vegan lunch meal plan

Lunches

Healthy Taco Salad

 

Dressing:

½ cup mild salsa

4tsp olive oil

Juice of ½ a lime

Meat:

1lb lean ground turkey

1tsp garlic powder

1tsp cumin

1tsp salt

½ tsp chili powder

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp oregano

½ small onion, minced

2tbsp bell pepper

½ cup water

4oz canned tomato sauce

For the Salad:

6 cups chopped romaine lettuce

1 cup pico de gallo

½ cup shredded cheddar

4 lime wedges

Optional Greek yogurt or sour cream

313 calories per serving

Brown your turkey in a large skillet over medium heat. When the meat is no longer pink, add in all of your dry seasonings and mix well. Add onion, bell pepper, and tomato sauce. Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Divide your meat equally between 4 meal prep containers. For the dressing, combine the salsa, olive oil, and lime juice. Place into small individual containers. Divide your lettuce between 4 zip lock bags. Divide your toppings (pico de gallo, sour cream/Greek yogurt, and cheese). Cover them all and refrigerate. To serve, remove the lettuce and topping containers and heat up your meat (optional).

Tuna and Chickpea Pita Sandwiches

 

Dressing:

⅓ cup fat free Greek yogurt

¼ cup light mayo

2 ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 tsp fresh rosemary

1 tsp fresh thyme

Tuna Salad:

2 cans white albacore tuna, drained

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

¾ cup celery, chopped

⅓ cup red onion, finely chopped (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

2 medium tomatoes, sliced

2 cups spinach

4 whole wheat pita pockets

321 calories per serving

In a small mixing bowl, blend Greek yogurt, mayo, lemon, juice, parsley, thyme, and rosemary. Whisk well. In a medium mixing bowl, combine your tuna, chickpeas, celery, and optional red onion. Once mixed, pour the Greek yogurt mixture on top. Combine well, mixing gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then toss. Slice pita pockets in half and then through the center. Layer your spinach, tomatoes, and tuna salad mixture. It can be refrigerated and then served cold over the next 1-2 days.

Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad

 

1 ½ cups orecchiette pasta

3 tbsp pesto

1 tbsp olive oil

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp balsamic vinegar

¾ grape tomatoes, halved

¾ cup small perlini fresh mozzarella balls

3 fresh basil leaves, finely shredded

372 calories per serving

Bring a large pot of lightly-salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until it is tender, yet firm— about 8 minutes. Drain pasta and set aside to cool. Mix pesto, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and balsamic in a bowl. Stir until you begin to see the color of the dressing change. Add the pasta to the bowl and toss to coat evenly. Fold in tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil. Portion into your meal prep containers and keep chilled until ready to eat.

Carnitas Bowls

 

Pork Carnitas:

1lb pork loin (optional, sub chicken breast instead)

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp orange juice

⅓ cup lime juice

3 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

4oz canned green chilies (optional)

Street Corn Salad:

1 can yellow sweet corn, drained

2 tbsp lime juice

½ tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp chopped cilantro, fresh

⅓ cup red onion, chopped (optional)

⅓ cup cotija cheese, crumbled

½ tsp paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Other Ingredients:

1 box brown rice

1 can black beans

4-8 cups romaine lettuce

Lime wedges

400 calories per serving

Placing 2 tablespoons in the bottom of your pan, sear pork over medium heat. Cook for about 1 minute on each side. Transfer the seared pork into the slow cooker. Add a little bit more olive oil and garlic. Turning the heat on low, cook for 6-8 hours. Once pork is tender, remove and shred with forks. Place your shredded pork and ¼ cup of juice from the slow cooker into a large bowl. Mix together all the rest of the pork carnitas ingredients. Assemble all of the street corn salad ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well. Cook your brown rice. To assemble each bowl, portion out the ingredients evenly. Starting with romaine lettuce at the bottom, layer meat, brown rice, street corn salad, and black beans. Serve with fresh lime wedges.

Summer Rolls

 

Easy Peanut Dipping Sauce:

¼ cup creamy peanut butter

1 tbsp hoisin sauce

2 tsp soy sauce

1 clove garlic, mashed

1 tsp Sriracha (optional)

1-2 tbsp warm water

Optional garnish: crushed peanuts

Rolls:

10 spring roll wrappers

1 large carrot, peeled and julienned

1 large cucumber, julienned

½ large red pepper, julienned

⅓ cup purple cabbage, chopped

1 oz cooked rice noodles

1 avocado, sliced

Handful fresh cilantro

5 large green lettuce leaves torn in half (romaine, butter, etc…)

20 medium cooked shrimp, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise

Optional garnish: sesame seeds

400 calories per serving

To prepare your dipping sauce, use a food processor or mix all ingredients (minus water and optional crushed peanuts) together by hand in a small bowl. Blend or whisk until smooth. Add your warm water at the end until your sauce reaches its desired thickness. Pour into separate serving containers and top with crushed peanuts as a garnish. Pour warm water into a large bowl. One at a time, dip each rice paper wrapper in the water for 15-20 seconds. The wrapper should be soft, yet slightly firm. Place your wrapper on a cutting board to use as your work surface. In each wrapper, place a few sliced carrots, cucumber, red pepper, and a sprinkle of cabbage. After this, place a small number of noodles, sliced avocado, and cilantro on top. Lay ½ of a lettuce leaf on top of this and then 4 slices of shrimp. Roll each summer roll tightly, similar to the way you would roll a burrito. If you plan on storing them in the fridge, wrap each one in plastic wrap individually and then refrigerate. They can be stored between 2-3 days.

Chicken Chowder

 

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup onion, diced

1 tbsp thyme

12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 cups unsalted chicken stock

1 ½ cups corn

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

¾ cup canned light coconut milk

1 tbsp all-purpose flour

239 calories per serving

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, thyme, and chicken. Saute for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, corn, salt, and pepper. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Finally, combine coconut milk and flour into the soup. Stir until you reach your desired thickness. Separate into individual serving bowls/containers and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days.

Benefits

A meal that is often not eaten together as a family, lunch can be a time when we make unhealthy choices because of the idea that there is not enough time to do otherwise. While the kids are at school, you might feel like the only viable option you have is to utilize the cafeteria. While some schools do make a decent effort to provide students with healthy meals, your kids are likely going to gravitate toward the meals that they are already most familiar with. This usually means that a lot of pizza, macaroni and cheese, and chicken strips are going to be eaten. Not only are cafeteria foods lacking in nutrition, but they are also not typically well-portioned.

In order to avoid the cafeteria food, you have probably sent your kids to school with more sandwiches than you can count. There is only so much that you can do with bread, meat, and cheese. As far as sides go, you have likely taken to pre-packaged snacks to fill out the meal. While you have likely wanted to give them more options, it can often be hard to think outside of the box. Meal prepping will bring variety to your life. Instead of settling for what you already know, you will be certain to send your kids to school with meals that are enjoyable and filling. The meals will taste so amazing that your kids will request them over and over again!

These meal prep recipes provide you with enough variety for grown-ups and kids alike. All of them can be modified in order to avoid using ingredients that are too strongly flavored or spicy for kids. They all allow you a chance to get creative by subbing meats, altering sauces, or simply adding more of your favorite things to them. By the time everyone is ready to eat lunch, there is normally a big hunger to satisfy. While these recipes are all low-calorie, they are still filling! Not only will you feel great after eating these meals, but you will also have a renewed feeling of energy that will help you to power through the rest of your day.

A great thing about meal prep lunches is that most of them can be eaten cold. Anything that must be warmed up can be done in about a minute using the microwave. Depending on how old your kids are, they might not be able to access a microwave or know how to use one without help. By having options that will allow them to eat their food right away, you won’t have to worry about this problem. They will be able to enjoy their food instantly and without any hassle. This also makes for a convenient lunch experience while you are at work. Though you might have access to a microwave, you might have to eat your lunch quickly. By having everything ready from the very beginning, you won’t have to worry about doing any additional prep once you get on your lunch break.

Clean-up is also super easy at the end of each day! After your family gets home, make sure to get into the habit of collecting all of the meal prep containers that were used. Placing them in the dishwasher, you won’t even have to think about them as they will get washed with the rest of your dishes that evening. Before bed, talk to your kids about what they want to have for lunch the next day. By reading your labels and taking a look at what you have prepped for the week, a decision should be made fairly easily. All you have to do is place a container in their lunch box the following morning and then send them on their way.

The days of scrambling late at night—or even in the morning before school—to make a filling lunch for your kids to take to school are over. This is something that has likely gotten in the way of your breakfast time before, too. So many families notice this benefit right away, feeling glad that they no longer have to think quickly under pressure. When your day starts in a more relaxed fashion, you are likely going to have a more productive experience.

You can take all of these recipes and use them as bases for brand new ones. Whether you want to substitute a few ingredients or completely change the recipes, this is how you are going to be able to create your very own dishes. These recipes are all examples of foods that hold up well throughout the day and in the days to follow. They are easy to eat and full of flavor. You can guarantee that your kids will not be asking for sandwiches anymore! Those days of bland and unhealthy eating will be long gone. You will also notice that your family will be happier with this type of efficient meal plan. When your food is already figured out, this leaves you with more brain power that can be used on other tasks. Whether it is yourself and your spouse powering through your work days or your kids staying focused on school work, you will feel like you can get through anything that comes your way.

 

 

 

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