{Today’s Lunchbox} Hidden Noodles Yummy Sauce

by Valerie on January 3, 2011 · 10 comments

jan 3 lunchbox

Return of the {Today’s Lunchbox} Series
As promised, the lunchboxes are back.  Today’s lunchbox is inspired by Gena of Choosing Raw and Elana of Elana’s Pantry.  Gena has been great about offering desk lunch ideas on her blog – I loved her post called Work Lunches for Real Women and her Meal Sized Salads post also had some great lunch ideas – while Elana is, as you may already know, an expert on baking with blanched almond flour – and I have been experimenting with grain-free baking the last few weeks.  Here are the specifics of this lunchbox, which contains lunch, two snacks and a small dinner.

  • Brown rice noodles with Sesame Noodle Sauce (see below for recipe), inspired by this recipe from Choosing Raw, tossed with carrots, peas, celery, dry cooked pressed tofu, and a side of briefly-steamed kale.  The noodles are a bit hidden by all the toppings.
  • Leftover steamed chard
  • Leftover roasted broccoli and coriander seeds
  • Two nut-seed pates experiment along with a few crackers from my first-ever batch of vegan almond flour crackers from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook (see below)

Have a Lunchbox & Want to be a Guest Blogger at {Today’s Lunchbox}?
I am looking for guest bloggers of lunchboxes on an ongoing basis, so email me at citylifeeats at gmail dot com if you are interested.  Guest lunchboxes must be gluten-free and whole-foods based but need not be dairy-free or vegan.  I know this is a time for resolutions and change for many, so would like to provide as much lunchbox inspiration as possible.  To do that, I think it is important that you see not just my own lunchboxes but other people’s as well. In my view, packing one’s lunch is a change that can have so much impact – both on your health and finances – so I would love to hear from many of you.  They can be work-day lunchboxes, school lunchboxes, travel lunchboxes or weekend lunchboxes.  

Recipe Corner
I have always loved sesame noodles, but until seeing Gena’s Choosing Raw version, it had never occurred to me to make them with tahini.  Silly me, as Gena’s recipe is brilliant.  I adapted it to suit my taste for more spice and garlic.  The sauce tastes indulgent and provides protein and fat.  I like it because it is very satiating and holds up well in a lunchbox.  I am submitting the recipe to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday over at  Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free as well as Gluten-Free Wednesday over at the Gluten-Free Homemaker. 

Sesame Noodle Sauce (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Low-Glycemic, Soy-Free option)
Makes 2-4 servings
Inspired by Choosing Raw

  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbsps tahini (I love love love the raw Artisana tahini {it seems to be cheaper at health food stores than Amazon} but roasted tahini would work fine)
  • 2 Tbsps raw cashew butter (can be replaced with 2 additional tablespoons tahini)
  • 2 Tbsps tamari (use Coconut Aminos or South River Azuki or Chickpea tamaris to make soy-free)
  • 2 tsps toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp untoasted sesame oil or grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 tsp hot sesame oil (omit if you do not like spicy foods)
  • 3 tbsp water

Blend ingredients in a blender or food processor or by hand.  I used about half of the recipe for 4 oz of brown rice noodles and a couple of cups of vegetables.

Grain-Free Baking & Almond Flour

The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook

Lately, I have been experimenting with cutting back on grains, particularly grain-based flours, for a combination of reasons – the biggest two reasons adding more variety and seeing what effect eating fewer grains has on my blood sugar, satiety, and general well-being.  My cholesterol has actually dropped to the point of being lower than the lowest normal cut-off which, combined with some continuing mineral absorption issues, means I am now trying to increase the fat and protein in my diet to see if that helps.  Almond flour seemed like a good thing to play with as I rework the macros in my eating (which I had not been watching too closely in the last year) – I had initially stayed away from almond flour because so many recipes require a large number of eggs, but increased confidence in baking and some knowledge gleaned from many of my beloved blogs made me realize that as long as I cut the recipe down to a smaller batch that would require only one egg, using chia seeds as an egg substitute should work well.  

This was exactly the case with the Herb Crackers from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook. The recipe for 60 crackers calls for two eggs, but cutting the recipe in half and using 1/2 tablespoon of chia seeds which, once ground in a coffee grinder, equaled about 1 tablespoon of chia meal, worked perfectly.  I mixed the chia meal with 1/4 cup of water, allowed gelling to occur and made delicious crackers.  Another bonus – they are filling crackers, particularly when combined with a nut pate (a concept I learned from Gena and  love as an alternative to hummus).    

And that, friends, is today’s return of the lunchboxes.  Future lunchbox posts will be shorter again, but I look forward to sharing lunchboxes with you in the weeks and months ahead. 


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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) January 3, 2011 at 3:52 pm

You almost make me miss the days of packing a lunch to go to work. Almost.


2 Globetrotting Cacti January 3, 2011 at 8:43 pm

The noodle sauce recipe sounds fab. Have added the ingredients to my shopping list…


3 Steph January 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm

I love the char look that's on your brocolli! Yum!!


4 Maggie January 4, 2011 at 12:06 am

I want to work with you so we can do a lunch swap :) Heehee. Thanks for introducing me to Gena – she's got some amazing recipes! I tried her macademia goat cheese a couple of months ago – oh my! Happy New Year!


5 Vienna January 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Your lunch boxes are so inspirational! Where do you get the time? I am full of good intentions and ideas but I fail to see them through in my too-busy lifestyle. How do you manage? Happy 2011. X


6 Wendy @Celiacs in the House January 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm

More delicious lunches and links. I love Elana's cookbook and her cracker recipes. Now I'm off to see if I have all the ingredients for your sesame noodles for my lunch. :)


7 Tasty Eats At Home January 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Oh yum. I am digging all of the sesame deliciousness. I'm gonna have to check out choosing raw too!


8 Linda January 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm

I have yet to find a soy free tamari, but I need to look harder. Thanks for your suggestions. I hadn't even thought about ordering some. You're the lunch box queen!


9 Megan Hassen January 5, 2011 at 7:37 pm

What a great looking recipe! I was just fretting over what to feed my GF son for lunch this week. Thanks for your help!


10 Brittany @Real Sustenance January 5, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I made a vow to work hard this year to eat more vegetables and to pull away from soy as much as possible. and this post makes you my new best friend :)
I just tried the coconut aminos this week for the first time (not bad!)
Thanks for this Lovely Post!!


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