There are so many delicious grain and vegetable meals. But sometimes we stuck in rut and we have no idea what to prepare. If you are stuck in routine here are some vegan lunch ideas that can inspire you.
1. Potato Veggie Burgers with Spicy Peanut Sauce
For the burgers:
- 1 large potato
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
- ½ cup roasted and salted peanuts, finely chopped
- ¾ cup gluten-free rolled oats, processed into a coarse flour
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons ground flax + 3 tbsp water, mixed in bowl
- ½ tablespoon sesame seed oil
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari (or coconut aminos for soy-free option)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the peanut sauce:
- 1 garlic clove
- 6 tablespoons smooth peanut butter (or almond or sunflower seed butter)
- 2.5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari (or coconut aminos)
- 1-2 tablespoons water, as needed
- ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup (or other sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Burgers: Peel potato using a box grater with the regular-sized grate holes and grate 1.5 cups of potato. Place in large bowl.You will have about ½ of the potato leftover, so slice it into 1-cm rounds and place it on the baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. In a large bowl, stir together the grated potato, cilantro, basil, garlic, ginger, and chopped peanuts. Add the oats and process until finely chopped. You want the texture to be like a coarse flour. Stir the oat flour into the bowl with the vegetables. Now add the drained chickpeas into the mixer and mix until finely chopped. You want the mixture to be a cross between a coarse paste and finely chopped chickpeas, but don’t completely puree the chickpeas. Stir the processed chickpeas into the bowl with the vegetables and oat flour. In a mug, whisk together the ground flax and water. Let it sit for only 20 seconds or so (if you wait longer, it will get too thick). Stir this flax egg into the vegetable chickpea mixture until fully combined. Stir in the sesame oil, tamari, lime juice, coriander, salt, and pepper all to taste.
Shape the mixture into 6-8 patties, packing each patty tightly between your hands so it holds together well. Place each patty onto the prepared baking sheet along with the sweet potato rounds. Bake that for 20 minutes, then gently flip the patties and potato rounds and bake for another 15 minutes until golden on both sides. You might have to remove the potato a bit early – just keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
Peanut sauce: While the burgers are baking, prepare the peanut sauce. Add all sauce ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Adjust ingredients to taste if desired. The sauce will thicken up as it sits. After baking, place patties on a cooling rack for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Serve with toasted buns (or lettuce or whole grain wraps), tomato slices, roasted sweet potato, lettuce, and the peanut sauce.The peanut sauce will store in the fridge for at least a week. The burgers can be frozen (after baking and cooling) for a couple weeks.
2. Tempeh bacon
- 1 package 225 g tempeh
- ¼ cup tamari soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 3 tablespoons real maple syrup
- ¼ cup water
- canola oil, for frying
Add the block of tempeh to a 3-quart (3.5 L) pot fitted with a steamer basket, and steam for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large-size bowl, combine tamari, liquid smoke, maple syrup, and water. Mix it all well. Let tempeh cool before slicing into thin, bacon-size strips. Place slices in marinade, and let sit for as long as you like. The longer you marinate, the stronger the flavor. I often marinate for less than a half-hour. Shake occasionally to make sure all tempeh is coated. After tempeh is marinated, heat oil in a skillet and fry the strips over medium-high heat until crisp. Turn and fry again until crisp on the other side. Sprinkle with a little extra tamari and maple syrup on the tempeh while it’s cooking. After about 5 minutes per side, the tempeh will turn brown, caramelize, and get crispy and chewy. Remove from heat and set on a plate with a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.You may slice the tempeh into strips beforesteaming it.Also you can mix up some salad if you like to eat with this delicious meal.
3. Polenta Hearts
- 4 cups water
- 210 g coarse cornmeal or polenta
- ¼ cup nondairy milk (soy, rice, almond, hazelnut, hemp, or oat)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 to 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 55 g finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, oil-packed or reconstituted in water if dried
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Heat water to boiling in a saucepan. When the water has boiled, add polenta or cornmeal and stir frequently over low-medium heat (make sure it does not boil over). Slowly add the nondairy milk, 1 teaspoon of salt and nutritional yeast, and stir until the liquid is absorbed and the polenta thickens, which lastas 5 to 10 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and parsley, stir for 1 minute more, and remove from heat. Add additional salt, if necessary. At this point, the polenta will be thick (and getting thicker). Once you remove it from the heat, you can serve it immediately. However, to form it into shapes, let it set up for an hour. To do this, pour it into a 9 x 12-inch (23 x 30.5 cm) glass or nonstick pan, and spread evenly with a spatula. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve, punch out heart shapes (or cut into squares) with the cookie cutter and set aside. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sear the polenta hearts until golden on both sides and heated through. Serve immediately.
4. No-Questo Quesadillas
- 11/2 Hummus
- 8 flour tortillas (corn is fine, too, but they’re usually smaller)
- 50 g chopped scallion
- ½ to 1 cup salsa
Spread 3 heaping tablespoons of hummus on a tortilla and place in a large-size nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle with chopped scallion and spread on a thin layer of salsa. Top with a second tortilla, and cook until bottom tortilla is warm and turning golden brown (3 to 5 minutes). Turn over and cook second side for another few minutes, until golden brown. Cut in half or into triangles to serve as finger food. Repeat the procedure with remaining tortillas. Alternatively, spread hummus on half of tortilla, place tortilla in pan, add other toppings to the hummus in a thin layer, and fold empty half on top of filled side. Just be careful not to overload it because it makes it too difficult to flip. Let it get golden brown on bottom, then carefully turn over to brown other side. Remove from pan and serve hot.
5. Chinese Noodles
Our last vegan lunch idea will bring you to the Far East with it’s taste. This meal takes only 25 minutes to be prepared and it can be combined with all sorts of toppings, salads, soups…You can find full recipe here.