Here comes five easy vegan packed lunch box ideas for school and work. I think there is something for everyone in this post and video as I have borrowed flavours from various corners of the world. There’spasta, noodles, summer rolls, potato salad and a Mexican inspired salad. Rob and I enjoy all of these dishes from time to time in different variations.  Many of them areversatile as you can use the vegetables you have on hand and adapt them to your liking.  With each lunch box I have also shared some snack ideas that I think go well with the flavours of the lunch. I hope you will find these ideas and recipes useful and inspiring as you prepare your packed lunches! x


NEW POTATO AND BELUGA LENTIL SALAD


INGREDIENTS:

4-10 boiled or roasted new potato, depending on their size and your appetite

5-6 tbsp cooked beluga lentils

4-5 leaves baby gem lettuce or other lettuce or leaves that you enjoy

2-3 radishes, cut into wedges

1-2 tbsp finely chopped red onion

Asparagus

A drizzle of olive oil

Salt and black pepper

Fresh dill, optional

Mustard vinaigrette for roughly 2 servings:

1 tbsp grainy mustard

1 tbsp red wine vinegar or other vinegar of your choice

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp water

Salt and black pepper, to taste

METHOD:

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Remove the tough ends off your asparagus and place them on  an oven tray. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Mix well to coat the asparagus and roast in the oven for about 5-7 minutes or until slightly browned and shiny.

While your asparagus is roasting layer your remaining ingredients into the lunch box and then prepare your dressing. To make the dressing simply add all your ingredients to a small jar or glass and give it a good stir until well combined. Pour your dressing into a small container and place inside your lunch box to add just before eating. This will keep your lettuce from wilting.

Finally when your asparagus is roasted add that to your salad and seal the lid of your lunch box. Keep in the fridge until you want to eat it.

Snack ideas: Sliced apple with peanut butter, cherries or other seasonal fruit and some trail mix.



RAINBOW TEX MEX SALAD


INGREDIENTS:

A handful each of cooked black beans, sweet corn, cooked quinoa, sliced red cabbage massaged with a little salt and lime juice, chopped bell pepper, tomato and cucumber.

0,5 small sweet potato

A drizzle of olive oil

0,25 tsp smoked paprika powder

Salt and black pepper

3-4 tbsp of chunky salsa

Mango salsa, makes 3-4 servings:

1 ripe mango, chopped into small cubes

A large handful fresh coriander, chopped

2-3 tbsp finely chopped red onion

1 lime, juice only

0,25 tsp chili flakes

Salt and black pepper

METHOD:

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Cut your sweet potato into bite sized chunks and place on an oven tray. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with smoked paprika, salt and black pepper. Mix well to coat the sweet potato and roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until tender on the inside and slightly browned on the outside.

While your sweet potato is roasting layer your remaining salad ingredients in your lunch box and place your chunky salsa into a small container so that you can add it just before you eat. Then when the sweet potato is roasted add your chunks into the box as well and seal.

Prepare your mango salsa simply by mixing all ingredients together in a bowl.  Either you can serve this the way I have done in a video as part of a side with corn chips or you can serve it as a component in your salad.

Snack ideas: corn chips to dip into mango salsa and half an avocado sprinkled with chili flakes and salt.



RED CURRY NOODLE SOUP


Yields 3-4 servings.

INGREDIENTS:

1 can full fat coconut milk

2 cups water

2-3 tbsp Thai red curry paste

0,5 tbsp vegetable stock powder or 0,5 vegetable stock cube

4 handfuls each of sliced bell pepper, broccoli florets and quartered chestnut mushrooms

4 servings of noodles of your choice, I can recommend Korean sweet potato noodles or any type of rice noodles

Top with:

Sliced sugar snaps

Sliced spring onion

Coriander

Chili flakes

METHOD:

Prepare your noodles according to the instructions on the packaging.

Pour your coconut milk and water into a sauce pan over medium high heat. Add your curry paste and stock powder or cube. As you bring the liquid to a simmer dissolve the red curry paste with a back of a spoon.

When the soup base is combined and simmering it’s time to add in the vegetables. And though I have listed the vegetables I used in my soup you can use almost any vegetables in the soup so feel free to mix it up. Then let the vegetables simmer in the sup for about 5-7 minutes until they are vibrant and have softened a little but still has a bit of bite to them.

Once your soup is done place your noodles in your lunch box and add the soup over the top. Then sprinkle with sugar snaps, spring onion and chili flakes to finish.



ROMESCO PASTA SALAD


Yields 4 servings.

INGREDIENTS:

For the romesco sauce:

1,25 cup roasted red peppers from a jar

0,5 brown onion, chopped into wedges

1 garlic clove

0,5 cup almond flakes, toasted

A large handful flat leaf parsley + more for garnish

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp red wine or sherry vinegar

1 tsp smoked paprika

0,5 tsp chili flakes

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

0,25 cup olive oil

0,25 cup water

Serve with:

4 servings of pasta, any type you like

1 cup fresh or frozen peas, cooked or thawed

METHOD:

Cook your pasta according to the instructions on the packaging.

Place all your romesco sauce ingredients except for olive oil and water in the large bowl of a food processor with an s-blade. Pulse until it makes a grainy paste. If you need to scrape the sides down a couple of times and keep pulsing until desired texture (see video). Then put your processor on auto and add your water and oil in a steady stream through the top until a more or less smooth sauce is created.

Stir through the sauce in the pasta and mix in the peas. Serve with a sprinkling of parsley.

Snack idea: Tomato salad with sliced spring onion, fresh basil and balsamic vinegar as well as a handful of olives.



RAINBOW SUMMER ROLLS WITH PEANUT SAUCE


INGREDIENTS:

4-5 rice papers

0,5 block of tofu

4-5 lettuce leaves

0,5 carrot, cut into thin strips

0,25 cucumber, cut into strips

0,25 bell pepper, cut into strips

1 spring onion, cut into similar length strips as the other vegetables

0,5 cup shredded red cabbage, massaged with a little sauce and lime juice

Coriander

Peanut sauce:

1 tbsp peanut butter

2 tsp soy sauce

0,5 lime, juice

A sprinkling of garlic powder

A splash of water to thin

METHOD:

Prepare your sauce simply by mixing all the ingredients together in a little jar or glass with a spoon. Add little splashes of water until you reach your desired dipping sauce consistency. I like mine a little bit thick as it won’t drip on anything on its way to my mouth.

To make the summer rolls you will need a shallow bowl of warm water. Into the water you dip a rice paper until it starts to soften. Then place the rice paper onto a damp cloth which will prevent it from sticking to the surface.

Onto the rice paper start by sprinkling your sesame seeds and then place your lettuce leaf onto the seeds and paper. Make sure the lettuce leaf is smaller than your rice paper as you will need some “naked” rice paper to be able to stick it to itself. Then add a on or two sticks of each vegetable as well as tofu onto the lettuce in the centre of the rice paper. Finally add a bit of your shredded red cabbage and coriander on top before rolling it up.

To roll start by folding the side closest to you over the the vegetables while you pull the vegetables towards you. When you’ve wrapped the veggies inside the first bit of the paper then fold in the sides and continue to roll the middle bit until it is completely sealed.

Repeat until you have made your desired amount of rolls and then cut it into halves and place them into your lunch box along with your dipping sauce in a separate container.

Snack ideas: Strawberries or other seasonal fruit and steamed edamame with a sprinkling of flaky salt.



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