Easiest vegan lunches on a budget?

Willfrank84

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I am an omnivore who was thinking about trying to eat less fast food meats for the environment. I am a pretty lazy person when it comes to food which is why currerently if I want to eat less fast food on my lunch break I bring canned fruit, apples, bananas, peanuts, or granola-like bars.

What are the easiest cheapest alternatives when craving protein/fat when out of the house?
 
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Lou

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I am an omnivore who was thinking about trying to eat less fast food meats for the environment. I am a pretty lazy person when it comes to food which is why currerently if I want to eat less fast food on my lunch break I bring canned fruit, apples, bananas, peanuts, or granola-like bars.

What are the easiest cheapest alternatives when craving protein/fat when out of the house?


Great. Yea!

My nomination for easy cheap meat-free lunch is The Lowly PB&J.
But before you dismiss this let me give you some tips, tricks, and the nutritional lowdown.

First, this is a pretty cheap lunch so go ahead and splurge on the bread. My favorite is Ezekial 4:9 sprouted wheat bread. but there are lots of other good breads out there. This one is usually found in the freezer aisle and I keep mine in the freezer.

Next, you gotta use pure peanut butter with no added salt, sugar, or oil. You can make your own in a grinder but that is IMHO too much trouble. Some grocery stores have grinders and peanuts and you can make your own. There are also a few brands of peanut butter that are pure or pretty close.

Finally, you want a jelly or jam that has little to no added sugars. These are not hard to find but you may need to spend a minute looking at the ingredients. Around here I have found that AllFruit is the best bet.

Peanut butter without added oil is hard to spread. So spread it on the frozen bread.

I'll clean off my counter and make the sandwiches assembly-line style. I take all the bread out and then I will put PB (about 2 tbsp) on one side (of the frozen bread), and jelly (about 1 tbsp) on the other side. Then assemble and put all the sandwiches right back in the bag the bread came in the then pop the whole thing back in the freezer.

It takes no time to just grab a sandwich and take it to work. they also defrost pretty quick and I have used them for emergency breakfasts. You can cut them in halves or quarters and then they become pretty good snacks.

Using Ezekial bread, pure peanut butter and AllFruit jam the nutritional info is.

464 Calories
18 grams fat - only 3.5 saturated
60 grams of carbs, 15 grams fiber, and no sugar.
20 grams of protein
 
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Emma JC

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That was my first thought too - also you could add in a banana mash if you wanted to between the jam and the pb, although might be best if you do it fresh!

I am not sure where you are in Canada, here in Ontario we have another option to Ezekiel and that is Silverhills bakery, sprouted breads and they are beside Ezekiel in the freezer and about $2 cheaper.

I also love chick peas in almost any format. Hummus with veggies is an easy one, or even a quick chick pea salad, throw in some green onions, tomatoes, cucumber, vinegar, lime/lemon juice a few spices.

I have also been making up my own falafels, here's a link to it. https://www.veganforum.org/threads/what-did-you-have-for-lunch.1968/page-37#post-28128 They are good cold or reheated and just put some hummus and hot sauce on the side to dip them in.

Congrats for taking some steps to help your health, the animals and the environment.

Emma JC
 
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TofuRobot

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I have made veggie sandwiches with hummus and sometimes a couple of falafels (just as good as a garden burger, IMO, and I like the 'snack size' of it). Basically all the veggies you can think of, (lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, etc) plus hummus and maybe mustard. But really, I'm too lazy to do that for work. I have been known to keep a loaf of bread in the freezer at work and some hummus in the fridge or tahini at my desk. (Edit - this suggestion is assuming you have a toaster at work)
 
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Indian Summer

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I keep a box of oats in my drawer at work, and a carton of (vitamin+calcium fortified) soya milk in the fridge. When I get to the office in the morning, I put some oats in a coffee cup and pour very hot water on top. (We have a water heater which is meant for coffee or tea water.) I stir with a teaspoon, and let it sit until the water has mostly been absorbed by the oats, at which point I declare it to be done. Then I pour some soya milk on top and eat it all maybe with a banana for a little sweetness.

It's a simple, but filling and hopefully somewhat nutritious breakfast. Soya milk is the plant milk with the most protein, I believe.
 

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Since you are a fan of fast food meats and claim laziness, Imma suggest Field Roast or Tofurky vegan deli slices with whatever you normally put on a sandwich that you like. Remember, Vegenaise, Just Mayo and Hellman's Vegan are all mayo choices.

With a little more effort, you can mash chickpeas with avocado (or mix with guac). If you use plain avocado, dress it up with dill, cilantro, or scallions and the juice from a lime before putting on bread.

Recently I discovered Bragg's Sea Kelp Delight seasoning. If you want an alternative to tuna, mash chickpeas with vegan mayo, salt, pepper and Sea Kelp Delight, and make it into a sandwich.

If you like meat you may like salt so I doubt you'll be content with PB&J on a daily basis.

Other options are reheated pasta or stir fry from the night before, or carry cans of lentil, split pea, or vegetable soup to microwave in a bowl if you have access, along with half a sandwich or nuts and fruit and crackers.

Amy's is a bit pricey but they make frozen vegan entrees that you can also microwave.

Fast food items include bean burritos with guacamole instead of cheese, veggie subs (hopefully at a place that has hummus), and Beyond or Impossible Burgers. Carl's Jr has Beyond and Burger King has Impossible.
 

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Peanut butter and nut butters don't have to be paired with jam/jelly. I like peanut butter and pickle sandwiches too.

If you have a Trader Joe's in your area, they have a decent vegan cream cheese that serves as a fine basis for sandwiches. I like to add seasoning/herb mixes to the cream cheese to vary the flavors.

I make a variety of bean based pates using Great Northern beans, which have such a mild taste in and of themselves that they can be made to taste many different ways. These also are great for sandwiches.

Many, many different salads, including pasta salads, rice and other grain salads, bean salads, etc.


If you have access to a microwave:

Bean burritos are super easy to make. Tortillas + a can of fat-free refried beans. Add salsa or other toppings of your choice. You can make a bunch, wrap them individually, freeze them, and have them ready to go when you want. (I like Aldi's canned refried beans - very pleasantly seasoned.)