Eating healthy while away from home is hard. It is very tempting to eat out, but this can be both unhealthy and expensive. If you are vegan, options are even further limited for easy meals out.
Here are three ideas to make your vegan lunches easy to take to work. They can be made on Sunday, frozen or refrigerated, and eaten throughout the week.
You don’t need anything fancy – just some basic ingredients and portable, freezer- and microwave-safe containers. A salad spinner may also come in handy.
Roasted Vegetables with Couscous and Hummus
A healthy, filling Mediterranean/Middle Eastern lunch.
Roasted vegetables are easy to make en masse. Couscous cooks up quickly and hummus can be bought pre-made.
- 2 bell peppers cut into thick strips
- 2 small zucchinis, cut into thick strips about 1/2 inch in diameter
- 1 carrot, thickly shaved
- 1/2 red onion, cut into thick strips
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 cups of prepared couscous
Preheat oven to 400. Put olive oil and vegetables in a roasting pan or jelly roll sheet. Make sure they are not too crowded. You may wish to use two pans. Shake pan to coat vegetables. Add a bit of pepper. Roast vegetables for 20-30 minutes, until just starting to brown. Stir every 10 minutes. Increase roasting time if you have thicker vegetables. Remove, stir in soy sauce and salt to taste.
Put 1 cup of couscous in each of the five containers and distribute vegetables between them. Add a scoop of hummus to each. The containers can be refrigerated or frozen and heated later. They are good as a cold dish too if you don’t have a microwave.
Adding chickpeas can help you get some more fiber.
A tasty pasta with a balsamic vinegar based sauce – a nice change from tomato sauce. This is a a variation of a Noodles & Co. recipe.
Cooks quickly and freezes well. Delicious hot or cold.
Ingredients for pasta:
- 3 medium tomatoes, diced
- 2 1/2 cups of spinach
- 2/3 red onion, cut into thin strips
- 1 carrot, thinly shaved
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 7 1/2 cups of prepared pasta, wholewheat or regular
- Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for sauce:
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp white wine
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (can be reduced a bit if you are watching calories)
Mix together the ingredients for the sauce. Saute the onions in a skillet with the olive oil until aromatic. Add the tomatoes and carrots. Cook until carrots are soft, 2-4 minutes. Add the cooked pasta and sauce mixture. Add spinach and cook until spinach just beings to wilt.
Separate into the five containers. Can be frozen or refrigerated, then heated later. Also good as a cold dish.
Making Salads Easy
Salads can be a pain to make every day. Pre-cut your lettuce and carefully choose toppings for easy salad making.
- Prepare lettuce for the week.
- Cut, wash and dry lettuce on Sunday before the work week. If the lettuce was freshly bought, it should last until Friday. This is where the salad spinner comes in handy.
- Choose toppings that don’t need to be cut or are hardy.
- Cherry or grape tomatoes
- Don’t pre-dress salads – they will get soggy.
- Lemon and lime wedges make a great salad dressings.
- Pre-make salad dressing and put into a travel-size bottle. A vinaigrette won’t spoil if left on your desk from morning until lunch.
Pasta fresca recipe adapted from http://enzlerrecipes.blogspot.com/2007/06/pasta-fresca-from-noodles-and-co.html
Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons by naotakem