Lettuce Lunch

Vegetarian

Lunchbox: Star Wars Bento!

Star wars bento lunchbox

Star Wars bento box! So with the latest Star Wars movie on the horizon, I thought it was time to bust out the old bento box and work some magic. Rather than theorise about possible events, we went with an iconic scene to represent the series instead – Luke and Darth Vader duelling it out with lightsabers!

This one was actually a lot of fun to make, with the hardest part probably being getting the text just right! I was using a stencil, but nori just does not want to play nice if you leave it out. As soon as it starts to curl, you’ve got problems! Managed to wrangle it into shape for the logo and was actually really happy with how it turned out! The lightsabers were cool too – they’re actually little canapé picks that were styled like lightsabers for children’s parties. Yoink! Perfect. As we did with the Halloween witch bento, let’s take a little walk through and see what everything is made out of. It’s all edible except for the lightsabers!

The vast blackness of space is provided to us thanks to a tin of well drained black beans. Darth Vader’s fashion is on point in an eggplant suit and nori cape billowing around him. The lightsabers meet over an explosion of red, orange and yellow capsicums, and Like is made of lasagna sheet skin, cheese hair, oyster mushroom tunic, carrot belt and olive boot tops. The stars are also cut from lasagna sheets, and the logo is a nori/cheese hybrid. Hope you guys love it, and are getting pumped for the new movie!

  • Black beans, nori, eggplant, cheese, lasagna sheets, capsicums, oyster mushrooms, carrot, olive

Lunchbox: Protein balls

Protein ball lunchbox

It’s an inevitable part of life that vegetarians and vegans will get called on to defend their protein, iron or B12 intake at some point in their dietary careers. People seem to find great joy in pointing out their apparent deficiencies, though in reality vegetarians and vegans are usually way more on the ball about nutrition than your average joe! That said, if you don’t feel like explaining yourself for the umpteenth time to these people, the simple solution is to pack a lunch filled with these delicious protein balls and point emphatically at them if anyone asks. They’ll get the message soon enough.

Protein ball lunchbox

And hey, you never know – at 25g of protein for the two, you might just have their protein intake for the day pegged! Unless they are the most ardent of carnivores, or happen to be on their way to one of those ‘eat this entire steak which is bigger than your entire body in under 20 minutes and you get it for free!’ competitions, you might have a shot. At any rate, it’s a great little booster if your day has been light on protein. They also look super cute coated in chia seeds – definite plus.

To make them, we used a protein ball packet mix that we got in our little goody bag for being front row at Undress Melbourne. It was cool to see them in there and we were super excited because we love trying out new things in the kitchen! They only took ten minutes to make, no baking required! It was really fun rolling them out and would be great for kids as well. Pair them with some super golden roasted vegetables, add some chilli for kick and some citrus for a finisher and you have a well balanced lunch box that will be sure to turn heads whenever you are!

  • Spinach, kale, roasted potato and sweet potato, red chilli, toasted chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, blueberries, pine nuts
  • Protein balls, buckwheat kernels, toasted coconut, rose petals
  • Strawberry, grapefruit, orange

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