Warming Packed-Lunch Ideas For This Winter

October 30, 2023
5 min read

The new school year is already in full swing, and the weeks are starting to fly by.Days are getting shorter and temperatures are dropping, so we’ve asked our team of V&Me chefs to come up with three tried and tested meals that are perfect to store in a flask as a warming lunch for your little one’s packed lunch:Hearty Irish Lamb Stew with potatoes

Ingredients: Serves 4

  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 500g lamb (diced)
  • 2 onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • small bunch of thyme
  • 500ml of stock of choice (home-made without salt or we like Kallo's "very low-salt" range)
  • 3 medium potatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree

Instructions

  • Heat a pan with the oil.
  • Add lamb once hot and give a good colour.
  • Once coloured remove and drain extra fat.
  • In the same pan, add the onion, carrot, thyme, garlic and bay leaf and cook until golden brown.
  • Add tomato puree and cook out for 10 minutes.
  • Deglaze with a low-salt stock of choice.
  • Add the potato and lamb and bring to the boil, then simmer for 1 – 1.5 hour.

Creamy Tomato Orzo Pasta

Ingredients: Serves 4

  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 800ml of your stock of choice (we like Kallo's "very low-salt" range)
  • 400g orzo
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons of cream cheese
  • Parmesan to serve (optional)

Instructions:

  • In a pot, add butter and melt. Once hot, add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  • Add your stock of choice, chopped tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and pepper to taste.
  • Bring to a light boil, and add your orzo. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • After 11 minutes, the pasta should be done.
  • Remove pot from heat. Sauce will be thin and thicken as it cools. Mix in cream cheese and parmesan cheese. Leave it to sit for 5 minutes to thicken.

Warming Lentil Soup with bread

Ingredients: Serves 4

  • 200g red lentils
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery sticks
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Sprig of thyme
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 stock cube (we like Kallo's "very low-salt" range)
  • Serve with bread of choice.

Instructions:

  • Add the onions, celery, carrot, garlic, and thyme to a food processor to blend until fine (or chop finely).
  • Heat your oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the vegetables and cook until they are almost soft.
  • Add the tomatoes and low-salt stock cube of choice, cover with water, and bring to a boil.
  • Remove the cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and stir in the bay leaf and lentils. Cover slightly, and simmer until the lentils are soft.
  • For the bread, we recommend a 50/50 style loaf or anything fresh from a bakery (watch the salt levels, <0.3g per 100g is ideal) Offering a variety of bread types can help to make the dish more exciting for your little one.
  • Serve with cheese of your choice, if desired.

Top tips for using a thermal flask to store food in:

  • Preheat the thermos container with boiling water.
  • Ensure the food is piping hot before packing
  • Transfer the food into the preheated thermos and close the lid immediately.
  • For best results, only store liquid-consistency foods which have no air gaps in.

Risks of storing hot food:

  • Dangerous bacterial growth occurs between 5 and 57 degrees. This spectrum is known as the “danger zone” for foods where potentially harmful bacteria grows most rapidly.
  • Ensure the food is still piping hot before consuming.

If you wish your nursery could provide hot and healthy meals for your little one’s lunch, then our Nursery meal service could be for you! We are already trusted by ten top London nurseries and schools to provide them with delicious hot nursery meals.

We are now opening up our waitlist for the winter term (Jan 2024), so fill in our interest form as soon as possible if you’d like us to take care of your little one’s lunches.

What’s more, there is no minimum number of students required to start having V&Me meals delivered to your school. So even if you are the only one (you probably won't be!) - we can still deliver to your nursery.

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October 30, 2023
Contributors
Phoenix Baker
Product Manager

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