Vegan Lunch Box – new feature!!

Hey-yo! I’m starting a new blog feature — Vegan Lunch Box! I’m going to show you what I’m packing in my lunches, to show examples of what a well-balanced, energy-sustaining, vegan lunch looks like!

We are so busy in life. Between work, kids, workouts, grocery shopping, cleaning (need I go on?), the last thing we want to worry about is what to eat for lunch. Problem is, when we stop worrying about it, we start eating convenience foods and other “quick fix” items that might be wallet-friendly, but definitely not waistline-friendly. The solution is to pack your own lunch. That way, no matter where you are, you always have a healthy meal on hand. You’re welcome, busy people of the world!

To kick it off, here’s what I packed today:

Counterclockwise, from top right:

Morning snack – organic gala apple and a Raw Rev bar

Lunch – homemade vegan chickpea salad (Oh She Glows recipe, of course!), rice crackers, half an avocado. The salad came from the salad bar at work….take advantage of this! If you don’t have one, pack a salad or some other veggies too.

Pre-Zumba snack – Chocolate banana shake made with almond milk.

*The chickpea salad took 10 minutes to prepare. Everything else was ready to eat.*

Key to success: A well-stocked kitchen!

Keep in the pantry: beans, brown rice, quinoa, pasta, low-sodium diced tomatoes, pita bread, nuts and seeds, whole grain crackers, dried fruits.

Keep in the fridge: cut-up fruits and veggies, fresh herbs, sprouted bread (like Ezekiel), hummus, almond/soy milk, soy yogurt, nutritional yeast.

Keep in the freezer: vegetables, edamame, fruit, dinner leftovers

Keep at work: Various healthy snacks such as nuts, fresh/dried fruit, roasted chickpeas, whole grain crackers,

There are infinite possibilities and combinations using the above foods. Get creative and get packing! Stay tuned for more Vegan Lunch Box, coming soon!

Original Recipe: Quinoa Enchilada Bowl

ImageImage

Hooray, another Jean’s Kitchen original!! I made this up yesterday morning while scrambling to make something to take to work for lunch. I have a terrible tendency to just throw things together without measuring, so I’ve done my best to get the quantities right for you. This was delicious and super filling. Took it for lunch to share with the girls (aka the other dietitians) and it was a hit with them, too!

Makes 2 hearty servings.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa                                                 1/2 cup enchilada sauce

2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth                                   2 tsp garlic powder

1 cup cannellini beans                                                        1 tsp chili powder                                              

1/2 onion, chopped                                                           1/2 tsp cumin

1 bell pepper, chopped                                                     1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1 roma tomato, chopped                                                    1/2 cup cilantro, chopped                       

Cook quinoa (using broth instead of water) according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat 2 tsp olive oil in a pan. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add peppers and all seasonings except cilantro and mix well. Saute an additional 2 minutes, then add the beans, tomato, and enchilada sauce. Simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. 

Place quinoa into the bottom of a bowl. Pour bean mixture on top. Top with additional cilantro and chopped avocado, if desired.