{Vegan MoFo} A gluten-free, vegan lunchbox

Yesterday, I showed you what my kids ate for breakfast.

Today, I show you their lunchboxes.

More specifically, the lunches of my school-aged children.

lunch1

One of the valuable aspects of posting (almost) daily during Vegan MoFo, is the opportunity it provides to feature foods that we eat on a day-to-day basis.

I wouldn’t want regular readers to think that we live on cheesecake and cupcakes. 🙂

Although….

I don’t think these lunchboxes help alleviate that impression. Muffins make an appearance. Do they count as cake?

lunchboxa

***

lunch3

***

lunchintroBasmati brown rice with broccoli florets, snowpeas, carrot, tatsoi leaves, tofu, coriander, and a maple-tamari sauce.

***

vanilla2

I used a gluten-free recipe called banana scented vanilla cake to make the vanilla banana muffins. The recipe is available here.

I reduced the amount of sugar specified in the recipe by a quarter of a cup, and poured the batter into 15 silicone baking cups. I baked the muffins on 160C (fan forced oven) for 16 minutes.

I think this recipe will become my ‘go to’ gluten-free muffin. I anticipate experimenting with flavour combinations in the near future – chocolate chai sounds appealing. 🙂

The (biggest) Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts

We can ascertain their ‘verdicts’ based on the remnants that returned home in the lunchboxes.

My daughter’s mandarin segments made the trip home. My son’s lunchbox still contained a few pumpkin seeds and coconut flakes. And all of the rockmelon chunks. But, I won’t hold that against him. During the morning rush (and the lunchbox photography session!), I forgot that he doesn’t like rockmelon.

Ally

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About Ally
Mamma. Vegan. I blog at Made of Stars.

17 Responses to {Vegan MoFo} A gluten-free, vegan lunchbox

  1. uberdish says:

    Such beautiful and delicious school lunches! Unfortunately, nuts or any nut products are not permitted in our schools. Seeds certainly are – I tend to sprinkle them over my girls’ salads. I love your tiny vegans’ verdicts. 🙂 Your basmati brown rice salad looks awesome. What are tatsoi leaves?

    • Ally says:

      Hi Angela! Thanks.
      Tatsoi is also known as spinach mustard and Rosette bok choy. Do those names sound familiar? It is usually in the Asian greens section in stores. We buy ours at the farmers’ market. I should probably try growing it. We use it in salads, stir fry, sandwiches, green smoothies.
      I had been reading about brown basmati on northern hemisphere blogs. I had never seen it, until really recently. It is in our local supermarket. I love it!
      My school-aged kids are only prohibited from taking peanuts or peanut products. It is great; they can have a nut butter sandwich. My 4-yr-old is not allowed to have any nut products at pre-school. If I make a nut-date ball or slice, I have to remember not to pack it for him.

      • uberdish says:

        Thank you, Ally! I love learning new things. Yes, I am familiar with spinach mustard and bok choy, particularly the bok choy. I have never tried it on sandwiches or in green smoothies. I must give that a try!

  2. narf77 says:

    Lovely lunch boxes Ally, certainly a bit different to when I went to school with cheese and pickle sarnies with a chunk of cake and a banana 😉

    • Ally says:

      Oh your lunch sounds pretty decent to me- I wasn’t allowed cake in my lunchbox! I did have bananas though, and vegemite sandwiches on wholemeal bread. 🙂

      • narf77 says:

        I love vegemite 🙂 That would make us true-blue Aussies. Steve doesn’t mind it on toast even though he is from the U.K. He hasn’t graduated to vegemite and cheese yet…but there is hope for him 😉

      • uberdish says:

        hahaha! I have to comment here. The first time I tried vegemite was when I was about 20 and on a backpacking trip through Britain with a girlfriend. We stayed with a Buddhist family in London for a couple of days (one of the best experiences of my life, btw). Anyways, they were ranting and raving about vegemite on toast and couldn’t believe I had never tried it. Well, I did. Oh my. It must be an acquired taste? I had the worst time getting through it – not wanting to be rude. Maybe now at 45 I should try it again?! 🙂

  3. natarunmore says:

    I love this thank you! My son starts next year and I want to make sure he not only has healthy snacks with him, but that he eats them! He would really like what you prepared, and I will have to try those muffins. I’m experimenting with hummus right now, it’s so addictive.. And anything that resembles cake is a winner haha, I will have to try those muffins. I like the basic stainless steel lunch boxes, any special place you got them? Thx Ally!

    • Ally says:

      Hi Natalie!
      The lunchboxes are the Lunch Bots brand. I ordered them online but I have seen them in health food stores too.
      I make a big batch of hommus each week. I cook chickpeas in a pressure cooker- it’s so quick.
      I found lunchboxes a bit daunting at first, but you find your rhythm eventually. 🙂 It’s always nice to have a break during school holidays too.

  4. aza says:

    Ally, I love you for posting this. We are a young vegan family and my 3yo just started daycare. I am a bit panicked about packing her lunches. I am relieved to see what other vegan mommies (like you) are doing. Thanks!!

    • Ally says:

      Hi!
      Does your daycare have a ‘no nuts’ policy? My son can’t take nuts or nut products to pre-school but my school-aged kids can (only peanuts are prohibited).
      It is a bit daunting at first- the time it takes on a busy morning, wanting to pack healthy food and varied food.
      My kids are less inclined to eat whole apples or unpeeled citrus- so I pre-cut and unpeel. It saves them time too- more time to play!
      I make extra rice or pasta at dinner time, and save it to whip up a quick stir fry or pasta salad for the lunchboxes.
      On weekends, I make muffins (and freeze them) or enery ball type things. I make a batch of hommus weekly. If I have time, I like to make homemade crackers too. Or Mat makes raw crackers.
      Any amount of prep that I can do ahead of time really alleviates that morning pressure and rush. My kids also like salad sandwiches and bread rolls, and nut butter sandwiches.
      I hope you are well. 🙂

      • aza says:

        Oh, you are too kind, Ally.
        Indeed no nuts policy at daycares here in the Montreal region in Canada. As you mention, if I make muffins or cookies I have to remember this. But I am really happy that this is one of the rare daycares with the bring your own food policy. Most of them have an onsite cook and all kids eat the same thing. (And they obviously do not cater for vegans :(( ). So she does not feel awkward in having food from home.
        We mostly eat cooked food for lunch, so for now I have only packed a cooked warm meal (in the LunchBots thermos-like containers.) By the way, I noticed you used LunchBots when I saw the pictures, I smiled because we have over half a dozen too. They are so great, I just love them; when I saw them I just feel in love with them, and when they had a sale for Canadians, I indulged… Anyway, great ideas, I will have to do as you do too, do as much as possible on weekends, be ready in advance— I am on mat leave now with my youngest one (14 mo) and will go back to work in November. So your ideas are VERY appreciated. I do own over a dozen vegan cookbooks, but actually seeing first hand what another vegan mommy does on a daily basis is so awesome and reassuring. We can never be too careful or to obsessed about our diet, right? Especially for our little ones.
        God bless you for finding time for this, with 4 kids at home. I have just 2 and feel overwhelmed. Keep it up, you are a true inspiration. I am so happy I found your blog.
        And if ever you have the time I am also wondering what you give to your tiniest vegan. Now I am not sure how tiny he is, if I understood correctly he is under two ?? My youngest one is 14 mo and is in that bizarre stage that she no longer has baby food (basic purees) but cannot yet eat most of what we eat. As much as I can, I cook food she could also enjoy – like today she had peanut butter for the first time in the morning smoothie. I am just wondering what will she eat when I go back to work in November and will no longer be able to nurse her during the day??? She will have to have some snacks – so far it is 3 meals plus several nursing sessions (between 3 and….. 6). What did you do at this stage??? (I also have to mention that she is still very fond of purees, larger chunks make her choke.
        Thanks!

      • aza says:

        oh, one more thing. we are also big fans of wraps…. with a hummus base, or pureed avocado or a tofu spread, I can add tons of veggies, even those that would not normally be popular 😉 (mommy, is that bell pepper that I am tasting? it is good in this wrap) hey, even summer garlic goes almost unnoticed. and it is great for little hands too.

      • aza says:

        Oh, one more thing. As you are big fans of hummus, I don’t know if you do what I have been doing lately, since I don’t really like the straight hummus taste, I find it a bit blend— I make a large batch, put some aside for my little baker ;), I split it in let’s say three portions, then add ingredients to each portion: marinated roasted peppers, olives, pine nuts plus fresh basil. And then they all seem like different spreads, each family member has their favourite and so on. It makes it easier to enjoy. And I also have a great recipe for paté végé, from the owner of a guesthouse we once stayed in, near Ottawa (it is mainly seeds, veggies and flour, and of course spices and herbs).
        And since we’re talking food, I am just making spanakopita, miam-miam. Enjoy your weekend!!

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