I know that not everyone has the luxury of working from home, which means you can’t take your time in the kitchen to whip up healthy and delicious vegan meals at your leisure. Many of you have to commute and work in an office or warehouse or studio somewhere and you’d just really like to get something healthy and delicious, with the caveat that it’s also fast.
Believe me, I know and this is where a little bit of prep time in the kitchen can go a long way. A really long way.
Today’s quick and easy vegan lunch ideas make great vegan sandwiches, salad dressings and even pasta, so let’s not waste anymore time, yeah?
Easy vegan lunch ideas for me, usually start and end with sandwiches because they are delicious and you can literally put just about anything between two slices of bread and call it a sandwich.
The question in our home when it comes to sandwiches is usually, open faced or closed? Why? Simple, open-faced sandwiches give you more yummy sandwich filling while closed-face can satisfy any carb craving.
One of the things that many of my non-vegan friends (which is most of my friends) think is that I spend a ton of time making meals because vegan meals are hard. I usually laugh and shake my head because nothing could be further from the truth. I spend time in the kitchen because I like to, also because losing weight requires that you take control of what you put into your body and that, sometimes, means experimenting or meal prepping, or cooking vegan food from scratch.
But there are times when I’m too busy working on my next Mustang Prairie novel, or (shameless plug) any of my other contemporary romance novels, to give my kitchen the love and attention it deserves. When that happens, I am like Joey from Friends (am I giving my age away?) and I just want a really good sandwich. A really incredible vegan deli sandwich filled with meat alternatives, lettuce, red wine vinegar and all kinds of other goodies.
This is an easy vegan sandwich that doesn’t require much work.
The best thing about whipping up a good sandwich, is that it takes almost no time. There are also plenty of hacks that can decrease your time in the kitchen if you want a vegan sandwich for lunch because you work at home like I do, or you have a make a sandwich to take into the office. Just…do what needs to be done to eat as many whole foods as you can, while enjoying what you eat, and you’re good.
Remember those TV dinners from back in the day? They came with fake mashed potatoes, frozen veggies and they were overall pretty terrible. And I loved them. Okay, maybe in my memory I loved them and that’s where today’s recipe comes from, but I do have fond memories that I guess involve eating a frozen aluminum tray of mediocre-ness.
Anyway, those skewed memories are what brought us here today.
In my memory, my favorite TV dinner was the one with Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and green beans. Why? Mostly because the gravy was so plentiful that you could spread it on everything else and give it a little more flavor than just the salt and black pepper required.
This vegan TV dinner recipe doesn’t have green beans because unless they are frozen or canned, it’s been pretty hard to find fresh green beans except for a few weeks in the Spring. So we have a vegetable that I only learned to love as an adult, Brussels sprouts.
The best part about turning a TV dinner into a grownup vegan meal is that you can create little hacks to make the process go by quickly.
Whenever I think of tetrazzini, instantly I’m propelled back to the 90’s when my former step mother would make this dish with leftover dry chicken (or turkey if it was just after Thanksgiving) and mushrooms and some cream-type style. It wasn’t my favorite dish back then, other than the fact, you know, that pasta is delicious.
In fact, I’d argue that pasta is a lot like pizza. Even cold and a day old, it’s pretty damn good.
So why on earth did I request mushroom tetrazzini when it was my night to choose what we would have for dinner?
But here we are, or rather, there we were.
Just so we’re clear, this is a bastardized version of whatever ‘traditional’ tetrazzini is supposed to be, but it’s close enough in my opinion that I’m called it a vegan mushroom tetrazzini, whether you like it or not.