Easy Vegan Weekday Lunch Ideas | Food

You know how it goes – it gets to Sunday night and you realise you’ve not made any lunch for the next working week and you have no idea what to make. Maybe you work somewhere where you can grab and on-the-go sandwich instead , if so lucky you! I however currently work in the middle of nowhere and the only shop within five miles has a vegan section consisting of pot noodles, crisps and not much else. It’s also way cheaper to take your own lunch and if like me you’re currently saving up for that non existent house you’ll never be able to afford, then every saving counts!

Below are a few filling, healthy and most importantly easy lunch ideas that can be prepared in advance to save yourself some of that Sunday night dread.

Vegan chilli

Batch cook chilli

Starting of with one of my favourite go-to lunches that never fails. Making up a load of chilli is super easy and you can make as much or as little as you want, meaning you can freeze loads of it for another time. All you need to do is fry onions and garlic, add in your veg (peppers, mushrooms, whatever you fancy) with some chilli powder and paprika until soft, add in your choice of ‘meat’ (I usually stick with Tesco soya mince or lentils ), chuck in some tinned tomatoes and kidney beans (the ones in chilli sauce are the BEST) and leave it to simmer for about 15 minutes. Once you have this, you can team it with whatever you fancy! Rice, couscous, salad, potatoes, the list is endless. Split it into separate storage tubs and freeze for when you need it.

Vegan curry

Quick curry

When you google ‘vegan curry recipes’ a lot of the results will tell you to make your own sauce from scratch. This is a lovely idea but let’s face it, who REALLY has the time? In my opinion there is nothing wrong with using shop bought curry sauces in a jar. All you have to do then is decide on your curry ingredients. I normally try and use up any random veg I have that looks like it’s on the way out, tofu, potatoes or lentils. The choices are endless! I’m still a little bit wary of reheating rice so I normally soak a load of couscous to have with it. Again, split your curry & couscous into separate storage tubs and freeze for when you need it.

Pasta salad

Pasta salad

As we all know, pasta is one of life’s greatest food groups and should not be limited to just dinner time. It could not be easier to boil up some pasta, add some free from pesto and veggies to create a super filling and delicious lunch. I’ve recently discovered pea pasta which is not only DELICIOUS but counts as one of your five a day. What could be better?! Other topping ideas include your favourite sauce or cheese, houmous and salad.

Quorn chicken & violife cheese sandwich

Simple sandwiches

Sometimes you really just want to eat a sandwich for lunch, don’t you? Well thanks to the influx of new vegan products it has never been easier to create a tasty sarnie. Quorn vegan ham and chicken slices are amazing for this and taste great with a slice of your favourite vegan cheese and some salad or pickle. Linda McCartney sausages are also one if my go-to sandwhich fillers – so comforting!

Rivitas

Rivita picnic

When the weather is good I think it’s quite nice to make a ‘picky’ lunch, so you can pretend you’re having a picnic and definitely don’t have to go back to the office in half an hour. I know that a packet of Rivitas sound bloody boring but I have recently become a convert! Teamed with your fave meat alternative or dairy free cheese, vegan mayo and a salad they are actually super tasty and surprisingly filling. Plus, it doesn’t take much preparation as you can put it all in a lunchbox and make them up as you’re eating it!

Chickpea tuna

Chickpea tuna

Okay so this doesn’t taste EXACTLY like tuna but it’s sooo tasty, easy to prepare and makes enough for a good few days. There are loads of variations depending on your taste but the basics are: one can of chickpeas, vegan mayo, mustard, onions, sweetcorn / peppers, lemon juice and black pepper all smooshed (technical term) together in bowl. I don’t use exact measurements because I’m a rebel (read as: lazy) but use the amount of each ingredient that you desire and it will taste delicious. It’s a perfect sandwich filler or jacket potato topper. It’s even ideal with just a salad.

Soup and bread

Soup

As the colder months are on their way it only seemed fair to include trusty soup on this list. Luckily for us there are a generous amount off decent shop-bought soups available now, one of my favourites being lentil dahl from The Coop. However, it is actually pretty easy to make your own and some recipes barely require any ingredients at all. You can batch cook a load and freeze it ready for those cold days, giving you one less thing to remember.


I hope this list has given you a few ideas! The best thing about all of these lunches is that they can be easily varied so you never get bored of eating the same thing all the time. However if you still run out of time to prepare your own, I highly recommend heading to your nearest supermarket near closing time and picking up reduced items – there is nothing worse than food waste and you can get amazing bargains!

Let me know below whether you try any of these out. or have any other lunch time favourites.

A Long Weekend In Dublin | Travel

Wicklow Mountains

Wicklow Mountains
A Long Weekend In Dublin – Wicklow Mountains

During the last Bank Holiday in May I was lucky enough to spend a long weekend in Dublin, Ireland’s largest city.

I had visited once before but not as a vegan. In fact, this was my first time abroad since joining the V Gang. I was excited but nervous! Soon enough I realised there was no need to be though as before we even boarded the plane I found a delicious breakfast at Gatwick’s Grain Store Cafe & Bar. All I had to do was swap my eggs for more beans (because there’s no such thing as too many beans, right?)

Grain Store & Cafe breakfast
A Long Weekend In Dublin – Grain Store & Cafe breakfast

Being a city, there is obviously a huge number of chain restaurants and shops around Dublin city centre, making things much easier. I enjoyed a Nando’s (veggie burger, no mayo), Papa John’s (veggies, no cheese), pasta from Zizzi’s new vegan menu and more Tayto crisps than I can count.

Dublin - Nandos  Dublin - Nandos 2

Aside from the well-known chains however, I was pleasantly surprised by what I could find. Walking round the side streets we stumbled across Cornucopia, an adorable veggie cafe with a delicious and cheap vegan breakfast. I’d have loved to have eaten here more than once if we’d had the time.

Cornucopia breakfast
A Long Weekend In Dublin – Cornucopia breakfast

One thing that I did notice about breakfasts was that baked beans were not a thing. In England, if you go anywhere for a hot breakfast you’re bound to find beans but not in Dublin it seems! Our hotel had limited vegan options but I brought some soya cartons in the local Spar so I could have some tea and cereal, which made a huge a difference. Veggies and toast became my staple breakfast for the weekend.

Cooked breakfast
A Long Weekend In Dublin – Adapted hotel breakfast

Breakfast at Metro Cafe
A Long Weekend In Dublin – Metro Cafe breakfast

As the soya cartons demonstrate, if there’s one very important thing I’ve learnt in the past year it’s that preparation is key. One day we took a trip to the Wicklow Mountains which was incredible but I made sure I took my own snacks – Pringles, rice cakes and Nakd bars, the usual vegan life savers. The country pub we stopped at for lunch in the middle of nowhere was unsurprisingly not vegan friendly but they had chips and chips are great, especially after you’ve been walking all day.

Pringles at the Wicklow Mountains
A Long Weekend In Dublin – Pringles with a view

Arguably the most exciting thing I found whilst walking through the city streets was a sign for vegan donuts. Don’t worry, I had to do a double take too. Naturally, I had to go in and buy three – just to keep demand up y’know. I can confirm that they were INCREDIBLE. The Rolling Donut, I salute you. Oh how I wish we had these in England.

The Rolling Donut
A Long Weekend In Dublin – The Rolling Donut

Even long weekends go far too quickly for my liking and before I knew it it was time to leave one of my favourite cities. My first experience as a vegan abroad was an extremely successful one and it just made me love the place even more. I hope it’s not too long before I can visit again.

I love everything about this city; the food, the friendly people and the amazing views. I’m just still trying to decide whether it’s a good thing that whiskey and Guinness are vegan. My heart says yes but my head definitely says no.🌱