Lettuce Lunch

Lunchbox: Vegan Rosewater Tart

Vegan Rosewater Tart

Today I bring you the marriage of two of my favourite things – panna cotta (you can check out my last attempt here) and trying my hand at wildly over the top pinterest recipes! When I saw a similar one online using a gel top and panna cotta filling I knew what I had to do; veganise! If you like to bake you’ve probably already found a gelatin substitute that works for you – which is the hardest part, so you’re already halfway there! Other than a little bit of waiting around it’s pretty much like making a regular tart, but the payoff and wow factor is real – I challenge anyone to not be delighted when they see this! It’s 100% worth the (minimal) extra effort involved.

Running through the ‘how’ briefly – just so gather your ingredients, roll that pastry out and blind bake it until it’s cooked. Into the fridge it goes! Next whip up a batch of vegan panna cotta or custard, making sure it’s got enough gelling agent to come together when cooled. Prepare, cook, and cool it to room temperature, then pour into the chilled tart case. Lastly, you guessed it – on goes the gel! This is usually as simple as gelatine substitute, sugar and flavouring (we used rosewater) that has been combined over heat, cooled to room temperature and poured over the panna cotta layer of the tart. Set this, decorate with pistachios and rose petals and you have an impressively luxe dessert that is sure to make waves.

As for sides – bright, fresh berries cut through the creaminess and provide contrast, while a salad of roast vegetables and toasted nuts is a perfect, hearty accompaniment. A real head-turner, this is one pinterest dream dish that’s easy to make reality – try it out and let us know how you go!

Vegan Rosewater Tart

  • Rosewater panna cotta tart, pistachios, rose petals, blueberries, fig, mint leaves, white peach, raspberry, pomegranate strawberry, vegan chocolate, coconut yoghurt, buckinis, edible flowers
  • Sweet potato, pumpkin cauliflower, corn, chickpeas, toasted farrow, pepitas, mixed leaf salad, enoki mushrooms, red onion, red chilli, pea shoots, broccolini, edible flowers

If you love the double-compartment look, try the updated Lunchbots Bento Duo. It’s a newer, more compact version of the one we used here!

Lunchbox: Green Veggie Wrap

Green Veggie Wrap

Everyone loves carbs, but hey sometimes it’s good to cut down a little – and that’s where this adorable little green veggie wrap come in! The theory is simple – take a wrap, make it green, pat yourself on the back for being so healthy, enjoy. Of course, filling the other sections of your lunchbox full of delicious, carbohydrate rich foods is optional – but hey every little bit helps, right! In any case what we have here is a super tasty, super fresh little lunchbox filler that will leave you feeling guilt free all day. We’re already a big fan of wraps and deep green salad leaves, so combining them seems like a winning move.

Green Veggie Wrap

Sitting on a fresh, colourful salad is the only way to go with a green veggie wrap – we loved the radish for a little bit of extra crunch. Marinated tofu makes a perfect filling (we went Thai style!) and fresh bean sprouts tie the whole thing together. Over on the left we have sweet potato hummus with pomegranate and pepitas. The idea was you could dip the grain twists, but we found that it also made a great dipping sauce for the wrap. So load that lunchbox up with extra hummus to make sure you don’t come up short – you can basically mix all the segments together here, a bite of green wrap with a handful of grain twists, toasted nuts and some hummus sounds like heaven to us, though you might want to leave the strawberries and dragonfruit out of even your wildest flavour combination experiments 😉

  • Silverbeet leaf,  avocado, baby corn, red cabbage, red chilli, carrot, cucumber, Thai marinated tofu, enoki mushrooms, radish, salad mix, bean sprouts, edible flower
  • Sweet potato hummus, pomegranate seeds, pepitas, dill, sesame seeds
  • Strawberry, dragonfruit
  • Ancient grain twists
  • Cashews, macadamias

For this lunch we used the Planetbox Rover. It’s dishwasher safe, stainless steel, and has room for all our favourite snacks! Click here for details.

Lunchbox: Stuffed Sweet Potato and Beetroot Waffles

Stuffed Sweet Potato

Mm, stuffed sweet potato! And yes… let’s get right down to it – yep that IS a dolphin shaped beetroot waffle. One might ask why, but I would say – ‘why not?’ – recently I came across a sea animal themed waffle iron and the rest is history – no longer constrained by the rigid grid lines and boring 4×4 squares of regular waffles, we now have bright, silly seahorse, dolphin or crab-shaped waffles. Add a little pureed beetroot in there for colour and depth of flavour and you’ve got a good time on your hands. Just look at that little guy! Swimming proudly on coconut yoghurt waves, in a sea of strawberries, cherries and banana.

If you can get your hands on a waffle maker with novelty shapes I highly recommend it – it takes no extra work seeing as you’re still just pouring out batter onto an waffle iron; but everyone loves it and will praise your creativity and think you’re great, a win/win in my books.

Alongside this we’ve got earthy stuffed sweet potato, with mixed vegetables and on a bed of toasted nuts and beans. Of course, it’s hard to get the limelight back from the attention seeking showpony dolphin waffle over there in the dessert compartment, but damned if this doesn’t give it a good run for its money with all those warm, autumnal flavours. Inner beauty or outer beauty, make your choice – because the prettiest thing about a big chunk of roast sweet potato is definitely the taste, not the look 😀

  • Sweet potato, asparagus, baby corn, green and red chilli, blue corn chips, kidney beans, cherry tomato, toasted almonds, celery, coriander, pepitas, spinach
  • Beetroot waffle, coconut yoghurt, strawberries, banana, cherries, blueberries, pistachios rose petals, mint, kiwi fruit

If you love the double-compartment look, try the updated Lunchbots Bento Duo. It’s a newer, more compact version of the one we used here!

Vegan Rosewater Panna Cotta

Vegan Rosewater Panna Cotta

So you’re vegan. Great! Saving the planet, saving animals, hugs all round. If you get hungry you know vegetables and tofu will always have your back – life is good. But what about when dessert time comes around?  Chocolate? No. Cake? Negative. Cookies? Doubtful. And ice cream? That’s right out. Truly, as many sweet-tooths (sweet-teeth?) out there can attest to, often times your only options are some plain Oreos or bag of original sour patch kids. Classic ‘accidentally vegan’ staples to be sure, but not that exciting. No – for true vegan good times, you’ve got to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. Enter rosewater vegan panna cotta!

As you probably already know, dairy and gelatin are serial offenders when it comes to sweets/desserts/snacks. With that in mind, it seems counterintuitive to give what is basically a pure lump of cream and gelatin the vegan treatment, but here we are! Panna cotta – most delicious of Italian desserts, and far superior to Tiramisu. The name literally means ‘cooked cream’, for those playing at home, but thankfully we have quite a few creamy vegan alternatives up our sleeves to play with. So let’s get to it!

Take your milk of choice (we used soy), then get some coconut cream. Mix these together – if you want it maximum creamy go with a 50/50 mix, otherwise more milk, less cream. Add some vanilla extract, a dash of rosewater (or whichever flavouring you prefer!), a couple of teaspoons of a sweetener of your choice (we like Stevia) and then your secret weapon – agar agar! Any vegan gelatin substitute will do, remembering agar sets slightly firmer than gelatin, if you’re used to using that. Prepare as per manufacturers instructions and throw it in. Mix, chill, and it should set nicely in about an hour. Done! Your very own vegan panna cotta. But wait, you cry – what sort of recipe is this! Where are the quantities! Well, i’ve never really been one for following instructions myself, and every brand has different gelling properties, so i’d say experimentation is the key here. That said, there’s such an enormous margin for error – worst case scenario it’s a little too wobbly or a bit too solid, but it will still taste great. Go forth and experiment with different flavours too; as long as it pairs alright with coconut then it’s a winner – lime and coconut, caramel, cacao are just a couple of ideas to get you started. Throw some fruit on it and you’re good to go!

  • Soy milk, coconut cream, stevia, agar-agar, rosewater, vanilla extract or pods
  • Pistachio, fig, strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, kumquat, watermelon, rockmelon, honeydew, mint, blueberry, pineapple, sesame snap, sesame mochi, edible flowers