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Very quick veggie (but cheese/wheat free) lunches I can take to work?(49 Posts)
I was spoilt for choice with an amazing vegan cafe near work that did fantastic salads and soups...and then we moved office.
Now there is only Pret and M&S and because of the longer commute, I have less time (both at home and work).
What can I make for lunch that is transportable to work but is very, very quick (both in terms of planning and making)?
I'm not one for batch cooking and would prefer to spend (ever diminishing) time outside work/commuting with dd, dp, friends or hobbies rather than preparing more meals....
(I'm veggie but also have been diagnosed with allergies to both wheat and cheese. Neither are life threatening but I do need to avoid them whenever possible. So sandwiches, cheese or couscous or pasta laden salads etc don't work...)
Oh and when I say veggie, I don't eat meat, fish or eggs....
I'm thinking of buying meal replacement shakes, its getting desperate!
Make a big batch of homemade soup at the weekend and take some each day?
Gluten free wraps with falafel and salad?
Batch cook roasted veg at weekend then take in with non-wheat grains each day?
Spicy potato salad with roasted veg/salad?
Or leftovers from dinner the night before?
Soups carrot and coconut is my current favourite with flat bread.
freekah ( couldn't be easier just cover in boilingwater no cover to cook. Add roast med style veg and f Or add sliced avocado, spring onions, cherry ( or smaller) tomatoes, red pepper etc
Salad. Rocket with pomegranate seeds, red onion roasted butternut squash slices and walnuts with
Curry? Some curries can be made it in minutes the night before and taste better the next day.
Do you have access to a microwave? A favourite of mine is noodles (you could use rice or pulse based ones), tofu and veg in miso - basically fill a pot with frozen veg (podded edamame and peas), chopped tofu and a dessertspoonful of miso. Then at work top up with boiling water and heat through until the noodles are soft.
I take soup a lot. I make batches and freeze some each time so you end up with a variety.
Leftovers are great for lunch!
I think part of the problem is when I make soup, curries or roasted veg, (which we often do at the weekend), I don't think of that as a 'quick' meal so am reluctant to spend time making more....
Eg chopping veg (onion, garlic, ginger, carrots etc), simmering with tinned tomatoes and herbs, adding tinned pulses and stock, leaving to cook and stirring sometimes etc.
I can't seem to do this in less that 90 mins.
Even roast veg (which have to admit I don't really like cold or reheated) takes time that I'd really rather spend on other things.
Have tried gluten free wraps and didn't like them but will investigate freekah (is it similar to couscous/quinoa in texture?)
Una - there's one microwave for 200 people....so something cold would be better as am short of time!
Easiest soup ever-tin of butter beans in water. Pack of leeks. Roughly chop leeks. Sauté for a few minutes in dairy free butter or olive oil. Add the beans in their water, vegetable stock and cook until the leeks are soft. Maybe add herbs if you like. Put in a blender. It tastes like leek and potato soup.
I can’t figure how soup making is taking 90 minutes. What soups are you doing?
If time is so important then consider using frozen chopped onions etc ? For your soups .
Peppers stuffed with rice and beans. Take one pepper, cut in half lengthwise, fill each side from a bag of tesco precooked rice/haricot in a bag - you can put cheese (real or fake) on top if you want , bake for 20 min.
Is nice cold and keeps for 3 or 4 days.
Right will try the peppers recipe. Ideally would like to avoid buying pre made stuff but think it's unavoidable unless I want to be cooking rice at 9pm...
I have an ace soup maker but the facilities at work for heating up are completely inadequate so need to be prepared to eat it cold.
Purple - it was a veggie and borlotti bean soup with pesto and herbs. Was yum but needs to be warmed.
Rice and pasta based salads.
Bean or lentil pates, batch cooked, with crackers/oatcakes
Rose Elliot does a lentil and mushroom cake/slice recipe in The Bean Book that reheats beautifully in a microwave.
I make big bowls of salad and everyone takes a portion for lunch. Some good veggie ones are;
Chopped peppers, tomatoes, avacado sping onion, corriander, tin of black beans, sweetworn (I cook it on the cob and then char slighly on the gas ring but use a tin if you want to speed things up). Dressing of olive oil, lime juice, cumin, chipotle paste and salt (and a bit of liquid smoke if you have any).
Slice a red onion, soften slightly in olive oil, add garlic, cook for a minute of two and add spinach until wilted, season, whilst that's doing chuck some cherry toms in the oven with a little olive oil and salt until they're soft and a bit shrivelled. Mix everything with a tin of chickpeas, make a dressing of harissa, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. (I add fried chorizo too if any non-veggies fancy it).
Packet of brown rice, steamed broccoli, edamame beans, tofu or chicken, dressing of miso paste, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and grated ginger.
Rice noodles, grated carrot, grated cucumber, chopped spring onions, little gem, coriander and mint, crushed peanuts, dressing of sweet chilli sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and palm sugar (also add prawns for any non-veggies).
Bulghar wheat, chopped toms, cucumber, spring onion, mint, parsley and dill (add pomegranate seeds if you like them), dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, cinnamon, allspice, garlic and salt. Put a big dollop of hummus on the top when you come to eat it.
They all take about 15-20 mins to make a large batch that will last for a few lunches.
I've got loads more if you want!
A proper thermos soup flask should keep your soup hot til lunch. Heat it first by pouirjf in boiling water then put in piping hot soup. It’s freezing out there you deserve hot soup!
Freekeh and bulghar are wheat. Some lovely ideas on here!
Ahh! Good point Mo, substitute for quinoa or any other grain of your choice!
You will have to get to grips with batch cooking, IME with dietary limitations (for whatever reason) in combination with limited facilities at work, it helps enormously. I used to make a lot of couscous or quinoa vegetable bake type of things. Can do them flavoured with harissa, Chinese, Mediterranean flavourings. Miso soup is pretty quick to put together. Apparently quick-cook barley is quite good in cold salads, if you could eat that. Rice noodles or black bean noodles are good options if you want something Chinese or Japanese inspired. I also used to do a sort of "deconstructed sushi", i.e. a load of rice (freshly cooked & quickly cooled) in a pot, with various sushi-type toppings on top, some soy sauce, wasabi, & seaweed flakes & sesame seeds sprinkled over, & a portion of salad leaves.
Also, it helps if you can plan to have leftovers from your meals at home. I used to do this a lot. Roasted veg to go with pasta for dinner - make double. Lunch for the next day was done with almost no extra work.
Get a soup flask, if you don't have one already. The Stanley soup flask is pricey but worth it. It's definitely worth shopping around though as you can probably get it somewhere cheaper than Amazon are offering here... I've had mine about 16 years, when I use it, the soup is still always absolutely piping hot by lunchtime.
If you have access to boiling water I recommend homemade veg noodle pot with rice noodles. At the weekend I blitz fresh ginger, garlic and chillis in a blender and put in a jar (5mins). I also prep the veg into a tub - spring onions, mushrooms, cabbage, carrots -anything will do chopped up small/fine dice/slice (10mins). I buy a tub/jar of miso paste and dry rice noodles. Each work morning I do the following: teaspoon of the ginger mix in bottom of soup mug, add teaspoon of miso paste, add soy sauce if desired. Grab handful of chopped veg from tub and add to soup mug, squish in dry rice noodles on top. At lunchtime just fill up with boiling water, put lid on mug, stand for 5 mins, stir, enjoy! Great for a hot healthy meal with no microwave
Hairy - like the salad suggestions, that’s similar to what I tend to do for dinner on weekday evenings (tho neither dd nor dp would accept salad for a meal!).
Maybe when the weather warms up I’ll make some throw together salads, I like tinned pulses and they can double up as a carb. Not massively keen on rice/noodles but maybe that wheat free German rye bread can be the filler.
I know lots of people batch cook and I do batch cook soup for dd but if I’m honest it bores me to tears and I always think of what I could be doing instead!
I like the flavoured Ainsley Harriott couscous pouches. Asda do their own brand version too. You just add some boiling water and stir, then leave for a few minutes to swell up. If you did that in the morning and added some chopped peppers or other salad stuff and a dollop of hummus it would make a simple but tasty lunch.
What gluten free wraps did you try - they're quite variable. I like the Be free sweet potato wraps and my non-coeliac other half will eat them without complaint also. I eat them with hummus, spinach and grated carrot. Super quick to make.
Divide a bag of salad over 3 lunchboxes.
Wash a load of cherry tomatoes, split over 3 lunchboxes.
Ditto a bag of precooked puy lentils (stock up when on offer)
Chop up a block of basil tofu, ditto.
You could probably fart around with additional veg and dressings but i can't generally be arsed. Sometimes red peppers (roasted or raw) get involved.
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