It's that time of year. The Scotsman suggests alternatives to school lunches or marmite sandwiches. No, haggis is not one of them.
Hummus and roasted pepper wraps
• 400g can of chickpeas, drained • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped • juice of 2 lemons • 2 tbsp tahini • 2 tsp ground cumin • extra-virgin olive oil • roasted peppers, slivered • wheat-flour tortillas
For the hummus, place the first five ingredients in a food processor, blend until smooth and then add enough oil to make a thickish purée - about four tablespoons, adding a little warm water to thin down further if necessary. Season to taste.
Spread some hummus all over each tortilla, then top with peppers. Fold up into wraps and cover in foil or clingfilm to pack.
Bacon and egg in filo pastry
• 200g streaky bacon, diced • 3-4 large sheets of filo pastry • 2 tbsp olive oil • 3 large free-range eggs • 100ml milk • 150ml double cream • 1-2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
Fry the bacon in a dry pan (adding a little oil if necessary) until crispy, then drain on kitchen paper. Lay out the filo sheets and brush lightly with oil, then fold over in half. Use these to line a square 18cm baking tin (mine is 5cm deep), placing each folded sheet of pastry across at an angle (these will overlap naturally - don't worry if it looks a bit messy: the pastry needs to be quite thick to stop the filling leaking out); brush these with some oil as you go. The edges will look a little ragged, so trim them if you prefer a neat edge.
Scatter the bacon over the base. In a bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, cream and some pepper and cheese (add one or two tablespoonfuls, depending on whether you want a pronounced cheesy flavour or not).
Pour this over the bacon and then bake in a preheated oven (190°C/375°F/gas 5) for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are golden-brown and the filling just set. If any of the filo edges are too dark, just snap them off. Allow to cool before cutting.
I have adapted this from one of the most important books of 2005, The Dinner Lady, by Jeanette Orrey (Bantam Press, £16.99).
Place the dates in a saucepan with 200ml of water and the lemon zest. Bring to the boil, stir well and allow to bubble, uncovered, for eight to ten minutes - until soft and thick. Then set this aside.
Place the flour, butter and sugar in a food processor and whizz briefly, then stir in the oats. Tip half of this into a buttered shallow, rectangular (28cm x 18cm) baking tin and press down. Spread the date mixture all over and then sprinkle over the remaining oat mixture, like a crumble.
Bake at 200°C/400°F/gas 6 for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden, and then remove and cut into 16 slices. Only remove from the tin to a wire rack when cold.