Curb Your Midday Cravings with these Vegan Lunch Ideas

Posted: January 10, 2022 2:26 pm

As Veganuary kicks off, you may be looking for lunch ideas as you participate in this worldwide initiative to try eating plant-based for a whole month. The reasons for participating range from caring for animals, yourself, the Earth or something else entirely, like supporting a friend or family member who wants to participate. No matter the motivation, these vegan and plant-based lunch ideas will up your mid-day productivity. Say goodbye to the post-lunch slump and hello to tasty meals that you will want to make over and over again.

Recipe 1: Super Berry Acai Bowl

Some people like smoothies for lunch. If that is you, we will not judge! All you need is acai berry, like that sold in pouches, mixed berries, non-dairy milk, and nut butter. Make sure to add more liquid to make it extra creamy. A high-quality blender is most likely to give you the results you want. Top with more nut butter, berries, coconut, granola, seeds and more. Sliced fruit also makes for a wonderful topping. Change up the base of your bowl for more fun—we love spinach blended with pineapple and topped with raspberries!

Recipe 2: Kale Quinoa Salad

Quinoa, kale, carrots and peppers are covering in a tangy dressing, made of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and Dijon mustard. For those on the daring side, add a large pinch of curry powder to the dressing and mix well. Worry not, it will not make everything taste like curry; rather, it adds complexity and depth to the salad. The mixture keeps for 3-4 days, too, so you can enjoy it as a leftover. If you love this, it will ultimately save you time on meal prep.

Recipe 3: Vegan Pesto Pasta

Yes, you can savor plant-based pesto! Basil, arugula, lemon juice, water and olive oil are blended initially. Then, garlic, salt, pepper and almond meal are added to make a thick sauce. This sauce can be enjoyed on the vegan pasta of your choice (make sure it does not include egg). Leftovers can be frozen. One easy way to do so is to pour some into ice cube trays. When you are ready to have it again, simply thaw a couple cubes, heat up and pour. The sauce also makes a viable pizza topping as well.

Recipe 4: Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad

Celery, dill, onion and parsley add flavor to vegan mayonnaise, and, you guessed it, chickpeas. Who knew these legumes could make a viable dupe for tuna? Mash or mix everything well, and consider adding scallions, chili powder, avocado and herbs to jazz it up even more. Enjoy on top of a salad, plain or on your favorite toasted bread. Enjoy with an apple or orange, plus your favorite dairy-free chips.

Recipe 5: Vegan “BLT” Sandwich

Savor this take on the classic BLT as it is vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, soy-free and oh-so-delicious. Better yet, if you make some smoky eggplant bacon in advance, and throw in your favorite vegan mayo, making it is even simpler. Add lettuce, onion tomato and your favorite bread and you are set. For maximum tastiness, toast the bread. Liquid smoke and tamari elevates the eggplant bacon, so make sure you have both before you get prepping. Chances are high that you will not miss the meat after you have had this sandwich!

Recipe 6: Tofu Chicken Noodle Soup

Cubed tofu gives the illusion of shredded chicken, but no animals are harmed in the making of this soup. It is warm and comforting, just what one needs on these cold and harsh winter nights. Break down angel hair pasta into smaller chunks for easy eating. Add carrots, bay leaves, celery, thyme, garlic, onion and parsley for some flavor, as well as a vegan chicken broth. Add lemon juice before serving warm with plenty of vegan crackers for dipping. This is comfort food at its finest, and can also be taken to an office in a thermos. Just warm it up and dig in.

Recipe 7: Best Vegan Hot Dogs

Tofu, wheat gluten, barbecue sauce, nutritional yeast, liquid smoke, sesame oil, spices, tamari, apple cider vinegar and vegetarian bullion makes what resembles a great veggie hotdog. Note that once the dough is made into a hotdog that it is best to steam them for a half hour, then freeze them overnight to let the sauce marinade. When you are ready to cook, simply prep them in a pan or grill them. Top with chili, or simply ketchup, mustard and relish. Serve on a lightly grilled and vegan buttered bun.

Recipe 8: Creamy Vegan Potato Salad

Want something that is good to enjoy at work, at home, on a picnic or wherever else you can think of? This vegan, starch-filled potato salad fits the bill. Take 15 minutes, plus some add-ins to make this delectable staple. Enjoy plain, on burgers, on a roll or as a side dish. Potatoes, celery, parsley, dill pickles, bell peppers, onions and mustard (plus vegan mayo—buy or make your own) give this hearty salad just the right amount of flavor and texture. Delicious! Make it healthier by only using a limited amount of mayo.

Recipe 9: Spicy Peanut Tofu Bowls

Roasted vegetables, fluffy rice and peanut-flavored tofu come together to make a bowl that is almost as good as what you could get at a restaurant. Pro tip: Make double the peanut sauce and use the rest as a salad dressing or to jazz up simple chick’n and the like to make lunchtime tastier…and efficient. Reviewers recommend keeping tofu in the fridge to speed up the cooking time, as well as keeping plenty for leftovers to make something good when you cannot be bothered to cook.

While you are eating, think about your motivations to eat plant-based or give Veganuary a try. Maybe it is for the greater good of animals and the planet, or to get your health back in order. Or, maybe it is just to try something new. Regardless, we applaud you for trying and hope we were able to show you that it is not impossible to make some vegan dishes for lunch. As a lot of these ideas yield a lot of leftovers, perhaps pick 2-3 of your favorites, make them in advance and be set for the week. Get ready to take your lunch hour to the next level!

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