Lettuce Lunch

Lunchbots

Lunchbox: Beetroot tart

Beetroot tart

Beetroot tart. Enough said right? Sign me up! Making this one was actually a whole lot of fun as I don’t really venture into the baking side of things too often, and the results actually turned out really well! As far as baking goes this might not be the most complicated or advanced recipe (ok – you could probably make this whole thing while blindfolded, I admit!) but damned if the results aren’t anything short of amazing. Naturally for something so simple, you’ve got to get the flavours just right, but really how can you go wrong with toasted pine nuts, caramelised onion, rosemary, goat’s cheese… um… I need to go make this again right now, excuse me!

Beetroot smaller

I think the reason this it works so well is because of all the contrasts. You’ve got earthy beetroot on a light, flaky crust, served up on a fresh bed of spinach and asparagus – and that’s only the first compartment! Roasted sweet potato or pumpkin to give you some hearty, long-lasting energy and crisp apple and pear with walnuts for dessert, with a little sprig of mint to cleanse the palate; talk about a roller coaster of tastes and textures right? Mixing things up like this keeps everything interesting from first bite to last and is something I always try to be mindful of when coming up with new creations.

Additionally, lavender! If you’re lucky enough to have access to fresh lavender then awesome, on it goes. Take note though, it looks beautiful and a little bit adds a very interesting flavour that really elevates things (floral, herby… a little bitter?), but just the tiniest pinch too much can turn a sophisticated tart into a potpourri pie – that’s bad!

  • Beetroot, puff pastry, goat’s cheese, toasted pine nuts, caramelised onion, lavender flowers, rosemary, asparagus, spinach
  • Roasted sweet potato
  • Apple, pear, walnut, mint

Lunchbox: Crispy Cauliflower Tacos

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Cauliflower tacos… what a world! Hot on the heels of our Moroccan quinoa box I figured we would try Mexico next. And when I think Mexican food, I think tacos! When it comes to making vegetarian versions of typically meaty dishes, there’s always a couple of good options. Marinated tofu works, as do simply using some meat alternatives, but I think our absolute favourite is the tried and tested method of frying vegetables until crunchy and delicious – we opted for cauliflower here to do the honours, and didn’t regret it for a second. Caulies are great for this because they’re pretty forgiving in regards to time spent cooking; definitely important when that crispy coating is browning up and you don’t really want to worry about if what’s inside is done or not!

If you’re looking to batter the cauliflower yourself, it’s so, so easy, and always worth the effort. Whisk an egg, or mix up some egg substitute and dip the cauliflower in this briefly. While it’s wet, dredge it through some flour mixed with panko bread crumbs (panko optional – super crispy mode). After that it’s all pretty straightforward, into the oil it goes! Remove from heat when browned, and you’re good to go.

Of course, every great taco needs a creamy element and some heat – here we have a little dab of greek yoghurt, some cracked pepper cheddar and a bit of chilli to round out the flavour profile. Pair it with a little taco sauce, a splash of lime juice, and a green salad and that’s that – crispy cauliflower tacos 🙂

 

  • Cauliflower, chilli, cracked pepper cheddar, coriander, taco sauce, soft taco, lime, mixed leaves
  • Kidney beans, tomato, spring onion, sesame seeds
  • Oranges

Lunchbox: Quinoa roast vegetable salad

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Here’s the thing about roasted vegetables – you just can’t go wrong with them. If these crunchy little gems were sitting on a fresh salad, you would have a hit. If they were over brown rice and steamed greens, you guessed it, hit. If they were in a soup… wait… no, don’t do that. Everything else – perfect. With that in mind, I thought some quinoa and goat’s cheese would be a great little combination. Coriander, charred capsicum and red onion help to give it a bit of kick and the pomegranate seeds are a fun way to fresh things up a bit.

Lunch 3 close

Amy loved it, of course – though I have suspicions extra large portion of dark raspberry chocolate may have helped! I mean… it never hurts, right? Put it next to some fresh, crisp vegetables and you get a really balanced lunchbox. We were going for a bit of a Moroccan vibe here with the quinoa, and I think it worked out really well – definitely inspiration to do some more ‘around the world’ Lettuce Lunch posts! What do you guys think – where to next? 🙂

  • Quinoa, roasted potato and sweet potato, red onion, coriander, pomegranate, goat’s cheese, charred capsicum
  • Lindt raspberry chip dark chocolate
  • Red cabbage, spring onion, carrot

Lunchbox: Basil pesto mini pizzas

Lunch 2

Oh pizza… so amazingly delicious, but what’s with all those calories? You make us simultaneously happy and sad and we need to work on you. What if we could have a saucy, crunchy pizza experience while leaving the extra baggage out of it? Time to get to work!

It was from this simple need that the basil pesto mini pizza was created. Look, when you really think about it, pizza doesn’t have to be so bad for you. Replacing the white base with whole grain is a great start, and if you don’t add cheese and focus on the vegetables then you’re essential just having a salad with a bit of bread on the side, which doesn’t sound nearly so bad. Replacing the traditional sauce with pesto just gives it a fresher taste. Is it pizza? Is it some sort of open-faced sandwich/foccacia hybrid? Well, whatever it is, it works, so we’ll leave the naming conventions up to you.

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The real beauty of these pizzas/not pizzas is, of course, that you don’t really have to follow a recipe. You just load it up with whatever you like or have on hand, and go to town. Even the pesto is optional! It goes really well with the whole grain, but if you prefer a tomato based sauce, go right ahead. The olives are a must though! That little hit of salt really elevates the flavour – just don’t go overboard! Pair it with something fresh and sweet, and you have a healthy, filling lunchtime treat. Enjoy!

  • Wholegrain bread or muffin, mixed beans, tomato, pumpkin, olives, pine nuts, caramelised onion, pesto, mixed leaves, avocado
  • Granola, yoghurt, pomegranate, pepitas
  • Strawberries