Lettuce Lunch

Vegetarian

Lunchbox: Crunchy Tofu and Miso

crunchy tofu and miso

We love making Japanese inspired lunch boxes here, as you can probably tell from the fun little panda bento box and the mochi sushi box we did a couple of weeks before this one! They usually have a couple of things in common, too. Simple and minimalist in design, of course. Look at this one – it’s only got like, three – four main elements. The crunchy tofu, the sauce, the miso and the backing salad. Compared this to something like the rainbow skewers which had every single vegetable known to man, and all the sauces you could ever ask for. That was an amazing box, don’t get me wrong! It tasted so good, but that was about mixing it all up and experimenting with flavours and textures. This is the opposite – minimalist, but everything has it’s place. Tofu, miso, sauce, greens – crunchy, salty, creamy, fresh. Everything has a place. Presenting the crunchy tofu and miso lunchbox!

crunchy tofu and miso

Sometimes keeping it simple is best, and you’ve got all the main flavours covered here. The tofu gives that perfect golden crunch and is undoubtedly the star of the lunch box. Now take one of those crispy little corners, dip it in some vegan kewpie, wrap it in the silverbeet and go to town, then have a little sip of miso after to balance it all out. YUM! If you feel like being fancy, garnishing it with some cute little flowers for decoration can really turn it into an adorable little Japanese garden.

  • Crumbed tofu, spring onion, nori, sesame seeds, radish, cucumber, silverbeet
  • Miso soup, enoki mushroom, thyme
  • Vegan kewpie mayo, red chilli

Lunchbox: Raw Sprout Salad

Raw Sprout Salad

Sprouts are always fun, but man do they go off quickly, right? At the supermarket or fruit shop you see a bright, fresh looking packet of sprouts and think ‘looks healthy, i’m in’. Perfect for my raw sprout salad! You happily bring them home, but before you even get a chance to sit down you hear the distant, ominous tick-tocking of a purely metaphorical clock counting down rapidly. It begins!

Run, don’t walk, to your sprouts, and consume them all immediately. This is the only true way to be sure they don’t end up as brown mush in the bottom of your crisper. Sprouts always seem like such a good idea – but if that’s true, what do you end up throwing out most of the packet every time? And that’s just alfalfa sprouts, like the ones pictures. You’re going to need a time machine to get bean sprouts home in an edible condition.

Too dramatic? Alright, maybe! You do need to act fast though, and commit yourself to eating them in 2 – 3 days, absolute max. To do this, I figured i’d look into making a lunch box that would use up all our spare sprouts and give them a chance to shine.

Raw Sprout Salad

By using them as a base, we can build a fresh, zesty spring salad that will really make the sprouts sing. Sprouts are, of course, very light, and need a creamy element to balance that out. We think ashed goat’s cheese is the perfect accompaniment here. Peas and cucumbers provide some much needed greenery, while the shaved fennel (those nearly transparent slivers) give it a slight anise kick to keep things interesting. When you’re just about to eat it, top with the lemon and go to town. Mix in some black rice from the side compartment and you have a solid dish that will give you healthy energy to burn all afternoon.

  • Alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, corn, beans, goat’s cheese, dill, shaved fennel, lemon
  • Black rice, enoki mushrooms, greek yoghurt, red chilli
  • Watermelon, blueberries

Lunchbox: Mango Avocado Salad

Mango Avocado Lunchbox

Mango avocado salad – what’s not to love! It’s usually a real gamble adding fruit to a savoury salad, but in this lunch box, it’s a very safe bet. All it takes is a fresh squeeze of lime and the elements all come together beautifully. With backup from red kidney beans, red onion, chilli, and coriander, it really does take you on a journey! Come to think of it, f you diced everything up it would pretty much be a great little topping for tacos or tostadas – despite the popularity of the recent ‘deconstructed food’ trend, this is kind of the opposite – it’s more like a reconstructed Mexican mango salsa extravaganza!

Mango Avocado Lunchbox

The important thing to remember, though, is combinations. You have so many great elements coming into play here – the kick of the chilli, the creamy heaviness that the avocado gives, the fresh, sweet mango. What the main compartment does lack, though, is body! There’s only so much the sweet potato can do to help. Sometimes even superstars like avocado and mango need backup, and this is where the couscous comes in. It provides a perfect, neutral foil to bulk up the rest of the dish and complements their flavours so incredibly well. You could easily substitute this for your favourite grain, but we love that subtle, light nuttiness that couscous provides. With pepitas on top, and a fresh palate cleanse in the form of citrus and strawberry, you really can’t go wrong with a mango avocado salad lunchbox 😀

  • Mango, avocado, sweet potato, lime, red chilli, coriander, red onion, pomegranate, red kidney beans
  • Strawberries, oranges, grapefruit
  • Couscous, pepitas

Lunchbox: Vegetable Cruskit

vegetable cruskit

As vegetarians and vegans, we’ve got to stay on top of our vitamin intake. There’s the old way to do this, which was to painstakingly track which micronutrients and plan accordingly. Alternatively, you could just eat a whole bunch of really great things every day? This, you see, is the beauty of the vegetable cruskit lunchbox! It’s easy and it makes sure you’re getting a wide variety of different nutrients every day. If anything, you could even rainbow this up more! Radish in the purple section? Blueberries and blackberries? Peas plus avocado? Look, no lunchbox is perfect! They are all learning experiences. For now, this one looks cool and packs a whole variety of interesting colours and textures in, so it’s a great start.

vegetable cruskit

Here we loaded up some Cruskits with a couple of different toppings. Cruskits are crunchy little rectangles of crispbread that you can get at the supermarket. Sort of like crackers but with more of a hard, grainy vibe to them. We like them a lot and they’re very versatile, so we figured they would be the perfect base for some rainbow vegetables! Mmm, delicious vegetable cruskit. Add a little bit of vegan cream cheese to tie the flavours all together, then just pair them up with some spectrum appropriate sides and you should have a bright, healthy lunchbox all ready to go! If you have any suggestions for more bright, fresh, colourful toppings, let us know in the comments below!

  • Corn Cruskits, vegan cream cheese, avocado, coriander, carrot, orange and yellow capsicum, corn, tomato, red kidney beans, chilli flakes, kale
  • Red cabbage
  • Blueberries