For those of you that have gone back to school recently, I hope you’re learning lots of stuff but also not forgetting about packing your lunch on a daily basis. It’s one of the BEST ways of saving money so that you can save for bigger things in life…! You can make some awesome, delicious meals for a fraction of the cost of buying a meal. Not only that, when you make your own lunches, it is much more likely that you will eat healthy and probably healthier than you would if you were to buy your lunch. When you make your own food, you can control exactly what goes into it and how much of it to prepare. So I highly suggest making some yummy vegan lunches and here are some ideas for you.
Check out the video for the recipes and see below for the written ingredients/instructions!
5 Easy & Healthy Vegan Lunch Ideas for School or Work
I teamed up with iHerb.com to bring you guys 5 different healthy vegan lunch recipes. I’m using a lot of whole plant-based foods and I also realized that these are all (or can be easily made) gluten free as well! Don’t get me wrong- I am a big fan of gluten, but I also eat gluten-free without even realizing it very often. For instance, when I was making this video and these recipes, I didn’t even realize that they were all pretty much gluten-free (other than soy sauce in one of them, which could be easily substituted!).
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DIY Healthy Ramen in a Jar
- 1.5 tsp vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp sriracha (optional)
- small handful of corn
- 1/4 cup shelled edamame beans (I used frozen)
- 1/2 cup tofu (chopped into small cubes) or any other vegan protein of choice
- 1 serving of vegan ramen noodles, cooked according to instructions
- handful fresh baby spinach
- 1 tbsp chopped green onion
- In a pint-sized glass jar (or bigger), add your seasonings on the bottom – vegetable broth powder, tahini and sriracha.
- Then add your fillings – corn, edamame beans and tofu.
- Then on top, I added ramen noodles that were cooked according to the instructions (I normally like to rinse them well with cold water after I cook them to prevent them from sticking too much when I eat them later).
- Top the ramen noodles with fresh vegetables – I added baby spinach and chopped green onion.
- Now you can seal the glass jar with the lid and keep in the fridge for a 2-3 days until you are ready to eat.
- When you are ready to eat, pour enough boiling water to cover the contents. Mix well and let it sit for about 2 minutes before serving. If easier, you can pour this out into a bowl before you do this!
*Keep in mind that you can feel free to customize this and make it your own. These are just the ingredients that I used but you can pick your own type of noodles, your own vegetables, your own protein, etc.
Soba Noodle Salad in a Jar
Ingredients (for one serving):
- 1 serving buckwheat/soba noodles, cooked
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free soy sauce equivalent such as liquid aminos
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup
- 1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
- 1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
- 1/2 cup tofu, cut into cubes
- Your choice of vegetables (chopped). I used:
- green onion
- Cook noodles according to instructions.
- While noodles are cooking, prepare the dressing by mixing all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Pour this into the bottom of your jar.
- I added tofu next so the sauces can marinate a bit in the sauce.
- Then place “hard” vegetables such as carrots, celery, peppers, etc.
- Then I added the cooked noodles (drained and rinsed).
- On top of the noodles, I added the fresh vegetables (spinach and green onion).
- Seal with the lid and store in your fridge for up to 4-5 days.
- When you are ready to eat, you can flip the jar upside down and pour the contents into another plate. Or if you can manage to eat out of the jar, shake it up and enjoy!
Creamy Cheesy Spinach Pasta (Healthy Vegan Mac & Cheese)
- 2 servings of pasta (around 110 grams) – I used Gluten Free Quinoa Macaroni
- Cheesy Sauce:
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 3-4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp dry basil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2-3 cups fresh baby spinach
- Soak the cashews and pumpkin seeds in a bowl with some boiling water and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- Cook pasta according to instructions.
- While pasta is cooking, heat up a pan on medium-high heat and cook garlic with a small amount of oil (or water if you want it to be oil free) until nicely browned.
- Add the garlic into a blender or a food processor along with the rest of the sauce ingredients (drain the pumpkin seeds and cashews first before adding). Blend well until the sauce is creamy and well-combined.
- Now you can just directly add this to your pasta and serve it like so, or you can proceed to the following:
- Pour the sauce back into the frying pan and turn the heat to a low-medium. If the sauce is very thick, add a little water at a time and stir, to thin it out.
- Add your baby spinach and mix well until the spinach begins to wilt.
- Add your cooked & drained pasta into the pan and mix until well combined.
- Season with salt & pepper if necessary and enjoy!
Quinoa Salad with Homemade Lemon Yogurt Dressing
Ingredients (around 2 servings):
- 1 cup uncooked whole-grain quinoa
- Lemon yogurt dressing:
- 1/4-1/3 cup homemade vegan yogurt (recipe below)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- Fresh vegetables of choice:
- Broccoli (I cooked this a little but you can eat this fresh too if you want)
- Green onion
- 1 cup shelled edamame beans
- Cook quinoa according to instructions – I also added the broccoli into the pot when my quinoa was almost done (About 5 minutes before) so I could steam the broccoli a little bit. This is an optional lazy trick!
- Mix lemon yogurt dressing ingredients in a small bowl until creamy. Add a little more yogurt, if you want it thicker and less yogurt if you want a more liquid consistency.
- Dice & chop vegetables as necessary – I added my carrots and celery into a food processor to do the chopping for me.
- Add all ingredients together in a mixing bowl and mix well. This makes a great fresh and healthy lunch!
Homemade Vegan Yogurt
*Thanks to High Carb Hannah for sharing this brilliant idea!
Ingredients (for one serving of yogurt):
- 3 probiotic capsules – I used Now Foods, Probiotic 10, 25 billion
- 1 cup organic unsweetened soy milk (make sure you have a milk that contains nothing but soy + water. I used the brand Eden Foods; you could also try this with other non-dairy milks such as coconut)
Instructions for homemade yogurt:
- In a small glass jar, empty 3 probiotic capsules.
- Add soy milk (preferably room temperature) and mix well with a WOODEN or PLASTIC utensil such as a wooden chopstick or wooden spoon. Don’t use metal as it could react negatively to the probiotics. Stir until everything is well-mixed.
- Cover with a breathable material such as a cheese cloth or kitchen towel and use a rubber band to seal.
- Leave it sitting in room temperature for 24-48 hours, depending on how thick you want your yogurt. The thicker you want it, the longer you let it sit.
- Once it’s done, you can stir it, seal it and put it in your fridge – it will keep in your fridge for up to a week.
- Enjoy for breakfast with granola, fruit, hemp seeds, etc… OR you could use this to make a lovely dressing… as per this recipe 🙂
Fresh Spring Rolls with Creamy Tahini Sauce
*Note: This is definitely more of a snack than a lunch! Unless you make a WHOLE bunch of these, which we are too lazy to do… let’s be honest.
Oh and another note, I am aware that mine are ugly AF. I have no experience making these. So if I can make them (even though they are ugly), you can make them!
- For fresh spring rolls (no measurements because it just depends on how many you’re making….):
- Thai rice paper, spring roll wrappers
- Firm or extra firm tofu (or more, depending on how many you are making)
- Carrots, julienned
- Bell peppers, julienned
- Celery, julienned
- Avocado, cut in long & thin pieces
- Sauce (about 1-2 servings):
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce or gluten-free soy sauce equivalent
- Make the spring rolls according to the instructions on the package (by dipping them in warm water then filling them up and rolling… refer to video!)
- Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl until well-combined and creamy.
- Dip the spring rolls in the sauce and enjoy!!!