Lettuce Lunch


Lunchbox: Quinoa Crusted Tofu

Tofu quinoa lunchbox

Tofu is amazing, we all know. But sometimes it can be way too squishy and needs a bit of a textural boost. How about some crunch to get things moving? No problems, just fry it up in a hot pan and you’re well on your way to crunchy tofu. What if you wanted it extra crunchy? Gosh… well, dredging it through some flour and breadcrumbs first will no doubt do the trick. But wait you say… you want it crunchier than that? Do you think you can even handle that amount of crunch? Well, don’t say we didn’t warn you. After much research into the subject, we present to you the crunchiest tofu known to man – quinoa crusted tofu!

Toasted quinoa lunchbox

Doing it this way is actually really great because the quinoa gives it a subtle nuttiness, as well as that golden, crisp texture we’re looking for. Mixing it with some roasted vegetables and you can’t go wrong! Adding quinoa not only ups the flavour profile, but also the nutritional profile – high in fibre and protein, it’s a vegetarian’s best friend in the grain department. Put it all on a bed of kale and couscous, add a little cheese for creaminess and red chilli for kick, and you’re all done. We love this one – it just has a really comforting, nourishing vibe to it.

  • Quinoa, tofu, roast carrot, roast sweet potato, toasted pine nuts, spinach, kale, goat’s cheese, spring onion, couscous, dill
  • Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries
  • Red kidney beans, sprouts

Lunchbox: Zesty avocado bowl

Sweet potato lunchbox

The only thing better than a lunch box filled with a whole bunch of nutritious, Mexican themed vegetables is covered it all in avocado citrus sauce! You can already tell this dish is going to be a winner just by looking at it. It’s pretty much some of the best vegetables under the sun all smothered in delicious avocado sauce. And the best part is, the citrus keeps the avocado fresh enough that you don’t end up with swamp sauce by the time you open your lunchbox!

Sweet potato bowl

To make it, you’ll need half an avocado. Blend it up with a little bit of olive oil, some lime juice, spicy jalapeños, salt, a little coriander and a small blob of greek yoghurt for body. You can use vegan yoghurt for this too, and you’ll still get the creaminess! You could also leave it out if you want more of a guacamole style dip. Put it in a little tub to the side and drizzle over lunch when you’re ready to go. Amy didn’t have this luxury because I wanted to photograph it, but it survived until midday even with the ever-temperamental avocado as its main constituent. Basically you can’t go wrong with this dish – awesome vegetables piled high and covered liberally in zesty avocado sauce. Mix the two sides together for a fruity chia-seed and buckwheat kernel party, and you’ve got a super healthy lunch box all ready to go!

  • Kale, red kidney beans, sweet potato, corn, coriander, avocado, red capsicum, citrus avocado sauce
  • Buckwheat kernels, blueberries
  • Chia seeds, strawberries

Lunchbox: Avocado and strawberries

Avocado strawberry lunchbox

We love toying with fruit in a typically savoury lunchbox, but as always, you must use caution! Lucky for us, the sweet profile of strawberry actually works brilliantly with creamy avocado. I mean, if it hadn’t, this wouldn’t be much of a lunchbox! Mixing these guys up with some herbs and spinach gives an extremely simple but very pleasing salad. Look how easy that was! Five minutes of prep and lunch is sorted. Maybe another five for the risoni and dark green vegetable on the side. And we’re done! Gosh. What do I do now. I feel like I need something to do. Watch TV? Meh. Read a book? Potentially. Wait… maybe there could be more to this lunch box? I know, sometime time consuming, then I won’t be bored! Chocolate bark. That takes time. Chocolate bark is the answer.

Avocado Strawberry lunchbox

Amy was very impressed when she saw the bark. Check it out, it has rose petals and everything! She’s not much of a sugar lover, but she’ll make a semi-exception for semi-sweet chocolate. That’s right, dark chocolate is in, and she loves it. I’m glad I can have some vegan, chocolatey tools in my lunchbox arsenal. Now dark chocolate is good, but I feel it’s a little lazy on its own. Maybe imbuing it with delicious nuts and fruits could help? Done and done!

If you’ve never tried to make bark before, you can probably still guess the process without me going into too many details. Surprisingly enough, what you do is melt the chocolate, lay it out, add a whole bunch of exciting things, and then re-set it. Amazing, I know! Technology these days. This makes a great little treat to set out at parties too. Everyone will ask you where you go to get your super gourmet, loaded chocolates from – and you can give them a smile and a wink and tell them you made it yourself! Instant life of the party right here. Get experimental too! You could add in pop rocks or freeze dried strawberries; anything you like really, it’s your creation so just go nuts (nuts are, incidentally, also a very good option).

  • Avocado, spinach, strawberry, mixed nuts, goat’s cheese, rosemary
  • Risoni/orzo, brussels sprouts, kale, red chilli, mushrooms
  • Dark chocolate, pomegranate, pistachios, rose petals

Lunchbox: Curry Cauliflower

Curry Cauliflower lunchbox

Giving cauliflower the spotlight can sometimes be tricky. It’s usually relegated to side salad status at best, and at worst it’s been boiled to oblivion by your grandmother and tastes like waterlogged broccoli. Bad! Cauliflower is plain, sure, but it holds flavours beautifully. You just need to know what to pair it with! Paprika could work, as could garlic and Italian herbs, but today we went for a special treat – curried cauliflower. It’s such a distinct flavour and we feel it just goes so, so well with cauliflower. Definitely give this one a try!

Curry Cauliflower lunchbox

The best part of the whole deal is, it’s really very easy to make this whole curried cauliflower thing happen. All you need is some cauliflower laid out on a baking tray. Coat with a little olive oil and then mix it with some ground coriander, cumin, and turmeric. If you’re got any premixed curry powder then it’s even easier! Spice it up with ginger or smoked paprika if you want to give it an interesting little twist, and into the oven it goes. Once it comes out that golden yellow colour you know you’ve got a great lunch box in the making! Some chickpeas complement it with a nutty flavour, and the greek yoghurt gives it a creamy body to work it. Toast up some almonds and serve with red chilli to spice it up and it’s just such a good time. Cut through all that with some sharp citrus like grapefruit to finish. Simple, elegant, delicious!

By pairing it up with a hearty and fresh chickpea salad and some brown rice you should have a very filling, nutritious lunch box on your hands. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

  • Curried cauliflower, chickpeas, toasted almonds, black rice, greek yoghurt, red chilli, sesame seeds
  • Grapefruit, orange, blueberries
  • Spinach, pepitas, cucumber