Vary Your Lunch Menu
Whether you are thinking about becoming a vegetarian or gave up meat years ago, it's nice to have a selection of vegetarian lunch ideas to keep your menu fresh and interesting.
Vegetarians who go out to lunch with friends from work can always request a veggie omelet made from menu ingredients when nothing else seems to be available. Choose an omelet made with seasonal veggies and a Southwestern flare to add a bit of spice to your lunch.
Vegetarian Beans and Rice
Beans and rice can be made ahead and frozen in single servings for a quick and easy hot lunch. Use red beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, or black beans paired with regular white rice, wild rice, basmati rice, or brown rice.
Veggie Mac and Cheese
Just because you are vegetarian doesn't mean you have to give up macaroni and cheese. If you've enjoyed this comfort food in the past, you can make this vegetarian recipe:
- 16 oz. pasta
- 1 c. rice milk
- 1/2 c. butter
- 12 slices American cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta. Drain and add rice milk and butter to hot pasta. Mix until butter is melted. Add the cheese. Mix until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Veggie Stuffed Pita
Add your favorite blend of vegetables to a hearty, whole-grain pita bread for a healthy, delicious sandwich. Cut vegetables into small pieces to make the sandwich easy to handle without breaking. Add hummus for additional moisture and flavor.
Salad is always a great standby vegetarian lunch idea because it offers such variety. Create your own masterpiece starting with a bed of lettuce or fresh spring greens. Toppings can range from fresh vegetables to artichoke hearts, black olives, and pickled okra or baby corn. Add your favorite dressing, and enjoy.
Falafel is a versatile vegetarian dish commonly eaten as a snack or appetizer. However, falafel also makes a great vegetarian lunch when served in a sandwich or wrap with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and tahini dressing.
If you decide to go to a local Thai, Japanese, or Chinese restaurant for lunch, you'll find plenty of vegetarian options. Consider veggie sushi as one potential choice. Those rolls wrapped in nori (roasted seasweed) are a great source of trace minerals. Sushi wrapped in nori is called maki. It is served with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger. A couple of favorite varieties include the avocado roll (avocado-maki) and cucumber roll (kappa-maki).
Fruit salad is an old standby for vegetarian lunches. A mixture of apples, grapes, walnuts, and raisins makes a good base. From there, you can add seasonal fruit to the melee for color, crunch, and additional flavor. Not only does fruit salad fill you up, it satisfies your sweet tooth, too!
Vegetarian Lunch Ideas
Broccoli burgers are another idea for vegetarian lunches. These veggie burgers can be made ahead and stored in the freezer in patty form. When lunchtime rolls around, you can heat them in the microwave or oven and enjoy a burger on a bun with all your favorite condiments.
Vegetarian lunches don't have to be complicated. Stick with foods you love, and learn to incorporate them in your lunchtime routine. For more information see:
- Easy to Make Vegetarian Meals
- Meatless Meal Recipes