Plant based ideas for your office lunch
turn it sustainable with our tips
28 november '22
Reading time: 5 minutes
Struggling to find recipes that make you look forward to your lunch break? Look no more! Here’s a list of 5 plant-based office lunch ideas that are sustainable, tasty, and easy to make.
Words by Eszter Gurbicz
Picture by Nathan Dumlao
Office lunch: the time you get to relax and recollect your energy. There is but one issue. Packing lunch is often the last thing we want to do. This means we find ourselves buying pre-packed lunches or eating out at restaurants around our office, spending unnecessarily. Not to mention, pre-packaged lunches come in lots of wrapping materials. More and more places now make sure that their wrapping is recyclable, but why create waste if we can reduce it instead? Bringing your office lunch with you has many benefits: it is cheaper, often healthier and a lot more sustainable.
Why Plant Based?
A plant-based lunch is healthy, yummy, and filled with important nutrients. Plants have vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can support your immune system and reduce inflammation. Unprocessed plant foods are also high in fiber, which supports the health of your gut, making sure you can sufficiently absorb nutrients. Having a plant-based diet- or even just some meals - is also better for the environment! Meat and other animal products are known for having some of the highest water footprints, while fruits and vegetables are the least water consuming foods.
Here we collected five plant-based lunch ideas that are quick and easy so you can enjoy them at work:
1. Hummus veggie wrap:
Wraps are truly versatile, fun and you can eat them on the go. This plant -based version is a great example of a good wrap, and what's even better, there’s no cooking involved l! Start with a whole-wheat tortilla for some good carbs. Then, choose your favorite hummus and spread it on the wrap in a thick layer. For some protein make sure you add in some beans - you can use any kind of canned beans of your liking. Also don't forget to add avocado for some healthy fat. Last but not least, pack on the vegetables, and there you go. This is not only quick and simple, but thanks to all these ingredients this wrap will leave you energized for the whole afternoon!
Picture by Pablo de la Fuente
2. Buffalo Chickpea Salad Sandwich
We can't leave sandwiches off a lunch idea list. But don't worry, this is not the usual, boring sandwich you might remember from your school days. To make the filling, take some chickpeas - canned works perfectly fine - and mash them up. Cut up some vegetables into tiny pieces. Carrot, celery, green onions and bell peppers work well with this recipe, or you can just use the vegetables you find in your fridge. Then, take some plain hummus and mix it with the chickpeas and veggie pieces. You can also replace hummus with some vegan mayo. Perhaps the most important ingredient is the hot sauce, so don't leave it out! You can also add some salt and some additional spices like paprika, garlic or onion powder for a fuller taste. Spread this amazing mixture on the bread and top it with some lettuce or tomatoes.
3. Butternut Squash & Bell Pepper Soup
If you are looking for an autumn dish that is filling and warm, this one’s for you. You will need some butternut squash, four bell peppers, onion, garlic, oil, and a vegetable stock cube. First, cut all the veggies into pieces, place them on a tray with some olive oil, and roast them in the oven for around 20 minutes. This will help bring out all the nice flavors from the ingredients. When ready, place them into a large saucepan, add water and the vegetable stock cube and cook until tender. All you need to do now is blend it into a smooth, creamy soup.
Picture by Jennifer Schmidt
4. Mediterranean Quinoa Pasta Salad
This recipe definitely brings back the flavors of summer! First, cook the pasta and the quinoa (this will add some extra protein to your dish). Wash and chop your chosen vegetables and place them in a bowl with the cooked ingredients. Try using veggies such as cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and olives to make your salad as colorful as possible. Next, prepare your dressing. All you need is some vegan yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and some spices of your choice. Whisk it together and pour it over the salad bowl. Store it in the fridge and serve chilled. This recipe is not only tasty but can be stored for days, so you can make it during the weekend and bring it with you to the office whenever you like.
5. Mason Jar Instant Noodles
The best thing about this meal is how easy it is to travel with, and you can meal prep for the whole week! Take a jar and place the seasoning on the bottom of it. If you feel like having a spicy soup, add 1 tsp of soy sauce, 1 tsp of Sriracha chili-garlic hot sauce and some lime juice. To make a miso soup base, add 1 tsp of soy sauce and 1 tsp of miso paste. Whichever version you choose, don´t forget to add a vegetable stock cube to it for a fuller, stronger taste. Then, layer in the vegetables of your liking. Carrots, cabbage, bean sprouts and green onions are some good options. Finish it off by adding your rice noodles, making sure they stay dry. You can also add a few pieces of tofu for extra protein. We recommend topping it off with some fresh parsley or coriander. Just close the jar, and place it in the fridge. When ready to eat, fill the jar with boiling water, stir it carefully and place the lid on. Leave it for 5 minutes for the noodles to cook, and there you have it. Fresh, healthy and warm.