Presenting the zucchini noodle and pumpkin flower lunchbox! We think making zoodles is a really cool idea and had heaps of fun trying these out! If you don’t have one, get yourself a spiralizer. Affordable, check, easy to use, check, fun, definitely check. So spiral up some zucchinis. But what next? Traditional pasta sauce? Well, you could, but this a new age style lunch box. The noodles aren’t even noodles anymore, so think outside the box. How about baby tomatoes, for that garden fresh kind of vibe.
The next step may take some time, but it’s worth it. Dig up your garden. Put a vegetable patch in. Casually throw in some pumpkin seeds and within about 8 weeks you should have some perfectly formed pumpkin flowers, ready to go! If you’re the impatient type and think 8 weeks of prep time is a touch on the long side, you can also get these from fruit stores.
Now as a side not, gardening confession; I was really excited to be eating freshly grown pumpkin for months and my vines were taking over and looking as healthy and robust as you could get, but no female flowers ever formed! Accordingly, no pollination, no pumpkins. It did mean that we had a glut of delicious pumpkin flowers to eat for a while there though, so here we are.
As a side you’ll need something a bit more hearty. You know something that goes great with pasta that’s not actually pasta at all and is super fun but not filling because it’s just thin bits of vegetable? Real pasta! Yes, we used wholegrain pasta here to help ease your tradition from carb loaded regular pasta to vitamin packed zucchini pasta. Put it all together and it tastes great! Finish with some chia seed pudding and your favourite fruits, and you’re in for a real treat.
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!
- Spiralized zucchini, tomatoes, rosemary, pine nuts, pumpkin flower
- Chia seeds, soy milk, mango, blueberries, strawberries
- Wholegrain pasta, pesto, red chilli
Delicious superfoods. Sure, it’s a buzzword that is overused, but it just so happens that most of these so called ‘superfoods’ are also staples of vegan and vegetarian cuisine, and certainly were well before all the hype hit. After all, they care about their health – so why wouldn’t they maximise the goodness they get in every meal! It would be crazy not to. And so today, we have a lunchbox capitalising on some of the big ones. Let’s get straight into it!
First off, blueberries! Nutritional powerhouses packed into tiny little blue blobs of happiness. Despite being a sneaky little fruit who isn’t actually blue inside (dress for the job you want, not the one you have, right?) these guys are great. Full of antioxidants and providing anti-inflammatory support, you can’t go wrong with throwing a handful of blueberries into the mix (unless it’s like pumpkin soup or something… that would probably be very wrong).
Second on the roster we have brussels sprouts. If you’ve been following us for long, you know we have absolutely nothing bad to say about brussels sprouts, except for maybe seeing how they grow. Have you guys seen the weird alien stalks they grow on? Google it and prepare to have your world turned upside down. Beyond that, these are great, taste amazing when cooked lightly, and have more vitamin K and C than you could ever want. Certainly more than you could ever use in a day, either way! One cup is 243% and 129% of your daily intake, respectively.
For out last superfood feature, it’s got to be the avocado right? Or the beetroot? Look at those moody purples, maybe it’s the dark leaves we used. Edamame? No? Actually, i’m going to go with a controversial one. Oranges! They say these are just as powerful as all the big ‘buzzword’ superfoods, but they’re so regular and we’re so used to them that labelling them as a superfood would sort of cheapen the label, so to speak. None of this has anything to do with their nutrient profile though, which is through the roof and definitely qualifies them as a superfood in my book. They are full of phytonutrients, as well as giving your vitamin C a kick in the pants if you haven’t eaten your daily cup of brussels sprouts yet. I think they’ve definitely earned a place in my superfoods lunchbox. Gold stars all around! 🌟
- Avocado, brussels sprouts, pumpkin seeds, carrot, beetroot, mixed leaves, thyme, edamame
- Goat’s cheese, red chilli, asparagus, risoni/orzo
- Strawberries, oranges
Amy loved the portobello pizza so much the other day that I thought we could keep that pizza theme going! Where to go from portobellos though, the ultimate savoury, vegan flavour bomb? Well, I think the obvious answer here is RAINBOWS. Come to think of it the portobello was just the base last time. Could I make a rainbow pizza like this one, but on a portobello base of the pastry one here? My god. Next time I make pizza I am combining the two for the ultimate in vegan snacking. For now though, we have a regular rainbow pizza, which is also pretty great!
As last time, we’re using pizza somewhat loosely here – is it still a pizza without tomato sauce or cheese. It could be a rainbow tart? I feel the word ‘pizza’ really gets your heart racing though. Pizza! So evocative. Anyway, rainbow pizza-tart-whatever. It tastes really good and packs a variety of high quality vegetables into a convenient, hand holdable piece of goodness. And making it couldn’t be easier! Cut out a circle of pastry, cover in whichever vegetables you like (withholding any you think might not do so well with the heat, as we’ve done with the corn and edamame here) and throw it in the over. Add the heat-adverse vegetables on after it’s cooled and there you go, rainbow vegetable tart! Freshen up with some coconut yoghurt and strawberries and you have a filling, healthy meal all ready to go 😉
- Pastry, beetroot, tomato, red + orange + yellow capsicum, corn, edamame, kale, roasemary
- Strawberry, coconut yoghurt, coconut yoghurt, buckwheat kernels
- Red kidney beans, red onion, red chilli, coriander
Halloween time, and what better to celebrate than a super spooky, Halloween bento lunch box! Alright, I admit, the absolute most scary thing about this lunch box is how long it took me to make, but hey, it looks cool, totally worth it. I mean check it out, it’s great because it features not only an adorable mini jack-o-lantern but also a cheeky witch – what’s not to love!
Building this bento was certainly a process but seemed to go down really well with people! After the obligatory ‘wows!’, the next thing people do was saying ‘surely you can’t everything in there’. Believe it or not, it’s all edible! Let’s work through some of the non-obvious elements, sweeping from left to right;
First off, the spooky hill is made of a big chunk of eggplant! The path leading to the church (as well as the witch’s skin) is made from cooked lasagna sheets – so, pasta. The cloudy swirls over the moon and sky are red cabbage cut into patterns. The moon itself, as well as the lights, were slices of cheese. Our witch rides a Pocky broomstick (it’s a super tasty Japanese snack), with dry, crunchy noodles as the tail + sparkles behind her. Her hair is carrot, and her face and cape are nori. Capsicum makes up the buckle on her hat and there you go, a complete Halloween bento lunchbox!
PS: With Halloween was approaching we found them selling mini-pumpkins branded as baby Jack-o-lanterns. They came uncarved, so this was my first ever Jack-o-lantern carve! I was really happy with how it came out, and it was so easy to do. If you have the chance, give it a go!
- Black rice, eggplant, cheese, salad leaves, enoki mushrooms, rosemary, red cabbage, nori, lasagna sheets, basil leaves, mini pumpkin, peas, asparagus, carrot, capsicum, Pocky stick, dry noodles