EAT WELL, WORK BETTER: JULIET SEAR SHARES HER FAVOURITE LUNCHBOX RECIPES

What we eat matters. A proper breakfast gets us set for the day, taking time for lunch fuels resilience and creativity in equal measure and don't even get us started on the importance of a healthy snack. When we eat well, we work better. Which is why, in our latest blog slot, we'll be regularly asking some of our favourite foodies for their top recipe ideas. 

This week we're launching with a true food star, author, baker, food artist and consultant, Juliet Sear. We first met Juliet at through our book launch - for which she produced the most beautiful Step Up Bookies (a biscuit of OUR BOOK, quite possibly our fave sweet treat ever!). Since then, we have been wowed by her warmth, way with icing and down to earth, healthy meals. As a hugely busy chef and Mum, Juliet knows the value of throwing together a quick and nutritious packed lunch. Not just healthy but thrifty too, try one of these recipes for your lunch this week and we promise, you won't even be tempted by the canteen sandwich counter.

The most beautiful BOOKIES we've ever seen.

The most beautiful BOOKIES we've ever seen.

Spiralized beetroot and Carrot Asian salad. 

Serves 2 as a small lunch with bread or as a side to a meal. 

2-4 beetroot, depending on the size

2 small carrots

1 spring onion finely sliced

some sesame seeds to finish (I used black ones) 

Dressing; 

1 small garlic clove, finely grated

1 small piece of fresh ginger, the size of a small garlic clove, grated finely

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

60 ml olive oil

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Black pepper

First of all make your dressing so it is ready to toss as soon as the veggies are cut. Whisk all of the ingredients for the dressing together well. 

With the spiralizer attachment on your KitchenAid, spiralize the carrot and beetroot on the thicker setting. Place them in a bowl and toss over as much of the dressing as you wish to taste.  (any leftover can be refrigerated for up to a week). Sprinkle over some sesame seeds and the spring onion. 

Ultimate Guacamole

This recipe is so simple, full of bold zesty flavours dancing in the creamy avocado. It’s a winner in our house and has been for years, one of those foods that the kids devour event though it’s a bit spicy and it's full of goodness. 

Stuff you’ll need;

Food processor or large chopping board

Knife

Microplane grater

Metal spoon

Large serving bowl 

Ingredients

3 x large or 4 x medium ripe avocados (It is crucial to have good creamy ripe avocados. A good tip for checking, aside from giving them a gentle squeeze is to peel off the stem part at the top of the avocado, if it shows a nice green colour it should be ripe ad ready and free from brown spots.)

1 x lime

1 x medium very ripe tomato

1 x small red onion

1 x fresh red chili

1 large handful fresh coriander

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

 Now, I’m a bit of a lazy bones and always save time where I can, this is how I make my guacamole.  If you don’t have a food processor, simply finely chop the chili, tomato, red onion, coriander and then place them all together on a large chopping board and chop through again to pulverize. I never bother deseeding my chilies but you can if you prefer. 

In a food processer, chuck in your onion, tomato, chill and most of your coriander, stalk and leaves, all just roughly chopped. Blitz for a few seconds or pulse until you have a nice fine dice of everything. Pop into a bowl.

Roll your lime over the work surface with some pressure to help juicing, and then finely zest your lime by running over the fine grater of  a microplane. You just want to take the top green zest, not any of the white part, as it is bitter. Add the zest to the mix, then cut your lime in half , juice it and add this too. 

Now cut your avocado in half, remove the stone (keep them though) scoop out the creamy flesh with a spoon and make sure you get all the lovely good green part close to the skin. Do this with all you avocados and pop the flesh into the bowl. 

Now it’s the fun part, with clean hands I like to mix these together really squashing the avocado to a pulp to make it super creamy. Leave a few of the chunks of course or a bit of texture. 

I pop my stones back into the guacamole; it looks pretty and helps keep it from going brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with a drizzle of good olive oil over the top and a few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves.

Tip; if you do want to make your guacamole in advance, to prevent it from going brown, I like to flatten the top of the dip over with a spoon then squeeze a little more lime or lemon juice over the top to cover with a little oil. Now add some cling film, but press this right onto the top of the dip completely sealing it right to the edge of the bowl so there is no air over the dip, this does help the top from discolouring. I’d do this on the morning or no more that 24 hours before wanting to eat though. Once ready to serve, peel away the cling and give a good stir and add a touch more oil and some more fresh corridor to serve. 

Perfect served with quesadillas - to make these, in a large pan, dry fry one tortilla, sprinkled with some grated cheese of your choice, some black beans, spring onion, fresh peppers or chilli, you can make any fillings you wish? chopped cooked chicken is also a good addition. Top with one more tortilla and allow to melt and toast the outside. Allow to cool and cut into triangles and pack for a lovely lunch on the go.

Have you tried one of these recipes? What did you think? What other recipes, meals or foodies would you love us to feature? Let us know below!