Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lunch Ideas - Sandwiches


Has your or your children's lunch box grown a bit stale of late? Do you find yourself packing the same lunches for park trips or car trips or picnics? On the most recent podcast of "Food for Thought," Colleen Patrick-Goudreau listed many wonderful vegan lunch ideas. Even before she started listing the various sandwiches and salads, I whipped out a piece of paper and took copious notes. She always has terrific, quick ideas, but I certainly don't always remember them. This time she provided a quick list (from link, scroll down to Vegetarian Lunch/Dinner Ideas - both PDF and HTML versions available) at her website that anyone can print and post in their kitchen for easy access. What I found there, though, was that while she listed sandwich ideas, she didn't necessarily tell you what was in the sandwiches. Some, like pb&j are obvious, but others may require a bit more detail. So, today, I'm sharing my list with you: her ideas, plus some of mine, with ingredients included. Whether vegan or not, you must admit this list is extensive and surely there will be some new sandwiches you can add into your own or your family's rotation. Bon appetit!

* any nut butter w/jelly
* nut butter w/jelly + apple slices and/or banana slices and/or shaved carrot
* same sandwich as above w/o jelly
* any nut butter (consider almond, cashew, or hazelnut) rolled w/sliced banana in a tortilla
* add raisins to the wrap above
* peanut butter w/imitation bacon bits (this and the next are Eve's favorites!)
* same as above + apple slices and lettuce
* nut butter w/apple or pumpkin butter
* nut butter w/agave nectar
* same sandwich as above with any of the other fruits listed above
* nut butter w/pear slices or halved grapes
* tofu cottage cheese w/chopped dates & diced red pepper
* same as above, but w/vegan cream cheese instead
* vegan cream cheese and cucumbers
* vegan cream cheese w/shredded carrots and raisins

If you're thinking ahead, you can make vegan BLT's w/tofu or tempeh "bacon." Goudreau mentions how to make this, but only mentions adding the flavoring to the pan as the tofu or tempeh is sauteing. We've tried this, but prefer to marinate the tofu/tempeh ahead of time to really give it some flavor.

Tempeh/Tofu "Bacon"

Marinate sliced and steamed (about 10 min) tempeh or extra-firm fresh or frozen/thawed tofu for at least an hour in the following:

tamari or soy sauce
a few drops of liquid smoke
maple syrup (optional - my family didn't like the sweet w/the salty/smoky flavor, but I know folks who love that)

saute in canola oil until nice and browned on both sides

* hummus in a wrap or on bread with lettuce, tomato, olives, etc. (today I used leftover homemade chunky tomato sauce w/garlic/broccoli/and spinach I'd used on pasta the other night with the other fillings in a wrap and all I can say is YUM!!)
* sub sandwiches w/homemade soy mayo or Vegenaisse or hummus or vegan pesto w/any of the following:
* sliced artichoke hearts
* avocado
* roasted red peppers
* alfalfa sprouts
* other bean sprouts
* arugula/lettuce/spinach
* fresh/marinated mushrooms
* shredded carrots
* shredded beets
* add some of the marinated tempeh or tofu bacon

* bean burritos w/all the fixin's are still yummy at room temperature

* sloppy joe's made w/crumbled tofu OR TVP OR crumbled tempeh in tomato sauce w/onions, green peppers and spices on a whole wheat bun

* a marinated ( in tamari - with or without balsamic vinegar - and herbs such as tarragon, sage and or basil) portobella mushroom sauteed in olive oil and on a bun w/vegan mayo or avocado or hummus spread - again, still tasty at room temp.

* eggless egg salad (made w/cubed tofu or tempeh instead of egg)
* chick pea "tuna" salad made w/mashed chick peas instead of tuna
(remember, vegan mayo, whether homemade or store-bought, is made without eggs, so there is no need to fear rancidity if your sandwich is not on ice)

This should give you plenty of healthy, fresh ideas for those lunch boxes or days when you're on the go! Enjoy!
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