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A super tasty idea for out-of-home meals that will not make you feel guilty when eating: Lentil and chickpea burgers, the vegetarian alternative to one of the most popular dishes amongst young people.

These vegetarian burgers are an excellent way of eating legumes in a less common preparation, which is so tasty that it may conquer even those who are not very fond of lentils and chickpeas.

This lunch box is rich in plant proteins and fibre, which leads to long lasting fullness and low glycemic index, elements that will turn this lunch box into a great companion for many meals!

Follow me in order not to run short of ideas for out-of-home meals and have a loot at my recipe of Legumotti with vegetable ragout and Jerusalem artichokes.

Lentil and chickpea burgers

62g carbohydrates for the whole lunch box

Ingredients for 1 lunch box

  • 110g lentils, boiled
  • 100g chickpeas, boiled
  • 1 Tropea onion
  • 40g leek
  • 20g breadcrumbs** + breading
  • 1 tablespoon of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar of Modena
  • pickled cucumbers*
  • string beans or other vegetables in season
  • paprika
  • chilli pepper
  • salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation

  1. Sauté the chopped leek in a pan with a little extra virgin olive oil, then put it in a blender with the lentils and boiled chickpeas; blend to a cream.
  2. Add a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese, the breadcrumbs, paprika, chilli pepper, salt and pepper and mix well.
  3. Slice the Tropea onion and brown it in a non-stick pan with a little oil, a pinch of salt and finally douse it with balsamic vinegar from Modena.
  4. Pour a trickle of oil in a non-stick frying pan and another trickle on the palm of one hand to easily form a burger with the lentil and chickpea mixture.
  5. Cover the burger with breadcrumbs and brown it on both sides in the pan with the oil.
  6. Assemble the lunch box by placing two burgers, Tropea onion, sweet and sour cucumbers and complete with boiled green beans or other vegetables in season.

burger di lenticchie e ceci

What does our lunch box contain today? When Gaia lifts the lid of the container, there are always new ideas waiting for her for lunches away from home, and today’s Legumotti with vegetable ragout and Jerusalem artichokes will be a surprise in terms of taste and energy.

Legumotti will provide you with carbohydrates and plant proteins that will help  you keep your blood sugar under control thanks to the fibre present in the many vegetables on the plate. What about Jerusalem artichoke? Do you know this exotically named ingredient?

Jerusalem artichoke is the root of a plant that is very common throughout Italy, so vital that it is considered almost a weed, growing in wet environments, preferably along watercourses. The root can be eaten either raw or cooked, just like in our lunch box, so you can enjoy its artichoke-like flavour when cooked and its pleasant crunchiness when eaten raw.

It is very suitable for people with diabetes as it has a low carbohydrate content and a high percentage of fibre, in addition to its high digestibility which makes it suitable for everyone. So what are you waiting for to try the recipe?

Follow me not to run short of ideas for out-of-home meals! And if you are looking for a lunch with a lower amount of carbs, try my Roastbeef with aubergine cream.

Legumotti with vegetable ragout and Jerusalem artichokes

42.26g carbohydrates for the whole lunch box

Ingredients for 1 lunch box

  • 280g Jerusalem artichokes
  • 80g carrot
  • 50g leek
  • 40g celery
  • 70g Barilla Legumotti*
  • 30g Parmigiano Reggiano 36 months
  • 20g shelled walnuts
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 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. Chop the leek and sweat it in a non-stick pan with a little oil; dice the carrot, celery and some Jerusalem artichokes and add them to the pan with leek, then cook all the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook Legumotti in lightly salted boiling water, removing with a skimmer the foam that forms on the surface during cooking. Drain Legumotti and mix them with the vegetable ragout, seasoning with a little oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Preparate l’insalata di topinambur. Slice the Jerusalem artichokes with a mandoline or a well-sharpened knife; add Parmigiano Reggiano cheese cut into slivers, then season with lemon, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, then top with walnuts.
  4. Fill the lunch box by placing Legumotti in one of the containers and the Jerusalem artichoke and Parmigiano Reggiano salad in another container. Close everything and take the lunch box with you!

legumotti con rafù di verdure e topinambur

Version with gluten of Legumotti with vegetable ragout and Jerusalem artichokes

The recipe does not need any adaptations for the version with gluten.

Would you like some ideas for out-of-home meals that come directly from the traditions of southern Italy? Here is how to prepare Broad bean puree with vegetables, a very simple dish, but absolutely extraordinary in terms of taste and well-being.

Once prepared, put a serving in the lunch box (I prepared a larger amount to use for the whole family), complete with boiled or baked seasonal vegetables and lunch is served!

Broad bean puree is prepared from dried broad beans, so you can cook it in any season, while the accompanying vegetables will change: have fun changing vegetables! At this time of year, rapini are the stars, so they couldn’t be missing alongside this soft, smooth puree.

Mashed broad beans are certainly more interesting than their more famous potato-based dish as they are rich in plant protein and slow-absorbing complex carbohydrates. Moreover, by accompanying it with vegetables, we will have a high percentage of fibre, our great ally of well-being.

Follow me not to run out of ideas for out-of-home meals and have a look at Legumotti with vegetable ragout and Jerusalem artichokes.

Broad bean puree with vegetables

32.16g carbohydrates for the whole lunch box

Ingredients for 1 lunch box

  • 60g dried broad beans
  • water
  • rapini and other boiled or baked vegetables to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation

  1. Rinse the broad beans and soak them in water the night before.
  2. Transfer the broad beans to a pan (use the soaking water for kneading the bread!) and cover them with water in such a way to have about 3cm of water above their surface. Simmer for about 1 hour or until the broad beans have dissolved.
  3. Pour the broad beans into a blender and blend them while pouring in extra virgin olive oil in a drizzle to make the puree nice and creamy, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Assemble the lunch box with mashed broad beans accompanied by blanched rapini and other vegetables to taste: I added onion and baked beetroot.

Purè di fave con verdure

Ideas for out-of-home meals are always good because we increasingly eat lunch away from our kitchens. What does our lunch box contain today? An appetising Red rice salad with avocado cream.

Red rice is a wholemeal alternative to white rice, thus an excellent substitute, rich in flavour and, above all, fibre. In this lunch box you will find it paired with a tasty cream of avocado, a fruit rich in antioxidants and cholesterol-friendly mono-unsaturated fatty acids, and a vegetable salad enriched with the Omega 3 of tuna.

Here then is how you can prepare it for another good and satisfying lunch.

Follow me not to run short of ideas for out-of-home meals! And if you are looking for meals with a lower amount of carbs, try my Roastbeef with aubergine cream.

Red rice salad with avocado cream

51.72g carbohydrates for the whole lunch box

Ingredients for 1 lunch box

  • 60g Basmati rice
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 40g drained tuna
  • 40g iceberg lettuce
  • 30g fat free Greek yoghurt
  • 30g carrots
  • 30g pitted green olives
  • lemon juice
  • parsley
  • 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. Boil the red rice in lightly salted water, possibly making sure that the rice completely absorbs the liquid. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little oil.
  2. Mash half an avocado in a bowl and add Greek yoghurt, season with parsley, salt and pepper.
  3. Prepare the salad by cutting iceberg lettuce into strips, grate the carrots, add the pitted olives and dress with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Fill the lunch box by placing the red rice in one of the containers with the drained tuna and the avocado cream, while placing the vegetable salad in the second container. Close it up and take it with you!

riso rosso con crema di avocado

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.