A day outside of the home is a time to take your lunchboxes! When we prepare for ourselves from sustainably sourced ingredients we reduce the demand for single use packaging and we save ourselves a hefty amount of cash! By making your own meals, you know what you’re consuming and provide the opportunity to get creative and have fun in the kitchen.
Some people get concerned about protein levels, particularly when skipping animal products. Quinoa is known as the king of the plant-based world when it comes to protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. Quinoa is native to Peru and Bolivia, this ancient grain fed the Incas along with other delights such as cacao and maca – food of the gods! Quinoa can be sourced from British farmers (The British Quinoa Company) who have learnt to cultivate this special crop locally.
I love to have an array of textures and colours in my bamboo lunch box which is why I often assemble my box in three stages.
Quinoa (or other preferred grain)
Cook the washed grain in triple the amount of water (quinoa take about 12 minutes so is nice and quick!). You may wish to flavour the grain – I like to add a splash of apple cider vinegar and some mixed Italian herbs. Sometimes, 5 minutes from finishing cooking, I add frozen peas or raisins. Leave to simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Some people look at me like I’m absolutely nuts when I talk about massaging kale, but let me tell you, it’s life changing. The thought of eating raw kale makes me want to vom, but by breaking down the hard cellular wall of this vegetable it literally changes its structure, making it all the more palatable. I rub mine in my go-to dressing of tahini, tamari (or miso if I have it), lemon juice and toasted sesame oil. Massage for at least two minutes and feel the leaves soften under your touch. This kale tastes like heaven and ages like a fine wine.
Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables
Simply chop your chosen veggies (I go peppers, courgette and tomatoes) and add to the baking tray with good quality olive oil, mixed herbs, salt and pepper, along with some whole (skin on) cloves of garlic and add to the oven at 180 degrees. NOTE: if using tomatoes, hold back with them until the final 10 minutes of cooking time. Depending on the size, this mix should take between 20-30 minutes to roast. Give everything a good turn around before adding the tomatoes so they just begin to bulge and bake, then remove the tray from the oven. Squeeze the garlic out of the skins when ready.