For day 3 of my 30 day writing challenge i’m doing something a bit different. As of late, i’ve been trying to expand my food choices a bit and steer away from my usual acai bowl for lunch. I am definitely a creature of habit so normally I tend to have the same meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Since i’ve been making it a point to try some new recipes, I thought I would share some of my favorite lunches i’ve been making that are super easy to pack for school or work.
I’m excited to share these because this post is actually in collaboration with my friend Natasha from Namaste Active. She posts about all sorts of health and wellness related topics on her blog and takes such beautiful pictures for her Instagram. After you’ve read through these you should definitely go checkout her recipes and show her some love 🙂
With that being said, I know you guys will love these recipes. In addition to being delicious and flavorful, all of these lunches are quick, easy, inexpensive, and would work great for meal prepping. They are also all vegan and gluten free. Combined with the snacks, you have a perfectly balanced meal that will keep you satisfied for hours and provide tons of energy, without leaving you feeling heavy and gross.
I hope you enjoy!
Lunch 1 - Cucumber Avocado Sushi
Light and refreshing. Served with fruit and nut mix, an orange, and some watermelon water.
That’s it! You can get very creative with what you put into the rolls depending on what veggies you like. Tofu, sweet potato, carrots, and zucchini are good in these rolls too. I use a bamboo roller for my sushi. It’s not necessary but it does make the process a bit easier and you get more consistent rolls. I found mine at Daiso for only $1.50. I’ve seen them at most dollar stores and also online. I also brought along a tamari packet with me because I had them on hand, and it gives a lot of flavor.
That’s it! You can get very creative with what you put into the rolls depending on what veggies you like. Tofu, sweet potato, carrots, and zucchini are good in these rolls too.
I use a bamboo roller for my sushi. It’s not necessary but it does make the process a bit easier and you get more consistent rolls. I found mine at Daiso for only $1.50. I’ve seen them at most dollar stores and also online. I also brought along a tamari packet with me because I had them on hand, and it gives a lot of flavor.
Lunch 2 - Veggie Burger
Hearty and filling. Served with mixed fruit, a Go Macro bar, and sparkling water
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Peel then cut sweet potato into medium chunks. Boil on the stove for 10-15 mins or until fork tender.
- While sweet potato is boiling, finely dice onion ( it’s important that it’s chopped very finely so you don’t get large chunks of onion in your burger. ) Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, mash your drained black beans ( you can also use a food processor to make it quicker, just make sure to not process too much )
- Add in your onions, cooked brown rice, barbecue sauce, salt and pepper. mix until well combined.
- Once the sweet potatoes are done cooking, mash together with other ingredients using the back of the fork ( I chose to leave larger chunks of sweet potato but this is a personal preference. If you want a smoother and more classic burger consistency then mash well. )
- Once everything is combines, stir in the oats.
- Wet your hands and form the mixture into patties. place on lined baking paper and bake for 15-20 minutes. ( you can also choose to fry these in a bit of oil, but I think they taste better and last longer baked. Plus, they are much healthier. )
These veggie burgers are versatile because they are delicious both hot and cold. I served mine between some whole wheat sandwich thins ( because I didnt have any buns ). I also added some onions, avocado , mixed greens, and extra barbecue sauce. I like to line the bottom of my tupperwear with leafy greens to create almost like a bed for the burger, plus the juices from the patty then absorb into the greens and this makes for a yummy side salad. You could also place the burgers on top of a salad or even break them up to create a more “ground beef” consistency. The options are endless and thats why I love this recipe so much.
Making veggie burgers at home is much more efficient than buying them, it saves you money, and they are also way healthier because there isn’t extra salt and preservatives.
Lunch 3 - Sweet and Sour Tempe
Sweet and Tangy. Served with sliced strawberries, chocolate protein brownie, and some green juice
- Prepare all your ingredients by cutting your red pepper,zucchini, green onions into even strips, ( I also chopped about 1 inch of the green onion much smaller to garnish ) Chop your cilantro and parsley very fine and cube your tempe.
- In a medium non stick skillet, add 1 tablespoon of water then add in your tempe. When the tempe starts to brown, add in 1 tablespoon of your sweet chili sauce and cook for 1 more minute then take off the heat and set aside.
- In a seperate saucepan, combine your veggies with most of your parsley and cilantro ( leave a pinch out for garnish ) and the remaining water and cook until veggies are tender, but not too cooked.
- Once the veggies are tender, add in your tempe and the remaining sweet chili sauce and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
- Add in your tuperware and finish off with sprinking on the remaining herbs and hemp hearts.
Again, this dish is delicious both hot or cold. The sweet and sour tempe taste exactly like something you’d find at panda express, only MUCH healthier, and of course vegan. I served mine over a beg of greens and when it was time to eat, squeezed a lemon over the dish to really enhance the flavors. Instead of using hemp hearts you could also use sesame seeds and that would be equally as yummy. Also, you can sub out the tempe for tofu, just make sure you use extra firm tofu.
I decided to not use oil in this dish in order to keep it a bit lighter, but feel free to substitute the water for oil if you’d like.
I really recommend the To Go ware. A set comes with a bamboo fork, knife, spoon, and chopsticks. There is also a clip that you can clip to your lunch box so you dont lose it! Plus, it’s much more eco friendly because you are not wasting so much plastic by using plastic utensils at each meal.