Food, Healthy Eating

5 Convenient Dishes to Spice Up Your Vegan Brown Bag Lunch

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During the week, I travel to different construction sites and have no way to refrigerate my lunch. I’m always rushing around in the morning and have a tight budget, so here’s a few dishes I’ve added to my vegan brown bag lunch to make eating vegan on-the-go as convenient as possible.

1. Trader Joe’s Dolmas

5 Convenient Dishes to Spice Up Your Vegan Brown Bag Lunch

They look like some sort of sushi-salmon fusion and have sparked my coworkers’ curiosities (in the, “Are you eating cat food?” way). I have to admit I was a little skeptical when I tried this dish for the first time, but they are DELICIOUS. Dolmas are simply grapevine leaves stuffed with rice, dill, mint, and other spices. Trader Joe’s stores the dolmas in soy oil; they’re super easy to eat, store, and they fill you up quickly!

2. Trader Joe’s Grecian Style Eggplant with Tomatoes & Onion

5 Convenient Dishes to Spice Up Your Vegan Brown Bag Lunch

Honestly, I could eat Dolmas every day for lunch and not get sick of it, but variety is the spice of life. So I alternate with a very similar canned dish. I stock these not only because I feel a little healthier saying, “I’m having eggplant for lunch,” but also because on lazy dinner nights, I throw this onto some cooked rice/noodles and voila!

3. Weird Wrap #1 

Ingredients:

Peanut Butter, Banana, Avocado, Maple Syrup

5 Convenient Dishes to Spice Up Your Vegan Brown Bag Lunch

Alright friends, stay with me. The last two ingredients throw everyone for a loop, but the avocado pretty much takes the taste of the rest of the wrap and the maple syrup makes the wrap taste like a dessert. I also always have maple syrup lying around my house for when I plan on making pancake breakfasts (fast-forward to hitting the snooze button at 2 p.m. on a Saturday), and I’m always scrambling to use the avocados on the way to going bad. It’s perfect!

4. Weird Wrap #2

Ingredients:

Hummus, Leafy Green (of your choice), Pickles

5 Convenient Dishes to Spice Up Your Vegan Brown Bag Lunch

For a less weird wrap. I have a weird fondness for pickles, and this is my way of eating them without standing at my counter, eating an entire jar without blinking an eye. You can choose the greens and hummus; I usually grab some kale, and the above picture was my experiment with edamame hummus. 10/10.

5. Your Favorite Frozen Smoothie

(My) Ingredients:

Two Bananas, — Mixed Berries, Almond Milk, Kale (optional)
5 Convenient Dishes to Spice Up Your Vegan Brown Bag Lunch

5 Convenient Dishes to Spice Up Your Vegan Brown Bag Lunch

(I throw in the kale for when I buy huge bags of it and can only make so many weird wrap #2s.) I typically use frozen mixed berries from Trader Joe’s because they’re super convenient to buy and store. I use my Magic Bullet and freeze my smoothie(s) overnight; by the time lunch comes around, I’ve got a smoothie ready to go!

Feel free to try out these dishes and let me know which is your favorite!

Also by Megan: How I Backpacked in Europe for Three Months Eating Vegan

Related: 15 Easy Vegan Meals with Common Ingredients

Best Tips to Being Vegan on a Budget

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Photos: Trader Joe’s, Megan Okonsky

Megan Okonsky

Megan Okonsky

Megan Okonsky is a writer, tiny house builder, and WWOOFer. After graduating from Temple University in Philadelphia, she backpacked through Europe and moved to the only city that would satisfy her love for live music, Austin, TX. You can read about her travels on her blog, Beat, Broke, Backpacking.
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