5 Tapas-Style Lunch Boxes to Beat the Stress and Heat

5 Tapas-Style Lunch Boxes to Beat the Stress and Heat
Tapas-Style Lunch Boxes to Beat the Stress and Heat

Dear busy bees, we know how hard you have been working lately!

Stress, hot weather and polluted air only mean that your body really needs to be fed the right food for you to look and feel your best.

So, we have designed 5 tapas-style meals for you to bring to work, made with just 8 key ingredients! No worries, we have included the basic recipes and instructions below, and they each only take about 20 minutes to prepare.

For food to taste good, you should always get good-quality and fresh ingredients. Image Courtesy of Little Farms
For food to taste good, you should always get good-quality and fresh ingredients. Image Courtesy of Little Farms

If you have been falling sick lately, it might be because your body is lacking the proper nutrition to combat factors like stress, hot weather and the haze. So stay ahead of the game by packing a nutritious lunch to work!

Don’t know how to start? We’re here to inspire you with a whole weeks’ worth of incredibly delicious, nutrient-packed lunches with just 8 versatile ingredients. Plus, we’re really packing it up with a 2-course meal per day!

We garnered the help of one of our favourite grocers, Little Farms at Valley Point, who specialises in high-quality, artisanal products, to ensure that you can fit these meal plans into your busy schedule with ease.

We bought our groceries from Little Farms and our basket includes organic yogurt, organic goat’s cheese, large Hass avocados and artisanal chilli pasta! Image Courtesy of Little Farms
We bought our groceries from Little Farms and our basket includes organic yogurt, organic goat’s cheese, large Hass avocados and artisanal chilli pasta! Image Courtesy of Little Farms

Start by getting these 8 fresh ingredients to set you up for a full-week of digestive glory!

  1. Hass Avocados
  2. Spinach Leaves
  3. Lemons
  4. Weich’s Barossa Valley Organic Chilli Egg Noodles
  5. Acres Goats Feta Cheese
  6. Grass-Fed Yearling Eye Fillet Steak
  7. Roza’s Chargrilled Capsicum Dip
  8. Barambah Organics All-Natural Yogurt

We hope you have these 4 basic ingredients lying around your kitchen: Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper and Garlic. Now you’re ready to start cooking!

Avocado Pasta with Spinach Salad

The avocado pasta had a good kick because we used chilli pasta. Add cherry tomatoes to your salad for extra nutrients, sweetness and colour!
The avocado pasta had a good kick because we used chilli pasta. Add cherry tomatoes to your salad for extra nutrients, sweetness and colour!

Prep  Time:    5 mins

Cooking Time:    15  mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Handful Fresh Pasta
  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Tbsp Pasta Water
  • Salt & Pepper (To taste)
  • Upgrade: Fresh Basil Leaves, Pine nuts or Almonds

Instructions:

1. Get a pot of salted water boiling
2. Add in a handful of pasta (Time according to package instructions)
3. Grind garlic, lemon juice, avocado, basil (optional), almonds (optional), salt & pepper into a paste
4. Add cooked pasta and pasta water to avocado mixture
5. Season with salt and pepper if necessary
6. Mix well
Optional: Garnish with lemon zest and basil leaves

Tips:

Avocados are nutritious substitutes for oil and butter. They also add a buttery texture and nutty flavour to your dish. Also, by adding the water the pasta is cooked into the pasta, it turns the avocado paste into a nice saucy texture and helps binds the sauce to the pasta.

Prep  Time:    5 mins

Cooking Time:    15  mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Spinach
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Sliced Finely
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper (To taste)
  • Optional: Cherry Tomatoes

Salad Dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp Yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp Chargrilled Capsicum Dip
  • Salt & Pepper (To taste)

Instructions:

1. Heat oil in pan and add garlic
2. Fry garlic till crispy
3. Pour on to paper towel to absorb oil
4. In a bowl, mix yogurt and capsicum dip
5. Season with salt & pepper if necessary
6. Toss dressing through spinach
7. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle garlic chips on top.

Tips:

Dips are extremely versatile and can be transformed into a thin salad dressing. If you prefer hummus dip or pesto instead, they work great too, explore the whole range of artisanal, 100{8f42e3536fa1e6f87f919a2e387db08d813e1f513d4d1296def18f34bd27beb4} natural dips at Little Farms!

Steak with Avocado and Goats Cheese Salsa

The more generous you are with the avocado, the better the salsa!
The more generous you are with the avocado, the better the salsa!

Prep  Time:    10 mins

Cooking Time:    10  mins

Ingredients:

  • 150g Eye Fillet Steak
  • 1 Tbsp Chargrilled Capsicum Dip
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Instructions:

1. Rub capsicum dip all over steak and leave to marinate if you have time
2. Heat oil in pan and grill steak for 3 minutes on each side
3. Remove steak from pan to rest for 5 minutes before slicing

Tips:

Always get a good quality eye-fillet steak which you can easily find at Little Farms packed in friendly serving sizes. The better the beef, the less seasoning you need. Eye fillet steak is best served medium with a slight tinge of pink in the middle when you slice into it. Remember, only a few minutes on each side for tender, juicy steak!

PROTIP: Substitute beef with grilled chicken or tofu for an alternative protein. Just make sure you cook the chicken through. 

Prep  Time:   10 mins

Cooking Time:    5  mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Slice of Lemon
  • 1/2 Avocado Diced
  • 2 Tbsp Goats’ Cheese Diced
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Optional: Cherry Tomatoes

Instructions:

1. In a small bowl, mix avocado, goats cheese, olive oil and lemon
2. Season with salt and pepper
3. Mix well
4. Serve with a slice of Lemon

Tips:

By adding tomatoes and onions diced finely into the avocado mix, you will get bursts of sweetness and acidity which complements the richness of the steak perfectly. Feel free to jazz it up with herbs like parsley or basil for the perfect salsa. 

Open Face Guacamole Sandwich with Yogurt

Toast your bread for a nice warm sandwich, while a cooling yogurt makes for a good spread or even dessert with sweet carrot sticks!
Toast your bread for a nice warm sandwich, while a cooling yogurt makes for a good spread or even dessert with sweet carrot sticks!

Prep  Time:    5 mins

Cooking Time:    15  mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 Slices of Whole Wheat Bread
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1/4 Spinach 

Instructions:

1. Toast bread till crusty
2. Spread on 1 slice of bread with a layer of spinach at the bottom 

Tips:

Did you know that you can tell when an avocado is ripe when it gives a little when squeezed? You can also mix chopped basil and feta cheese into mashed avocado to add a delicious fragrance to your sandwich! 

Prep  Time:    10 mins

Cooking Time:    5  mins

Ingredients:

  • Carrot, Cucumber or Celery Sticks
  • 4-5 Tbsp of Yogurt

Instructions:

1. Slice carrots/cucumber/celery into match sticks
2. Season yogurt with a pinch of salt or honey depending on your preference (optional)

Tips:

Yogurt can be eaten transformed into a sweet dessert or savoury dip! 

Garlicy Capsicum Pasta with Goats Cheese and Avo Salad

The spiciness of the capsicum pasta goes well with this refreshing avo salad!
The spiciness of the capsicum pasta goes well with this refreshing avo salad!

Prep  Time:    5 mins

Cooking Time:    15  mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 12 Tbsp Chargrilled Capsicum Dip
  • 2-3 Tbsp Pasta Water
  • 1 Handful Fresh Pasta
  • 2 Tbsp Goat’s Cheese Crumbled
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Upgrade: Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Basil Leaves

Instructions:

1. Get a pot of salted water boiling
2. Throw in a handful of pasta (cooking time according to instructions on package)
3. Heat oil in separate pan
4. Add garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes
5. Stir in capsicum dip at low heat
6. Add cooked pasta to pan along with pasta water
7. Toss thoroughly
8. Add salt and pepper to taste
9. Sprinkle goats cheese
10. Drizzle olive oil on top, ready to serve 

Tips:

Let the goat’s cheese melt into the warm pasta by stirring crumbles of it in. For added freshness, add cherry tomatoes and fresh basil to garnish.  

Also, goat’s cheese is great for cheese-lovers who are lactose-intolerant, but you can replace it with any other kind of your favourite cheeses!

Prep  Time:    5 mins

Cooking Time:    15  mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Spinach 
  • 1 Avocado Diced
  • Salad Dressing: 
    1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
    1 Tbsp Olive Oil
    Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Upgrade: Olives, Cranberries, Tomatoes, Nuts 

Instructions:

1. Place spinach and avocado in a bowl.
2. Mix lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper for dressing.
3. Mix dressing through salad.
4. Upgrade your salad by adding your favourite toppings like nuts, chicken, tomatoes, cranberries, etc. 

Tips:

With this versatile recipe, you can add any of your favourite toppings. It’s also handy to have an air-tight container filled with your favourite nuts in the kitchen to give salads a protein kick! Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds and cashews are all tasty and nutritious add-ons.

Double Salad Delight

Make a little bit more of your salads during the week and combine them together for a double salad delight on Friday. Upgrade your salads with grilled beef or chicken, tuna or eggs!
Make a little bit more of your salads during the week and combine them together for a double salad delight on Friday. Upgrade your salads with grilled beef or chicken, tuna or eggs!

Prep  Time:    5 mins

Cooking Time:    15  mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Spinach
  • 1 Avocado Diced
  • Salad Dressing:
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Upgrade: Add other varieties of vegetables like carrots, beetroot, chickpeas, roasted pumpkin to your salad

Instructions:

1. Place spinach and avocado in a bowl
2. Mix olive oil and salt and pepper for dressing
3. Mix dressing through salad
4. Upgrade your salad by adding all your favourite toppings

Tips:

If you start getting sick of the same flavours by the end of the week, “accessorise” your salad with one or two new toppings. Anything from eggs and tuna to cranberries and olives always add another great flavour profile to salads!

If you dare, roast roughly chopped pumpkin or sweet potatoes in the oven for about 10-15 minutes (the smaller the faster it takes to cook) for the perfect salad filler.

Prep  Time:    5 mins

Cooking Time:    5  mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Slice of Lemon  
  • 1/2 Avocado Diced
  • 2 Tbsp Goats’ Cheese Diced
  • 1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Upgrade: Diced onions, chopped cilantro

Instructions:

1. In a small bowl, mix avocado, goats cheese, olive oil and lemon
2. Season with salt and pepper
3. Mix well
4. Serve with a slice of lemon
5. Upgrade with onions and cilantro!

Tips:

Salsa can be eaten with anything, but our favourite is fish. Make a larger batch and eat for dinner with grilled or steamed fish! 

We hope you had fun experimenting with these recipes! From pastas to sandwiches, every ingredient can be transformed into something interesting yet wholesome! Plus, with a tapas-style lunch box, you can work on smaller, more manageable recipes to help hone your cooking skills.

So before we leave you to it, we recommend getting your ingredients from our favourite artisanal grocer Little Farms (located at Valley Point, #01-20).

Why you should explore Little Farms for Inspiring Ingredients

Most of the time, ingredients that are really easy-to-use and reduce cooking time are unhealthy, processed, and contain artificial ingredients or preservatives! The products at Little Farms are not just really fresh and flown in from Australia’s best farms and artisans, they are made with love, usually with 100{8f42e3536fa1e6f87f919a2e387db08d813e1f513d4d1296def18f34bd27beb4} natural ingredients, with the modern-day busy bee in mind.

The owners were inspired by the traditional farmer's markets in Australia which are full of passionate local farmers, growers and suppliers explaining how they grow/make their products in detail - Little Farms gives you a similar experience. Image Courtesy of Little Farms
The owners were inspired by the traditional farmer’s markets in Australia which are full of passionate local farmers, growers and suppliers explaining how they grow/make their products in detail – Little Farms gives you a similar experience. Image Courtesy of Little Farms
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