School’s back in, holidays are over, and for most of us, lunch has gone from seafood by the ocean or picnics in the park to a sandwich snatched between meetings. That sucks, because it’s really hard to find something healthy when you’re on the go and have like, 20 minutes for lunch! The solution? Make your own!
Here we bring you 12 portable vegan lunch recipes that are perfect as pre-prepared meals to take with you to the office, college, or wherever you need to be.
1. Simple Grain Bowl
The great thing about this basic meal from veganrunneats.com is that the ingredients are easily interchangeable – you can do a base of pre-cooked rice on Monday and swap for buckwheat or millet on Tuesday! Top up with beans and vegetables, and simply pop into a microwave before consuming. Easy!
2. Veggie and Hummus Sandwich
We couldn’t possibly compile this list without throwing in the most famous on-the-go meal: the hearty sandwich. Brought to you by popsugar.co.uk, the avocado and hummus filling paired with layers of veg provide you with plenty of much-needed protein and fibre to get through the rest of your day. All we would change about this is the bread: we’d make sure ours was gluten free or better yet, organic.
3. Tofu Eggless “Egg Salad”
Tofu is a “culinary chameleon” according to vegkitchen.com and we wouldn’t agree more! They recommend using it in place of high-fat, high-cholesterol egg mayonnaise and serving it on wholesome rye bread as a sandwich. Don’t forget to add some cucumber or carrot sticks on the side, and you’re good to go!
4. Refried Bean Wrap
Also from vegkitchen.com, these delicious wraps can be made from pre-bought organic refried beans or totally from scratch for those of you that are into DIY. They work well for both lunch and dinner – pair with some tortilla chips if you’re on the go. Even better, the recipe can easily be doubled to feed more people.
The Japanese are famous for their (delicious AND practical) food and it’s easy to understand why! Onigiri are little triangles of sticky rice stuffed with a filling and wrapped up in toasted nori (seaweed). A favourite of Japanese schoolkids and businesspeople alike, these adorable snacks can be stuffed with any filling you want and tucked into a lunchbox. Making them can be tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it you’ll find yourself making it more and more!
6. Vegetarian Dumplings
Enjoy these dumplings warm or cold in the office! Filled with carrots, cabbage and pepper, you can easily make a large batch for dinner one night and save some extras for your lunch tomorrow. Pop them in your fridge overnight and pack them in a Tupperware box with salad so you can grab them and go the next morning!
7. Vegan Tuna Salad
Olivesfordinner.com uses a tuna alternative called “Hearts of Palm” to make this versatile salad! You’ll need to prepare it the night before as it needs to chill for a couple of hours to allow the flavours to blend. Enjoy by itself, on crackers, or in a sandwich. Yum!
8. Mexican Tempeh Quinoa Salad
Zesty and fresh, this deliciously colourful salad boasts only 350 calories per serving and is packed with fibre and protein. Taking only 45 minutes to make, you’d be mad not to try this one out.
9. Rainbow Salad
You’ve heard to “eat the rainbow.” Well here’s why–each colour in each veg is packed with different phytonutrients. By eating a wide range of them, you provide your body with a broad spectrum of nutrition. For instance, carrots and yellow bell are rich in beta-carotene, red peppers contain lycopene, and red cabbage has powerful antioxidants…everything in this salad is packed with nutrition, but we just love how it tastes. You certainly won’t find anything this healthy in a sandwich shop!
10. Sweet Potato Crust Pizza
Drop the gluten and white carbs for this tasty sweet potato pizza. It’s a lot easier to make than cauliflower pizza bases, and you can sub the mozzarella for vegan cheese, no problem. Yummy hot or cold, this is an easy one to take to the office or classroom.
11. Couscous with Chickpeas, Fennel and Citrus
Mmm…carmelized fennel is sooo yummy! Browning this veg in a skillet transforms it into a tender, mellow, and sweet sensation. It blends perfectly with the nuttiness of chick peas and the saltiness of fat olives, the sweetness of orange and tanginess of lemon. It’s an explosion of flavour, all served up on a bed of couscous–preferably organic whole wheat.
12. Vegan Pho Soup
This recipe is kind of a super healthy ramen. Prepare the base, then you can change the ingredients to pretty much anything you like. Bonus: add a lot of coriander if you want to detox (it takes all the heavy metals out of your system)! Want to take this to work? Just put it all in a Mason jar and heat it up in the microwave (be careful when taking it out, the glass will be hot!)