Now that many of us are thinking about going back to school, sending our kids to school, or just trying to figure out what to eat for lunch when everyone else runs out to get their animal flesh sandwiches, we often settle for a boring old salad or simply just skip lunch. With a little bit of planning ahead and very little time, we can create portable meals to take along with us that will not cost us any time in the morning (no getting up earlier!) and will provide us with a tasty vegan meal that will have all of those around us wanting some of our food!
Most dinner meals can be served cold, although it may not be "traditional", you know how I feel about tradition. If something tastes good both hold and cold, or even room temperature, why not have it any way we want? Many times we either don't have access to a heating element, or frankly just don't have the time when we are on the go. Don't feel the need to get so elaborate with lunch, just throw a quick grain salad, or some left over pasta from the night before into a container and there you go! Lunch is served.
Did I mention this is incredibly cost effective? My frugal side is going to come out here, but think about it. Imagine that we spend $5 per day on lunch and work or goto school 5 days per week. That amounts to $25 per week, or $100 per month, or $1,300 per year!!! A portion of that saved money could even be donated to our favorite animal organization to make us feel even better about eating our little vegan lunches :)
Remember, you want to pack yourself something that's relatively high calorie and high nutrient content to hold you over for a long period of time. If you pack some lettuce and dressing and think it's going to be your lunch, you are kidding yourself. By 2pm, you will be so hungry, you will end up buying something, likely unhealthy. So, here are a few things I would recommend for vegan meals on the go...
The following ingredients are great for making all kinds of "salads" and concoctions that can always be tossed with you favorite dressing, tamari, vegenaise, olive oil, spices, or whatever else your little heart desires:
Whole Wheat Couscous
Pasta Salad (my roasted tofu and brussels sprouts is mighty tasty when it's chilled, just save a little extra from dinner.)
Hummus (or any other various beans you want to puree with spices)
Granola (homemade, or store-bought, look out for honey!)
Snack Bars (Larabars, Clif Bars, etc)
PB and J
Chickpea Mock-Chicken Salad Wrap (here's my recipe, one of my favs)
Seriously, don't over-think it. If you like grains and beans and pasta, you can always just throw in your favorite sauce and spices and it will surely taste delicious!
Resources for more information:
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's Podcast- Vegetarian Food for Thought: Food for the Road
veganlunchbox.com (she has a book and a blog based on meals she packs for her vegan son!)
I need to go tend to my Spicy Quinoa Chili and Cornbread right now, but be sure and look for the recipes for those in the coming days. Also, I WILL get a podcast out tomorrow! Make sure you subscribe to stay informed :)
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