Work-life can get hectic.
Sometimes, you just about have time for lunch. Let alone, spending 20-minutes or so prepping a sandwich or arguing with the local food store about their vegan options. You want a delicious, home-cooked, plant-based meal that’s ready to be served within minutes.
The best way to achieve a tasty and nutritious lunch is by preparing your food the night before and packing it for work the next day.
So, if you’re vegan and looking for fuss-free, quick and healthy food ideas to pack for the office? Here’s a list of easy plant-based meals for a winning breakfast or lunch at work.
1. Chickpea and Avocado Sandwich
If you’re looking for an inexpensive and easy option for breakfast or lunch, look no further! This chickpea and avocado sandwich is an ideal choice when you’re strapped for time. To prepare this dish, grab two slices of your favourite sandwich bread, smash or blend a can of chickpeas with a ripe avocado and mix it with a 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro. Sprinkle in two tablespoons of chopped green onions and squeeze some lime juice into the mix. Spread this creamy fusion onto your bread and pack it for work the next day – simple and tasty!
2. Vegan Sweet Potato
Who doesn’t love a sweet potato? If you’re a fan of these starchy, sweet-tasting vegetables, consider preparing one for work. It’s not only yummy, but it’ll also keep you going throughout the day.
To prepare this office-friendly meal, bake the potato the night before for around 45-60 minutes in an oven and add one of these following toppings:
- Garlic, kale, beans and green goddess dressing
- Avocado, pomegranate seeds, toasted hazelnuts and lime juice
- Chickpeas, garlic-herb sauce and a parsley-tomato salad
Once you’ve finished cooking, pack your meal and toppings in a Tupperware, and simply heat your potato in the microwave.
3. Zucchini Noodle Spaghetti Salad
Craving spaghetti, but want to avoid the carbs? Opt for this heavenly zucchini noodle spaghetti salad! This easily packable vegan and gluten-free lunch is superb for a busy day at the office and ready within minutes.
To make the protein-packed food, grab yourself some fresh zucchini and use a spiralizer to spiralize the vegetable. Stir it together with a yellow or red bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumber and red onion for a zesty salad.
Next, prepare the salad dressing, which should include lemon juice, mustard and a selection of herbs like thyme, oregano and basil.
4. Southwestern Pasta Salad
This easy pasta dish will make lunch at work quick, hassle-free, and most importantly, delicious. Tuna, chicken or beef is out of the question for us vegans, so why not replace these ingredients with healthy options like black beans, corn, cherry tomato and avocado?
Simply boil a pasta of your choice the previous night, top it with the above veggies, and drizzle a lime dressing made up of lime juice, ground cumin, paprika powder, white wine vinegar and more. VeganHeaven’s Southwestern pasta salad is a great way to eat healthily at work and switch up your lunch routine.
5. Mexican Quinoa
Quinoa is a healthy and nutritious substitute for meat. So, if you’re looking for an easy vegan meal that features these gluten-free, high-in-protein seeds with a Mexican twist, VeganHeaven have you covered. Ready in only 25 minutes, you can easily pack this meal for work the following day.
The meal idea features a combination of sautéed quinoa, red onions, garlic, bell peppers, black beans and tomato topped with some fresh avocado. For a great desk-meal, simply pop your quinoa into a microwave and accompany your dish with some breadsticks or slices of bread to soak up the juicy goodness.
6. Vegetable Potato Fritters
Vegetable potato fritters make for a gratifying snack at work, as well as food idea for lunch, when combined with other tasty vegan sides. Made of potato, carrot and red lentils, these heavenly fritters are greatly complimented by a splash of spicy sriracha mayonnaise (vegan, of course), hummus or guacamole. What’s better is, you can eat them both hot and cold. So, when you’re too lazy to leave your desk, simply crack open your container, and eat these potato fitters with a dip. Recommended side dishes include:
- Green salad
- Vegan coleslaw
- Baked beans
7. Broccoli Pesto Pasta and Cherry Tomatoes
Set aside some time one evening and prepare this scrumptious pasta dish for work the following day. Made up of broccoli, walnuts, garlic, parsley and more, the nutritious pesto sauce is a great way to encourage weight loss, too.
Boil your pasta the night before and top the pasta with a few cherry tomatoes and boiled broccoli florets; and for more satisfaction, grate some vegan cheese all over. Extremely easy and packable for the office, this broccoli pesto pasta is definitely the way to a busy vegan’s heart.
8. Edamame Hummus Wrap
Got cravings for edamame? We’ve found a recipe that turns these yummy soybeans into a titillating spreadable hummus. The edamame hummus comes in handy when in need of a quick and healthy meal at work. Combined with spinach or whole-wheat wraps, as well as a cluster of green cabbage, bell peppers and scallions, this vegan meal is also ideal for weight loss.
Just make sure you have a blender at hand to mix together the edamame, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and tahini, and spread it evenly into as many wraps as your heart desires. Don’t forget to fill up the snack with your cabbage mixture, too!
9. Vegan Pancakes
Indeed, vegans can enjoy pancakes without dairy or eggs. What’s more, they’re super easy for breakfast at work. Wake up 20 minutes earlier and prepare these perfectly plump pancakes for a filling start to your day.
What ingredients are needed, you might ask? Stock up on soy or almond milk, coconut oil, unbleached flour, cane sugar, baking powder, vinegar and salt to create your fluffy vegan pancakes. If you’re lost on what toppings are best suited, try out:
- Pecans and vegan maple syrup
- Strawberries and coconut cream
- Vegan Nutella spread with bananas
10. Roasted Veggie Buddha Bowl
It doesn’t get tastier or more satisfying than a buddha bowl filled with ingredients that’ll leave you wanting more. Cook your brown rice and roast the tofu and vegetables like broccoli and peppers the night before to have it ready for your office meal. Arrange these ingredients together in a container and sprinkle them with scallions and cilantro. When it hits lunchtime at work, simply drizzle a creamy vegan cashew sauce before serving and eat to your heart’s content.
11. Scrambled Tofu Tacos
This vegan recipe is super flavourful, easy to cook and is a great lunch and breakfast idea for work! If you haven’t got much time to spend in the kitchen, have no fear because this meal only takes a total of 15 minutes to prepare. Ah, the wonders of tofu!
This sautéed combination of red peppers, garlic, crumbled tofu, spices and herbs is deliciously placed into tortillas and topped with avocado, tomatoes and vegan goat cheese. Really spice things up by garnishing them with a hot sauce and cilantro. AmbitiousKitchen’s recipe is enough to serve four tacos – more than enough for lunch at work!
12. Mini Vegan Frittatas
Who said vegans can’t eat frittatas? According to this heavenly recipe, they absolutely can! These mini vegan frittatas made of tofu and soy milk are cooked within 30 minutes and can be stored in the fridge for up to three days – perfect for a long working week!
The healthy breakfast or brunch idea features blended ingredients like zucchini, corn, cherry tomatoes, spinach and pesto. Puffy and perfect with sides like a salad, sweet potato or even fruit! Just make sure you’ve got a food processor at home, and a microwave at work to reheat the next day.
There really is no shortage of meal ideas for busy, hard-working vegans. Whether served hot or cold, these recipes are great and handy during your lunch break at work. Combine them with a few desk or office exercises, and you’re bound to feel more energised throughout your day.
Let us know what other food ideas you have in the comments section below!
Happy eating, fellow vegans!