I thought it was about time for part 2 of my 'what do vegetarians actually eat?' mini-series. It's lunch time! You should start by checking out what vegetarians eat for breakfast, then coming back here for lunch - and then moving onto vegetarian dinners!
As I mentioned last time, this series will hopefully be useful for two reasons:
Firstly, if you're a vegetarian and you're constantly asked 'what do you actually eat?', you now have a place to send people! It's a pretty obnoxious question (depending on context, obviously - I'm sure there are some well-meaning people who are genuinely curious, and that's fine!), and it's one that's asked all too often, so hopefully these blog posts will give you an easy response.
Secondly, I hope this little series will help out any vegetarians (or anyone else!) who need a bit of new inspiration. If it wasn't for this blog, I'd probably eat the same ten meals on rotation - it's nice to not have to think too much when cooking. But it's also nice to eat a varied diet! So hopefully you'll find some new ideas here.
The idea of this post isn't necessarily that you come away with specific recipes in mind - more just that you get some new ideas for the kinds of things you could make / eat for lunch, and feel inspired to try something different this week.
Let's get right down to it! I've split this post up into a few sections to make it easier to navigate.
What do vegetarians actually eat for lunch?
Obviously, the classic lunch option is a vegetarian sandwich! Here are a few sandwich filling ideas:
- cheddar cheese with anything - salad, Branston pickle, Marmite, apple slices, hummus, etc (probably not all together!)
- chickpea salad sandwiches, which I make differently every time - any combination of veggies works nicely. Avocado chickpea salad is a favourite too, as is this creamy lemon chickpea salad.
- tofu is great in sandwiches, especially if it's fried until really, really crispy - try my tofu bacon BLTs
- hummus and thinly sliced veggies (cucumber, carrot, radishes)
- green goddess sandwiches
- fresh mozzarella with sliced tomatoes and basil
- if you're feeling adventurous, add a few crisps to your sandwich for an extra bit of crunch, like in my epic avocado sandwich
- and one of my favourite sandwiches ever - halloumi with sun-dried tomatoes
- wraps - use your favourite sandwich fillings, but with a bit less bread.
- bagels, croissants, baguettes, baps, muffins (this kind not this kind!), or any other kind of bread you fancy, filled with your favourite sandwich fillings. Some combinations will work better than others!
- tortilla roll-ups - little bite-sized nibbles that you can fill with whatever you fancy. These are definitely one of my favourite options.
- or if you want to avoid bread altogether, my low-carb cauliflower tortillas are a great alternative and work with all sorts of fillings.
Soups are a great way to use up whatever you have in the fridge. Batch cook some soup each weekend, and eat it through the week - you'll have no more wasted veggies, and a healthy lunch ready to go every day.
- Veggie soup - just fry up whatever veggies you have in the fridge, then add vegetable stock and simmer until they're cooked. Add herbs and spices for extra flavour, and grains for bulk. Blend (or don't!) and serve. A few examples:
- Bean soup - chickpeas, beans and lentils are a great way to make soup more filling and protein-rich. Use the same method as above, and make the soup smooth or chunky. Some ideas:
- Slow cooker soup - same as above, but throw everything in the slow cooker. The low, slow cooking will break everything down and give maximum flavour for minimum effort. For example:
Start with a leafy green - lettuce, kale, spinach, etc. Add beans or nuts for protein, plenty of other veggies for flavour, and grains for bulk. Finish everything off with a tasty dressing. Depending on your ingredient choices, they can also be served warm or cold. The possibilities are endless! Here are a few.
- vegetarian Caesar salad
- creamy green bean potato salad
- sweet potato and quinoa salad
- warm lentil and halloumi salad
- warm brown rice salad with roasted eggplant and pistachios
- superfood kale salad
- roasted black bean taco salad
- Ploughman's lunch - a lump of cheddar cheese with chunks of apple and bread, a bit of Branston pickle, and some salad
- a slice of quiche or vegetarian tart, served with salad
- frittata or omelette, served with a bit of bread or salad
- savoury flapjacks (great for lunch boxes!)
- tikka mushrooms, served in pitta with salad
- crepes stuffed with your choice of filling
- lettuce wraps - a great low-carb option!
- tortilla pizza - just top a flour tortilla with whatever you fancy, and pop it under the grill
- pasta salad, with loads of veggies and a dollop of pesto
Do you have any other easy vegetarian lunch ideas? I'd love to hear, so feel free to share your ideas in the comments below! Tell me - what do vegetarians actually eat for lunch?