Lettuce Lunch

Vegetarian

Lunchbox: Avocado and green bean salad

Avocado bean salad lunchbox

Can we take some time to just sit and appreciate how cool star fruit looks. Have you guys tried it? It’s not bad – sort of along the lines of dragonfruit in the looks vs flavour department… definitely leans more towards form than function as the taste is mild to say the least, but the texture and mouthfeel is fresh enough that it goes well in fruit salads or where other foods can carry it. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t mind them at all! It’s just not the tour de force of flavour that you would expect from such a dynamic looking fruit. I mean, look! They’re bright and golden and look like a star… there is no part of that I don’t like. Award for best dressed in the fruit department goes to starfruit. Leave mango or watermelon to battle it out for the title of tastiest fruit – work with what you’ve got, starfruit.

Avocado green bean salad lunchbox

As for the rest, it’s time zesty, tropical avocado lunch box today! It’s no secret we love pairing lime, avocado, sweet potato and spicy sauce up – that combo featured heavily in our mexi-box we made a couple of weeks ago! This time avocado takes centre stage though. Crunchy beans are there for texture, as are the spiced nuts, while red chilli and sriracha bring the heat. Tie it all together with the lime wedge and you’re got a hearty, fresh lunch box just begging to be eaten!

  • Avocado, lime, spring onion, red chilli, red cabbage, spiced nuts, carrot, green beans, sweet potato, spinach
  • Cucumber, coriander, black rice
  • Starfruit, watermelon

Lunchbox: Basil pesto pasta

Basil pesto pasta lunchbox

Amy loves pasta, so thought i’d focus on making her the best pasta lunch box out there! I must confess, I often struggle with pasta. The issue is… I just don’t like it! I don’t know what my Italian grandfather would say – probably just shake his head. I’ve tried it in all shapes and sizes. I’ve eaten it in Italy. It’s just not my thing! I much prefer rice. That said, cooking something you don’t eat is super challenging! In a way it’s sort of fun, like making a lunch box blindfolded, almost. Culinarily blindfolded? That works! I wonder – does anyone else have to deal with this at home – a significant other or family member who just loves something you can’t stand, but you cook it for them anyway? Tell me stories, I’d love to hear them 😂

Basil pesto pasta lunchbox

 

All that said, according to Amy I did a very good job with today’s lunch box. Really, how can you go wrong though – assuming you like pasta – with a huge pile of vege ravioli on roasted kale and spinach salad. Pine nuts, basil and goat’s cheese adorn the top to boost the flavour, with beetroot working in the background to give some earthy tones.

Now, if you have access to fresh basil, go out and pick some! We love it and it really helps the lunch box out. If not, you should consider it – it’s totally easy to grow, even in a pot. We ended up planting some basil seeds in the garden and within a couple of months had a veritable forest of basil. Taking the raised garden bed into account, it was pretty much head height! It was crazy. In the end we had to get rid of it, apparently there is such a thing as too much basil. Come to think of it, this may have been my fault – instead of appropriate spacing, I usually just throw the entire seed packets in and hope for the best. I guess all that competition really worked out and pushed them to grow as highly as possible. I’ll count it as a win, even if it did try to take over the entire garden!

Now oh yes where were we – the lunch box! Pair it with some tomatoes and asparagus to keep that Italian theme going, then finish with some coconut yoghurt and fresh fruit for dessert. What a feast!

  • Spinach, kale, ravioli, beetroot, pine nuts, basil, goat’s cheese
  • Nectarine, fig, grapefruit, rose petals coconut yoghurt
  • Asparagus, tomato

Lunchbox: Snow pea salad

Snow pea salad lunchbox

Sometimes nothing beats a bright, fresh salad filled with all the flavours you love. No forced rainbows or super exotic ingredients, though these are fun! No, sometimes you just want familiar flavours that work. For this, we have the super fresh snow pea lunchbox! Snow peas for a fresh crunch, tomatoes for their bold flavour, toasted pepitas for a bit of texture – you can’t go wrong.

Snow pea salad lunchbox

To fill it out, we went with a couscous, red kidney bean and hummus stack. Don’t forget the chilli on top for a bit of kick! This section ensures you don’t feel a bit underfed – green vegetables and salad are so, so good for you but sometimes if you don’t pair it with something a little heavier you end up feeling hungry again pretty soon – crisis averted here.

What’s also exciting in this lunch box is we went to the organic store and tried some Coyo! We’ve heard so much about Coyo in the past and thought we just had to give it a try. It’s this dairy free coconut yoghurt which has a different sort of texture to some of the yoghurts we’re used to. It’s definitely more solid! Anyway we loved their branding so knew we had to try some and weren’t disappointed. We paired it up with some crunchy, dark cacao nibs and fresh fruit to make it sing, then served it over some organic puffed cereal. Heaven!

  • Snow peas, cherry tomatoes, toasted pepitas, carrot, red cabbage, rosemary spinach leaves
  • Couscous, red kidney beans, hummus, red chilli
  • Coconut yoghurt, puffed cereal, cacao nibs, strawberries, blueberry

Lunchbox: Rainbow toast

Rainbow toast lunchbox

Avocado on toast gets so much of the spotlight these days, and for good reason. It’s super delicious, and healthy too! But whatever happened to the original – herbed peas on toast? This is a classic that has fallen by the wayside while avocado takes all the glory. Well not today! Oh no, here in this lunchbox avocado plays a minor supporting role in a kale salad, while herbed peas get to relive their halcyon days as the king of fancy toast toppers. Just look at them, so majestic, sitting there on a throne of lesser vegetables. I mean I don’t really think they’re lesser but let’s just indulge them today – after all, peas have had a rough couple of years with all these new superfoods overtaking them in the popularity stakes. It’s ok peas, we still love you!

Rainbow toast lunchbox

The real trick here is to bring out their flavour to the best of your ability. The vegan cream cheese gives the peas some body, while a little squeeze of lemon on top will help get it all moving and better incorporate the herbs. Rosemary and peas and best friends, but there’s no reason dill can’t play nice too. Crunch it down with some toast and the rest of the vegetables and you have a really healthy, simple, elegant dish that won’t leave you disappointed. If anything, it should leave you positively glowing – peas are, after all, high in manganese, plus vitamins K and B1. Yum!

  • Peas, vegan cream cheese, rosemary, dill, pepper, toast, corn, sweet potato, red capsicum, black rice
  • Blueberries, strawberries
  • Kale, avocado