Lettuce Lunch


Lunchbox: Superfood Protein Balls

superfood protein balls

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 superfood protein balls and point emphatically at them if anyone asks. They’ll get the message soon enough.

superfood protein balls

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 Tofu

Quinoa Tofu

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 tofu!

Quinoa Tofu

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. Give it a go and see what you think – quinoa crusted tofu is a favourite for us.

  • 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: Mexican Salad with Avocado Sauce

Mexican Salad with Avocado Sauce

The only thing better than a whole bunch of nutritious, Mexican themed vegetables is covered it all in avocado citrus sauce! Enter the Mexican salad with avocado sauce lunchbox. 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! Garnished with coriander leaves fresh from the garden, this is a lunchbox not to be missed.

Mexican Salad with Avocado Sauce

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! It’s simple, it’s tasty, it’s the Mexican salad with avocado sauce lunchbox!

  • Kale, red kidney beans, sweet potato, corn, coriander, avocado, red capsicum, citrus avocado sauce
  • Buckwheat kernels, blueberries
  • Chia seeds, strawberries

Lunchbox: Avocado Strawberry Salad

Avocado Strawberry Salad

We love toying with fruit in a typically savoury lunchbox, but as always, you must use caution! Lucky for us, the sweet profile of strawberry actually works brilliantly with creamy avocado. I mean, if it hadn’t, this wouldn’t be much of a lunchbox! Mixing these guys up with some herbs and spinach gives an extremely simple but very pleasing salad. Look how easy that was! Five minutes of prep and lunch is sorted. Maybe another five for the risoni and dark green vegetable on the side. And we’re done! Gosh. What do I do now. I feel like I need something to do. Watch TV? Meh. Read a book? Potentially. Wait… maybe there could be more to this lunch box? I know, sometime time consuming, then I won’t be bored! Chocolate bark. That takes time. Chocolate bark is the answer.

Avocado Strawberry Salad

Amy was very impressed when she saw the bark. Check it out, it has rose petals and everything! She’s not much of a sugar lover, but she’ll make a semi-exception for semi-sweet chocolate. That’s right, dark chocolate is in, and she loves it. I’m glad I can have some vegan, chocolatey tools in my lunchbox arsenal. Now dark chocolate is good, but I feel it’s a little lazy on its own. Maybe imbuing it with delicious nuts and fruits could help? Done and done!

If you’ve never tried to make bark before, you can probably still guess the process without me going into too many details. Surprisingly enough, what you do is melt the chocolate, lay it out, add a whole bunch of exciting things, and then re-set it. Amazing, I know! Technology these days. This makes a great little treat to set out at parties too. Everyone will ask you where you go to get your super gourmet, loaded chocolates from – and you can give them a smile and a wink and tell them you made it yourself! Instant life of the party right here. Get experimental too! You could add in pop rocks or freeze dried strawberries; anything you like really, it’s your creation so just go nuts (nuts are, incidentally, also a very good option).

  • Avocado, spinach, strawberry, mixed nuts, goat’s cheese, rosemary
  • Risoni/orzo, brussels sprouts, kale, red chilli, mushrooms
  • Dark chocolate, pomegranate, pistachios, rose petals