Vegetarian Lunch Ideas: One Sauce / Three Lunches

Vegetarian Lunch Ideas: One Sauce / Three Lunches

This video is all about vegetarian lunch ideas – using once sauce as inspiration for three lunches. The lunches I had in mind are work, school, or on-the-go type lunches that don’t require reheating. The basic idea is you tweak the main sauce a bit day by day, and create a pasta bowl (day one), a lazy chana masala (day two), and a spicy dipping sauce for quinoa patties (day three).


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Music // Dub Eastern by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (

Lunch Boxes & bentos:

I’ll include a few tips that work for me here. The main thing that keeps things easy is the following:


EVERY WEEKEND: Good to keep on hand

– Cook a favorite grain (quinoa, brown rice, etc.)
– Cook a favorite pulse or bean (lentils, mung beans, etc.)
– Hard-boil 6 – 12 eggs (if you eat eggs)*

– Wash, cut, and prep a few quick-cooking vegetables (kale, broccoli, asparagus, etc)



Note: If you don’t eat eggs (and many don’t consider eggs vegetarian), please feel free to substitute another protein-rich ingredient you prefer – tempeh, tofu, or more lentils.



LUNCH ONE: Red Garlic Kale Pasta

– Five Minute Tomato Sauce
– Cooked Pasta (short pasta)
– Big handful of chopped kale
– Lentils
– Hard-boiled egg*
– Dates
– Nuts (or toss 1 cup toasted pistachios w/ 2 sheets of crumbled, toasted nori // 2T. nutritional yeast // 1t. chile flakes // salt // drizzle of olive oil)

Bonus: scallions / olives // toasted almonds // olive oil


LUNCH TWO: Easy Chana Masala

– 1 cup Five Minute Tomato Sauce (link above) // Stir in 2 teaspoons garam masala & 1 tablespoon chopped ginger

– 1 cup chopped kale
– 1 cup chickpeas
– Brown rice or quinoa
– Plain yogurt whisked with a bit of salt & 2 garlic cloves smashed into a paste.

– toasted naan or pita chips // toss w/ olive oil or clarified butter, salt & toasted at 350F until golden and crisp.
– treat: Anna’s Daughter Rye Crisps / dark chocolate
– orange segments

Bonus: toasted coconut // scallions // cilantro // avocado & lime


LUNCH THREE: Baby Quinoa Patties

– Five Minute Tomato Sauce (link above) seasoned with chile sauce (sriracha sauce)

-Baby Quinoa Patties **

– Plain yogurt whisked with a bit of salt & 2 garlic cloves smashed into a paste.

– Lentils

– A handful of shredded kale, massaged with a big squeeze of lime juice, pinch of salt, and topped with nuts (below).

– Nuts (or toss toasted pistachios w/ a bit of crumbled, toasted nori // nutritional yeast // chile flakes // salt // olive oil)

Bonus: Avocado // Cilantro


Five Minute Tomato Sauce:

*To hard-boil Eggs: Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by half an inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil, then turn off the heat and cover. Let the pot sit for ten minutes. In the meantime, prepare a large bowl of ice water. When the eggs are done cooking, use a slotted spoon to place them into the ice bath. When the eggs are cool, remove them and crack and peel.

**Baby Quinoa Patties: Combine 2 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa, 4 large beaten eggs, and 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt in a medium bowl. Stir in 1 finely chopped onion. Add 1 cup of breadcrumbs (or rolled quinoa, or instant oats), stir, and let sit for a couple of minutes. Form into little patties, and pan-fry in a bit of clarified butter or coconut oil over medium heat, flipping once along the way until both sides are golden brown and the patties are cooked through.

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