These sandwich fillings and ideas for new combinations are perfect for snacks between meals because they are kind to your teeth and can be made in advance. They can be eaten as cracker-toppings for smaller tummies or used to fill any wraps, pitas and toasties for larger appetites.
Terrific tuna salad filling
1 x 200g can tuna in water, drained
3 ½ tbsp half-fat cream fraiche or fromage frais*
½ celery stick
¼ small red onion (optional)
Squeeze of lemon
2 stems of fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried dill)
- Mix the tuna with the fromage frais or cream fraiche in a small bowl.
- Finely chop the celery and red onion (if using) and add to the tuna with the lemon juice.
- Tear the leaves of the dill of the stems and chop into small pieces. Fold the fresh or dried dill into the rest of the ingredients and serve.
Variation: Add ½ chopped green apple for an extra burst of flavour.
*If you prefer to substitute mayonnaise for cream fraiche, just use slightly less.
Crunchy turkey & grape filling
2 pieces of leftover cooked turkey
½ spring onion
2 tbsp half-fat cream fraiche
10 red grapes, chopped
1 tbsp chopped pecans
- Chop the turkey and spring onion into small pieces and place into a small bowl.
- Add the fromage frais, grapes and pecans and mix.
Tangy chicken filling
2 pieces of leftover cooked chicken
½ red or yellow pepper
½ spring onion
2 tbsp half fat cream fraiche
Squeeze of lemon
- Chop the chicken, pepper and spring onion into small pieces and place into a small bowl.
- Add the half fat cream fraiche and lemon juice and toss together. Pair this filling with lettuce or spinach for some extra crunch
Variation: Use turkey instead or chicken or try this with some fresh herbs, such as mint
Roast pepper and peanut filling
1 red or yellow pepper
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp chopped peanuts
- Chop the pepper into long slices. Place on a baking tray with the garlic and roast in a 200˚C oven for around 20min until just starting to blacken.
- Squeeze the cooked garlic into a small bowl and blend in the peanut butter until smooth.
- Spread the peanut paste onto your chosen bread and layer with the peppers and chopped nuts. Team this filling with some lettuce or spinach for extra crunch.
Variation: Roast some mushrooms with the peppers adding them half-way through the total cooking time. Add a chopped chilli for some extra spice.
Rice & carrot beanie wraps
This filling works well with tortillas or any flatbread or you can just eat it as a rice salad. You can also vary the flavour by adding some chopped nuts or even mango.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 tbsp ginger, grated
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp turmeric
200g Brown rice
1 large carrot, grated
1 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Handful of fresh spinach, chopped
1 tbsp sesame seeds
6 wholewheat tortillas
Half-fat cream fraiche (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat and add the onion. Stir for a couple of minutes then add the ginger and spices. Add the rice and stir until it is translucent the add 800ml water. Cover with a lid and let simmer for 20-25 min until al dente. Top up the water if needed. Once cooked, put aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, add the rice, carrot, chickpeas, spinach and sesame seeds and stir through gently until mixed. Divide between the tortillas and add a dollop of cream fraiche (if using) and simply roll up.
Veggie scotch eggs
My updated veggie version of a classic picnic staple.
Makes 8 large
8 yellow cherry tomatoes
250g ricotta cheese, well drained
75g grated mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for rolling and greasing
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
400g can chickpeas, drained
1 egg, beaten
200g wholemeal fresh breadcrumbs
5 tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting
25g panko or dried breadcrumbs
3 tbsp sesame seeds
- First, prepare the falafel by placing the oil, onions and garlic in a frying pan. Fry on low heat until soft and just starting to turn golden. Add the spices and fry for a few mins more. Tip everything into a food processor and blend to a paste, then add the chickpeas and pulse just until finely chopped. Stir in the wholemeal breadcrumbs and egg. Put aside the falafel mixture while you prepare the ‘eggs’.
- Place the two cheeses into a medium bowl and stir together until mixed. Divide the cheese into 8 equal portions. Place the flour in a small bowl. Put a portion of cheese in your hand and gently wrap it around a cherry tomato. Roll it to seal and lightly roll it in the bowl of flour to coat. Place aside on a floured plate or board and repeat the process with the remaining cheese.
- Divide the falafel mixture into 8. Take a portion at a time and flatten it between your hands. Wrap the falafel mixture around the cheese carefully, moulding it to completely cover and squishing it together at the joins to seal. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
- Place the breadcrumbs onto a plate and mix in the sesame seeds. Roll each ‘egg’ in the crumbs to coat. Heat a grill to 220°C and line a tray with greased foil. Place the eggs on the baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Grill for 10-15 minutes, turning halfway, until they are golden brown. (Alternatively, you can deep-fry them as per the traditional scotch egg method but it’s not really necessary). Leave to cool slightly before serving or leave to cool and chill so they are ready to pack for a picnic.
These Spicy snacks taste best the day they’re made but you can also reheat them in a hot oven to crisp them up and get back some crunch.
400g tin of chickpeas drained and rinsed
200g fresh soybeans (defrost if using frozen)
½ tsp each of cumin, ground coriander, cinnamon and smoked paprika
½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt (optional)
- Preheat an oven to 180˚C and line a baking tray with parchment. Place the chickpeas and soybeans on the tray in 1 layer and roast in the oven for 20min.
- Give the chickpeas and soybeans a stir and roast for a further 15-20min until golden and crispy.
- Meanwhile, place the spices and olive oil in a medium sized bowl and mix together. Add the chickpeas and soybeans and combine everything together. Serve at once.
This recipe is for one portion but you can make more of it in advance and make individual packs, ready to grab.
20g popping corn
1tsp vegetable or olive oil
- Place the oil in a large saucepan with the corn kernels on medium heat and cover it with a lid. Shake the pan as the corn starts popping and continue until it has completely stopped. Alternatively, make the popcorn as per directions of your popcorn maker. Add your chosen topping to the popped popcorn and mix by hand until distributed evenly.
Try a sprinkle of the following toppings to liven up your popcorn:
Chilli powder and Worcester sauce
Cumin, paprika or Cajun seasoning
Cumin, chilli and black pepper
Dried paprika, fennel seeds and cumin seeds
Dried paprika, fennel seeds and caraway seeds
Chilli flakes and a squeeze of lime
Dried oregano and ½ tsp grated Parmesan cheese
Dried basil and garlic powder
Dried oregano, cumin, coriander and paprika