This past week, I've had more than one person ask me about how to live a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle and what were some key food components to my everyday routine.
The first thing I always stress is: it's not as hard as it seems. Really! And it's delicious, too! You just have to keep an little arsenal of goods and learn to be creative.
Since I started cooking/eating this way, I've always found breakfast and dinner to be the easiest meals to make. Breakfast is almost always a green monster (specifically the smoothie I featured on Halloween) and then dinner is a hearty, filling meal that usually produces leftovers for Jon's lunch the next day.
I usually plan the week's dinners in advance so there's never really a question of what to make...we have a list of meals and set ingredients that are just begging to be made at the end of the day.
But, lunch is a fickle meal - it can't be too filling and it can't be too sparse. There has to be enough carb component to keep me moving through the afternoon, but it can't be so heavy that it feels like an anvil in my belly.
I've developed some lunch solutions this past year that are waaaay more interesting and flavorful than the typical, proto-type vegetarian salad-lunch...
They're fast to make and the possibilities are endless. They're usually composed of:
- 1 Flat Out Wrap (usually the original light kind, but they have different flavors, too!)
- A spread (e.g., hummus, olive spread, pesto, re-fried beans, tomato paste)
- 1/4 cup of a soft bean (e.g., black beans, great northern beans, kidney beans)
- Lots of veggies (basically everything and anything you can think of here: avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, corn, cucumbers, carrots...whatever fits the "theme" of the wrap)
- Some kind of sauce/dressing for a little flavor (e.g., mustard, hot sauce, salsa)
2. Soup (with something in it). Usually composed of:
- Well, soup! We always buy (organic) Imagine soup (e.g., red potato, sweet potato, Butternut squash, tomato)
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup of beans or lentils to give it some substance.
- Some spices to give it a zing (e.g., Adobo light sodium, garlic, onion, cracked pepper)
3. Grain and veggie bowl. Usually composed of:
- One kind of hearty grain (e.g., brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, wheatberries)
- A variety of veggies that taste good warmed up (e.g., edmame, corn, sweet peppers, peas, mushrooms, sauteed spinach)
- Maybe a chopped up bocca burger for a little something more to chew on
- A sauce/dressing of some kind (I almost always give my grain bowls a good dash of hot sauce, but I suppose you could always use salsa, vinaigrette, or tahini sauce)
These have proven to be fast, easy, filling lunch solutions and they've become trusted lunch buddies.
Do you have a favorite go-to lunch to make?