forum: FAQ's

#1 Sat 04 Sep 10 10:29pm


Member since Sat 04 Sep 10


I want to start eating healthy and want to bring pasta or salads of somekind to school for dinner, any ideas/recipes would be great no mushroom and onions ha big_smile

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#2 Wed 08 Sep 10 9:46am


Forum champ
Occupation teacher
From Darwin, Australia
Member since Wed 08 Sep 10

Re: Pasta/salads

I've actually found the easiest way to do this, for my partner and I, is just to cook extra serves of whatever we're having for dinner.  Put the leftovers in little lidded pyrex dishes, and take for lunch the next day.  You need a microwave at work for that, but since you're asking about pasta, I'm guessing you probably have one.

The dressings make the salads, so if you can, make your own at home. 

ALMOND-CHICKEN SALAD (Recipe by Margaret Fulton, from her Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery, 1991, under "Almond")
This is my favourite chicken salad recipe of all time.  It also keeps and travels very well.

3 c cooked, diced chicken
1/2 c sultanas
1/2 c slivered almonds, toasted [you can make it without toasting them - it's fine]
3 sticks celery, finely sliced
6 shallots, chopped [I've made it with spring onions, and brown onions - all good]
3/4 c mayonnaise [I find it doesn't need this much]
1/4 c orange juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Garnish: lettuce leaves; orange slices; extra toasted almonds [just the lettuce will do]

Combine all the ingredients for salad.  Spoon into bowl [or travel-safe container] lined with lettuce leaves and garnish with orange slices and almonds.


chicken breast fillets poached in garlic, sherry and some stock, then cooled and diced
shredded lettuce
onion, finely sliced
sundried tomatoes, finely sliced
mushrooms, sliced
parsley, finely chopped
mayonnaise or pesto
salt and pepper

Combine lettuce, onion, tomato, mushrooms and parsley.  Put in one container.  Combine a little mayonnaise or pesto and a little vinaigrette (half and half) and take in another container.  Mix dressing through salad at work.

3 c chopped cooked chicken
1/2 c chopped spring onions
1 c chopped celery
1 c diced carrots
1/2 c chopped parsley
3/4 c Thousand Island dressing
dash Tabasco sauce

Combine all.


I've realized both these recipes call for preserved artichokes.  You could use anything, really: peas, fresh asparagus, or a bit of broccoli, or something.

I live in Australia, so I make the following one with kangaroo meat.  But it could be made with beef.  Set the meat up to marinate the night before, leaving it in the fridge.  Then cook it in the morning. 

250g roo meat (or beef), cut in small shreds
marinade: red wine, crushed garlic, good pinch dried oregano
250g spiral pasta
1/2 onion, finely chopped
parsley, finely chopped
4 smallish roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and chopped
large jar of (marinated) artichoke quarters, drained
1 1/2 tb pesto
1 1/2 tb mayonnaise
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

Marinate the meat in the red wine, garlic and oregano overnight.
Put the pasta on to boil.
Meanwhile, cook the meat in a non-stick frypan.
Drain the pasta, and refresh in cold water.
Mix all the salad ingredients together.
Whisk or shake the dressing ingredients together and toss through the salad.

This one's a chicken one.

1/4 c lemon juice
1/2 c olive oil
6 anchovy fillets, mashed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
250g spiral pasta
5 cl garlic
125g black olives, halved
340g jar (marinated) artichokes (OK, I've got a thing for them)
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
parsley or basil, chopped or torn
2-3 skinless chicken breast fillets (half breasts), cooked and diced
2 or 3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped (or use cherry tomatoes, halved)

Combine the dressing ingredients and mix or shake well.
Boil the pasta with the cloves of garlic.
Drain the pasta, fish out the garlic and save, and refresh the pasta in cold water.
Slip the garlic pulp from the skins and crush or mash it, then mix it into the dressing.
Mix pasta with remaining salad ingredients.
Toss the dressing through.

This could be tricky, since you don't want a soggy mess.  You might have to let both your pasta and your sauce get cold, before mixing them together.  That would mean making them the night before.  Alternatively, I suppose you could take the pasta in one container, and the sauce in another. 

You can go the ol' spag bol, but just make it with less meat and more veg: put diced celery, grated carrots, even mushrooms or peas into the sauce mixture, and plenty of tomato (which is then not strictly speaking 'bol', but who cares). 

The third option is of course  baked pasta dishes, which are my preferred option for work lunches.  There's a fairly simple, quick one below.  You could also make any healthy lasagna or cannelloni recipe.

You can also make a traditional non-veg pasta but put veg in; for example, I make pasta carbonara but use a bit less pasta and add peas and corn; I also use evaporated milk instead of cream and I actually prefer it - seems to have a bit more flavour or kick.  Similarly, try mac-and-cheese adding diced and cooked onion, broccoli and red capsicum.

BAKED MACARONI (3-4 serves) 
1 tb olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cl garlic, crushed
2 tsp sugar
tsp salt
250-500g minced beef
2 x 400g tins diced tomatoes
pinch dried oregano or a tsp chopped fresh
small pinch chilli or cayenne pepper
60g grated parmesan
250g macaroni

    In a large frypan over medium heat, fry onion and garlic in oil, with sugar, salt and pepper, until onion is soft.
    Increase heat to high, add beef, and cook until beef is done.
    Add tomatoes, oregano and chilli/cayenne, reduce heat, and simmer a good while, until sauce is reduced and very thick.  Stir occasionally so it doesn't ever stick to the bottom.
    Mix in parmesan.
    Boil macaroni in salted water.
    Drain and cool.
    Mix pasta and sauce.
    Turn into a greased baking dish, and bake at 180 deg. C. for 30-45 mins.

Replace beef with tinned salmon or tuna, and add about 1 tb lemon juice.

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#3 Wed 08 Sep 10 9:54am


Forum champ
Occupation teacher
From Darwin, Australia
Member since Wed 08 Sep 10

Re: Pasta/salads


hard boiled eggs, shelled and quartered
lettuce, shredded (or baby spinach)
onion, finely chopped
mushrooms, sliced
parsley, finely chopped
capers, chopped
lemon juice
salt and pepper

Combine the lettuce, onion, mushrooms, parsley and capers.
Put the egg in.
Combine mayonnaise with lemon juice and salt and pepper, to taste.
Take separately to work.
At work, dollop dressing onto salad and mix gently to combine.

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#4 Wed 08 Sep 10 12:58pm


Forum champ
Occupation SAHM of 4
From USA
Member since Sun 28 Mar 10

Re: Pasta/salads

The great thing about salads is that you are only limited by your imagination! 

Typically, I just start with what lettuce/greens I'm using and build it from there. 

You can make a lovely salad out of baby spinach with tomatoes and goat cheese.  Dress with a balsamic vinaigrette.

I like to chop tomatoes and cucumbers (and onions) and italian dressing as a nice salad.

Cucumbers (alone or with onions) in sour cream and dill is wonderful. 

A popular salad around here right now is baby spinach, strawberries, (red onions) poppyseed dressing.

Last edited by DeniseH111 (Wed 08 Sep 10 2:21pm)

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