, served in a stack with crispy bacon and dollops of guacamole make a great alternative to bacon butties. The fritters can be made in advance and to save time, buy Waitrose Fresh Guacamole Dip instead of making your own.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25–30 minutes 
Total time: 40–45 minutes

Makes: 12 fritters
Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 100g Waitrose Organic Self-raising Flour
  • 150ml organic semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 organic eggs, separated
  • Pinch Waitrose Organic Chilli Flakes (optional)
  • ½ x 20g pack fresh organic curly parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ x 500g bag frozen Waitrose Organic Sweetcorn, thawed
  • 4 rashers Waitrose Organic Free Range Smoked English Dry Cure Back Bacon
  • 4 tsp organic sunflower oil, for frying

For the guacamole

  • 1 ripe organic avocado, halved, stoned, peeled and chopped
  • Juice of ½ organic lemon
  • 1 tbsp Waitrose Organic Mayonnaise

Method

  1. Sift the flour with a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl. Pour the milk into a jug then add the egg yolks, chilli flakes if using, and parsley. Mix well. Gradually add the egg mixture to the flour, whisking until smooth. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then fold into the batter along with the sweetcorn. Leave the batter to stand while you make the guacamole.
  2. Using a fork, mash the avocado with the lemon juice, mayonnaise and seasoning until smooth and creamy. Set aside while you grill the bacon on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until crisp.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a frying pan. Ladle spoonfuls of the batter into the pan to make individual fritters about 10cm in diameter. Cook in batches of 3.
  4. Fry the fritters for 3–4 minutes on each side, until golden brown, then keep warm while you cook the remaining batches. Cut the bacon rashers in half and sandwich between 3 fritters, to make a stack, then repeat. Serve topped with a generous dollop of guacamole.

Any leftover fritters can be cooled, then frozen for enjoying another day.

Recipes and photography courtesy of Waitrose. Thousands of recipes can be found at www.waitrose.com/recipes

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