Brighten up your lunches with some bento box inspo
Whether you have kids or not, September often brings a new routine, swapping out patio lunch meet-ups or family picnics for packed lunches. Which is great! There are so many amazing things in season to pack a nutritional punch in your lunch.
If the first few weeks of September have left you feeling low on inspiration, you’re in the right place. We’re jumping on the bento box bandwagon and bringing you three vibrant, delicious and fun lunch ideas — for adults or kids. Plus, read on for the shopping list so you can pick up everything you need on your next visit to Legacy Greens!
Lunch #1: Sandwich + Snacks
Our first bento box is centred around a curried egg salad sandwich, with eggs from Little Fields Farm, sourdough bread from Golden Hearth Bakery, and fresh arugula from the Hacienda Sarria Market Garden. For a treat we’ve included a piece of Bean to Bar chocolate from Ambrosia Pastry Co. This is rounded out with local, in-season fruit and veggies for snacking.
Lunch #2: Guac + Chips
Next up is a fun one — who doesn’t love guac and chips?! Here we’ve used Mexican spice tortilla chips from Barrie’s Asparagus. These chips are new to the store, and they’re super crunchy and flavourful. We’ve made a fresh guacamole, and added two hard-boiled eggs and a handful of roasted chickpeas for protein.
Lunch #3: Veggies + Dip
The last bento box is all about the beautiful veggies that are in season right now. We’ve made a fresh hummus to dip celery, rainbow carrots, and watermelon radish. You can make your own hummus in less than five minutes if you have a food processor or blender. If not, we’ve always got our own fresh-made hummus available in the shop. This lunch also has some Mountainoak Cheese (we chose Black Truffle, but you can pick your favourite), and half of a Nutah bar from Get Baked — the perfect energy-packed fix for your sweet tooth.
Start with a plan
Sometimes shopping and prepping lunches can be daunting. Luckily, these three lunches rely on just four pantry staples (oil, salt, spices, and tahini). Everything else can be picked up at the shop. And to streamline it even more, we’ve created this handy shopping list so you can pick up everything you need to make all three lunches the next time you visit us at Legacy Greens Grocery Store in downtown Kitchener.
Here’s the order that we prepped and assembled:
- Hard boil four eggs
- Drain and divide the chickpeas. ⅔ are for hummus, and ⅓ are for roasting
- Roast chickpeas (dry them, toss them in oil, salt, and your favourite spices, roast)
- Make hummus (chickpeas, oil, tahini, juice from half a lemon, salt, and more of your favourite spices all go into a blender or food processor)
- Make egg salad (two chopped hard-boiled eggs, diced onion and celery, hummus, curry spice and dried turmeric)
- Make guacamole (half of the avocado, juice from half a lime, minced garlic, salt and pepper)
- Wash and prep your fruits and veggies
- Assemble your bento boxes! We got ours at Bradshaw’s in Stratford. You can also use any old container and create sections using silicone muffin cups!
Use up those leftovers, and share your amazing ideas!
Put on your favourite playlist or podcast and you’ll have your three lunches prepped and packed before you know it! Plus, you’ll have some leftovers to put to good use.
I’m using my leftover tortilla chips, cheese, celery, onion, avocado, tomatoes and cucumber to make a tray of veggie-packed nachos. The scraps will go in the compost, and then I’ve still got lots of great produce (along with some egg salad, hummus, and roasted chickpeas) for other healthy meals and snacks.
We know we have some creative home cooks in our community, and we always love to see how you’ve transformed the groceries you pick up at the store. So please be sure to tag us on Instagram (@legacygreens) when sharing your own recipes and inspiration so we can follow along!