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The Packed Lunch, Revisited

Food Feature

Written by Kelli Terpsma

Photography by Taryn Emerick

for your next day on the go, here are three protein-packed, low-sugar, dairy-free recipes that make adventuring easier. all three can be stored at room temperature until it’s time to eat and are perfect for your next family outing in the mountains or road trip with friends. the best part? they’re simple to create no matter the limitations of your locale and will leave you satisfied for hours on end.



• A large avocado

• 5 oz can organic chicken

• 15.5 oz can black beans

• 4 oz can diced green chilies

• Sliced olives

• Organic taco seasoning

• One package of small, whole wheat tortillas

• Cholula hot sauce (optional)


Cut the avocado open with a knife and then mash it with a fork in a Tupperware container. Open, drain and mix the canned items into the avocado. Add about one-third of the taco seasoning to mixture (or more depending on preference). Stir in three to five drops of the Cholula, if desired. Spoon the mix onto a tortilla and fold to enjoy. Pack waste in a plastic bag to recycle later.

Pairs well with blue corn chips and a few mango slices.



• 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed

• ¼ cup peanut butter

• 1/3 cup cocoa powder

• 1/3 cup maple syrup

• 1 tbsp. almond milk

• 1½ tsp. vanilla extract

• ½ tsp. baking powder

• 1/3 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips


Combine all the ingredients except the chocolate chips in a blender and blend on low speed until mixture is smooth (20–30 seconds). Scrape down the sides and blend an additional five to 10 seconds. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in chocolate chips. Cool in refrigerator for 10 to 30 minutes.

Set oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Remove mixture from refrigerator and use a ¼ cup measuring cup to scoop mix onto the parchment paper. Note: Dough is very sticky. For best results, wet hands with water and use them to roll dough into balls. Flatten the mix until it reaches desired thickness (about ¼ inch high). Bake for 17–20 minutes, rotating tray after 10 minutes. Cool completely in refrigerator and store in covered container until ready to eat.

Pairing: Piece of thick-skinned fruit (e.g., apple, banana or orange) and almond milk.



• 1 tbsp. coconut oil, plus more for spreading

• 1 cup raw almonds

• ½ cup raw cashews

• 1¼ cups pitted dates

• 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut


Spread a thin layer of coconut oil over an 8-by-8- or 9-by-11-inch baking pan and cover with parchment paper. In blender, chop almonds and cashews until broken into tiny pieces. Add the dates. Scrape down blender sides with a spoon. Add coconut shreds and coconut oil. Blend until combined. Remove the dough and spread it evenly across the parchment-lined pan. Use a spoon to create a flat bar surface, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to be cut. Divide evenly into 12 bars.

Pairing: Snap peas and a square of dark chocolate.

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