Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sketch-free Vegan STUDENT Eating 201 - Lunch

Last year I would have the exact same thing for lunch every single day. A salad with quinoa/sweet potato, a piece of fruit and rice cakes or g/f bread with nut butter...but if you care that your lunches are interesting, here are some tried and true options that are super yums and super healthy too.

Option #1: "Colourful and Healthful"

Super Salad

There's nothing like a fresh salad for lunch...can I get an amen? There's so many different veggies and fruits you can mix in and you feel like such a nutty health nut after you eat it!

Keep in mind though that vegetables are not the highest in calories so if you eat a salad of only lettuce and carrot shavings with just a wee bit of dressing you probably won't have enough energy to stay awake and energized for the rest of the day.

To give your salads that extra energy boost add in high calorie items like dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, chopped apricots), fresh fruit (berries, orange segments, diced apple), avocado (can you say healthy fats?), nuts (almonds or walnuts that have been soaked overnight) and seeds (pumpkin seeds are cheap and give a nice texture).

Now what to use for dressing??

Buying dressing from a bottle can get expensive so here are some options that are just as good and will save you money in the long run:

- Salsa from a jar
- A dollop of hummus (I love that word...dollop)
- Raw Sauerkraut (It's scary if you've never made it before and laughable if you have. Check out Yum Universe's site for instructions on how to make it. You should consider adding this to your diet especially if you have stomach issues)
- Tahini (Mix a little lemon juice, salt and pepper to your tahini and you've got dressing!)

Here's a super salad with mixed greens, red cabbage, shredded carrot, almonds and crans drizzled with a dijon mustard dressing made by Jac.


Option #2: "It's cold outside and I'm feeling asian-ish..."

Miso Soup with "Asian Ingredients"

I hope I didn't offend anyone by saying "Asian Ingredients" ha! But you can't just put frozen peas and macaroni noodles in your miso soup. It's gotta be asian inspired! Am I right??

So all you really need for miso soup is white miso paste which you can buy for pretty cheap and you've got soup for a long while! Just boil the water and add in a spoonful of miso paste and it will slowly dissolve into a broth. Next just add in your asian ingredients!

So in my version I put kelp that I soaked and sliced thinly and chopped shiitake mushrooms which were previously dried. The mushrooms were a much needed "meat type item" for the soup and the thinly sliced kelp was sort of like seaweed-y noodles.

Oh yeah and about this "kelp" business. You can buy it dried at basically any health food store and you just have to soak it for a couple minutes before you add it to the soup. It has essential minerals like iodine which a lot of people seem to be low in. It's also a great addition to your diet if you have a sluggish thyroid. (fun fact?)

So what else could you add to your miso soup? Oh I dunno...maybe....

-Tofu cubes
-Tempeh (we prefer this over tofu...less sketchy)
-Other kind of seaweed...like wakame
-Green onions
-Baby bok choy
-Soba noodles
-Brown or wild rice
-Handful of greens like spinach or arugula
-Edamame beans

The soup got pretty cloudy so I had to wait until the cloudiness sunk to the bottom.

Ok the colour is pretty ugly...it's hard photographing soup ok!

Anyways, this one is alot more visually appealing..

Option #3: "Filling and fun to make"


Ok has anyone ever been to Urban Herbivore? It's a vegetarian restaurant in Toronto and you can build your own salad or "bowl" which consists of  either black rice or quinoa on the bottom and whatever you want on top drizzled with dressing and a crunchy topping. I decided to make my own "bowl" out of simpler, more economical ingredients. I used millet for the grain (probably the cheapest gluten-free grain besides rice) and topped it with roasted sweet potato, avocado, salsa, green peas and raw sauerkraut. Topped with a dressing made with raw carrots, hemp seeds, lemon juice and salt all blended up.

Perfect lunch!

If you missed Breakfast, which you should never do ;) Click HERE

Watch out for next week's post:

Sketch-free Vegan STUDENT Eating 301 - Dinner


  1. i LOVE all of your lunch meal ideas! i want to make my own cultured veggies! i haven't had kimchi in years since it is made out of fish sauce and tons of salt. the recipe on yumuniverse looks simple and easy! the miso soup is a classic- hahaha i'm not offended by asian ingredients! there are certain veggies that are just not found in other cuisines! :D and the rice/millet bowl rocks! i love making quinoa bowls!

  2. The picture of that salad is beautiful!

  3. Agree with dalailina that salad is beautiful :) Not that I don't like the "bowl" or miso soup though...Loving this student series.

  4. yes! i have been to the urban herbavore and it was wonderful. i wished i was more hungry when i went there because i wanted to build a quinoa bowl... but i just got a salad. it was SO good. i had beets 2 ways and diced tomato salsa and some other goodies. and i love how they sprinkle it with nuts after. :)

    you recipe for miso soup is great. miso soup is my GO-TO meal to solve all my problems. don't feel good... miso. stomache ache... miso. hungrover... miso. sad.... miso. lol its a cure all. and i always try to put different things in it like scallions, dried mushrooms, shaved carrots... all kinds of veggies :)

  5. great ideas, ladies! I like pairing my salads with soup for extra energy. :)