I have two lunchbox ideas for you and your children this week. The wheaten bread recipe was given to me by Olivia Rafferty, a very fine chef who has been working with me in the restaurant for the best part of 10 years.

This is the recipe we use for breakfast for our guests and it is a great hit in the cookery school. You could use natural yoghurt but the hazelnut gives is a nice nutty sweetness. Olivia left us recently to open a cafe called Fika in Killeshandra. Make sure to visit. She is a fantastic chef and I wish her the very best of luck

This tuna, sweetcorn and pasta salad will make a nice change in the lunchbox. It is also lovely with toasted bread or in a wrap. You could uses any pasta but the farfalle has a nice texture and looks well. I always keep a few tins of tuna handy. An excellent product is Shines Wild Irish Albacore Tuna which comes in jars in big chunks. I have visited the family in Cashelcummin, Co Donegal, and was delighted to meet them.

Happy cooking,


Wheaten bread

\ Philip Doyle

Makes one large or four small loaves

8oz self-raising flour

8oz wholemeal flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 level tsp bread soda

1 egg

250g hazelnut yoghurt

8oz milk

Rolled oats to sprinkle on top

1 Preheat the oven to 190°C. Sieve together the self-raising flour, baking powder and bread soda into a large bowl. Add in the wholemeal flour.

2 Mix the egg, yoghurt and milk together in a jug.

3 Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and slowly add in the wet ingredients. Mix well to combine. Do not over mix.

4 Oil a loaf tin and place the mix into the tin and sprinkle over the oats.

5 Bake at 190°C for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180°C for a further 38 to 40 minutes.

Tuna, sweetcorn & pasta salad

Serves four to six

350g (12oz) farfalle (butterfly-shaped pasta)

2 tbsp olive oil or homemade mayonnaise

1 x 200g (7oz) tin of tuna in spring water or olive oil, drained and flaked

1 x 175g (6oz) tin of sweetcorn kernels, drained (preferably with no added salt or sugar)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Plunge the farfalle into a large pan of lightly salted boiling water. Stir once and cook for 10 to 12 minutes over a medium to high heat, until tender, or according to the packet instructions.

2 Drain the pasta briefly under cold running water and drain again. Put in a bowl and fold in the olive oil or mayonnaise, then carefully fold in the flaked tuna and sweetcorn and season to taste. Cover with cling film and chill until needed. Pack into suitable containers for lunchboxes and don’t forget the fork!

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