I am SO excited because today marks the start of my back to school videos on my YouTube channel! Today I am sharing how to plan a good vegan packed lunch. Packed lunches can be boring, but using this formula will help you not only plan a balanced and hearty lunch, but a fun one too!
So, it goes a little something like this:
Packed Lunch 101: the 4 components
Component 1: The Main.
This is the main part of your lunch. Think sandwiches, quinoa salad, pizza, veggie burger, sushi, taco salad… the ideas are endless. This part ideally has a good balance of carbs, protein and fat, and will fill you up midway through the day so you can focus in the afternoon.
Components 2 & 3: The Snacks.
You can mix and match whatever snacks you like! I like fruit & nut butter, crackers and cheese, hummus & veggies, granola bars, energy bites, etc. These are ideally finger foods that can be eaten quickly in between classes or on the go when you get hungry.
Component 4: The Treat.
I always included a treat in my packed lunches (usually homemade chocolate chip cookies that I baked on Sundays) and it never failed to make me excited about packing and eating my lunch. I will always advocate for a treat in the lunch bag because it keeps you from feeling bored and adds a little extra fun. This can be candy, a chocolate bar, cookies, a cupcake, potato chips, etc. A small amount of these foods in your lunch won’t be unhealthy and will actually make you feel more balanced and satisfied.
In the video I show you two lunches to get you started in planning your own.
Bang Bang Tofu Wrap (makes 2):
- 1/2 block of tofu, sliced into 6 rectangles (see video below for reference)
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped kale
- 1 recipe bang bang sauce (link here)
- 2 large tortillas
No-Bake Chocolate Protein Cookies (makes 4 large):
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup nut butter (almond, peanut or sunflower seed work)
- 1/3 cup chocolate protein powder
- 1 cup oats (use certified gluten-free for GF eaters)
- optional: handful of nondairy chocolate chips
- To a saucepan on medium heat, add the maple syrup, coconut oil, nut butter and protein powder and whisk to combine. Heat until it thickens slightly, then add the oats and stir to combine.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Add chocolate chips if desired.
- Scoop using an ice cream or cookie scoop onto a parchment lined tray.
- Freeze overnight or at least 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer (I prefer freezer because I like them super cold).
Naan Bread Pizza:
- 1 piece of naan bread
- 1/3 cup pizza sauce
- chopped veggies of your choice
- chopped veggie pepperoni (optional)
- 1/4 cup vegan cheese