Lunch time! And to celebrate, something really special – fig and pumpkin salad! Brimming with toasted nuts and herbs and accompanied by some dark chocolate, this is one of the most boldly flavoured lunchboxes i’ve made here at Lettuce Lunch! In fact i’d almost go as far as to say adults-only. Lettuce Lunch after dark? I suppose there’s nothing too scandalous here other than some very mature flavours. If you have smart kids that happen to like super dark chocolate and eating figs in their salad then more power to them, they could probably enjoy this lunchbox as much as anyone else. I know as a kid I was just happy with a roll-up and apple slices – fig salad being perhaps a touch beyond my limited palette at the time. That said, something must have eventually clicked because here we are – what a lunchbox this was!
So roast up some pumpkin and give it a try. You’ve got all these super hearty flavours mingling with toasty, savoury crunch from the almonds. If you’re going to make it, go the whole way and toast the nuts – totally worth it. Spoil yourself with dark chocolate and soya crisps – alright, so this isn’t the usual green goddess lunchbox, but you know, sometimes you have to treat yourself! Life hack: focus on the fruit and the broccolini section and you can trick yourself into thinking this lunchbox will provide a net gain in regards to health. It can be our little secret, I won’t tell – promise!
- Fig, pumpkin, kidney beans, almonds, tofutti cream cheese, pine nuts, rosemary, parsley
- Strawberries, raspberries, rockmelon, blueberries, starfruit
- Broccolini, spinach
- Dark chocolate
- Soya crisps
Getting back to basics today with roast vegetable salad! Now really, is there any vegan, vegetarian, carnivore, omnivore or well, anyone at all – who can resist hearty, crispy, delicious roast vegetables? I think not! If only they didn’t take so long to make. That said, it’s minimal effort, it just takes forever, so in a sense it’s really an exercise in planning for the future. They should teach kids this in school as in introduction to the concept of delayed gratification – don’t pay attention, you get raw potatoes and sadness. Study just enough to get through? Boiled potatoes. Work hard and plan ahead for your future? Your reward is crunchy, golden potatoes and success in all your endeavours. Whether the success part actually works out in practise another matter entirely, but at the very least they got some nice roasted potatoes out of it, which is what’s really important. I mean, people define success in different ways but let’s be honest, if you have roasted potatoes in your life… haven’t you already won?
Ahem, anyway, moving on, let’s take a look at what we have here today! Crunch go those potatoes, but the eagle eyed here will notice that the roast vegetables are paired up with their very best friend in the world, rosemary, straight from the herb garden! Broccolini, sugar snap and leaves are there to up the fresh, healthy vibes, and the cous cous and spicy hummus mix is there to give it some body. Body you think, isn’t the potato enough! Well, I find too much of a good thing can spoil it, so I like to go pretty light on these and back it up with cous cous for a more interesting flavour profile.
Now fruit salad for dessert is always a winner, and this time we even had fun little special guest along, kiwi berries! I had never seen these before so had to get them when the opportunity arose – sure enough, it’s a kiwifruit the size of a berry. You can eat them whole (they aren’t disconcertingly furry, as real kiwifruit are) or can chop them up and eat them like this. They taste just like a kiwifruit but my gosh they look cute. Google it if you’ve never seen one before, they are basically grapes, except with kiwi inside – and there’s no part of that collaboration I don’t love.
- Roasted potato, sweet potato, carrot, broccolini, baby corn, sugar snap peas, rocket, spinach, peas, pepitas, chili, rosemary, coriander
- Cous cous, hummus, spiced peanuts, pistachios, smoked paprika
- Nectarine, watermelon, raspberry, kiwi berries
Everyone loves pasta right – easy, reliable, well-respected, near universally regarded – basically, a classic! That said, I am one of the few that don’t like pasta that much. I know, I know! Blasphemy! That just means I like to spice up pasta in some non-traditional ways, seeing as the traditional way isn’t really that exciting to me. And hey even for the most ardent pasta fans, it’s always great to mix things up in the kitchen. Enter spiced curried cauliflower!
Sure, it makes no sense from a cultural standpoint. But taste wise, what’s not to love! SO all you do is get some cauliflower, give it a little bit of oil, dredge it through a curry powder/bread crumb mix and roast it in the over until it’s looking crispy and golden all over, which shouldn’t take long. And there you have it – fast, easy, goes great with pasta. Astound your friends and family with how multicultural and diverse your palette is, smashing Italian and Indian cuisines together like it wasn’t a big deal at all. Go you! I even went a bit further and added some hummus – remember, we’re thinking about flavour combinations here! Anyway, we liked it and the whole thing had a very savoury, hearty feel, so give it a try and let us know what you think!
- Tricolour spirals, curried cauliflower, broccoli, tomato, basil, pine nuts
- Green beans, sweet potato, red cabbage, chili flakes
- Pomegranate seeds, avocado, beetroot hummus
- Blueberries, raspberries, rose petals
- Strawberries, nectarine
So excited to share this one with you! You might think, looking at it, a more suitable name would have been ‘tofu and kale salad’ or something along those lines, given that it takes up the biggest compartment and is the main dish – but just look at that watermelon. Look at it! It even has little seeds and everything. Let’s be honest, it’s the star here. Nothing that adorable can ever take second place – no, the spotlight is on you today, watermelon jelly slices!
I love these little guys. They’re so fun to make, plus they look and taste amazing. Let’s walk through it together so you can make your own! Firstly, jelly crystals. We were lucky enough to find some vegan watermelon jelly, which works for Amy. Mix it up as per the instructions, and add a bit of watermelon juice or pulp as it cools to give it that cloudy look and super watermelon taste (artificial watermelon flavour has nothing on the real thing!). Once it has cooled to room temperature, take the two halves of a hollowed out lime and fill them with the mixture. Chill this in the fridge until set, then slice into smaller wedges and cover with black sesame seeds. Talk about fun! I still can’t get over how cute the seeds are 😂
Now that they’re done, I suppose we should take a look at the rest of the lunchbox too! Marinated tofu on a fresh salad is always a good choice, and a simple rainbow fruit salad is also classic. Add a kidney bean salad for some long-lasting energy and smoked almonds for crunch, and you have an incredible lunch box on your hands. Enjoy!
- Tofu, kale, spring onion, sugar snap peas, avocado, red chilli, pine nuts, spinach
- Raspberries, strawberries, nectarine, pineapple, kiwi, blueberries, flowers
- Red kidney beans, tomato, red capsicum, micro-herbs
- Vegan watermelon jelly wedges, granola, flowers
- Smoked almonds