Meal Prep: Take-Along Lunch
Shortly after I became vegan, I learned that lunch counters and restaurants have a ways to go to catch up with our eating needs, especially the needs for those of you with food sensitivities.
Some fast food restaurants are beginning to offer a vegan item or two; but more often than not, whether fast food or a regular restaurant, we end up eating off the sides' list on the menu. Often I order a plain baked potato and the vegetable of the day if I can get it without butter and sauce.
If you're working, often your only source of food at the office is from the vending machines in the break room. Good luck finding a satisfying vegan option there. The main ingredients of snack items are usually sugar, salt, and fat.
So, let's talk meal prep for take-along lunches .
You do have plenty of choices for carrying your lunch with you. If you take cold food or room temperature food and don't have a refrigerator at work or where your day takes you, you could carry your lunch in a thermal lunch bag with reusable ice packs. Or, if you are taking a hot lunch such as soup or stew, you could use a thermos to keep it warm. And many of the containers you store your meal prep lunches in are ready to go with you, too. Just make sure you include flatware.
What's for lunch?
One obvious way to make the most of your meal prep time is to make enough dinner the evening before to pack an extra portion to take with you the following day.
Another item that is easy and quick is a vegetable salad. It usually travels very well. Just add all your favorite vegetables and fruits and seeds and nuts to your salad container. And, carry dressing in a small container to add when you eat it. For protein and to fill you up, be sure to include beans or peas in your salad.
Hearty grain salads travel well also. Use a variety of grains (millet, barley, etc) or quinoa to make the salad one that will stick to your ribs. Add your favorite vegetables and legumes to complete the meal.
Lentil stews and vegetable soups with plenty of everything you love are always good choices. Make a big pot ahead and heat a portion and put it in your thermos in the morning. Or, if you have a microwave at work, carry the soup or stew in an appropriate microwave container and off you go.
And don't forget how good a stirfry or curried vegetables can be in the middle of the day.
The point is to eat well on nutritious and delicious food. It's not only good for your health, but it's good for your emotional well-being also. Until the food and restaurant industries catch up with our needs, take good care of yourself when you are out and about.