What’s in your lunchbox? When I came to Australia I didn’t speak a word of English so going to school was a very interesting experience. With one of the regular items in my lunchbox being this potato and onion tortilla, I did stand out from the crowd a little. I remember having strange cravings for sandwiches with vegemite or hundreds and thousands, but I think that was just a case of the grass is greener on the other side.
Now I have children of my own, the challenge is on in the morning to keep lunch interesting and healthy. These are a couple of our favourites. Once you have the potato and onion cooked it is easy to put it in the fridge and finish the tortilla when you have time. It can also be a fantastic warm starter or a snack with beer or wine.
The apricot and molasses in these muesli bars make them so delicious and I think they are quite healthy as well. Just don’t tell your kids.
Apricot and molasses muesli slice
115g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
85g rolled oats
55g dried apricots, sliced
55g dessicated coconut
1 tbsp molasses
Preheat the oven to 180c. Grease a 23-centimetre-square baking tray. Place flour, bicarb soda, oats, sultanas, apricots and coconut in a bowl and stir to mix.
Place butter, sugar and molasses in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring until melted and blended. Pour into dry ingredients and stir well until combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and press down evenly. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, and then cool slightly before cutting into 12 bars.
Loosen the edges of the bars, then leave to cool completely in the tin. Remove from the tin and store in an airtight container.
Potato and onion tortilla
6-7 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 whole brown onion, thinly sliced
2-3 cups of olive oil for pan frying
8 large eggs
Put potatoes and onions into a bowl and mix them together. Salt the mixture. In a large, heavy, non-stick frypan, heat the olive oil on a medium heat.
Carefully place the potato and onion mixture into the frypan, spreading them evenly over the surface. The oil should almost cover the potatoes. You may need to turn down the heat slightly so the potatoes do not burn. Leave in pan until the potatoes are cooked. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon or spatula and allow oil to drain.
Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat by hand with a whisk. Add the potato onion mixture. Season and mix with a large spoon. Pour one or two tablespoons of olive oil into a small, non-stick frying pan, about 24 centimetres wide, and heat on a medium-low heat. When hot, stir the potato onion mixture once more, add to the pan and spread out evenly. Allow the egg to cook around the edges then carefully lift one side of the tortilla to check if the egg has slightly browned. The inside of the mixture should not be completely cooked and the egg will still be runny.
When the mixture has browned on the bottom, it is ready to turn over. Hold the frying pan over the large mixing bowl you used to beat the eggs, to catch uncooked egg drips. Place a dinner plate that is larger than the pan upside down over the frying pan. With one hand on the frying pan handle and the other on top of the plate to hold it steady, quickly flip the frying pan over so the tortilla falls onto the plate.
Place the frying pan back on the stove, slide the tortilla into the pan and tip any uncooked egg in the bowl over it. Use a spatula to shape the sides of the tortilla. Let the tortilla cook for three-to-four minutes on a gentle heat. Turn the heat off, place a clean tea towel over the tortilla and let it sit in the pan for four minutes before serving, or cut into slices and cool to use in lunchbox.
Keep your lunch safe and tasty with an insulated lunch box and a chiller pack.