Healthy Packed Vegan Lunches + Quick Snacks

Post in collaboration with iHerb. All opinions are, as always, my own.

It’s back to school time and we all know what that means:

a) Tons of stress.

b) But also: packed lunches as a way of life.


Being back to school, work or university means that, if you’re unlucky like me and have all your classes right after lunch break, you’re going to be needing to pack all of your food into a glass container and call it a day. It doesn’t sound all that fun, but lucky you: you just stumbled across this post (probably because I’ve been harassing you to read it on my social media but hey, who’s perfect), which is jam-packed (see what I did there?? ?) with ideas on how to make your container look more snazzy and, you know, making you want to eat its content.

Because, let’s face it: it’s hard to get food to look all delicious when it’s inside a lunchbox.

These recipes, though? Um, they’re so delicious that you won’t even care that they’re not served in a fancy handmade ceramic piece and garnished with a million of fresh herbs and crushed peanuts. Food-stylist problems, I call them. Like first world problem, but on steroids.

Anyway! Not only are these four recipes absurdly delicious, but they’re also super easy to make (it’s the hectic back-to-school period after all) and also very nutritious. All four recipes are a great combo of all low GI carbs, plant protein and good fats.

Now, how happy are you that I harassed to read this post on Instagram???

This is another of my collaborations with iHerb, where I always like to shop to get lots of special grocery products which are hard to get in Europe otherwise. They carry more than 30.000 natural products, and even have a specialty vegan store where you can find many different products to support your vegan lifestyle, or to try to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet. I’ve never had any problem with them, ordering from either Spain or Ireland, where I lived last year, but they have a great support system available 24/7 in 10 languages. You can order from more than 150 countries and they take super good care of shipping, offering reliable shipping carriers and also controlling that every step of the process is perfect. If you’re worried about ordering temperature-sensitive products, worry not because they have special climate-controlled distribution centers to make sure that everything inside your parcel arrives in a great state.

My personal experience ordering from Spain has been great, since they offer a couple of quality options, one of which allows you to pay for duties in advance so you don’t get hit with a massive custom charges bill when your groceries get here (which happens A LOT in Spain when it comes to other brands…).

All in all, I can do nothing but recommend them, and if you’re interested in the recipes in this post, let me tell you a bit more about the products used:

Drogheria & Alimentari, All Natural Pink Himalayan Salt Mill: pink Himalayan salt in a format which is easier to use, and which ensures that it’s always fresh. It’s a great way to add a small mineral boost to your dishes, instead of using plain salt.

Frontier Natural Products, Almond Flavor, Non-Alcoholic: I’ve told you about this wonderful almond flavour extract in the past, and there’s a good reason it’s my favourite! It adds the loveliest almond touch to your desserts and breakfast, while being made with quality ingredients. What’s not to love?

Jovial, Brown Rice Pasta, Capellini: looking for a quality gluten free pasta option which holds up well after cooking? Look no further! This is certainly one of the best ones that I’ve tried, and it’s made from brown rice too, so it’s more nutritious.

Hana Beverages, Cacao & Coconut Latte: delicious on its own, prepared with a bit of milk (hazelnut is my favourite!) or used in desserts. The coconut addition is so lovely and pairs so well with the cacao, and the ingredient list is lovely.

California Gold Nutrition, Chocolate Plant-Based Protein: one of my favourite plant-based protein options: the ingredient list is lovely, and the flavour is not too strong, which I can appreciate. I recommend it if you’re in need of a go-to protein powder.

Simply Organic, Crushed Red Pepper: so simple as dried red pepper flakes, but they are really high quality and they make a lovely finishing touch for every dish of yours where you think you need a touch of spice!

California Gold Nutrition, Freeze-Dried Blueberry: freeze-dried blueberries with none of the extra sugar of additives. I love these since they keep every bit of the blueberry flavour, and all of the nutrients from the fresh ones too!

Simply Organic, Herbes De Provence: hands down the best herbs de provence that I’ve ever tried! Such an intense flavour which will make all your dishes extra special.

Frontier Natural Products, Indian Curry Seasoning: as you can see, I have a thing for spice powders! And you should too, when it comes to these. I think that going for a higher quality product can take your dishes to a whole new level, and this curry seasoning will certainly do. The addition of lemon is simply lovely!

Simply Organic, Madagascar Vanilla: if you read often, you’ll know by now that I’m obsessed with this particular vanilla extract. It delivers the most intense flavour and it doesn’t have any extra sugars or additives added.

Banza, Penne Chickpeas, Pasta: pasta made from chickpeas instead of wheat – great to have a bit more of plant protein added to your dishes, and the flavour is great too. I love how they keep their shape well after cooking, too.

Bragg, Premium Nutritional Yeast Seasoning: a must-have in your kitchen if you do a lot of vegan cooking, since it’s a great substitute for cheese, flavour-wise. It’s also a lovely way to add more nutrients to your dishes.

Huy Fong Foods Inc., Sambal Oelek, Ground Fresh Chili Paste: another great way to add some spice to your savoury dishes! It pairs so well with pretty much everything and it tastes fantastic!

Coconut Secret, The Original Coconut Aminos: one of the best substitutes for soy sauce in the market, if you ask me! Great way to add some umami flavour to your dishes while still following a gluten-free diet.

PB2 Foods, The Original PB2, Powdered Peanut Butter: another of my all-time favourites – this powdered peanut butter is a great way to add peanut flavour to your dishes while keeping the fat content in the lower sauce. Works great in both sweet and savoury recipes, as you will see in this post.

Better Than Bouillon, Vegetarian, No Chicken Base: if you like chicken soups but you follow a vegan diet, this is a great plant-based substitute to use. It doesn’t only work to make soup, but it can be added to all kinds of dishes to boost their umami profile!

Now, let me tell you about the four recipes featured in this post:

We have two healthy packed lunches, one of them being pasta in a creamy tomato veggie sauce, and the other one being some curried lemon peanut butter noodles, also featuring lots of vegetables and tofu, to get that extra protein.

Then, I included two awesome snack recipes: these fabulous protein balls, one of which is blueberry muffin flavoured (YUM!) and the other is a mix between Death by Chocolate and a peanut butter cookie. You won’t be able to choose! 

 

Creamy Vegetable Sauce Chickpea Penne

Creamy Vegetable Sauce Chickpea Penne

Ingredients

  • For the pasta:
  • 1 small onion
  • half a medium zucchini
  • half a medium eggplant
  • half a medium red bell pepper
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp. herbs de provence
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. no-chicken bouillon paste
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 200g chickpea penne
  • -
  • For the curried noodles:
  • Half a can of coconut milk
  • 3tbsp. powdered peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. sambal oelek paste
  • 3 tbsp. coconut aminos
  • 1/2 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 cup mixed mushrooms
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 150g firm tofu
  • 200g brown rice noodles
  • fresh parsley, to garnish
  • lemon juice, to garnish
  • -
  • For the Death by Chocolate balls:
  • 3 tbsp. chocolate protein powder
  • 6 tbsp. powdered peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp. cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp. cacao coconut latte powder
  • 3 tbsp. rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp. panela sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • -
  • For the blueberry muffin energy balls:
  • 3/4 cup (60g) powdered peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup (25g) almond flour
  • 1/4 cup (20g) rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp. (35g) panela sugar
  • 3 tbsp. (40g) coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp. (25g) milk of choice
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • A handful of freeze-dried blueberries

Instructions

  1. Start by cooking the pasta according to package directions.
  2. Chop all vegetables into small pieces.
  3. In a deep pan or wok, heat the olive oil and add the chopped vegetables when it's warm. Sautee them until golden.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, spices and bouillon paste. If you'd like to add some salt, feel free to do so.
  5. Simmer mixture for 15-20 minutes and then add the pasta and nutritional yeast and stir to incorporate.
  6. These travel well in a glass container and taste well when reheated.
  7. Enjoy!
  8. -
  9. For the noodles:
  10. Start by preparing the marinade for the tofu by mixing coconut milk, sambal oelek, powdered peanut butter, coconut aminos and curry powder.
  11. Cut the tofu into cubes and marinade it in the coconut milk mixture while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  12. Heat some oil in a deep pan and when it's warm, add the vegetables (red bell pepper should be sliced) and sautee until golden.
  13. Now, add the tofu and the marinade, and sautee on low while you boil the noodles according to directions on the package.
  14. When the noodles are cooked, remove tofu veggie mixture from the heat and mix both together.
  15. Garnish with some lemon juice and parsley and enjoy!
  16. -
  17. For the Death by Chocolate protein balls:
  18. Mix all of the powder ingredients, and then add melted coconut oil and vanilla.
  19. Stir to combine.
  20. Shape the mixture into balls and chill them in the fridge to set.
  21. -
  22. For the blueberry muffin energy balls:
  23. Mix together in a bowl: peanut powder, almond flour and sugar.
  24. Add in oil, milk, vanilla and almond extract and stir to combine.
  25. Add in blueberries and shape the dough into balls.
  26. Chill in the fridge to set.
  27. Enjoy!

Notes

There's a link to get the product mentioned in the post.

All these recipes keep well in a glass container for up to 5 days in the fridge. The balls will keep for 7 days.

https://earthlytaste.com/2019/09/healthy-packed-vegan-lunches-quick-snacks.html

 

I hope you guys enjoyed this post! Which one of the four recipes are you most looking forward to trying? 

If you want to try these recipes with the product featured, know that you will have a 10% discount (with no minimum order) on your first order if you click this link.

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