"Back to School" Series: Ten Lunchbox Showstoppers!

What's for lunch? Does this question fill you or your little student with dread or excitement? Ponder that thought and keep reading...

The Main Event.
Well when it comes to school lunches it's always a great idea to have a main event Lunchbox Showstopper. Snacks are great, but you can't survive on snacks alone. (Your student may sadly disagree with you on this fact!) Thankfully, there's nothing like a showstopping main entree to really drive a healthy appetite. So here's a few healthy, vegan, cravable lunch ideas in my Ten Lunchbox Showstopper list. It will help you and your student diner get excited about the question "What's for Lunch!"...

Fancy Schmancy Lunches are Back. I remember back in my school-days, whenever I'd bring something extra special to lunch (a giant stacked veggie sandwich, gourmet leftovers from my moms pasta salad, or basically anything that looked super yummy) it would elicit looks and questions all over the lunch room: "What's that? What are you eating? That looks good!" I'd shy away from all the attention. But guess what, fancy schmancy healthy lunches are back! It's cool to be a student-foodie in the lunch-hall.

"Back to School" Eats Series: Lunchbox Showstoppers

1) Bullseye Spiral Wraps
The spiral makes a big comeback! This sweet and creamy spiral wrap is filled with my Micro Veggie Cream Cheese and roasted red peppers. It's right on target for a yummy showstopping lunch.

2) Vegan Chick'n Pesto
The classic combo of chicken and pesto has gone vegan! My homemade raw walnut pesto makes this recipe delicious. Boca Chick'n patties make it easy! This is a thick and bold sandwich packed with protein and antioxidants to leave you feeling nothing but hungry.

3) Prepster Mushroom Marinara
Feeling a bit prepster-ish today? try this reality TV inspired sandwich filled with grilled or sauteed portobello mushrooms and a sun-dried tomato sauce. Don't forget the vegan cheese and you have yourself a shroom pizza-style sandwich!

4) TMT Pita
Forget the BLT. Try this TMT. It's a whole wheat pita stuffed with tempeh, mache lettuce and tomato. I've even added some vegan cheddar cheese to close the deal on this showstopping lunch entree.

5) Superfruit Spread: ABC Sandwich
Forget the classic PB&J. Well, at least change it up a bit by using a 'superfruit spread' instead of a traditional sugar-loaded jelly. Superfruit spreads like Crofter's are hitting the shelves and turning up the nutrient content in jams-big time! And try almond butter for an ABC sandwich: Almond Butter and Crofter's.

6) Fluffy Coconut Rice with Tofu Pillows
Pillows for lunch! Pillows for lunch! Who can resist this sweet and protein-packed lunch. Fluffy coconut crusted tofu pillow on top of a sweet and simple coconut rice. Soothing for a busy day of tests and teachers.

7) Sweet'n Sassy Sweet Potato Pockets
One of my first recipes that got people buzzing was my sweet potato pockets recipe. And guess what-they make a perfect lunch item! I use soy pita bread to add some bonus protein to this showstopper. Sweet. And sassy...

8) Lemon Peppered California Pasta Salad
Make a big bowl of this pasta and eat it all week long! Fill a plastic or eco-friendly re-usable container with pasta and send your kiddies off to school with a bowl of sunshine in their lunchboxes.

9) Ginger Mandarin Rice with Sweet Cashew Tofu
Who doesn't love a simple rice recipe that can easily be served as a lunch entree? One can of mandarins is the secret flavorful ingredient in this one stop lunchbox meal. Yum-me.

10) Brazil Nut Paella
Introduce anyone to protein-rich grain quinoa with this flavorful 'tastes like you cooked all day but you didn't' meal. Crunchy Brazil nuts and sweet peas jazz up this paella-like dish. Quinoa is a super healthy grain that is actually super student-friendly-when done right.

And don't forget to check out Kids in the Kitchen in Part four of my Back to School Series...
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