Healthy Plant-Based Lunch Ideas for Busy Weekdays
As a working parent, it's already hard enough to feed your family multiple times a day, let alone make sure you get something healthy to scarf down between meetings. But you are taking a break to eat mindfully right??? Check out my blog on the benefits of mindful eating (and getting OFF your phone while doing it) here -
You probably know a nutritious midday meal is essential to keep you energized, focused, and avoid that dreaded afternoon slump or sugar frenzy hackathon. Incorporating these plant-based meals, or adding your favorite protein will help you push past and be ready to handle whatever the post-work hustle until bedtime brings you.
1. Buddha Bowl Bliss:
Prepare a vibrant Buddha Bowl filled with an assortment of colorful veggies, grains, and plant-based proteins. This is so easily customized to whatever you have in the pantry or fridge. Start with a base of quinoa or brown rice, add roasted sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, and avocado or any other veggies you have. Top it off with a sprinkle of chickpeas or your favorite protein and a drizzle of tahini dressing for a satisfying and nutrient-packed lunch.
2. Wraps with a Twist:
Swap traditional wraps with nutrient-rich collard green leaves or my favorite, sprouted tortillas. Fill them with hummus, shredded carrots, sliced bell peppers, a handful of leafy greens, some tofu or whatever you have around. Roll it up and enjoy a crunchy, flavorful wrap that's easy to take on the go.
3. Hearty Lentil Salad:
Combine cooked lentils (can get these pre-made and marinated for even more ease!) with diced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and fresh parsley. Toss with lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper for a refreshing and filling lunch option. Add some crumbled feta cheese or avocado for extra creaminess.
4. Zucchini Noodles with Pesto:
Spiralize zucchini into noodles and toss them with a homemade basil pesto sauce. Include cherry tomatoes and toasted pine nuts for added flavor and texture. Make sure to add some kind of protein too to stabilize blood sugar.
5. Chickpea Tuna Salad:
Create a plant-based version of the classic tuna salad (or just use regular tuna) by mixing mashed chickpeas with diced celery, red onion, and capers. Season with lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and a pinch of seaweed flakes for that "tuna" flavor. Serve it in a sandwich of sprouted bread or on a bed of greens for a protein-packed lunch.
6. Protein-Packed Quinoa Salad:
Mix cooked quinoa with diced bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, black beans, and corn. Drizzle with a tangy lime-cilantro dressing and toss in some diced mango for a tropical twist.
Remember, preparation is key! Spend some time on weekends to batch-cook ingredients and prep veggies to save time during the busy workweek. Want even more tips on meal-prepping and batch cooking? Check out my blog here.
These plant-based lunch ideas will not only nourish your body but also keep your energy up and sanity within reach. Happy lunching!