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Vegetarian and vegan ideas for work & school

Easy and Tasty Plant-Based Lunch Ideas for School & Work

Table of Contents

Bringing a burst of flavor and nutrition to your midday routine has never been so simple and satisfying! In our blog post today, we’re dishing out a delightful array of easy and tasty plant-based lunch ideas that are perfect for kids’ school lunches, work, or any on-the-go adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or simply looking to add more plant-powered goodness to your day, our creative recipes and tips will have you eagerly anticipating lunchtime, especially kids. Say goodbye to mundane brown bag lunches and dive into a world of colorful, delectable options that nourish your body and awaken your taste buds. Join us as we embark on a journey to make your midday meals exciting, wholesome, and oh-so-delicious

Tips for Preparing Plant-Based Lunches

Streamline your plant-based lunch preparation, and start by creating a weekly meal plan. Designate a specific day for meal planning and recipe selection. Compile a list of go-to plant-based lunch options that you and your kids enjoy, ensuring a variety of flavors and ingredients. Next, invest in quality meal prep containers that are both environmentally friendly and microwave-safe. Set aside time on a chosen day each week for batch cooking (get the kids involved) and prepare larger quantities of grains, legumes, and plant-based proteins. Store these in airtight containers, ready to use as bases for your lunches. Also, stock your pantry with versatile staples like canned beans, whole grains, nuts, and seeds for added convenience. Remember to keep a selection of fresh produce to mix and match with your prepared staples. By following these tips, you’ll make plant-based lunch preparation a breeze.

Batch Cooking and Meal Prep

Organization and time management are key to effective batch cooking and meal prep. Start by selecting a day that works best for you, ideally a weekend day or whenever you have some free time. Plan your weekly meals and choose dishes that can be prepared in large quantities, like grains (rice, quinoa, pasta), legumes (beans, lentils), and soups. Cook these items and store them in portion-sized containers. Remember to label and date everything for easy identification. You can also pre-chop vegetables and fruits to make assembling your lunches quicker. A well-organized fridge or freezer with clearly labeled containers will help you easily navigate your week.

Incorporating Diversity in Flavors

Creating diverse and exciting flavors in your plant-based lunches is all about experimentation and creativity. Start by exploring different cuisines worldwide and experimenting with their unique spice blends and ingredients. Add fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, or mint to your salads or sandwiches for freshness. Experiment with seasonings like smoked paprika, curry powder, or za’atar to give your dishes a distinctive twist. Don’t be afraid to play with textures, combining crunchy elements like nuts or seeds with creamy ones like avocado or tahini. In addition, explore different cooking methods, such as roasting, grilling, or sautéing your vegetables to add depth to your lunches. With these strategies, you’ll keep your palate delighted and your plant-based lunches exciting.

Keeping Meals Balanced

A balanced plant-based lunch is essential to ensure you and your kids get the necessary nutrients. Aim for various colorful vegetables, which provide essential vitamins and minerals. Combine them with a source of whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, or whole wheat bread, to give your meal fiber and energy. Don’t forget to add a plant-based protein source like tofu, tempeh, beans, or lentils to keep you feeling satisfied. Incorporate healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil, in moderation. Be mindful of portion sizes for kids and adults, and aim for a harmonious blend of all these components in your lunch to maintain a balanced diet.

Ensuring Sufficient Protein Intake

Meeting your protein needs on a plant-based diet is achievable with careful planning. Include a variety of protein-rich plant foods in your daily meals. Legumes, such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas, are excellent protein sources. Additionally, tofu, tempeh and seitan are versatile plant proteins that can be incorporated into a wide range of dishes. Nuts, seeds, and their respective butters, like almond or peanut butter and cashew nut cheeses or spreads are great for added protein and healthy fats. Quinoa and other whole grains also provide a protein boost. Mix and match these protein sources to ensure you get all essential amino acids. Keep portion sizes in mind to meet your specific protein requirements. You’ll maintain adequate protein intake for your daily needs by strategically incorporating these foods into your plant-based lunches.

Plant-Based Lunch Ideas for School

Are you on the hunt for delicious and nutritious plant-based lunch ideas to pack for kids or for school? Look no further! We’ve got a mouthwatering collection of recipes that’ll not only keep you fueled throughout the day but also make your lunchtime the envy of the classmates. From savory wraps and hearty salads and delightful sandwiches, we’ve got you covered from savoury wraps, hearty salads, and delightful sandwiches. Whether you’re a seasoned plant-based eater or just looking to incorporate more greens into your diet, these recipes are designed to inspire your lunchbox creations and are easy school lunch ideas.  So, get ready to revamp the lunch routine and enjoy a burst of plant-powered goodness in every bite!

Easy Vegetable Sushi Rolls with Nuttino Paprika Chili Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Nori seaweed sheets
  • Assorted fresh vegetables (e.g., cucumber, avocado, carrot, bell pepper, and any other veggies of your choice)
  • Nuttino paprika chili cheese
  • Soy sauce
  • Wasabi (optional)
  • Bamboo sushi rolling mat
  • Plastic wrap

Instructions:

Cook the Sushi Rice:

  • Rinse the sushi rice in cold water until the water runs clear.
  • Combine the rinsed rice and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for an additional 15 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, mix the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Gently heat this mixture in the microwave for about 30 seconds until the sugar dissolves.
  • Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl and gently fold in the vinegar mixture. Allow it to cool to room temperature.

Prepare Your Ingredients:

  • While the rice is cooling, prepare your vegetables and nuttino cheese. Slice them into thin strips or julienne for easy rolling.

Roll the Sushi:

  • Place the bamboo rolling mat on a clean, flat surface. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the mat.
  • Lay a sheet of nori, shiny side down, onto the plastic wrap.
  • Wet your fingers to prevent sticking and scoop out a handful of sushi rice. Spread the rice evenly over the nori, leaving a small border at the top.
  • Arrange your vegetable and cheese strips horizontally in the center of the rice
  • Carefully lift the bamboo mat’s edge closest to you while holding the fillings in place with your fingers.
  • Roll the mat away from you, pressing gently to shape the sushi into a tight cylinder.
  • Continue rolling until you reach the exposed border of nori. Moisten the border with a little water and press to seal the roll.

Slice the Sushi:

  • Using a sharp, wet knife, slice the sushi roll into bite-sized pieces. Ensure you wet the knife between cuts to prevent sticking.

Serve Your Sushi:

  • Serve your vegetable sushi rolls with soy sauce for dipping, and wasabi if desired.

Enjoy your homemade vegetable sushi rolls as a delightful and healthy snack or lunch option!

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches with Nuttino Chives Spread

Ingredients:

For the Chickpea Salad:

  • 2 cans (15 oz each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper (red, green, or yellow)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup Nuttino chives spread
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For Assembling the Sandwiches:

  • Whole grain bread or your choice of bread
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Sliced avocado (optional)

Instructions:

Make the Chickpea Salad:
In a large mixing bowl, add the chickpeas. Using a fork or potato masher, roughly mash the chickpeas to the desired consistency. Some texture is good, so don’t over-mash.
Add the chopped red onion, celery, bell pepper, and fresh parsley to the mashed chickpeas.

Combine and Chill:
Mix the Nuttino chives spread with the chickpea and vegetable mixture. Stir everything well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. If you like it creamier, you can add more Nuttino chives spread
Cover the bowl and refrigerate the chickpea salad for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Assemble the Sandwiches:
To assemble the sandwiches, take your choice of bread slices.
Place lettuce leaves on the bread, followed by a generous scoop of the chickpea salad.
Add sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocado (if desired) on top of the chickpea salad.
Optionally, spread some Nuttino chives spread on the other slice of bread before topping the sandwich.
Place the second slice of bread on top to complete the sandwich.

Serve and Enjoy:
Slice the sandwiches in half and serve with your favorite sides, such as a crisp green salad.

These chickpea salad sandwiches are packed with flavor and make for a satisfying and protein-rich lunch or snack option. Enjoy the plant-based goodness!

Bento Box Inspired Meals with Nuttino Truffle Cheese

Ingredients:

For the Main Compartment:

  • Sushi rice (seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt)
  • Your choice of protein (e.g., teriyaki tofu, or chickpea salad)
  • Assorted vegetables (e.g., cucumber, bell pepper, carrot, edamame, and cherry tomatoes)
  • Nori seaweed sheets
  • Soy sauce or tamari for dipping

For the Side Compartments:

  • Sliced fruit (e.g., apple slices, orange segments, or grapes)
  • Nuts or seeds (e.g., almonds, cashews, or roasted pumpkin seeds)
  • Pickled vegetables (e.g., pickled ginger or kimchi)
  • Seaweed snacks or rice crackers
  • Nuttino truffle cheese

Instructions:

Prepare the Sushi Rice:
Rinse the sushi rice in cold water until the water runs clear.
Cook the rice according to the package instructions. While it’s still warm, season it with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, then allow it to cool to room temperature.

Choose Your Protein:
Select your protein source, whether it’s teriyaki tofu, or a plant-based option like chickpea salad. Prepare the protein according to your preference.

Slice the Vegetables:
Wash, peel (if needed), and slice your chosen vegetables into thin strips or bite-sized pieces.

Assemble the Bento Box:
In the main compartment of your bento box, add a portion of the seasoned sushi rice.
Arrange the protein and assorted vegetables alongside the rice. You can create vegetable sushi rolls by placing a nori sheet on a bamboo rolling mat, spreading a thin layer of rice, adding your favorite veggies and protein, and rolling it up. Slice the roll into bite-sized pieces.
Place a small container of soy sauce or tamari for dipping next to the sushi.

Fill the Side Compartments:
In the side compartments, arrange sliced fruit, nuts or seeds, pickled vegetables, and seaweed snacks or rice crackers with Nuttino truffle cheese. These compartments are perfect for adding variety and enhancing your meal with different flavors and textures.

Secure and Transport:
Close and secure the bento box with its lid. If you have small containers for sauces or dressings, make sure they are sealed to prevent leaks.

Enjoy Your Bento Box:
Whether you’re heading to work, school, or a picnic, your bento box is ready to go. Uncover a delightful, well-balanced meal with a variety of flavors, and indulge in the joy of a homemade, bento-inspired lunch!

Bento boxes offer a creative and practical way to enjoy a balanced and flavorful meal, and you can customize the ingredients to suit your preferences and dietary choices.

Plant-Based Lunch Ideas for Work

Hearty Quinoa Salad with Nuttino Garlic and Rosemary Dressing

Ingredients:

For the Quinoa Salad:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup bell pepper (red, yellow, or green), diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional, omit for a vegan version)

For the Dressing:

Instructions:

Cook the Quinoa:
Rinse the quinoa under cold water in a fine-mesh sieve. This removes the bitter outer coating.
Combine the quinoa and water (or vegetable broth) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and has absorbed the liquid.
Remove from heat, fluff the quinoa with a fork, and let it cool.

Prepare the Dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together the plant-based milk and nuttino garlic and rosemary spread, salt, and black pepper. Set aside.

Assemble the Quinoa Salad:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked and cooled quinoa, chickpeas, diced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, finely chopped red onion, fresh parsley, fresh mint (if using), and Kalamata olives.

Add the Dressing:
Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat all the ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt or pepper as needed.

Chill and Serve:
Cover the salad bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Serve your hearty quinoa salad as a light and refreshing main dish or as a side. Enjoy!

This hearty quinoa salad is not only delicious but also a great source of protein, fiber, and various nutrients. Feel free to customize it with your favorite vegetables or make it dairy-free for a vegan version. It’s perfect for a wholesome lunch or dinner.

Spiced Lentil Soup with Sourdough Bread and Nuttino Paprika Chili Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried green or brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice, for serving (optional)
  • Sourdough bread for side serving
  • Nuttino paprika chili cheese for side serving on sourdough bread
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

Sauté the Aromatics:

  • Heat the olive oil or water over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the chopped onion and sauté for about 3-4 minutes, or until it becomes translucent and slightly golden.
  • Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.

Add Spices:

  • Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne pepper to the pot. Stir well to coat the aromatics with the spices. Cook for about a minute to release their flavors.

Add Vegetables:

  • Add the diced carrots and celery to the pot. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften.

Add Lentils and Tomatoes:

  • Stir in the rinsed lentils and the canned diced tomatoes. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, allowing the lentils to absorb some of the tomato flavor.

Pour in Broth:

  • Pour in the vegetable broth and stir to combine. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Simmer:

  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the soup simmer for about 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils and vegetables are tender.

Adjust Seasoning:

  • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more salt, pepper, or cayenne pepper to suit your preferences.

Serve:

  • Ladle the spiced lentil soup into bowls. Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over each serving, if desired, and garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley.

Enjoy:

  • Serve your spiced lentil soup hot and savor the aromatic blend of spices and the hearty goodness of lentils and vegetables. To accompany, serve the crusty sourdough bread spread with Nuttino paprika chili cheese.

This spiced lentil soup is flavorful and rich in plant-based protein and fiber, making it a comforting and nutritious choice for a satisfying meal.

Vegan Wraps and Sandwiches with Nuttino Black Pepper Cheese

Ingredients:

For the Wrap or Sandwich:

  • Your choice of whole-grain wraps, pita bread, or sandwich bread
  • Half a round of Nuttino black pepper cheese
  • 1 cup mixed greens or lettuce leaves
  • 1 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1 cup sliced bell peppers (red, green, or yellow)
  • 1 cup sliced avocado
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup sprouts (e.g., alfalfa or broccoli sprouts)
  • Sliced red onion (optional)
  • Sliced tomatoes (optional)

Instructions:

Lay Out Your Wraps or Bread:
Place your whole-grain wraps, pita bread, or sandwich bread on a clean, flat surface.

Spread the Nuttino cheese:
On each wrap or slice of bread, spread a generous layer of Nuttino black pepper cheese, covering the surface evenly.

Layer the Vegetables:
Begin by layering the mixed greens or lettuce leaves onto the cheese.
Add the sliced cucumber, bell peppers, avocado, shredded carrots, sprouts, and any optional ingredients like red onion and tomatoes.

Fold and Roll:
Carefully fold or roll the wrap or sandwich. If using bread, top with another slice of bread to complete the sandwich.

Serve or Pack:
Serve your vegan wraps and sandwiches immediately for a fresh, satisfying meal. Alternatively, wrap them in parchment paper or foil and take them on the go for a delicious and portable lunch.

Enjoy:
Whether you’re enjoying your vegan wraps and sandwiches at home, work, or on a picnic, savor the delightful combination of flavorful Nuttino black pepper cheese and a variety of crisp, colorful vegetables.

These vegan wraps and sandwiches are quick and easy to assemble and burst with fresh flavors and nutrients. Feel free to customize them with your favorite veggies or condiments for a personal touch.

Incorporating these plant-based lunch ideas into your daily routine for school or work is more than just a culinary experience – it’s a positive step towards a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. By following these simple yet delicious recipes, meal prep tips, and creative suggestions for plant-powered lunches, you’re not only nourishing your body with vibrant, nutrient-rich foods but also making a significant impact on the environment. Remember, plant-based lunches aren’t just about what you eat; they’re about embracing a lifestyle that celebrates health, compassion, and the joy of savoring every bite. So, let’s embark on this culinary adventure, one delicious lunch at a time, and watch as your midday meals transform into moments of true vitality and well-being.