The Vegan Lunch Box, by Jennifer McCann
My bacon-crazed children are as far from veganism as you can get, so I’m not automatically inspired by a book like Jennifer McCann’s The Vegan Lunch Box (Lifelong Books, 2008). Oh right, sprout- and tempeh sandwiches? Vegan peanut stew? I happen to love that kind of thing, but not my little ones.
So I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the book to find countless recipes I was eager to try, and almost as many for my children. Based on McCann’s award-winning food blog, the book has a cheerful parade of great ideas, in the form of recipes and info boxes.
Lunch Box Fondue is made from tofu and miso and is apparently so delicious that McCann’s son dips brussells sprouts into it. Mini Vegan Pizzas would go great in a lunch box, as would Rice Balls and Pumpkin Carob Chip Muffins (although I’d take her up on her suggestion to substitute chocolate chips!). For my own lunches, I look forward to trying Tofu Apple Spring Rolls, and Mixed Vegetable Wat, a spicy Ethiopian stew.
The one reservation I have about this book is its occasional reliance on processed foods. For example, the recipe for Mini Wellingtons calls for a package of frozen puff pastry, which is usually a highly processed food filled with industrial ingredients. But for the most part, the ingredients in this book are either natural whole ingredients, or items that can be easily substituted, and that’s a branch of veganism I can support. For more ideas or to order the book, check out McCann’s blog at www.veganlunchbox.com.