Packing a lunch everyday can become a drag, and packing a vegan lunchbox is no exception. It seems like I am always inspired to pack interesting, creative lunches at the beginning of the school year. By the time October rolls around I am packing boring sandwiches again. This year I was determined to get out of that rut, and for the most part my plan has worked. My main strategy has been to plan 1-2 creative meals that can be repeated during the week. I especially like meals that can be frozen so I can use it a few times in one week and freeze the rest for another time. One of Trey’s favorite meals this year has been Pizza Roll Ups, which he also calls pizza cinnamon rolls.
These rolls were inspired by Cinnaholic, a vegan cinnamon roll shop in Berkeley. We have been big fans of Cinnaholic ever since it opened. The brilliant concept is to offer a variety of frostings and toppings to customize your own cinnamon roll. If you are in the Bay Area it is a must stop. You can also order rolls online.
Cinnaholic started offering pizza rolls occasionally a few years ago. I tried one and thought it would be a great school lunch for Trey. I did some research online and found a few non- vegan versions and then made my own. They have been a big success. Success to me means half of them don’t come home with the “I didn’t have time to eat those, Mom” excuse. Trey eats 2 at lunch with a fruit and vegetable on the side.
To make the rolls buy fresh pizza dough at the grocery store or local pizzeria. I usually buy mine at Whole Foods. Let the dough rise in an oiled bowl on the counter for about an hour. Next roll the dough out into a rectangle. Top the dough with pizza sauce, Daiya cheese and vegan pepperoni (or whatever toppings your family likes). Trey really loves the pepperoni since it looks like the pepperoni his buddies are eating.
Once all of the toppings are on the pizza roll up the whole rectangle into a long log. Then slice the log into 8-10 pieces (depending on how thick you want your pizza rolls). Place the slices into an oiled baking dish. Bake them at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, until the dough is golden brown.
I make these about once per month. I pack them for Trey twice the week I make them and freeze the remaining rolls. Several times during the month I will pull 2 rolls out of the freezer and pack them for another lunch.
I would love to hear anyone else strategy for packing a vegan lunch beyond the standard sunflower butter and jelly sandwich. Please share your tips and strategies in the Comments below.