5 Plant Based Lunch Ideas To Try This Week

Ryan Nadolny | Ryan Eats Everything

As the resident meat eater around here, even I need a break from my usual, which is why I like to keep a few good plant based lunch ideas up my sleeve.

In truth, I love vegetables as much as I love meat, especially if we’re talking about broccolini - yum!

Vegetables can get such a bad rap, but this isn’t the 1960s anymore. We’ve progressed beyond canned peas, friends.

It’s 2022 and veggies deserve to be in the spotlight. Yeah, yeah, they're good for you, but they're also flavorful and delicious.

If you are like me, you grew up eating a lot of canned and frozen veggies. Your aversion to them now is probably a bit like a trauma response.

But there is help available! And the big bonus? Most of these easy lunches can be prepped in advance and eaten all week. 

The following plant based lunch recipes were handpicked by our CVO. (That's Chief Vegetarian Officer, if you wondered.)

Her knowledge of everything plant based acts like a guide to those of us that suffered through years of the canned and bland!

1. Cauliflower Mushroom Bowls Recipe

This is one of those dishes that is so packed with flavor that you won’t miss your meat. It does contain mushrooms, which are usually a no-go with me, but it just works so well. They add such a wonderful umami flavor. The addition of pomegranate arils is no mistake. We keep a frozen bag of these around for all kinds of dishes and even soups and stews. They add such an amazing pop of color, but more importantly, an awesome burst of flavor.

2. Sticky Garlic Noodles Recipe

If you don’t have a lot of time to whip up lunch, then this is perfect for you. Start to finish it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes, but it will taste like you were in the kitchen all day. Leftover pasta works great as well. No need to reheat, just toss it in once your sauce is almost done cooking and let everything get to know each other. I’ve also used rice noodles, which were a perfect pairing for this light lunch or dinner. (The rice noodles also make this dish gluten-free!)

3. Instant Pot Tahini Cashew Curry Recipe

I just have to say - I LOVE CURRY! I LOVE IT SO MUCH! (Ok, I’m sorry for yelling. I just needed to get that out.) Curry is one of the most flavorful sauces on this planet and so versatile. I like mine on the spicy side, but I like everything on the spicy side. Even my ice cream. I know, I have a problem. This recipe is super easy to put together and the outcome is a velvety smooth savory sauce packed full of heart healthy ingredients. Bonus: You only need your electric pressure cooker for this recipe, making clean up a breeze! And who doesn’t love a one pot dish?! (I'm kidding. We all know everyone loves a one pot dish.)

4. Panzanella Salad Recipe

Panzanella is a beloved Tuscan dish that was invented out of necessity to use up unwanted items such as stale bread. It’s loosely translated to “bread soup bowl." Full of colorful fruits and vegetables like apple, pear, and radicchio. With a light vinaigrette and toasted rye croutons. I like to toss in some cucumber and cherry tomatoes! It’s light enough to be eaten as a side dish, or if you can’t stay away from your meat, some grilled chicken makes this a full meal.

5. Dolma Rice Bowl Recipe

Whether you call them dolma, dolmades, or grape leaves, you’re going to want to make this recipe. Basically, it’s deconstructed grape leaves in a bowl! I’ve eaten this as a warm dish and as a cold one. The pine nuts give it a nice crunchy texture while the dried currants give you a sweet and slightly tart flavor. Try toasting the pine nuts for a little extra nutty flavor. Tzatziki sauce is another great option for some added flavor. I’m a sauce guy. I need like 4 sauces for everything I eat. Now, go eat your veggies or you aren’t getting any dessert!

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