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Are you running short of ideas for out-of-home meals? Here comes another load of recipes for our lunch box ideas for a quick, balanced and tasty lunch to carry with your, wherever you go.

In this way, eating gluten free and counting carbs is no longer a programme, not even when eating out of home, i.e. when meals are always a challenge: the lunch box becomes a travel companion and moment of joy and pleasure.

We found the perfect lunch box for our needs at our friend’s store “I love my house” whom I always ask for help when I am looking for equipment and kitchen solutions: here is where you can find our LUNCH BOX.

Follow me not to run short of ideas for out-of-home meals and watch this vegetarian alternative Venere rice salad with cherry tomatoes and pistachio nuts.

Quinoa salad with Primo sale cheese and salmon

38.6g carbohydrates for the whole lunch box

Ingredients for 1 lunch box

  • 100g green beans
  • 50g quinoa
  • 50g Primo sale cheese or another semi-soft cheese you like
  • 50g smoked salmon
  • 10g shelled walnuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • parsley
  • salt

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (in Italy they may be listed on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Boil the quinoa in double the amount of water of its weight for about 20 minutes or until the water has been completely absorbed.
  2. Boil the green beans, strain into cold water, drain and cuthttp://unochefpergaia.it/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Insalata-di-quinoa-con-primo-sale-e-salmone-7.jpg into pieces.
  3. Pour a dribble of oil in a non-stick pan and brown a clove of garlic in it, then add chopped parsley and the green bean pieces: allow to gain flavour for a couple of minutes.
  4. Dress the quinoa with the green beans, the cheese in dices, the smoked salmon in slices and the shelled and slightly crushed walnuts; adjust salt if necessary.

insalata di quinoa

Version with gluten of Quinoa salad with Primo sale cheese and salmon

The recipe contains only naturally gluten free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten.

 

Here come more ideas for out-of-home meals to be carried in our lunch box for eating at work or at school.  This is a recipe for a Chicken salad with a very low carb content to be thus completed with a source of healthy carbs.

This tasty lunch box contains very few carbs therefore remember to add a slice of wholemeal bread to and a fruits in season for a balanced nutritional intake.  And remember that this Chicken salad with apples and green beans can be a good solution in every season.

This is where we found our LUNCH BOX.

Are you running short of ideas for out-of-home meals! And if you are looking for a lunch with a higher amount of carbs, try my Pasta with chickpea cream and broccoli.

Chicken salad with apples and string beans

8.4g carbohydrates for the whole lunch box

Ingredients for 1 lunch box

  • 180g chicken (this will weigh about 130g once cooked)
  • 60g iceberg lettuce
  • 50g string beans
  • 50g tuna in oil
  • 50g apples
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Tabasco
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • parsley
  • salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (in Italy they may be listed on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Grill the chicken, then cut it into strips and flavour with some drops of Tabasco, salt, pepper, a dribble of extra virgin olive oil and chopped parsley.
  2. Boil the string beans and throw them in cold water as soon as they are cooked.
  3. Put the lettuce cut into strips in a bowl, add the apples, sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent the apple from becoming dark, add some tuna fillets in pieces and dress with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Complete the lunch box dressing the chicken with string beans in pieces, a dribble of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper as needed.

Insalata di pollo

Version with gluten of Chicken salad with apples and string beans 

The recipe contains only naturally gluten free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten.

Here come more ideas for your out-of-home lunch! In our lunch box today, protein, vitamin and fibre are the stars.  What am I talking about? Of a delicious Roast beef with aubergine cream to be served with a slice of bread for a complete, balanced and tasty lunch to take with you for every occasion.

In my ideas for out-of-home meals you find the carb count of the whole lunch box: it will be super easy for our kids to calculate how much insulin to inject and lunch will be a joyful moment to share with friends.

If you need a container to take with you, find here the LUNCH BOXwe use.

Have a look at the recipe to prepare my Venere rice salad with cherry tomatoes and pistachio nuts.

Roast beef with aubergine cream

15.9g carbohydrates for the whole lunch box

Ingredients for 1 lunch box

  • 300g aubergine
  • 140g roast beef, sliced
  • 15g raisins or dried apricots
  • 10g desalted capers
  • 10g pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 3 mint leaves
  • aromatic herbs to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (in Italy they may be listed on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Cut the aubergine into dices of a couple of centimetres, sprinkle with salt and put in a strainer to draw out excess moisture.
  2. Pat the aubergine dry with a piece of kitchen paper and sautée it in a non-stick pan with a dribble of oil until cooked.
  3. Blend 2/3 of the eggplant with a tablespoon of lemon juice, a tablespoon of oil and 3 mint leaves; adjust salt and pepper, flavour with chopped aromatic herbs to taste.
  4. Dress the remaining aubergine with a tablespoon of vinegar, pine nuts, raisins and capers.
  5. Assemple the lunch box with slices of roast beef topped with aubergine cream and complete with the aubergine salad.

roastbeef con crema di melanzane

Version with gluten of Roast beef with aubergine cream 

The recipe contains only naturally gluten free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten.

 

 

Are you looking for more ideas for your out-of-home lunch? Eating out is indispensable not only for those who work, but also for those who study, so the time has come to share some recipes for your lunch box or for what Japanese people call “bento“… Well, many ideas for lunch boxes that are complete, balanced and tasty to take with you on every occasion.

So, for our young ones going to university and having to eat gluten free and to count carbohydrates easily, the lunch box is a faithful travel mate that contributes to turning the lunch break into a joyful moment.

We found the perfect lunch box for our needs at our friend’s store “I love my house” whom I always ask for help when I am looking for equipment and kitchen solutions: here is where you can find our LUNCH BOX.

This is the beginning of a project that is very dear to me because lunch is a key meal, especially for out kids and we cannot allow ourselves to run short of ideas!

Stay tuned for many more fantastic recipes! Meanwhile, have a look at my Coronation pasta salad.

Pasta with chickpea cream and broccoli

85.91g carbohydrates for the whole lunch box

Ingredients for 1 lunch box

  • 110g broccoli florets
  • 100g boiled chickpeas
  • 70g Massimo Zero Organic Pipe**
  • 15g dried apricots
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • paprika
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • parsley
  • salt

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (in Italy they may be listed on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Boil pasta al dente in salted boiling water, drain and dress it with a dribble of extra virgin olive oil leaving the pasta to cool down.
  2. Blend 70g chickpeas with about 50g water, lemon juice, salt and pepper and a dribble of oil to obtain a cream.
  3. Dress the remaining chickpeas with paprika, pepper and oil to taste, together with blanched broccoli florets.
  4. Season the pasta with the chickpea and broccoli mixture, then add the dried apricots cut in pieces and pour everything in the lunch box.
  5. Put the chickpea cream in the second container or on the pasta completing with a dusting of chopped parsley and a dribble of oil.  Mix well before eating.

Version with gluten of Pasta with chickpea cream and broccoli 

The recipe contains only naturally gluten free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten; however, if you want, you can replace Massimo Zero corn and rice pasta with a durum wheat alternative.

My “oven free” recipes continue, giving us pleasure for the eyes and palate and Piadina bread is certainly an excellent solution. This time we are going to prepare them in a light version using oil and especially with a fresh and colourful topping: here is the recipe of my Layered pie of Piadina with oil.

Few steps to prepare Piadina, then let your creativity free to top and overlap them to form a true Layered pie of Piadina with oil that you can slice and serve easily.  Ideal also as a solution to “clean out your fridge” upon condition that you have plenty of vegetables in season.

Do not forget to add some aromatic herbs to your recipes: they will be a pleasure for taste and will allow you to reduce the amount of salt! And if you are looking for another idea to save energy not using the oven, try these No-cook stuffed tomatoes.

Layered pie of Piadina with oil

50.6g carbohydrates per 100g Piadina

17g carbohydrates per 100g Layered pie of Piadina with oil

Ingredients for 4 pieces of Piadina

  • 150g flour mix for bread Nutrifree**
  • 120g water
  • 30g wholemeal rice flour*
  • 25 g extra virgin olive oil
  • 20g fine corn flour*
  • ½ tsp salt
  • a bit of baking soda

Ingredients for stuffing

  • 300g small tomatoes of various colours
  • 300g Stracchino cheese or another cream cheese
  • 100g mixed leafy greens
  • 100g smoked salmon
  • basil
  • oregano
  • salt

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (in Italy they may be listed on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Pour the flour mix and rice flour in a bowl with salt and baking soda, then pour the water and mix; finish adding the oil in a trickle.
  2. Knead on a board until smooth, then cover the dough with a T-towel or cling film and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into 4 parts, shape balls, then roll them out with a rolling pin to a thickness of about 1-2mm forming a disk.
  4. Warm up a non-stick pan over medium heat and cook the disks of Piadina for 2-3 minutes on each side.
  5. Start assembling the layered pie putting a Piadina on the bottom, top it with a part of cream cheese, a layer of leafy greens and some slices of tomato; cover with a second Piadina and top it with a second part of cream cheese, leafy greens, some slices of tomato and half the salmon; add the third Piadina and top it the same way as the previous layer and finally top with the last Piadina, the remaining cream cheese and sliced coloured tomatoes overlapping the slices a bit.
  6. Complete with a pinch of salt, a dusting of oregano and parsley leaves.

torta di piadine

Version with gluten of Layered pie of Piadina with oil

Prepare the Piadina with oil using 200g wheat flour, 100g water, 25g extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and a bit of baking soda.  Stuff the pie to taste: the ingredients given in the recipe are all naturally gluten free.

 

If you want to surprise your friends with simplicity, this Tomato Bruschetta sauce can be an idea: with 3 ingredients and the aromatic herbs from your garden, you can have a topping that is as irresistible as cherries!

With so few ingredients, the secret for success is their quality and especially peeled tomatoes make the difference. My recommendation is for you to try Ciro Flagella Peeled Tomatoes that you will never forget after trying once.  Then, if you really want a treat, prepare 2 sauces following the same procedure, but using red tomatoes for one sauce and yellow tomatoes for the other: it will be like having a cone of Gelato with two scoops of your favourite flavours.

For a perfect Bruschetta sauce, remember to remove all the seeds from the peeled tomatoes and avoid pieces of aromatic herbs: use a specific bag or container for the herbs so that they can release their essential oils, but not lose leaves or seeds.

And if you have time to chop some extra shallot, make some extra sauce and store it in a jar in the refrigerator to serve with starters or main courses.

ingredienti

Tomato Bruschetta sauce

6.6g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 500g peeled tomatoes
  • 150g shallot
  • 50g extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch of aromatic herbs (rosemary, thyme, marjoram, summer savoury)
  • extra virgin olive oil, chilli pepper, garlic, salt

Preparation of the Bruschetta sauce

  1. Cut the peeled tomatoes in half, remove the seeds and dice the flesh.  Chop the shallot finely and sweat it with 50g olive oil, then add the diced tomato, the garlic and the aromatic herbs bouquet in a bag or colander so that it just releases its aroma.
  2. Allow to cook over low heat until the tomato has become creamy and the liquid has completely evaporated, therefore at least 1 hour.
  3. Use the sauce to top Bruschettas or with meat or fish.

salsa di pomodori gialli

Version with gluten of Tomato Bruschetta sauce 

The recipe contains only naturally gluten free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten.

What could be more satisfying than a dessert prepared without the addition of sugar and with two of the most delicious ingredients par excellence, chocolate and cherries? The answer is: this Chocolate and cherry ganache, the pleasure of a dessert without the (or perhaps it is better to say ‘with very little’) guilt!!!

Yes, because while this fantastic recipe does not include added sugar and cream, it does not mean that it is calorie-free because it is made with avocado and chocolate, but at the same time, it is calories from nutritionally valuable foods.

Avocado is in fact rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids (therefore good for our organism), antioxidants (it is no coincidence that it is used in many cosmetic products), vitamins, fibres and mineral salts, so much so that it has an anti-inflammatory function on our body: a true natural supplement. Moreover, for some years now, its cultivation has been spreading to Sicily and Sardinia, making its consumption much more environmentally sustainable for us Italians.

As far as chocolate is concerned, the choice you have at your disposal is very wide, so buy your favourite chocolate considering a cocoa percentage of no more than 55-60% (otherwise you will feel the need to add some sugar to the preparation) and perhaps lactose-free for those who are lactose intolerant: in short, Chocolate and Cherry Ganache is really the dessert for everyone, considering that with the right chocolate it is also suitable for vegans.

Also, since the cherry season is, alas, always too short for such a delicious fruit, indulge yourself with any other fruit to make the accompanying sauce, perhaps following the recipe for Panna cotta with berries.

Chocolate and cherry ganache with no added sugar

 18.83g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for chocolate ganache for 4 servings

  • 200g avocado pulp (approx. 1 avocado)
  • 120g chocolate with no added sugar*
  • 25g bitter cocoa*
  • water, if needed
  • edible flowers for decoration (optional)

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Ingredients for the cherry sauce

  • 400g cherries
  • the juice of 1/ 2 lemon
  • water

Preparation 

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie or microwave, then let it cool down.
  2. Put the avocado pulp in the blender with the cocoa powder and melted chocolate: blend to obtain a smooth and fluffy cream adding a few tablespoons of cold water if it is too hard.
  3. Stone the cherries and place them in a non-stick pan with the lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of water over high heat so that the cherries release some of their juice: this will take about 5 minutes.
  4. Assemble the cups by placing a portion of chocolate ganache and the cherries with their cooking liquid as a complement: you can serve them cold or warm as you like.

ganache di cioccolato e ciliegie

Version with gluten of Chocolate and cherry ganache with no added sugar

This recipe contains only naturally gluten-free ingredients, so no adaptations are necessary.

Surely leek and potato soup is a great classic, yet all it takes is the addition of one ingredient to turn it into something unexpected that can be enjoyed hot or cold: we are talking about the Vichyssoise summer soup, see how to prepare it!

So, let’s find out what it is. Its origin is traced back to the chef of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in New York who is said to have invented it in the summer of 1917 to provide relief to his guests in times when air conditioning wasn’t  available. This soup prepared with two humble, easily available vegetables is transformed into a gourmet dish by fresh cream, added cold to lower the serving temperature: such simplicity will amaze you! And the name? It would be an homage to the soups cooked by the chef’s mother when they lived near the French city of Vichy.

In the recipe, I took the liberty of significantly reducing the amount of butter, limiting it to a knob along with a drizzle of oil to sweat the leeks, while the cream is definitely the irreplaceable ingredient in the recipe.

A great, naturally gluten-free classic to be eaten with a little caution for blood sugar, which will be stressed both in the short term, due to the presence of potatoes, and in the long term (after 3-4 hours) due to the presence of cream. And if you are looking for another idea for summer, try my Gazpacho of yellow tomatoes, peppers and crispy prosciutto.

Vichyssoise summer soup

6.3g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients

  • 1 litre vegetable stock*
  • 500g leek
  • 400g potatoes
  • 125g fresh cream
  • 1 knob of butter
  • chives or other herbs to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (in Italy they may be listed on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation of the Vichyssoise summer soup

  1. Wash the leeks thoroughly and cut them into small pieces. Put a knob of butter and a trickle of oil in a pan and sweat the leeks, making sure not to brown them: the colour must remain the same!
  2. When the leeks are soft, add the diced potatoes, let them season for 1 minute, then cover with the hot stock and cook.
  3. When the vegetables are cooked, blend everything together: you can leave some of the soup in pieces or make a velouté. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the cold fresh cream, stir and serve with a pinch of chives or other herbs you like. Remember that the Vichyssoise can be served warm, lukewarm or cold.

vichyssoise

Version with gluten of Vichyssoise summer soup

This recipe contains only naturally gluten-free ingredients, so no adaptations are necessary.

 

If a historical company like Pastificio Berruto asks you to think of a nutritionally balanced one-dish meal for young consumers to be published in the middle of summer, I immediately thought of my kids, of what they would be able to cook on their own and, above all, of what would make them and their friends happy for a summer lunch. Here is my Coronation Pasta Salad.

My recipe draws inspiration from Coronation chicken, a cold chicken dish that was invented by the two women who ran the London Cordon Bleu cooking school for the banquet organised for Queen Elizabeth‘s coronation in 1953. The name is therefore a clear tribute to the event for which it was intended.

In addition to boiled chicken left to cool, the recipe called for dried apricots, curry, mayonnaise and sour cream, as well as other ingredients in smaller amounts. The two ingredients I took the liberty of making changes to are mayonnaise, the amount of which I have drastically reduced, and sour cream, which I have replaced with zero-fat Greek yoghurt. Furthermore, I turned the recipe into a delicious pasta salad.

So, I enriched the chicken with pasta as a source of carbohydrates and cherry tomatoes as a source of fibre and a touch of freshness. In short, a riot of aromas, flavours and colours for a truly royal summer!

Gli ingredienti principali dell'Insalata di pasta Coronation

The main ingredients of the Coronation Pasta Salad

Coronation pasta salad

22.16g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 4-6 servings

  • 600g chicken
  • 300g gluten-free Penne Berruto**
  • 150g water used for boiling the chicken
  • 85g dried apricots
  • 75g fat-free Greek yoghurt
  • 75g mayonnaise*
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 teaspoons curry*
  • 1 level tablespoon of tomato paste
  • The juice of ½ lemon
  • chopped parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 peppercorns
  • salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Boil the chicken breasts in a large pan with the bay leaf, onion and carrot. Add half a tablespoon of salt and the peppercorns; bring to the boil over medium heat and cook for about 25 minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow the chicken to cool in the cooking juices.
  2. Meanwhile, fry the finely chopped shallots in a non-stick pan with a little oil; add the curry and continue cooking for one minute. Add the tomato paste dissolved in the chicken stock, the lemon juice and cook for 10 minutes to thicken the sauce. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  3. Remove the chicken from the broth and cut it into fairly even pieces.
  4. Mix together mayonnaise, yoghurt and curry sauce; add chopped apricots and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Season the chicken with the sauce and stir, making sure that it is completely covered by it. Leave it to rest.
  6. Cook the penne al dente in plenty of salted water, drain and dress with the chicken salad. Complete with a few chopped cherry tomatoes and a sprinkling of chopped parsley. Serve the salad warm or cold to taste: it is simply irresistible!

Pasta coronation

Version with gluten of Coronation salad

Replace the gluten-free Penne Berruto with standard Penne Berruto, while the sauce contains only naturally gluten-free ingredients, so no changes are necessary.

When kids ask you for a savoury snack that has to combine several needs, the choice becomes difficult, and if you add a colour game, in my case green, the request turns into a real challenge: the answer is my Pea protein pancakes.

The first request, this time from my son Nicolò, is for protein pancakes because his protein requirement is imposed by daily basketball practice. I turned to a source of vegetable protein and looked for a soy flour with the label gluten-free.

The second request, again from Nicolò, was to include legumes in the preparation, again to better cope with sporting activity having glucose levels as stable as possible.

And finally the game: thanks to theItalian Food Bloggers Association I became aware of a fun initiative entitled Chefs in Colouran online event by Federchimica Ceramicolor dedicated to colour in the kitchen, and since painting is one of my hobbies, I couldn’t help but jump into the fray! My task? Making a green dish, so my pea protein pancakes were just perfect.

And the taste? Delicious and with the sweet and irresistible touch of peas, teased by the saltiness of Greek feta… in short, challenges are like spices for cooking: they add flavour to everything. If you love pancakes, also try these made with chickpea flour.

Protein pea pancakes

8.6g carbohydrates per 100g 

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 250g peas
  • 100g vegetable stock
  • 100g milk
  • 60g white soy yoghurt*
  • 45g soy flour*
  • 1 egg
  • 20g wholemeal rice flour*
  • 20g leek
  • 4g cake yeast*
  • Greek feta cheese to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Mix soy and rice flour with milk, soy yoghurt and egg in a bowl using a whisk or blend in a food processor; add baking powder, a pinch of salt and pepper and 50g peas.
  2. Take a steel ring of the desired diameter (I used a 10cm one) and place it on a non-stick pan; pour a little oil inside the ring, then pour in enough batter with the peas to form a pancake. As soon as it has solidified slightly on one side, remove the ring, turn the pancake over and cook it on the other side as well. Continue until all ingredients are used up.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the pea cream. Slice the leek thinly, fry it in a small pan with a little oil, then add the remaining peas and the vegetable stock; bring to the boil. Transfer everything into a blender or use an immersion blender to obtain a cream; season with salt and pepper.
  4. At this point, serve the pancakes accompanied by the cream of peas and crumble Greek feta cheese on top to give a savoury touch.

pancake proteici ai piselli

Version with gluten of Protein pea pancakes

This recipe contains only naturally gluten-free ingredients, so no adaptations are necessary.