With the recent outbreak of listeriosis in South Africa, your fave lunchbox fillers are a definite no go. Listeriosis is food poisoning caused by the Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) bacterium. The bacteria can be found in processed meats, such as polony, viennas, russians, frankfurters and other processed meat that’s not usually cooked. This bacterium is especially dangerous to children, the elderly and pregnant women, causing nausea, diarrhoea, nervous system damage and, in the worst of cases, death.
Given the great danger of consuming listeria contaminated foods, it’s advised that you do not eat foods that could possibly be contaminated with the bacterium. So ensure that food is throughly washed, your food prep areas are clean and cook any meats that you will be eating (cooking kills the bacteria). But now you’re missing your favourite ham and cheese sandwich. No worries, here are 7 lunchbox alternatives to your usual sandwich fillers.
Spread some of this chickpea goodness all over your toast, crackers, flat bread-just spread it every where! You can add some roasted or fresh veg, and some cheese to make an epic sandwich. Hummus also comes in a variety of flavours, so imagine the possibilities. Not up for a sandwich? Toss some actual chickpeas into a salad to spice things up.
This fishy favourite, whether canned or fresh, makes for a great sandwich filler. The canned version is inexpensive, and high in protein. Mix it with a little low-fat mayo, some lovely spices and herbs and, yay, you’ve got a tasty sandwich! If you’re not keen on mayo, give plain yoghurt a try for a low-fat alternative.
Eggs are so great! High in protein, vitamin A and lutein, eggs are the lunchbox hero! They can be poached, scrambled, boiled and made into a delicious frittata – the possibilities are endless!
Okay, you can’t exactly put soup on a sandwich but you can have some bread with it. With soups, you have so many options and they don’t require any processed meats.
Peanut Butter and Honey
This childhood favourite is a source of protein and healthy fats. You get a variety of nut butters, so if peanuts aren’t your thing, try almond butter. Drizzle some honey (get the real stuff) over the peanut butter for a healthy alternative.
Ahh, the humble avocado. This favourite pairs well with literally everything but it’s great on its own too. And the best news? March marks the start of avo season. Hooray! Have it in a salad, on your burger or sandwich and you won’t even miss the meat!