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Sunshine Lunchbox Loaf - The sun will come out tomorrow!

Saturday, 18 April 2015
When I was a small child I had bright red hair, much the same as Annie, a character from the musical of the same name. Thankfully as I got older my hair lightened, although it is still rather ginger. As a result of being called "Annie" for years throughout my childhood, I have always had a soft spot for the musical Annie and still know the words to most of the songs.

I was asked to come up with a recipe to celebrate the DVD and Blu-ray launch of the re-make of the classic musical Annie, starring Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz. The musical is available on Digital HD on April 20 whilst the Blu-ray and DVD are released on April 27.

Annie, Blue-ray, DVD, release 27 April 2015

The sun has been out here intermittently this past week, we had a mini heatwave that lasted two days.  Mostly the Spring weather has been bright but rather chilly.  I must say that I was humming the song "Tomorrow" whilst I was baking this loaf, hopefully we'll have a few sunny and warm days soon so we can enjoy this loaf on a picnic.

This loaf is very easy to make and perfect for getting the kids in the kitchen to help prepare it.  There's measuring and mixing and grating to be done, all things kids can help with.  My 3 could probably whip this recipe up with minimal supervision, something I will test out soon I am sure.

Sunshine Lunchbox Loaf

170g instant polenta
80g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp English mustard powder
150g mixed vegetables, defrosted if frozen (I used peas, corn and carrots)
1 pepper, finely diced
2 spring onions, finely chopped
60g mature cheddar cheese, grated
juice of 1 lemon
200ml milk (I used whole milk)
2 medium free range eggs
4 Tblsp oil (I used sunflower oil)

Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas Mark 6.  Grease and line a loaf tin, I used a 2lb/900g loaf tin.  

Measure the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir to mix well.  Add the prepared vegetables and mix to coat them with the dry ingredients, this will stop them from sinking to the bottom of your loaf.  Stir through the cheese.

Put the lemon juice in to a large jug then make up to 250ml with whole milk.  Let stand for a few minutes, you want the mixture to curdle and make buttermilk.  Add the eggs to the milk mixture and mix to combine, then add the oil and stir once again.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently mix until completely combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35 - 45 minutes until cooked though or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean.  Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  Slice and enjoy! We devoured ours with cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices for a light lunch.

I am adding this loaf to Credit Crunch Munch, the blogging challenge created by Helen and Camilla, which I am hosting this month as I used leftover vegetables in the loaf, spring onions from our garden and made my own buttermilk substitute.

This loaf is also perfect for No Waste Food Challenge, created and hosted by Elizabeth this month.  I used leftover vegetables in my loaf and also a lemon that was slightly passed its best to make the buttermilk substitute.

I'm also submitting this loaf into Extra Veg, the challenge created by myself and Helen, hosted this month by Jo from Jo's Kitchen.  There are 5 different vegetables in this loaf so it more than qualifies.

** I was compensated for my time, expertise and ingredients used when creating this recipe **


  1. What a great way to use polenta. I only recently discovered polenta and I love it!

  2. This sounds so interesting, I've never had a polenta loaf before! It looks so colourful though and as you say, perfect for picnics!

  3. Lovely loaf Michelle. I love how bright it is and also all the extra veggie!

  4. What a fab, tasty and healthy loaf, I too have never used polenta in bread before so thank you for sharing this with #CreditCrunchMunch:-)

  5. I love the colour of this! Perfect for picnics too! Thank you for sharing with the No Waste Food Challenge! :)

  6. I usually make veggie soup with all the veg left in the fridge the day before shopping day but was getting a little bored of that. This is a great idea and a perfect accompaniment to summer salads and picnics. Thanks!

  7. Do you think this would be ok for my 11month boys? They've both had eggs before so I know there's no allergy risk with that ingredient?

    1. I've given it to my 8 month old and he was fine. I think if should be OK as long as there are no allergies in the family :)


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