Category Archives: Quick and Easy!

Quick and Easy!

Mini Pizzas

Recipe: Mini Pizzas

small pizzas for kids packed lunches

Summary: Just as delicious cold as they are hot, these mini pizzas make ideal lunchbox fillers!

When my children asked for pizzas for their lunchboxes I was horrified. Surely they didn’t want cold, greasy pizzas for lunch after all the lovely, tasty packed lunch ideas I’d come up with? But sometimes children just want to be like their friends and have a bit of a treat for lunch, so I set to thinking about how to make healthy pizzas that were just as tasty cold – no mean feat! However these mini pizzas have proved to be a hit with the kids and I’m happy that they are still getting a nutritious lunch.

Whilst making your own pizza dough may seem a lot of effort, this pizza dough recipe is the easiest I’ve found and can be made in around 5 minutes, plus as the recipe makes around 6 pizzas, you can freeze the rest (before you cook them!) and use them later on.

Ingredients

  • 150g self raising flour
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons of milk
  • Tomato puree or tinned tomatoes
  • Grated cheese
  • Other pizza toppings

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7 or 220°C.
  2. Cut the butter into small pieces and put into a bowl with the flour.
  3. Rub the mixture in-between your fingers until they resemble breadcrumbs.
  4. Add some of the grated cheese and milk to the mixture and form everything into a firm dough. Don’t worry if the dough is a little slimy at this stage, the flour needs time to absorb so make a cuppa and come back to it in 10 minutes, if it’s still slimy then just add a little more flour.
  5. Divide the dough into six small balls and roll each one out to around 3 inches in width.
  6. Smear with the tomato paste, sprinkle with the cheese and decorate with any other topping you like. For the ones in the picture I used sliced red peppers, baby tomatoes and a piece of salami for the middle.
  7. Pop them into the oven for 15 minutes or until the pizza base is golden and the cheese is melted.

Quick Notes

The kids tell me that these mini pizzas are just as delicious cold as they are hot and I have to take their word for it as I usually gobble them up before they get a chance to cool down!

Variations

Experiment with fruity toppings such as pineapple!

Prep Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 15 min

Diet type: Vegetarian

Meal type: lunch

Cheesy Pasta Salad

Recipe: Cheesy Pasta Salad

Summary: A quick and easy pasta salad that will satisfy big appetites!

packed lunch idea of cheesy pasta salad with ham and olives

This pasta dish is loved by my kids and the best thing is that you can vary it by adding lots of different ingredients so that it’s never the same. It’s so easy and simple to make too that I can do it in the mornings whilst getting their breakfast ready.

Ingredients

  • Handful of pasta
  • Cream cheese
  • Ham
  • Any other ingredients

Instructions

  1. Boil the pasta until it’s soft but still with a bite to it, they call this ‘al dente’.
  2. Whilst the pasta is still hot, scoop out a spoonful of cream cheese and stir it around the pasta until it melts in.
  3. Throw in some shredded ham and anything else you fancy!

Quick Notes

Pasta is a great packed lunch idea for kids as its energy is slow releasing and it leaves them feeling fuller for longer!

Variations

You can literally put anything into this dish such as sweetcorn, peas, peppers, cauliflower etc – experiment!

Cooking Time: 15 min

Meal type: lunch

Cream Cheese and Ham Pitta

Recipe: Cream Cheese and Ham Pitta

Summary: Ideal for fussy kids this is a simple, easy and tasty combination

packed lunch idea of ham and cream cheese in pitta bread

Ingredients

  • Pitta bread
  • Cream cheese
  • Ham

Instructions

  1. Cut the pitta bread in half and carefully part the sides so that each half is hollow.
  2. Take a liberal helping of cream cheese and spread it in the pitta bread before adding the ham.
  3. If your child is a little less fussy than Arthur then you could also try adding some lettuce.

Quick Notes

This pitta is absolutely gorgeous warmed up in the microwave for a minute so why not try it for your own lunch!

Variations

Swap white pitta for wholemeal and use light cream cheese for a lower fat, healthier version.

Prep Time: 5 min

Meal type: lunch