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The Mag Summer Lunchbox Contest: The winners are in!

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You showed us: your best lunchbox creations to inspire the rest of us to pack our lunches, too. Yes, it can be a healthier, cheaper alternative to picking up a takeaway, but sometimes the fun begins at the process. We’ve selected five winning entries from the submissions to The Mag Summer Lunchbox Contest via Facebook and email – congratulations to the winners and let’s take a closer look at their creations!

Pretty in Pink

Swan Wong (construction)
Swan’s creation caught our eye with its gorgeous shade of bright pink thanks to beetroot, which she blends with tofu, sweet potato and protein powder, before adding nuts and cornflakes. This extraordinary-looking dish is packed with a ton of nutrients, and only took her about 10 minutes to prepare. “It’s low in calories but high in essential nutrients such as protein and fibre,” she says. “For me, it’s really about healthy eating. I often have to eat out due to work, but I also enjoy bringing my own lunch once in a while, since it’s cheaper, too.”

Classics Reinvented

Kate Law (legal services)
Spicy Xinjiang noodles are rich in flavour but are often high in salt, oil and sugar, which is why we loved Kate’s adaptation of this classic dish. “The recipes I’d found online were all quite fattening because of the seasonings and cooking methods used,” she says. “I’ve changed some of the ingredients and steps. For example, instead of high-calorie ketchup, I made the sauce myself with fresh tomatoes and vinegar, so even the weight-conscious can enjoy it.” We also liked that she’d added veggie dumplings as a side, which makes for a hearty, satisfying meal.

Eating a Rainbow

Ray Fong (food and beverage)
Ray’s lunchbox reminded us of a rainbow – and if you’ve heard of the “rainbow diet”, you’ll know colourful vegetables offer a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. With his box of crunchy, fresh goodies, you’ll get all the nutrients you need in one meal. “I fill my box with nourishing treats such as chopped bell peppers and superfood kale for lunchtime and beyond,” he says. “Sweet bell peppers are my favourite, as they are packed with beta-carotene and vitamin C. The key is to eat them raw to avoid loss of nutrients during cooking.”

Perfect Balance

Karl Ma (education)
We loved Karl’s take on a traditional Japanese bento, which he created to help him maintain a balanced diet of carbs, protein and vegetables. “I find it difficult to include a lot of vegetables in my meals when eating out in Hong Kong,” he says. So for his homemade lunchbox, he’s used choy sum and nikujaga, a beef, potato and onion stew. “I’ve also added carrots, shirataki noodles and tamagoyaki (rolled omelette),” he adds. “I’d spent an afternoon looking for the ingredients at the market, but it was worth the time. When I opened my lunchbox the next day, I felt great looking at the ‘artwork’ that I’d created.”

A Taste of Home

Ivy Yim (food and beverage)
The reasons for this winning entry are two-fold: it’s a creation that not only inspires us to modify a favourite recipe to cater to a need, but in fact, it’s also a box of love between Ivy and her mum. “My lunchbox may look ordinary, but it’s a special gift from my mum,” she shares. “We’d chosen the ingredients together. As I’m trying to reduce my carb intake, we’d used quinoa instead of rice for this lunchbox. Other ingredients include cauliflower, vegetarian goose and imitation crab stick.” For seasoning, she used sea salt and black pepper – and sprinkled some chili flakes to add some spice. “It’s healthy and quite easy to make, taking us just half an hour to prepare. And most importantly, it tastes like home.”
Check out these easy prep-and-pack lunchbox ideas and start making your own lunch!
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