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 😂
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
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.
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
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 -smashed pea 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!
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
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. Let’s work some magic! Rather than theorise about possible events, we went with an iconic scene to represent the series instead!
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