Healthy Lunch Recipes to Take to Work

Quinoa Taco Bowls with Cucumber Jalapeño Ranch

I think lunch is the most important meal of the day. Ok, that’s not true, I think ALL meals are the most important meal of the day, and it’s a rare day that I would skip breakfast, lunch, or dinner because when one is over, all I can think about is the next!

When I worked in an office, the lunches that I packed were the best lunches I’d eat that week. They were the meals that kept me on a healthy track because when 12pm rolls around and you’re starving, it’s easy to go out and grab the closest unhealthy thing. In the spirit of a healthy new year, I thought I’d post of a roundup of my favorite easily packable lunches. And because I get so many questions about food storage, these snapware glass containers are my go-to for keeping the food fresh. Click directly on the photos to go to each recipe.

Pictured above:

Quinoa Taco Bowls with Cucumber Jalapeño Ranch
This recipe has a base of spiced quinoa and black beans. The taco toppings are customizable – if you’re packing lunch for multiple days, use finely chopped kale instead of romaine lettuce. The creamy cashew sauce will last about 4 to 5 days in the fridge.

Zucchini & Sweet Potato Noodle Minestrone

Soups are my favorite packable leftover lunch because they always always taste better on the second or third day. Just reheat when you’re ready to eat.

Pictured above:
Zucchini & Sweet Potato Noodle Minestrone
It’s fun to eat the vegetable “noodles” in this recipe, but if you don’t have a spiralizer, just chop the sweet potato and zucchini. It’s delicious either way.

Pictured below:
Vegan “Cheesy” Broccoli Soup.

This soup is full of cheesy, tangy goodness and is great on a cold day. You can keep the croutons in a separate baggie so they don’t get soggy, or just skip them if you’re low on time or space.

Vegan "Cheesy" Broccoli Soup

Spinach Hummus Lunch Wraps
I made these for our flight to France earlier this year (which we missed…) but we enjoyed these wraps nonetheless. I purposely didn’t put tomatoes or avocado in here so that the wraps wouldn’t get soggy or get messy while traveling. Wrap these in foil and they can withstand being tossed in your bag (or in our case, an Uber ride to the airport and then directly home… sigh).

Spinach Hummus Lunch Wraps

The next four recipes are bowls, which are always easy to pack and eat later:

Spring Broccolini, Kale & Quinoa Bowls
I realize it’s not spring, but quinoa, chickpeas, and broccoli are all available year round and the pesto in here is made with frozen peas. Plus, eating this in the winter will make it feel like spring?

Spring Broccolini, Kale & Quinoa Bowls

Broccoli Tahini Pasta Salad
Tahini sauce makes everything better! Broccoli, green beans, zucchini, and sun dried tomatoes in a creamy mayo-less tahini sauce. This one is really healthy if you use brown rice pasta.

Broccoli Tahini Pasta Salad

Rainbow Bowls with Almond Ginger Dressing
All of the vegetables here (and there are a lot of them) are good packable ones. This is one of those recipes that’s even better on the second day – the creamy almond ginger dressing is so yummy and tangy and really soaks in nicely.

Rainbow Bowls with Almond Ginger Dressing

Roasted Delicata Squash Kale Salad
While there’s nothing better than squash roasted just out of the oven, I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved having these leftovers for lunch. You may want to pack the sauce separately.

Roasted Delicata Squash Kale Salad

Easy Power Lunch Bowls
More bowls (last one, I promise) and more kale! I love this bowl because the trifecta of sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and kale is a hearty combo to get you through the day. Those little meatball looking things are veggie balls – I love them, but you can toss whatever protein you want in here.

Easy Power Lunch Bowls

Tempeh Vegan Club Sandwiches
Here’s one if you’re a sandwich person. This one can be a little messy – I wouldn’t pile it quite so high as what I have in the photo and I would wrap it well with foil. If you haven’t tried tempeh, this smoky baked tempeh is SO good.

Vegan Tempeh Club Sandwich

Chickpea Salad Wraps with Avocado Dill Sauce
Pack the chickpea filling separately from the lettuce leaves and assemble these at your desk. You can skip the pickled onions and the sauce if you want to, the chickpea filling is so good on its own!

Chickpea Salad Wraps with Avocado Dill Sauce

Happy lunching!

KitchenAid® Artisan Stand Mixer Giveaway!

KitchenAid® Artisan Stand Mixer Giveaway!

I’m SO excited about this giveaway because I think EVERY kitchen needs a KitchenAid® Artisan® Stand Mixer! My grandmother had one, my mom has one, and we’ve had ours for years and years. They last forever – if you don’t have one, here’s your chance to win one :).

If you’re a fan of our cookbook, you have more chances to enter, see below!

KitchenAid® Artisan Stand Mixer Giveaway!

To enter:
Leave ONE comment below telling me about your favorite recipe to mix up. (Please leave your own individual comment and do not reply to an existing comment on the thread).

For additional entries:
Post a photo of any recipe from The Love & Lemons Cookbook on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) and tag #loveandlemonscookbook. Each social post counts as a separate entry so post as many times as you want!

Good luck & happy holidays!!

A winner will be chosen at random on December 31st. The giveaway is open to U.S. addresses only. The color mixer that the winner receives will be based on availability. Spiralizer attachment is not included. Special thanks to KitchenAid® for supplying the mixer!

2017 Cookbook Gift Guide

Love & Lemons 2017 Cookbook Gift Guide

It’s that time of year again! You’ve gone through your list and checked it twice… yet there are still a few friends and family members left and you don’t know what to get for them. How about a cookbook? I always say this, but I think cookbooks make the best gifts because there’s always one to suit every taste. Or maybe I just say this because I personally love (and love to hoard) cookbooks!

Anyway, here are my favorites from this past year. Many I’ve written about before, many you’ll hear more about in the next few months. They’re all pretty veggie-forward (the ones that aren’t still have interesting vegetable options). So if you like our blog (and book!) I think you and your loved ones will love these cookbooks too!

Vegetarian Favorites:

The Love & Lemons Cookbook by yours truly
The First Mess by Laura Wright
Love Real Food by Kathryne Taylor of Cookie & Kate
Naturally Vegetarian by Valentina Solfrini of Hortus Cuisine
One Part Plant by Jessica Murnane
In my Kitchen by Deborah Madison
Bowls of Goodness by Nina Olsson of Nourish Atelier
The Savvy Cook by Izy Hossack of Top with Cinnamon
Naturally Nourished by Sarah Britton of My New Roots
The Moosewood Restaurant Table 

Deliciously Beautiful Books:

Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone of Eyeswoon
Autentico by Rolando Beramendi

Weeknight Cooking (with good veggie options):

Dining in: Highly Cookable Recipes by Alison Roman
Back Pocket Pasta by Colu Henry
Dinner, Changing the Game by Melissa Clark

Good Reads:

The Wellness Project by Phoebe Lapine
What She Ate by Laura Shapiro
Coming To My Senses by Alice Waters

Fun books from favorite restaurants:

Elizabeth Street Cafe by Larry McGuire and Julia Turshen
Jack’s Wife Freida by Maya & Dean Jankelowitz & Julia Jaksic
Egg Shop by Nick Korbee

I’m currently devouring:

The Sweet Spot: Dialing Back Sugar and Amping Up Flavor by former White House Pastry Chef, Bill Yosses
Downtime by Nadine Levy Redzepi (wife of Noma chef, Rene Redzepi)
Smitten Kitchen Everyday by Deb Perelman

Looking forward to (available for pre-order):

Healthy-ish by Lindsay Maitland Hunt
Vegan Comfort Classics by Lauren Toyota of Hot For Food

This post contains affiliate links.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Sides

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Sides

It’s Thanksgiving week! I think we’re up to 17 people that are coming over on Thursday, so, um, yikes! Thankfully, everyone is bringing something so the cooking won’t be so difficult. Like always, I’ll be making the salad and a vegetable side dish or two. In case you’re like me – still deciding what to make – here are some of my favorite vegetarian starters and side dishes!

Click on the images to go directly to each recipe!

Harvest Haven Salad

A gorgeous seasonal salad that’s a great light way to start off the meal.

Harvest Haven Salad

Simple Roasted Beets with Citrus

A simple, bright, and tangy side dish that can be made a day (or two) ahead and  assembled when you’re ready to serve.

Simple Roasted Beets with Citrus

Cauliflower Parsnip Mash with Roasted Garlic

We’ve really enjoyed this spin on mashed potatoes – make this if you love the earthy flavor of parsnips and if you’re looking for something a little bit different than your regular mash.

Cauliflower Parsnip Mash with Roasted Garlic

Butternut Squash & Leek Stuffing

a.k.a, the most colorful stuffing. This recipe is great if you’ve had as much butternut squash as I’ve had lately (that is to say – a lot). It also reheats well, so it’s great for the holiday.

Butternut Squash & Leek Stuffing

Rosemary Maple Corn Muffins

An old favorite – these crumbly vegan muffins are lightly sweet with a nice flavor from the rosemary. Perfect for the meal, or if you have family staying with you and you need a quite bite the next morning.

Rosemary Maple Corn Muffins

Wheatberry Delicata Squash Salad

A hearty fall salad packed with dark leafy greens, squash, apples, cranberries, and wheat berries. This one is on page 255 of our cookbook which (shameless plug) makes a great gift for the holidays!

Wheatberry Delicata Squash Salad

Maple Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts 

Sweet, tangy, roasted brussels sprouts – I love the pop of red onion and the crunch from the pecans.

Maple Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts 

Fig, Feta, and Mint Crostini

Since this roundup is a little squashy (what can I say, I love squash!), I love the idea of serving this sweet little fig appetizer before the big meal!

Fig, Feta, and Mint Crostini

Red Curry Kuri Squash Soup 

If you can’t find a red kuri squash, use butternut squash instead. Make this soup if you’re looking to spice up your dinner table 🙂

Red Curry Kuri Squash Soup 

Kale and Shiitake Mushroom Stuffing

It’s a toss up whether I love this stuffing more than the butternut squash stuffing that’s pictured higher in this post. Mushrooms, sage, bread… mmm.

Kale and Shiitake Mushroom Stuffing

Simple Lemon Green Beans  

This one is great if you need just one more vegetable to round out your meal. These green beans are tossed with garlic, olive oil, and lots of lemon. A great green vegetable next to the stuffing and mashed potatoes.

Simple Lemon Green Beans  

Roasted Delicata Squash with Apples and Sage

If you haven’t given delicata squash a try – give this recipe a go. I love delicata because the skins don’t have to be peeled, which makes this recipe so easy to put together.

Roasted Delicata Squash with Apples and Sage

Avocado & Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

A great main course if you’re doing an all-veggie Thanksgiving. Or get small acorn squash and serve these as a side. This dish definitely has a southwestern flair – filled with green chiles, black beans, spices, and avocado.

Avocado & Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup

One of my favorite soups and there’s no actual cream involved because the cauliflower itself blends up so nicely.

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Vegan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

These are half potato half cauliflower, not half butter like most mashed potatoes, but your guests won’t know it!

Vegan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Favorite Vegetarian Soup Recipes

Red Curry Kuri Squash Soup

Depending on where you live, it may or may not be quite soup weather yet. The temps are cooling off over here in the midwest, but to be honest, I’d eat soup even if it was one hundred degrees out (and I used to in Austin!). I love soup anytime and all the time! I love making it, I love eating it… I also love how it yields lots of leftovers that are almost always better the second or third day after flavors have had the chance to fully develop.

If you love soup as much as I do, here are some favorites you may want to add to your list this fall!

Red Curry Kuri Squash Soup (pictured above)

This is the first soup that I crave in the fall – if you can’t find a kuri squash, substitute butternut squash instead. This creamy soup is made with coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, and red curry (hence the name) for spice.

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup

I get excited for winter just thinking about this one. I roast the whole cauliflower – cores and all. Its nutty rich flavor becomes a luscious creamy soup (without cream!) when blended with vegetable broth, thyme, a little lemon, and a few other secret ingredients.

White Bean Tomato Mushroom Soup

White Bean Tomato Mushroom Soup

Sometimes my favorite soups start in the pantry – this one makes good use of both canned tomatoes and canned beans. Mushrooms, butternut squash, kale, and herbs get simmered down, making this a hearty one bowl meal if you serve it with a little crusty bread.

Curried Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew

Curried Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew

While this one is on the ugly side, it remains one of my favorite stews. Sweet potato, ginger, lentils, and curry spices make thick hearty base and a bit of lime juice gives it an unexpected pop of flavor. The flavors here go so perfectly together!

Ribollita - Tuscan White Bean Soup

Ribollita – Tuscan White Bean Soup

I hope you have some stale bread laying around, because you can transform it into this tasty Ribolita! Tomatoes, carrots, white beans, kale, a touch of white wine, and some good crusty stale bread make up this hearty soup that will get you through the winter.

Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Pesto

Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Pesto

Waste not, want not. Use those beautiful carrot tops to make a pesto – it’s the perfect thing to swirl into this creamy 6-ish ingredient carrot-ginger soup.

Easy Vegetarian Pho

Easy Vegetarian Pho

This recipe was inspired by a Vietnamese restaurant that was down the street from our Austin house. Now that we’ve moved, I’ll be making my own pho again – I call this one faux pho, because it involves a few shortcuts that make this soup possible to make relatively quickly.

Creamy White Bean & Tomato Soup

Creamy White Bean & Tomato Soup

This one is a reader favorite because it’s so easy and quick to make. If you have a can of tomatoes, a can of white beans, and a blender, you’re pretty much there.

Sustenance Sweet Potato Stew 

Sustenance Sweet Potato Stew 

This recipe is from Tess Masters’ The Perfect Blend. It’s one of my favorites because it’s packed full of vegetables (as the title suggests). There’s a clever twist where almond butter is stirred in at the end. It sounds a little odd, but the flavor combo is really incredible.

For more soups, see the soup section of our recipe index!