As a self proclaimed productivity junkie, making time for elaborate meals is not something on my to-do list. While breakfast and dinner always seem to have their special spot in my heart, lunch is a meal I don’t have time nor the energy on most days to beautifully create.
It’s really easy to just replace lunch for afternoon meetings, deadlines, and snack-grazing. And for students, the autumn season brings classes scheduled at awkward times. Perhaps there is not enough time during the lunch break to actually settle into a meal.
Eating an actual meal during this time is a very grounding practice and necessary to keep the overeating at dinner time at bay. In fact, Ayurveda, the thousand year old science of life, says that lunch is actually the time to eat the biggest meal of the day, as the digestive fire, like the sun, is at its strongest point at this time of day which is best to digest large meals. While it seems quite backwards to most people, it actually makes a lot of sense. With a wholesome lunch, we are fueled for the rest of the afternoon and won’t feel the need to eat three servings at dinner time.
“But I feel so sluggish and sleepy after a big meal!” First, I don’t mean to eat an entire feast at lunch, but just enough to get you feeling satisfied. And second, this post is dedicated to sharing filling, plant-based meals that won’t weigh you down and are perfect to take on the go!
Chickpeas are the most versatile of any type of bean! It’s protein and fiber-filled, which will keep you satisfied while improving your digestion! This Chickpea Salad is easily made for a sandwich spread, to eat with brown rice or other grains, in a wrap, on greens, the options are endless! It is light but filling and simple but flavorful.
Who says you can’t eat breakfast for lunch!? These burritos can be made and frozen ahead of time. All you have to do is pop them in the microwave for 2-3 minutes or heat them in the oven for 10-12 minutes. If you don’t want the breakfast ingredients in there, you’re in luck because burritos are so versatile you can add anything you want in there! Try adding salsa, avocado, or a different protein source, for example.
Save the dollars and make your own sushi at home! It’s much simpler than the amazing chefs at Japanese restaurants make it seem and can be quite fun with a partner! Maki rolls are a great lunch option as well as they are cool and fresh, but satisfying. They are also easily eaten on-the-go, but you may want to also brush up on your chopstick technique to round out the experience.
This soup can actually be made for any meal, as it is so quick to put together. It’s full of ingredients that are bound to keep you satisfied, energized, and glowing. Carrots contain beta-carotene which turns into vitamin A in our bodies that improve eye health as well as skin health! You can make this soup as is and bring it in a container, or blend it for a few seconds more and drink it from a thermos for the colder afternoons.
Perfect for weather that is not too cold to eat cold food, and not too hot to eat cooked food. These noodles are the in-between answer to your prayers. The best part about this dish is that the flavors get better over time. You can make them ahead of time and enjoy them for the next couple days! Reheating isn’t necessary as it was meant to be cold, but will add a nice flare if you’re looking for something a little more grounding.
A super simple side dish (or meal) full of protein, fiber, and vitamins + minerals! If you’re looking for a great nutritional bang for your buck, sweet potatoes are one of the best starches to go with as they not only add lots of flavor, texture, and micronutrients but are filling and help avoid mid-meal hunger. This recipe also includes a goddess dressing- chock full of all the fresh herbs and silky avocados.
This is a wholesome meal packed with not only flavors and colors, but also nutrients! Lentils are high in plant based protein as well as fiber and iron. The turmeric added to the cauliflower adds just the perfect hue of orange. It makes the perfect fuss-free dish for when you’re craving something filling but have a limited amount of time to prepare. The recipe comes together in just an hour and can be served either hot or cold just in case you’re too on-the-go to even heat anything up!
For the final dish, I want to share something that you can make no matter what ingredients you have in the kitchen. This recipe is more so of a guide to be creative with your ingredients rather than follow a specific recipe. The concept is simple: oven roast a couple pans of vegetables or root vegetables (think squash, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, onions, etc), cook a grain, have some fresh veggies (i.e. tomatoes, fresh greens), and toppings on hand! This post lays out exactly what elements you can add to your meal prep bowls that are perfect for a workday lunch or quick dinner to be satisfying, delicious, and nourishing.