Blog post by our guest contributor, Monica Cruz, Registered Dietitian at Kindred Healthcare.
Looking to go meatless for lunch? Meatless meals are a satisfying way to pack fiber into your lunchbox. Some are even high in protein! The options are endless when it comes to meat alternatives.
Here are a few meatless ideas to add to your lunchbox rotation:
1. Get creative with different types of beans! Beans are sure to give your lunchbox a protein and fiber boost. Try black beans with lime cilantro rice for a complete protein, chickpeas or even edamame hummus with crunchy veggies, or seek out heirloom beans for a hearty vegetarian chili.
2. Tofu may be plain on its own, but it takes on the flavor of anything that you add to it. Don’t be intimidated by the different textures either! Silken tofu can be blended with fruit for a velvety smoothie bowl. Firm tofu is great crumbled and sauteed with your favorite veggies (tip: add turmeric to give your dish an eggy yellow tinge like scrambled eggs!).
3. Meat analogues have come a long way. With some brands resembling the real deal, meat analogues now come in “chicken” and “ground meat” forms. Try them in sliders, sandwiches, or atop salads.
4. Jackfruit is all the rage in vegan cooking lately. While fresh jackfruit can be quite daunting, having canned jackfruit in your pantry will make meatless lunches easy to put together. The key is to purchase canned jackfruit in water, not in syrup! Once drained, the jackfruit can be shredded into chunks, which can then be flavored with BBQ sauce a la pulled pork for tacos or quesadillas.
5. Eggplants are the unsung heroes of meatless meals. When roasted and peeled, they are delicious blended into baba ganoush, a savory Mediterranean eggplant puree that is
great as a dip or as a sandwich spread. Roasted and peeled eggplant can also be turned into meatless meatballs. These have a lovely texture and are great tossed in marinara sauce served with your favorite pasta shapes. Delish!
Meatless mains are a great addition to your lunchbox arsenal. Challenge yourself to recreate your favorites with plant-based ingredients and watch out for other delicious lunchbox ideas from Teuko.