While breakfast is the most important day, it doesn’t mean you can’t make lunch just as good. Whether you’re enjoying your lunch at home or in the office, having a lunch bursting with flavor that’s easy to make can make your entire day, all while providing the nutrients you need. However, with 365 days in a year, it can be easy to run vegan lunch ideas. To help, here are some great vegan lunch ideas to add to your weekly menu!
Tips for Vegan Lunches
No matter how you eat your lunch, one thing is important across the table: balance. Most people hit their peak energy usage around midday, and lunch can be an important step in maintaining and boosting your energy.
One tip is to build your lunch around protein. As a vegan, you have a variety of sources available for protein, with some of our personal preferences being seitan, tofu, lentils, and nutritional yeast.
Vegan Salad Ideas
When it comes to a creative vegan lunch, a salad may be the last thing you want to think of. However, salads can be based around more than lettuce. In fact, some recipes don’t call for lettuce at all.
Getting creative with your salad is a great way to incorporate different vitamins and nutrients into your meal for a balanced diet. Salads are also a great meal to make ahead, so you can enjoy them on-the-go.
Here at Willow, we also love salads because they are so versatile. While you can eat them as-is, you’ll also be able to create a variety of sandwiches, wraps, and rolls with salads as a filling.
Some of our favorite creative salads include:
Farro & Kale Salad with Pomegranate
Indulge in luxury with this easy-to-make salad. In this recipe, you’ll substitute your average lettuce with farro and kale for a strong earthy taste with nutty undertones. Pomegranate seeds will add texture while also bringing a subtle sweetness to the dish.
To make, simply cook the farro and massage the kale with olive oil, seasoning, and lemon zest. Add herbs, almonds, and pomegranate to your cooked farro, then mix with your chopped kale.
Red Cabbage Slaw Salad
Looking for the perfect salad to eat on the side or use as filling for summer rolls? Red cabbage slaw provides the perfect base for a variety of dishes.
If you’re looking for a tropical dish that takes advantage of the warmer weather, try topping your shredded red cabbage with mango, jalapenos, and orange juice and zest. You can also add in lime juice, red onions, cilantro, and finely diced Piñata apples.
Or, pair with different varieties of carrots and apples for a textured salad that works great as a side for many main entrees.
Vegan Pasta Ideas
Few foods are as comforting and filling as homemade pasta. Easy to make and even easier to reheat, pasta can be great for lunch, whether you make it ahead or incorporate leftovers for a budget-friendly and waste-reducing meal.
A classic pasta dish, fettuccine alfredo can be a great lunch, especially if you make it the night before as dinner. It’s also easy to make, which is one reason it’s such a popular option.
To make an easy alfredo dish, sauté minced garlic in olive oil, then add a vegan heavy whipping cream alternative. Some options include cashew cream or pureed tofu, as well as store-bought vegan alternatives.
While you’re bringing your vegan cream mixture to a simmer, add in seasonings and herbs. You can also add in vegetables such as spinach and broccoli for added nutrients and flavors. Once you’ve reached a steady simmer, add in vegan parmesan cheese to melt, then mix with your fettuccine.
If you’re looking for more protein in this dish to fight mid-day fatigue, try sautéing tofu, seitan, or another meat alternative in olive oil to add to your sauce before mixing with the pasta.
Spaghetti with Red Sauce
You can also pair spaghetti with plain tomato sauce for an easy and quick vegan lunch. You can either purchase ready-made vegan tomato sauce or make your own by sautéing garlic in olive oil with Italian seasonings and adding crushed red tomatoes.
Vegan Lunch Side Ideas
Whether you’re looking for a lighter lunch or a side, sometimes you’ll want to stray away from entrees. That’s why we’ve created this list of great side items to enjoy with our other lunch ideas or alone.
Toasted Sweet Potatoes
Perfect for dipping, topping, or eating on their own, sweet potatoes are a popular alternative for grain-based options, making them a good choice if you wish to maintain a gluten-free diet.
To make this side dish, finely slice a sweet potato horizontally. Then, bake your sweet potato chips on a sheet pan until crispy.
Another beneficial aspect of toasted sweet potatoes is their versatility. While they’re delicious toasted alone, you can also pair them with different seasonings and herbs to complement your meal.
Sauteed Mushrooms on Toast
If you only have a few minutes each morning to make your lunch, sauteed mushrooms on toast offers an easy and quick option. Simply toast your bread as desired and top with mushrooms sauteed in olive oil, garlic salt, and any other seasonings you prefer.
Make Lunch Easy with Willow Bistro
Willow is a vegan restaurant giving classic bistro comfort food an upscale twist while using 100% vegan ingredients. You can enjoy a great vegan lunch at our restaurant or enjoy lunch in your office or home with our pickup and delivery services. Wherever you decide to spend your lunch break, we look forward to serving you high-quality vegan cuisine.