When you’re packing a plant-based meal-to-go, it’s easy to get stumped. You don't always have access to a microwave or oven, but you know you don't want to eat peanut butter and jelly again or end up with a collection of plant-based snack bars alongside a banana.
Here's some ideas for when you just can’t think of what’s portable, satisfying, and plant-based. These are simple, quick, ideal for meal-prepping, and use up leftovers!
This salad is a great use for leftovers. Pick any shape...bowties, long noodles, shells...
Toss pasta along with beans, jarred roasted red pepper, olives, chopped cucumber, cherry tomatoes and Italian dressing or plant-based pesto (Trader Joe's makes a great kale one) into a portable container. Shake it up to blend. Add more freshness with fresh parsley and julienned spinach!
This is a staple. I recommend making a big batch as it makes a great side for dinner, too.
For one serving, mix ½ cup cooked quinoa with ¼ cup chopped red pepper, ¼ cup chopped cucumber, 2 T chopped red onion, 10 halved cherry tomatoes, ¼ of a diced avocado, sliced jalapeno (if you like a little heat) and mix with a dressing made with 1 part lime juice to 2 parts olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Chop in some cilantro and add fresh corn kernels (or thawed, drained frozen ones), if you like.
Chickpea salad sandwich
Pack this separately from the two slices of whole-grain bread (I like Killer Dave’s), so it doesn’t get soggy, and assemble when you’re ready to eat.
Stir together about 1 cup of chick peas (mash them slightly with a potato masher or fork so they fit into your sandwich better) with 1 Tablespoon vegan mayonnaise and a teaspoon of yellow mustard. Add about a Tablespoon of chopped sweet pickle, a Tablespoon of diced red onion, and a Tablespoon of chopped bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Pile into your sandwich -- add lettuce and tomato or any other fixings and enjoy!
Cream cheese pinwheels
A classic, veganized!
Use a soft whole wheat tortilla and spread with a thin layer of vegan cream cheese. Top with shredded carrot, thinly sliced cucumber, and fresh dill. Roll up, fasten at regular intervals with a toothpick, and slice into pinwheels. Have alongside some fruit, sweet potato crackers from Trader Joes, or a side of vegan soup you heat up at work or school!
Buddha bowl to go
Buddha bowls are quite portable and perfect for meal prepping.
Make yours with 1 cup brown rice, ½ cup white beans, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, sliced avocado, and plant-based Caesar dressing (Simple Truth and Trader Joes make nice versions). Pack fresh spinach separately and add as a topping when you’re ready to eat!
Of course, these recipes aren’t set. Add leftover roasted vegetables to your Buddha bowl. If you have other seasonings or condiments you like in a “tuna” salad -- add them to the chickpea salad. Make the chickpea salad into a wrap, rather than a sandwich. Add more ingredients to your quinoa or pasta salad. Get creative! You have so many options.