Back to School

Back to School by Imran Nathoo

By Imran Nathoo

With schools going back for a new year I’ve put together three cracking recipes that are sure to keep those lunchboxes interesting. As a dad of two Imran knows it is far too easy to fall into the same routine for packed lunches but by mixing things up a bit it makes meal times more appealing. With all of these recipes they can be doubled to make more and can be made in advance. These recipes are not exclusively for school lunch boxes they would work for all ages! From taking lunch to the office or working from home!

If you do make any of these dishes please take pics and tag @dragon_wales @kitchenclonc

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​Cheddar and mixed pepper quesadillas with roasted tomato sauce.

A super easy, versatile dish that can be made in advance, packs in some veg and tastes brilliant. The sauce here is to dip the quesadillas into and is totally delicious but also optional. Feel free to mix up the peppers and cheese you use. Sweetcorn and some finely diced red onion would work well too! As would the awesome Dragon Welsh Oaked Smoked Cheddar. Enjoy!


Serves: 2 people

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: Quesadillas 10-20 mins; Sauce 45-60 mins


  • 100g Dragon Welsh Cheddar cheese mild/mature – grated
  • ½ red pepper – finely diced
  • ½ yellow pepper – finely diced
  • 4 soft mini tortilla wraps
  • 165g cherry tomatoes
  • ½ a bulb of garlic
  • Oil rapeseed/olive
  • Salt and pepper





  • Preheat oven to 160c, cut the cherry tomatoes in half, mix with a little oil and seasoning in a bowl then arrange cut side up on a baking tray. Slowly roast for 45-60 mins.
  • For the garlic wrap up half a bulb of garlic in some foil and place directly on a shelf in oven and roast at the same time as the tomatoes.
  • Once the time is up; transfer the tomatoes and one roasted garlic clove (peeled) to a blender and blitz to a thick sauce consistency. Season as required. Transfer to a suitable pot with a lid.
  • Meanwhile; mix the grated cheese with the peppers in another bowl then top one tortilla with 100g of the mix. Top this with another tortilla then transfer to a dry frying pan on a medium heat.
  • Cook on each side for 5 mins or until each side is golden and the cheese within is melted.
  • Repeat as required to finish the cheese and pepper mix or reserve for another day.
  • Allow to cool and slice into quarters then wrap appropriately.
  • Preheat oven to 160c, cut the cherry tomatoes in half, mix with a little oil and seasoning in a bowl then arrange cut side up on a baking tray. Slowly roast for 45-60 mins. Allow to cool.

Greek Salad Pitta Pockets (Via Caerphilly)

I’ve given the classic salad a little twist and have used the superbly salty and crumbly Caerphilly cheese instead of feta. It works a treat! Also roasting the tomatoes intensifies the flavour but dries them out. The aim is to prevent the pitta from getting soggy. Alternatively you can use some ready made sun dried tomatoes to speed things up! This tastes great on its own so the dressing is optional but provides another hit of flavour and can be drizzled as you go. Or serve this salad style with pitta on the side.

Serves 2

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 45-60 mins (mainly for the tomatoes)



  • 100g Dragon Welsh Caerphilly Cheese – diced or crumbled into large chunks
  • 165g cherry tomatoes
  • 60g cucumber – halved length ways, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 red onion – sliced
  • 40g sliced black olives
  • 1 little gem lettuce – sliced
  • 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large whole wheat pitta bread


  • In a bowl mix the roasted tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olives and little gem.
  • Add the Caerphilly cheese and mix.
  • For the dressing; combine the juice from 1 lemon, half the amount of oil to lemon juice, dried oregano and seasoning. Mix well and placed into a small pot with a lid.
  • Heat up the pitta breads in a toaster or under a grill until it rises in the middle; cut in half width ways and open up each half to reveal a pocket.
  • Fill each half generously then wrap appropriately.

Oat and chocolate bars

These are not only simple to make they pack a real energy boost and taste delicious. Perfect for lunch boxes and make plenty for the full week. Cut into bars or squares and use your preferred chocolate. I use dark chocolate to keep the sugar content down but flavour high! This can be made with no added sugar but if you wish then sugar can be added as shown to sweeten.

Makes 12 portions

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 20-25 mins


  • 280g oats – blitzed to a flour in a food processor
  • 100g Dragon Welsh Salted butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 75g peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 100g of plain dark chocolate – cut into chunks
  • 50g golden caster sugar (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 180c then grease and line a baking tray (9×13 inch/23×33 cm or similar).
  • In a bowl combine the oat ‘flour’ and baking powder.
  • In a small saucepan melt the butter then pour into another bowl and combine with the peanut butter, vanilla extract, mashed banana, sugar (if using) and lastly the eggs. Mix together until combined.
  • Then fold in the flour mixture to the wet mixture until absorbed.
  • Stir in the chunks of chocolate.
  • Then transfer the mixture to the baking tray and press to spread the mixture and flatten out.
  • Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20-25 mins or until golden.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool fully in the tin.
  • Once cooled then lift out of the tin using the greaseproof paper and slice into bars or squares.
  • Store in an air tight container then wrap individual portions as required.