By Melissa Grant
School Lunch Box dad George Georgievski likes to keep his creations appetising, healthy and simple.
It’s a winning combination that’s led the Geelong father to becoming a social media sensation and author.
George took over lunchbox duties at home a few years ago after witnessing the morning chaos.
He wanted to make simple and healthy lunches his primary school aged daughters, Anela and Kiara, would actually eat.
“I started looking online for inspiration, however I found it was either too hard or too confusing, so I decided to stop looking and start creating,” the civil engineering worker said.
Those creations caught the eye of a teacher, who told George he should document them on Instagram – a medium he’d never used before.
When making his daughters’ lunches, George aims to include three vegetables, two fruits and a sandwich or something similar while avoiding sugar and using ‘the colours of the rainbow’.
His creations have proven a huge hit with time-poor parents who often feel under pressure to create something amazing for their children’s lunches.
George says it’s easy for parents to feel overwhelmed.
“I looked up a recipe for muffins. It involved nine ingredients, half an hour baking and I thought ‘how can I do it in a commercial break while watching MAFS?
“So I got out my protein shaker and started developing my own dad style recipes – doughnuts, pikelets, fritters, potato cakes all just using protein shakers.
“That went crazy – (people were asking) ’who is this dude who makes donuts out of protein shakers in a minute?’“
George released his first book, Lunchbox Express, on 1 July. It features simple recipes and hacks to help parents put together healthy and fun lunches in five minutes.
Lunchbox Express is proving popular – it even entered a second print run before its release date due to an overwhelming number of pre-orders.
George has been blown away by his success.
When he discovered he had been crowned ‘most inspiring lunch creator in the world’ by American Express’s Departures magazine, he thought somebody was chasing him for a credit card payment.
“I don’t understand it – I’m just a dude from Geelong,” he said with a laugh.
Here are two of George’s favourite lunch box recipes…
HOT JAM DOUGHNUTS
½ cup strawberry jam (or any jam you have on hand)
8 slices of wholemeal bread
2 tablespoons butter
Ground cinnamon, for sprinkling
Caster sugar, for sprinkling (optional if you think the jam is sweet enough)
METHOD: Spoon 1 tablespoon of jam into the centre of four slices of bread.
Pop a slice of bread on top of one, then, using an upside-down coffee mug, push down hard until the surrounding part of the bread comes away and the edges are sealed. Carefully remove the bread from the mug and repeat the process to make four doughnuts.
Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Sprinkle some cinnamon into the pan, so it caramelises and infuses the butter. Place your doughnuts in the frying pan and, using tongs, move them around the pan to coat them in the butter and cinnamon. Flip them over and let the doughnuts toast a little further. The smell at this stage will be heavenly.
Remove the doughnuts from the pan, lightly sprinkle over some more cinnamon and a little caster sugar (if using) and enjoy.
TIP: You can also use a cookie cutter to create fun shapes.
3 wholemeal pita pockets leftover cooked lamb or chicken (around 90g), sliced
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup plain yoghurt
Handful of spinach leaves
METHOD: Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut a strip out of the middle of each pita pocket to make two semicircles per pocket.
Open up the pita pocket semicircles so they look like little boats.
Fill each pita boat with the lamb or chicken, tomato and yoghurt, then top with the spinach.
Because the meat is already cold, it’s fine to make these the night before, refrigerate and pop them into school lunchboxes in the morning.
TIPS: Be brave and add a few slices of red onion; it works so well in kebabs. Put these on a platter when guests come over and impress your friends. Try using tzatziki instead of plain yoghurt for a garlic hit.
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