Pack that Lunchbox! With Lily Hahn Stevens


Packing exciting school lunchboxes is one task I often fall short on. Mostly because of my my lack of planning and effort but also my little audience's unwillingness to try anything too far beyond the classic zucchini slice or ham sandwich. Though I think the latter is probably a definite consequence of the former. In any case, this year is going to be different. I'm going to fill those boxes with healthy, exciting goodies that be eaten and loved every day. Or I'll try at least. And in doing so, have asked a few local lovelies to offer up some new ideas and inspiration for awesome lunchboxes.

Today, one day before we head back to school (here at least) I'm kicking off with a few recipes by one of the coolest chicks I know. Miss Lily Hahn-Stevens.

I've known Lily for years, we used to work together at the Union Bank and since she's gone on to become an exhibited artist (see details of her upcoming show below), a seriously great baker and more recently, the co-owner of a brand new restaurant set to open soon here in Orange.

There's been great excitement in Orange since word spread that Lily and partner Sam Aldeguer were planning a new restaurant at 179 Anson St, (the former site of Bistro Ceello and before that Selkirks). Two in Tow Bistro will be open on the 3rd of March (Tuesday) with a menu of modern Bistro style food, recreating mostly classic French dishes, with a slight mix of other cuisine influences. Their website is just being finished off but the restaurant will be open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday, brunch and lunch on Sundays.

So while we all have to wait another month to try Lil's food at the restaurant, we can at least make it for our kids and our own lunchboxes! And after tasting all of the below I'd be over the moon if somebody made this for lunch for me. My little mate Tom was too when he came along on the shoot and tried everything (the LSA chocolate and coconut balls were our favourite, they are really really delicious).

Sushi Sambo's

Make with your kids favourite sandwich fillings, here we used avocado, baby spinach, cheese, carrot and ham.

Take two slices of wholemeal bread and cut off crusts (keep aside), then flatten bread with rolling pin. Spread with mashed avocado, or guacamole then layer with baby spinach and cheese. Use a peeler to make ribbon like threads and bunch up on top of cheese. Slice cheeks off a tomato and cut lengths, into 2cm widths and then, using a slice of ham roll up two pieces of tomato inside to make a log shape the same length as the bread. Once all your fillings are on the bread, roll up into a firm sushi log, cut each roll in to three. Enjoy!

Pick up carrot-sticks

Any raw veggies will do (carrots, beans, cucumber) cut into strips or fun shapes, with the left over crust dry out in oven.

Thinly slice the carrots, beans or left over crusts (dry in the oven first) then arrange on a plate or in a container in a big pile. The kids can then have a go at picking up as many veggie sticks as possible before moving the pile. Just a bit of fun! Serve with an avocado smash dip. Or a store bought one of your choice will do perfectly too.

Fruity kebabs with natural yoghurt, honey and freeze dried strawberry.

Thread any seasonal fruit onto a kebab skewer (we used grape, halved strawberries, blackberries and blueberries) then pack with a little tub of natural yogurt sweetened with honey and sprinkled with crushed freeze-dried strawberries. 

LSA Choc and Coconut Bites, with freeze dried Raspberry Sprinkles

60g  butter
40g  coconut oil
100g  pitted dates
100g  LSA (Linseed, Sunflower-seed, Almond. Ground mix, find it in the heath food section of your grocery store)
100g desiccated coconut
100g white or dark chocolate
10g freeze dried raspberrys, roughly chopped up (available at most supermarkets)

Melt the butter, coconut oil and dates together then transfer to a food processor, add remaining ingredients and blitz until well combined. Roll mixture into round balls then place in the fridge to set for at least 20 minutes.

Melt the chocolate then drizzle over your LSA balls (or dip them into the choc) and sprinkle with the freeze dried raspberries.
Note - if mix is too dry that it wont stick together when you squeeze it in your hand, you may need to add a little more butter.

As mentioned above, Lily is also working on her first solo art exhibition which opens this Friday night in Orange. See you there!

'Sparkle Cyanide' will be at The Corner Store Gallery
Located: 382 Summer St, Orange NSW 2800
Opening night: Friday 30th January 6pm - 8pm (everyone welcome)
Start:    Thu, Jan 29, 2015 11:00am
Finish:  Sun, Feb 15, 2015 4:00pm

For more details about this exhibition, plus a great interview with Lil about her work, check out the Corner Stone Gallery's blog.

Big, huge thanks to local store Jumbled for loaning us all the gorgeous props used in this post. Jumbled is one of my favourite places in Orange; full of colour and beautiful things (there's also a fantastic online store for those unable to make it there in person!)


  1. The new restaurant sounds great we will have to try it out sometime when we are up that way.

  2. Love the props and bright colours Sophie...I wish MY lunches looked this good some days x

  3. This is such an amazing idea and it was interesting to read .... Very much thanks again and best of luck!
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  4. Your photos look so inspiring! Thank you for sharing this recipe :) Have a nice day!
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  5. I just want to say : why do I not find this article sooner ! thankyou so much!
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  6. Well, if it looks good and tastes good, the kids will eat it...
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