I need suggestions for packable snacks and meals for work

Mom2vegan

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Hi! I'm making the transition and I work so many hours I have very little time for cooking. I pack all of my meals and snacks for work. I try to eat at least 100 calories every hour at work so I need easy 100-200 calorie snack ideas that I can cook at the beginning of the week and put in the fridge to bring to work throughout the week. Raw is ideal for me but I don't need everything to be raw. I need high protein. Also I don't want to use products with much packaging.

I used to bring 2 oz of turkey as one of my snacks. I've replaced that with chia seed pudding & blueberries. I have to buy "milk" for this and I wind up with a lot leftover. By the way, the chia seed pudding is much more filling and satisfying, and great for digestion.

One of my snacks is currently yogurt with fruit. I'm trying to make yogurt with some of the coconut milk, in my instant pot right now. I hope it turns out - I used some of my left over dairy yogurt as a starter. Tomorrow I'll see if it turned out. If this works it will be great because none of the milk I buy for my chia seed pudding will go to waste. Does anybody have any suggestions on making non dairy yogurt at home?

I made hummus and I've been bringing that. I either just eat it with a spoon or have it on carrots.

If I can just come up with one more high protein snack to pack every day, it will replace my boiled egg and then my diet will be 100% vegan at least during the work week.

Also - I want to use up some chickpea flour I bought but never used, as well as some barley. I don't want to use a lot of ingredients because I live in a tiny home and my little 'fridge is full. Any ideas on packable meals or snacks using these two ingredients? I was thinking of doing a chickpea flatbread and making "taco meat" filling with the barley. I've never tried it before.
 
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Emma JC

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One of my favourite snacks, when I travel, is a PB&J sandwich. I buy a sprouted bread, natural peanut butter and low sugar jam and spread the peanut butter on one piece of the bread and the jam on the other (the jam doesn't drip so much that way). It is very satisfying.

Good quality medjool dates are my other favourite portable.

Emma JC
 
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Emma JC

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BTW I think your idea of a chick pea flatbread is a good one and turning the barley into a taco meat is a superb idea. I use farro that way and am sure that barley could work as well. You could even mix some canned/rinsed lentils with it to add a protein kick.

Post a pic of the result!!

Emma JC
 
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Mom2vegan

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One of my favourite snacks, when I travel, is a PB&J sandwich. I buy a sprouted bread, natural peanut butter and low sugar jam and spread the peanut butter on one piece of the bread and the jam on the other (the jam doesn't drip so much that way). It is very satisfying.

Good quality medjool dates are my other favourite portable.

Emma JC
I'm trying to watch my carbs - I've never tried a sprouted bread, are they lower in carbs? I wonder how peanut butter and jelly would taste on the garbanzo bean flat bread I'm thinking of making....
 

Emma JC

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Why would you watch your carbs and eat coconut oil? sorry, that doesn't make any sense at all. I eat about a 75-80% starch based diet and have maintained my initial weight loss from when I started over 2 and half years ago. Carbs like donuts are not good as they have oils and sugar and I haven't had a donut in 2 and half years. I have had plenty of breads and potatoes and rice and pastas.

Starches/carbohydrates are vital for our brain health. They turn into glucose and provide our energy. It is very very challenging for carbs to turn into fat. It is easy for oils to saturate our cells with fats.

I am sure the peanut butter and jam would be amazing on anything at all. :yum

Emma JC
 

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So many ideas. Of course, not all of them will appeal to you. So this is the spaghetti approach. throw up a bunch against the wall and hopefully one or two will stick.

My AM snack is almost always a banana and my PM snack has always been an apple. Both are about 100 calories and require no prep or refrigeration.

A quick thing is sort of granola and trail mix. I think the official name for it is Gorp. but maybe that's just the trail mix. Store bought granola can be a little expensive and maybe not that healthy, so I would make my own. It's mostly mixing and letting it bake so it is not that time intensive but you can always buy your own. but if you make from scratch its basically rolled oats and brown sugar. So it's pretty cheap. And I like making my own trails mix from the bulk food aisle. then you just include just your favorites. And its mostly peanuts and raisins. So it is also pretty cheap. You can make something like a 2 or 3 week supply while cooking Sunday dinner.

one of the things that i like to do is make a bunch of bean and rice burritos (small ones using the smaller tortillas). I used to wrap them individually in tin foil and freeze them but I decided that was wasteful so now I put them in individual freezer bags that I re-use. then put them on a plate (without the bag) and nuke them. I would make 10 (the number of tortillas in the package) at a time. they were basically my "emergency meal". Nuke them while getting dressed and eat one (or two) in the car while driving to work. Or just grab a couple to heat up for lunch.

A thing i do is make a big batch of steel cut oats and put them in little microwavable cups and then freeze them. Just nuke them when I need one. but you could also make up a batch of overnight oats and just store them in the frig. I think they are good in the fridge for a week.

Finally mass produces some veggie wraps. Use the big tortillas. Then cut them in half or quarters and they can be a course of a snack. these will keep for at least a few days in the frig. or use ingredients that are freezer-friendly. If you make 4 at a time and cut them in half that is almost a weeks worth.

There are also a bunch of vegan YouTubers who do week-long meal preps with bento boxes. you could find lots more ideas by looking thru some of their videos. Cheap Lazy Vegan has lots of videos based on these.
 

Emma JC

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@Lou - you always put so much thought into your replies, we are lucky to have you here!!

Thank you for all your great ideas, I am going to incorporate them when I have to travel next as I love the bean/burrito idea. You helped me to remember that I have also, in the past, made my own black bean burgers and took them with me on the road inside a pita with some mustard. I loved them and, when cut in half ahead of time, they were easy to eat while driving.

Emma JC
 
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Lou

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I'm trying to watch my carbs - I've never tried a sprouted bread, are they lower in carbs? I wonder how peanut butter and jelly would taste on the garbanzo bean flat bread I'm thinking of making....
Carbs have gotten a bad rap. They are not only essential but impossible to avoid if you are eating a healthy vegan diet. However, most regular Americans should moderate their grains. About 3 servings a day is optimum. but most Americans eat way more.

A slice of bread is a serving of grain. so if you are trying to stay under 3 servings of grains you may need to skip the sandwiches. but if you are already keeping your grains under 3 servings a day then a sandwich is a great idea. As far as nutrition goes there a number of great breads on the market. Some are even "flour-less". My number one favorite is Ezekial's. You can find it in most grocery store's freezer section. You can even have it shipped to your house. It's pricey - but it's worth it. Another good brand that is less pricey and widely available is Dave's Killer Bread.

When buying peanut butter you want pure peanut butter. No added salts, sugars or oils. Some markets (like whole foods) have a grinder in the store and you can grind your own. (like the coffee grinders). You can grind your own PB at home in a food processor, too. but then you have to clean up the food processor. You can also use a "no sugar added" jam or jelly.

If your bread is frozen it is pretty easy to convert a loaf into PB&J sandwiches in assembly-line fashion. put all the sandwiches right back into the bag the loaf come in and pop them back into the freezer. In the morning just grab a sandwich and it will be defrosted by lunchtime.
 

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@Lou - you always put so much thought into your replies, we are lucky to have you here!!

Thank you for all your great ideas, I am going to incorporate them when I have to travel next as I love the bean/burrito idea. You helped me to remember that I have also, in the past, made my own black bean burgers and took them with me on the road inside a pita with some mustard. I loved them and, when cut in half ahead of time, they were easy to eat while driving.

Emma JC
I've never done that. But that is the obvious extension to the burrito. Well, maybe not that obvious. But yes!! I can do that too.

For the longest time, I added fake cheese to my burritos. Daiya had a shredded "Mexican blend". But after way too long a time I figured that the cheese was doing nothing for the burrito. maybe even making it worse. Soi stopped with the fake cheese. Sometimes i just add a little salsa to the mix. If you like things spicy - add more salsa.
 

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One more idea - I just watched High Carb Hannah's latest video and she made a higher protein breakfast sausage, amoung other items. Here is the recipe for the sausage and following is the link to the video which also has a high protein banana bread and tempeh bacon wraps.

Breakfast sausages 1/2 cup TVP 1/2 cup hot water 1/2 cup chickpea flour 1/4 cup instant oats 1 tbsp ground flax seeds 1 tbsp nutritional yeast 1 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp fennel 1/2 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp liquid smoke 3 tbsp soy sauce 2 tbsp maple syrup (optional) In a bowl combine your hot water and tvp. Mix in soy sauce, liquid smoke, maple syrup. Next add in your spices and mix well. Add in your oats, flax and chickpea flour. Form into balls and press flat like a patty. Place on a pan with parchment paper and either air fry on 370 degrees for 15 minutes or cook in the oven on 400 for 15-20 minutes.

Emma JC
 
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Mom2vegan

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Why would you watch your carbs and eat coconut oil? sorry, that doesn't make any sense at all. I eat about a 75-80% starch based diet and have maintained my initial weight loss from when I started over 2 and half years ago. Carbs like donuts are not good as they have oils and sugar and I haven't had a donut in 2 and half years. I have had plenty of breads and potatoes and rice and pastas.

Starches/carbohydrates are vital for our brain health. They turn into glucose and provide our energy. It is very very challenging for carbs to turn into fat. It is easy for oils to saturate our cells with fats.

I am sure the peanut butter and jam would be amazing on anything at all. :yum

Emma JC
Well - I don't really eat coconut oil, I'm just trying to make some yogurt from coconut milk and I don't think there's probably that much coconut oil in coconut milk. I eat a pretty low fat diet. I keep my calories at about 1200 -1500 per day on the weekdays.

I've lost 45 lbs this year and my weight loss completely stalled a few months ago. I haven't gained anything back but have been having a hard time keeping my calories low enough to continue losing weight. I'm no longer overweight but would like to get down to the lower end of my healthy weight range. I'd been considering transitioning to vegan anyway, had given it a few half-hearted attempts, and decided now might be the time to really make some permanent changes. My diet is so regimented already and my new-found discipline should make the transition easier than it would have been before. Just making the few changes I've made over the past week has made my stomach flatter and has caused the weight to start coming off again.

How have you lost your weight and how do you keep your calories down and still stay full (or not ravenously hungry)? I have noticed I do feel fuller for longer after changing my one snack from turkey to chia pudding, and that does have carbs in it. That surprised me. I'd been under the impression that the more protein and less carbs I ate, the fuller I would feel. When I was losing my weight I ate a lot of protein - I was doing the nutrisystem thing.
 
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Mom2vegan

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So many ideas. Of course, not all of them will appeal to you. So this is the spaghetti approach. throw up a bunch against the wall and hopefully one or two will stick.

My AM snack is almost always a banana and my PM snack has always been an apple. Both are about 100 calories and require no prep or refrigeration.

A quick thing is sort of granola and trail mix. I think the official name for it is Gorp. but maybe that's just the trail mix. Store bought granola can be a little expensive and maybe not that healthy, so I would make my own. It's mostly mixing and letting it bake so it is not that time intensive but you can always buy your own. but if you make from scratch its basically rolled oats and brown sugar. So it's pretty cheap. And I like making my own trails mix from the bulk food aisle. then you just include just your favorites. And its mostly peanuts and raisins. So it is also pretty cheap. You can make something like a 2 or 3 week supply while cooking Sunday dinner.

one of the things that i like to do is make a bunch of bean and rice burritos (small ones using the smaller tortillas). I used to wrap them individually in tin foil and freeze them but I decided that was wasteful so now I put them in individual freezer bags that I re-use. then put them on a plate (without the bag) and nuke them. I would make 10 (the number of tortillas in the package) at a time. they were basically my "emergency meal". Nuke them while getting dressed and eat one (or two) in the car while driving to work. Or just grab a couple to heat up for lunch.

A thing i do is make a big batch of steel cut oats and put them in little microwavable cups and then freeze them. Just nuke them when I need one. but you could also make up a batch of overnight oats and just store them in the frig. I think they are good in the fridge for a week.

Finally mass produces some veggie wraps. Use the big tortillas. Then cut them in half or quarters and they can be a course of a snack. these will keep for at least a few days in the frig. or use ingredients that are freezer-friendly. If you make 4 at a time and cut them in half that is almost a weeks worth.

There are also a bunch of vegan YouTubers who do week-long meal preps with bento boxes. you could find lots more ideas by looking thru some of their videos. Cheap Lazy Vegan has lots of videos based on these.
Thanks for the suggestions. I was thinking about making my own bean burritos. I have a frozen bean burrito for lunch most days and if I made my own they'd be vegan but I was also worried about the waste from the packaging. I bought a silicon thing I use to wrap my burrito in when I pack it in my lunch every day because I can nuke it in the wrap. What kind of individual freezer bags do you use, and are they sturdy?

Every morning I pack 1/4 cup of quick oats and 1/2 cup water in a container and pack it to eat at work. I just nuke it plain. It seems to be my most satisfying meal, which has surprised me because it's so high carb. I was researching what the most filling things you can eat are (per calorie) and read that oatmeal, eggs, and potatoes were at the top of the list. Maybe I'll replace my daily egg with a small potato.....

I'll check out Cheap Lazy Vegan - that sounds like my sort of thing!
 
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Mom2vegan

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One more idea - I just watched High Carb Hannah's latest video and she made a higher protein breakfast sausage, amoung other items. Here is the recipe for the sausage and following is the link to the video which also has a high protein banana bread and tempeh bacon wraps.

Breakfast sausages 1/2 cup TVP 1/2 cup hot water 1/2 cup chickpea flour 1/4 cup instant oats 1 tbsp ground flax seeds 1 tbsp nutritional yeast 1 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp fennel 1/2 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp liquid smoke 3 tbsp soy sauce 2 tbsp maple syrup (optional) In a bowl combine your hot water and tvp. Mix in soy sauce, liquid smoke, maple syrup. Next add in your spices and mix well. Add in your oats, flax and chickpea flour. Form into balls and press flat like a patty. Place on a pan with parchment paper and either air fry on 370 degrees for 15 minutes or cook in the oven on 400 for 15-20 minutes.

Emma JC
Thank you!! This looks like a really good recipe, and not too expensive - freezeable, packable. I wonder how it would be if I froze it and reheated at work......
 
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Lou

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@Mom2vegan

I'm going to recommend the book "Eat to live". It's one of the many WFPB diet books and one of the best. Last summer I used it to make my meal plans and I was eating around 1600 calories a day and having a hard time eating all the stuff in my meal plan.
 

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I bought a silicon thing I use to wrap my burrito in when I pack it in my lunch every day because I can nuke it in the wrap. What kind of individual freezer bags do you use, and are they sturdy
Well, please tell me about that silicon thing you got. Sounds like something I should have.

Before I stumbled upon the freezer bags I was using wax paper. I would put all the burritos in one big Tupperware but you have to keep them from sticking together. I used tinfoil for a while but you can't nuke that and it seemed wasteful. The wax paper was sort of a good compromise. but now I like the re-using the freezer bags. The ones I am using are just regular old Glad one-quart bags. They say "thick and durable" on the box. They say they are microwave safe but I always take what is in them out before nuking them. Then I turn them inside out and wash them and let them air dry with the dishes. I thought if i still liked them and they wore out I would buy the more expensive "stackable" kinds they have on Amazon.
 

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Well - I don't really eat coconut oil, I'm just trying to make some yogurt from coconut milk and I don't think there's probably that much coconut oil in coconut milk. I eat a pretty low fat diet. I keep my calories at about 1200 -1500 per day on the weekdays.

I've lost 45 lbs this year and my weight loss completely stalled a few months ago. I haven't gained anything back but have been having a hard time keeping my calories low enough to continue losing weight. I'm no longer overweight but would like to get down to the lower end of my healthy weight range. I'd been considering transitioning to vegan anyway, had given it a few half-hearted attempts, and decided now might be the time to really make some permanent changes. My diet is so regimented already and my new-found discipline should make the transition easier than it would have been before. Just making the few changes I've made over the past week has made my stomach flatter and has caused the weight to start coming off again.

How have you lost your weight and how do you keep your calories down and still stay full (or not ravenously hungry)? I have noticed I do feel fuller for longer after changing my one snack from turkey to chia pudding, and that does have carbs in it. That surprised me. I'd been under the impression that the more protein and less carbs I ate, the fuller I would feel. When I was losing my weight I ate a lot of protein - I was doing the nutrisystem thing.
Sorry if I misunderstood, on another thread you were promoting that coconut oil was good for us so I assumed that you use it.

Congrats on your weight loss, that is notable!

I don't track calories and I stay full by eating a lot of starches, I call myself a Starchivore (as per Dr McDougall). Protein is not filling, is it more calorically dense than most starches / vegetables.

Small potatoes in place of eggs are an awesome idea!! and especially these days when you can get so many different types and sizes.

I attribute my weight loss to cutting out the oils. You can eat tons of potatoes as long as you don't put butter on it. You can lots of pasta as long as you don't slather it with olive oil.... and so on. Lots of oatmeal, both rolled and steel cut. Lots of beans and lentils, some nuts and seeds.

All the best with your journey and I look forward to having you share it with us.

Emma JC
 

Lou

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Every morning I pack 1/4 cup of quick oats and 1/2 cup water in a container and pack it to eat at work. I just nuke it plain. It seems to be my most satisfying meal, which has surprised me because it's so high carb. I was researching what the most filling things you can eat are (per calorie) and read that oatmeal, eggs, and potatoes were at the top of the list. Maybe I'll replace my daily egg with a small potato.....
Most mornings I use 1/2 cup old fashioned oats and 1 cup soy milk. One tbsp of ground flaxseed. Microwave for 3 minutes and then add fresh fruit or raisins. You need to nuke it in a big ceramic bowl or it will boil over.
320 calories, 13 grams of protein. 9 grams of fat.
100% omega 3s.
It's almost a perfect 60/20/20 ratio.

I've been finding ways of working potatoes into my meal plan. My favorite so far is putting a cup of lentil stew on a cup of mashed potatoes. I make the lentil stew and the potatoes in my InstantPot and freeze the leftovers. I put one serving in a Tupperware but I just realized I could use those freezer bags, too.
 

Mom2vegan

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Well, please tell me about that silicon thing you got. Sounds like something I should have.

Before I stumbled upon the freezer bags I was using wax paper. I would put all the burritos in one big Tupperware but you have to keep them from sticking together. I used tinfoil for a while but you can't nuke that and it seemed wasteful. The wax paper was sort of a good compromise. but now I like the re-using the freezer bags. The ones I am using are just regular old Glad one-quart bags. They say "thick and durable" on the box. They say they are microwave safe but I always take what is in them out before nuking them. Then I turn them inside out and wash them and let them air dry with the dishes. I thought if i still liked them and they wore out I would buy the more expensive "stackable" kinds they have on Amazon.
I will get "Eat to Live" - I hope it's on Kindle, if so I'll get it tonight.

So - I went on Amazon looking for something reuseable to replace plastic wrap and found silicon stretch lids. It's not really the greatest - it doesn't stick like plastic wrap - but if you're careful about not moving the burrito around too much it works fine. I'd like to find something better but then my stretch lid would go to waste and how long do you think it takes a silicon stretch lid to break down in a landfill? Probably infinity.....I suppose I could cut it into tiny pieces and add it to my compost pile LOL. Nah I'll just keep using it. But I did see some reuseable silicon bags.....
 
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Mom2vegan

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Sorry if I misunderstood, on another thread you were promoting that coconut oil was good for us so I assumed that you use it.

Congrats on your weight loss, that is notable!

I don't track calories and I stay full by eating a lot of starches, I call myself a Starchivore (as per Dr McDougall). Protein is not filling, is it more calorically dense than most starches / vegetables.

Small potatoes in place of eggs are an awesome idea!! and especially these days when you can get so many different types and sizes.

I attribute my weight loss to cutting out the oils. You can eat tons of potatoes as long as you don't put butter on it. You can lots of pasta as long as you don't slather it with olive oil.... and so on. Lots of oatmeal, both rolled and steel cut. Lots of beans and lentils, some nuts and seeds.

All the best with your journey and I look forward to having you share it with us.

Emma JC
Hmmmmmmmm this sounds very interesting! If I can eat more starch and continue losing weight I am all for it!

I live next door to my dad and we share a garden. Potatoes (sweet and regular) do awesome in our garden and I've just let Dad have all of them because I was watching my carbs.