Five Healthy Packed Lunches

Swop the greasy takeout for a lunchbox and eat clean al-desko with these chef-endorsed (read: really yummy) recipes. They take a little effort, but they’re worth it – we promise.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Swop the greasy takeout for a lunchbox and eat clean al-desko with these chef-endorsed (read: really yummy) recipes. They take a little effort, but they’re worth it – we promise.

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1 Cold Capellini with Runny Soya Egg


2 eggs, room temperature 120ml soya sauce

100ml mirin or rice wine 50ml water

100g capellini

100ml olive oil

20ml sesame oil

20g spring onions, chopped

20ml Japanese rice vinegar

A pinch of chilli flakes

A pinch of seaweed flakes

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Make the soya eggs (at least one day before): Add eggs to salted, boiling water, cook for six minutes, then soak in ice water; peel. Mix 100ml soya sauce, mirin and water, and soak eggs in marinade for at least a day. They keep for up to three days.

Make the pasta: Cook capellini in salted, boiling water for three minutes. Strain into a large bowl, toss with olive oil, then mix in 20ml soya sauce, sesame oil, spring onions and rice vinegar. Leave to cool, then add a little more olive oil and sprinkle with chilli flakes, seaweed flakes and sesame seeds. Serve with eggs.

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2 Grilled Garlic Prawns with Avocado Rice


A pinch of salt 

A pinch of sugar 

100ml coconut water 

4 fresh prawns, shelled 

1 clove of garlic, minced 

60ml + 2 tbsp olive oil 

Zest of 1 lemon 

200g overnight rice 

2 avocados, diced 

1 tbsp crushed pistachios 

1 shallot, diced 

1 tsp cumin powder 

1 tsp chilli powder 

1 lime, juiced 

1 tsp hot sauce 

For the prawns: Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Whisk salt and sugar into coconut water until dissolved; soak prawns in it for 30 minutes. Strain, then coat prawns with garlic and 60ml olive oil. Bake for five minutes, then season with lemon zest and salt.

For the rice: Mix rice with avocados, pistachios, shallots, lime juice, and cumin and chilli powders. Add hot sauce, two tablespoons of olive oil and salt to taste.

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3 Power Greens


100g broccolini, rinsed

50g fresh edamame*, rinsed and dried  

1 avocado, diced 

20g fresh blueberries 

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

20ml white sesame dressing* 

5g puffed buckwheat* 

50g cooked quinoa (optional) 

Cook broccolini for two minutes in 1 litre salted, boiling water, then place in ice water to stop the cooking. Pat dry and cut into 2.5cm pieces. Mix all veggies and fruits together, drizzle dressing over it, then add puffed buckwheat and quinoa. 

*Find fresh edamame at Fairprice supermarkets, puffed buckwheat at Phoon Huat, and a good white sesame dressing (Kenko Rich Taste Kin Goma Dressing) in the Japanese section of major supermarkets. 

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4 Baked Spiced Chicken with Cauliflower and Yogurt Sauce


100g butter, melted

5g cumin powder

5g curry powder

8g salt

3g black pepper

1 chicken breast, butterflied and halved

1 whole cauliflower

100g yogurt

Zest of 1 lemon

For the chicken: Put melted butter, cumin and curry powders, 3g salt and black pepper into a bowl and mix well. Marinate chicken breast overnight in the fridge. The next day, bake for 20 minutes in a 140 deg C oven. Leave to cool. 

For the cauliflower and sauce: Blanch cauliflower in boiling water for a minute, then remove and cut into bite-sized pieces. Mix yogurt with lemon zest and 5g salt. Serve chicken with sauce and cauliflower. 

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5 Smoked Salmon with Kale, Portobello and Honey Lemon Dressing


2 portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced 

2 cloves of garlic, crushed 

2 tbsp olive oil 

A pinch of sea salt 

Zest of 1 lemon, plus the juice

50g honey 

100ml extra virgin olive oil

100g kale, stalks removed and shredded  

1 avocado, diced 

1 green apple, cut into strips

100g smoked salmon 

A pinch of almond flakes

Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Toss mushrooms, garlic, olive oil and sea salt in a bowl; bake for 15 minutes. Mix lemon zest and juice, honey and extra virgin olive oil in a bowl. Combine dressing, baked mushrooms, kale, avocado and green apples. Finish with smoked salmon and almond flakes.