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The Lunchbox Gourmet

The Lunchbox Gourmet



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Published by Joanna
Over 100 vegetarian-friendly lunchbox ideas, recipes and tips including convenience foods, thermos recipes and how to stock your freezer.
Over 100 vegetarian-friendly lunchbox ideas, recipes and tips including convenience foods, thermos recipes and how to stock your freezer.

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Categories:Types, Recipes/Menus
Published by: Joanna on Mar 26, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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This e-book features over one hundred recipes and suggestions for packing healthy,interesting lunches. I find that when I have something attractive and intriguing in my bag,I am less tempted by the junk-food lure of the food court :) I also have a family history of late-developing food allergies and weird stomach things, and I feel safer bringing myown food with me.This is by no means a comprehensive cookbook, as it is subjective to my tastes andinterests: it does not feature any recipes which, while good, I find difficult or tedious or time-consuming to prepare. It has a vegetarian bias as well, although that may change inthe future.It also omits foods to which I have allergies or sensitivities: corn, certain raw fruits, dairy,tree nuts and loaf breads (although I do eat tortilla-based wraps). Feel free to modify or substitute to your tastes.I highly recommend investing in a decent set of containers, an attractive case or bag, anda good-quality thermos. I use an inexpensivelunch kit,alaptop lunchbox or a container/thermos combo I found in Chinatown, depending on what I am packing: thelaptop lunchbox can only accommodate one wet item, for example. If you would like tosee for yourself just how impressive packed lunches can be, check out theseFlickr  Groups:Laptop Lunches, Vegan Bento,Bento BoxesandMr. Bento Porn. I have arbitrarily separated non-entree items into 'side dishes' or 'snacks and treats'depending on my preference (it if feels substantial enough to me to eat on its own, Icalled it a snack, not a side dish) but feel free to mix and match them to your tastes.Most of this stuff does not require re-heating. It can be nice in some cases, if you do haveaccess to a microwave. But with the exception of the thermos items, I have eaten all of this stuff cold, and lived to tell the tale.
Main Dishes
Crackers and Wraps
Egg Salad Wrap: Mash a hard-boiled egg with mayonnaise or salad dressing, and wrap ina tortilla. Cut the roll into sections for easy packing, or lay it flat in your container. Youcan vary the taste significantly by using different flavours of salad dressing.Peanut Butter Wrap: Spread peanut butter on a tortilla and wrap it up. Cut the roll intosections for easy packing, or lay it flat in your container. If your workplace is nut-free,you can substitute soy nut butter instead.Fruity Nut Wrap: Same as the Peanut Butter Wrap, except with toppings: peeled, slicedapple or a whole banana. Do not cut or mash the banana, or your wrap will turn soggy.Just peel it and lay it on the peanut-buttered tortilla, then roll around it.Bean Dip Wrap: Spread the tortilla with bean dip. You can top it with a bit of mayonnaisefor kick, or with shredded cheese or soy cheese, sliced avocado or whatever. Again, lay itflat or chop the roll into sections for easy packing.Indian Wrap: I love these! I buy them prepared, but it's easy enough to make yourself:some cooked diced vegetables and mashed sweet potato and spices make a really fillingwrap.Cream Cheese Wrap: I useTofutti'cream cheese' but if you can handle the real stuff, useit. Bell peppers, cucumber or shredded carrot make nice toppings if you are so inclined, but pat them dry before you roll the wrap.Avocado Wrap: Line the tortilla with mashed avocado and top with shredded carrots,lettuce, soy cheese or other garnishes. Roll up and slice into pinwheels, or lay flat inlunch box or container.Deli Slice Wrap: You can use fake meat slices, or real meat if you want to. Top it withlettuce, shredded carrot or zucchini, sprouts or some combination for a yummy, fillinglunch.Deli Lettuce Wrap: As above, but use a large piece of lettuce as your 'wrap' instead of thetortilla. Many people swear by spreading cream cheese on the deli slice as an addedtweak in this variation, but I have always found that icky.Veggie Dog Wrap: Cook the veggie dog, let it cool, then lay it on the tortilla and roll up.Pack some ketchup on the side. I have found the inner plastic container which holds thetoy inKinder Eggsto be a wonderful watertight dip container.Crackers and Dip: Your choice of cracker (rice cracker, melba, wheat thins etc.) packedwith a small container of hummus, guacamole, bean dip, cheese dip, red pepper spread,cream cheese etc.
Triscuit and Bean Dip: As above, except that I have found bean dip and Triscuit crackers(especially the new triangular thins) to be an especially appealing combination.
Freezer Treats
Mini-Meatloaf and Side Dish: Cook your favourite meatloaf or faux meatloaf recipe inmuffin tins and freeze. Pack them straight from the freezer with a side dish, they willthaw by lunchtime.Meatballs and Side Dish: As above, but make them in balls instead of muffin cups. Or, buy frozen pre-cooked meatballs and reheat them the night before.Fish sticks and Side Dish: Cook a serving of frozen fish sticks the night before and letthem cool. Pack with a side dish and enjoy cold or reheated for lunch. Pack a dipcontainer of ketchup or dressing with it.Veggie Nuggets and Side Dish: Faux 'chicken' nuggets are widely available andmicrowave in two minutes or less. Do that before your shower, and it will be cool enoughto pack when you come out.Veggie Burger and Side Dish: As with the nuggets. Nuke your favourite one first thing inthe morning and it will be ready to go. Forgo the side dish if you plan to pack a bun, or eat it solo with vegetables or garnishes.Falafel and Side Dish: Either make ahead and freeze it, or buy pre-made freezer ones. Ifound a frozen one I like, and my favourite way to reheat it mess-free is on the Foremangrill. I usually pack hummus or some other dip with these.Frozen Dinner: Take your favourite "lean cuisine" or frozen packaged dinner, heat it athome and pack it into your lunch containers. You would be surprised at what you canenjoy cold! Or, zap it for 30 seconds to re-warm it at lunchtime, if you have access to amicrowave.Kugel Squares and Side Dish: Make your favourite kugel (noodle pudding) recipe andfreeze it in squares. Pop into lunchbox and it will thaw by lunch. Or, mix an egg,seasoning and some leftover cooked noodles and microwave in silicone muffin tin for 2minutes or so.
Cook and Pack 
Rice Balls and Side Dish: Prepare some Japanese sticky rice as directed on the package.Wet your hands and form the rice into balls (or use molds, if you are lucky enough to findthem). Decorate with a strip of nori seaweed for extra authenticity.

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