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Easy And Delicious Boxed Lunches Perfect For School Or Office

With so much cheap, greasy fast food available everywhere, it’s too easy to give in to temptation and eat unhealthy, nutrient-deficient junk on a regular basis. Yet with a little planning, you can vastly improve your diet by preparing your own packed lunches, whether for your kid’s lunch box or your office baon. These recipes by Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin are nutritious, delicious and can be prepared in no time at all.

 

Pasta Caprese Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette?

Serves 2 to 3

  • 200 grams fusilli pasta, cooked
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 150 grams mozzarella balls or cubed mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, julienned
  • salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.?

2. Drizzle lightly with the honey balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below).

 

HONEY BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE:

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar?
  • 1 tablespoon honey?
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and black pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Add salt and black pepper to taste. For extra convenience, you can place all the ingredients in a bottle, seal the cap, and shake until the mixture is completely blended.

CHEF’S NOTE:

When you’re packing this salad or any cold food, make sure to include an ice pack to keep the food cold and safe to eat.

 

Tuna Salad Bagel Sandwich

Serves 2 to 4

TUNA SALAD:

  • 2 cups tuna chunks, drained
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 bagels, sliced in half horizontally
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for the tuna salad. Season with salt and black pepper.

2. Toast the bagel halves in a toaster oven. While still hot, smear one half of the bagel with cream cheese. Then spread the tuna salad over the cream cheese. Top with some alfalfa sprouts.

3. Top the tuna salad with the other bagel half. Repeat with the other bagels.

CHEF’S NOTE:

If you can’t find bagels, use other breads like ciabatta, croissants, or focaccia. To keep the bagel from getting soggy, thoroughly drain the tuna chunks beforehand. And for a stronger flavor, try goat cheese instead of cream cheese.

 

Homemade BBQ Chicken

Serves 2 to 4

BBQ SAUCE:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce?
  • 1 cup tomato ketchup?
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon calamansi juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 chicken breast or thigh fillets, boneless and skinless
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water?
  • French beans, steamed, for garnish

 

1. Combine all the ingredients for the BBQ sauce and set aside.?

2. Season chicken fillets with salt and pepper.

3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sear chicken for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

4. Add BBQ sauce and water to the chicken. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Serve with brown rice and steamed French beans.

 

CHEF’S NOTE:

If you’re not pressed for time, marinate the chicken in the BBQ sauce for an hour or so before cooking.

 

A longer version of this article appeared in FOOD Magazine, Issue 3, 2016

Recipes and food styling by Nancy Dizon-Edralin

Photography by Paulo Valenzuela

Set styling by Tina Concepcion-Diaz