Lunch Less Ordinary Challenge Week 1 - Tomatoes

I can't believe it! I've been chosen to take part in the Lunch Less Ordinary Blogger Challenge! Maybe it has something to do with the fact I often can be found dishing up tasty morsels of lunch!?

So my challenge over the next month, thanks to Mission Deli Wraps is to be the LEAST Ordinary Luncher. Each week we'll receive a new challenge for the week. Our first challenge arrived in my email inbox early Tuesday morning. We had the choice of 4 options:

  1. Make an indoor camp for you and your little ones to enjoy an adventurous lunch in
  2. Make lunch for your neighbour - either at work or at home!
  3. How many ways you can eat a tomato - inspired by La Tomatina. The challenge: to use tomatoes in every lunch you make this week (different each day!)
  4. Put the kids in charge of lunch for a week

Well, I immediately ruled out challenges 1 and 2: the kids are all at school, so unfortunately no longer little people I can do an indoor picnic with. I could have used teddies and dolls instead, but well, it wouldn't be right, would it?  As for challenge 2, our neighbours are all retired, so they can be found either playing golf, tennis, or playing bridge on rainy days! I think you get the picture, they are an active bunch in our road and rarely at home!
So the challenge of tomatoes in every lunch immediately jumped out at me! Without a second thought, I sped off in the car to do a quick trolley dash, stocking up on fresh tomatoes: beef tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes, red peppers, orange peppers, puff pastry, risotto rice, salads, Mission Deli Wraps (of course!) and more.

Tomato Trolley Dash
Juicy tomato recipes were popping into my head left right and centre, and quickly I realised that there are many ways with a tomato. Being a busy week, ending in me away all weekend, hubbie has to manage the weekend shift. So to be sure we keep to the challenge, some of the tomato recipe ideas have been quick and easy ones, just to be sure that hubbie will keep us on track! But these could easily be switched out for home-made, made from scratch recipes.  I will keep the kids-in-charge challenge for another week, as that could be a lot of FUN (and give me a well earned break)!

So here's our week's worth of lunch time meals with the tomato. And before I forget, if you want any of the recipes, just comment below and I can post them up next time.

Monday : Ham, cucumber and tomato, sliced and loaded on a sandwich thin, smattered with mayonnaise

Ham, cucumber and tomato sandwich thin
Tip to avoid soggy sandwiches:
If these are being made in a packed lunch, our tip is to pre-slice the tomato, ready for eating, but take the tomato in a separate container. Just add at the last minute to avoid those soggy bottoms!

Tuesday : Pizza topped with tomato, mozarella, basil and pepperami, with salad on the side. This is perfect - the kids love pizza and it uses up the leftovers perfectly.

Wednesday : Crispy bacon slices, with sliced tomato on wholemeal with a smattering of mayo.

Crispy Bacon, Tomato on Wholemeal with mayo

Thursday : Tomato risotto - made by Spike, thanks to the cookery classes he's having at School. It tasted so great, we ate it before we had a chance to snap it! (Note to self: photo EVERYTHING even though hubbie hates the speed with which I whip out my camera/phone these days).

Friday: Lunch was a pub lunch out with hubbie. A once-in-a-blue-moon occasion when he was working from home, so we snuck out for a lunch. I made sure this included tomatoes on the menu. I had the mediterranean mezze, with pitta, houmous, tzatziki, grilled aubergine topped with cheese and garlic, and a mixed salad

Saturday : Tomato soup with basil, with chunks of this delicious cheese and sundried tomato stromboli I found on the side. My plan had been to make the Jamie Oliver recipe in his 30 minutes cookery book, but as I say, with me away, it ended up being these new squeeze and stir sachets... So if you're ever pushed for time, these are well worth a try, if you're after something heart warming in a jiffy!

Tomato and Basil Soup with Chunks of Tomato Stromboli

Sunday : Tomato, Mozzarella and Ham Open Tart, topped with basil with tomato salad on the side, new potatoes and lambs lettuce salad - this is really quick and easy, taking just 20 minutes in the oven to bake!

Tomato, Mozzarella and Ham Open Tart

Tomato Salad of many types with french dressing

My plate! It was all delicious!

I had planned to make stuffed tomatoes with savoury rice ... and home-made pizza with the kids, oh and sun-dried tomato and bacon in a creamy sauce with pasta, but where has the week gone?!

So we've still got the amazing beef tomatoes waiting patiently in the fridge, hoping to be turned into delicious stuffed tomatoes come tomorrow, thanks to a recipe I found by Delia. So watch this space for these, and the sun-dried tomatoes still in their jar.

Massive Beef Tomatoes all huddling in the fridge, waiting to be turned into something special!

If tomatoes could speak, I just wonder what they'd say, all huddled together in the fridge.

So, over to you, which challenge would you choose? And if it is tomatoes, like us, what would you do with them?

The Lunchbox Lady x

Note: We have been chosen by Mission Foods to take part in this challenge which is also a competition with prizes.

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