Some things are worth it, but they still take a lot of effort. Becoming vegan is definitely one of them. It's easy to feel a little lost and confused as you give up your old fare and choose new items. This is especially true if you ate a lot of junk food before. However, it can be done. It doesn't have to take all day to prepare your food and you can eat healthy, tasty, and vegan. If you are in need of some vegan lunch ideas here are a lot of great choices.
A lot of vegan lunch ideas really look similar to those people who eat meat, eggs, and dairy eat. You just skip those items. When it comes to making salads, there are a ton of options that can either be a focal dish or a side dish. You can do lettuce or green based salads, salads similar to cole slaw with vegan dressings or mayo, bean salads, pasta salads, and even fruit salads. By trying out a lot of different options you will figure out the things that you like the most and in turn enjoy them more frequently. It's always good to try a few new ideas.
Sandwiches can seem a little dull at first. After all, what the heck do you put on there if you aren't eating meat and cheese? The great news is there are lots and lots of options. Here are just a few to get you started. Learning to think outside of the box will help you greatly.
- Nut Butter. Peanut butter and jelly is often a staple for many children. You can still have nut butter sandwiches. Consider peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter. You can then mix them with jams, jellies, preserves, honey, agave, or even fruit slices such as strawberries, bananas, or apples.
- Veggie Sandwiches – You can do a lot with the vegetables you have in the house. There are lots of tasty options for putting on your sandwich including, but not limited to lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, sprouts, and avocado. For moisture and flavor you can add vegan mayonnaise, vegan honey mustard dressing, guacamole, and hummus.
- Grilled Sandwiches – You can also enjoy grilled sandwiches with toasted bread, grilled veggies, and if you want vegan cheese. Another great option is to marinate tofu and either grill or bake it till it is chewy or crunchy.
- Alternatives – While it isn't a good idea to skip your veggies and other healthy foods in exchange for vegan replacement options, there are times when it can be easy. You can use vegan lunch meats, Canadian bacon, ham, or regular bacon to make a sandwich with. You can even add vegan cheese to it. Just keep in mind that you shouldn't do this regularly if you are aiming for a healthy diet.
Soup is a great choice. It can be easy to throw together as well. You can add vegetable stock or bullion (make sure it doesn't have beef in it) and then add any of your favorite vegetables, mushrooms, potatoes, herbs, spices, beans, pasta, rice, or barely. Actually these are just a few ideas to get you started.
You can use hummus, guacamole, smashed avocado seasoned any way you want, vegan mayo, vegan sour cream, and vegan cream cheese to create lots of delicous flavored dips. These can all go on your sandwiches if you want, but you can also use them for a variety of foods. You can cube up healthy breads such as 100% whole wheat, 100% whole grain, and rye breads, take rice crackers, and a lot of delicious vegetables to dip in your dips. You can also do baked chips and baked tofu. This is a great meal to take with you as well as to enjoy at home.
Couscous is an amazing lunch option because it is really, really easy. Boil water or vegetable soup broth. Add your couscous for five minutes and you have lunch. It is really a type of pasta, but it has a grainy texture because of its size. It comes in 100% whole wheat as well as a “white” variety so you want to choose the healthier one. To this you can add any vegetables, herbs, and seasonings to it. Some great options include vegetable broth with asparagus, spinach, and tomatoes and lemon juice with chopped almonds and mixed vegetables. You can even make it sweet and go with dried cranberries and orange juice.
Quinoa or Rice
Quinoa or rice takes longer to cook, but is also fantastic. You will cook it like rice and add your vegetables to it. It's great to top with stirfry and also works great mixed into a salad. You can get it in a golden color, red, and blue or black. They all taste about the same, but the darker colors take a little longer to cook. You can get red and wild rices as well as brown and white. You can use these grains leftover as well fresh.
Pasta also makes a great lunch. You can cook it up, toss it with oil and seasonings, and all of your favorite sautéed or grilled vegetables. You can also make it into pasta salad with vegan mayo or vegan Italian dressings (many are vegan, but you need to look for cheese).
Rolls and Wraps
Rolls and wraps can consist of a lot of different foods and you can get really creative when making them. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Spring Rolls – You can make these with either egg roll wrappers or rice wrappers. Add stir fried cabbage, carrots, green onions, and other vegetables for tasty veggie rolls. Just make sure you take into consideration the fat of these items if you have them deep fried.
- Burritos – You can make vegan burritos with rice, beans, and all sorts of vegetables. You can also add tofu or tempeh.
- Wraps – You can use flour tortillas, wheat tortillas, or flavored wraps for all sorts of yummy vegan wraps. Consider guacamole or hummus as a moisture and flavor topped with lettuce, spinach, and your favorite vegetables.
- Rolls – You can use the same tortillas and wraps for delicious rolls. You can add beans, nuts, vegetables, tofu, tempeh, and all of your favorite flavorings, vegan dressings, herbs, and spices.
- Sushi – Most people don't really think of sushi as a vegan choice. However, you can do all sorts of things with seaweed wraps that are tasty, delicious, healthy, and vegan. You can add rice, hummus, and your favorite vegetables. Roll the seaweed wraps tight and then slice into bite size pieces.
There's also vegan leftovers that make a great way to enjoy a quick and easy lunch. Most vegan meals heat up well and some heat up way better than their meaty counterparts because they don't have the drying meat issue that some dishes have. You can enjoy your leftovers, know that you are throwing them away, and save yourself the time and effort of putting lunch together.
Vegan lunch doesn't have to be a pain. It also doesn't have to be the same thing every day, day in and day out. Instead you can enjoy a lot of delicious vegan lunch ideas. You can try new things, enjoy old favorites, and grow your vegan diet into something tasty and healthy.