Meatless Midday Meals

Fast, fresh vegan lunches for kids.

Bet your vegan kids are fed up with fake meat-and-cheese sandwiches, kale salads, or grown-up versions of vegan fare. This school year, turn over a new (spinach) leaf with these fast, fresh vegan lunches. No more phony-baloney sandwiches!

Nutty Butter and Fakin' Bacon Rollups Serves 1
In a small bowl, mix almond butter and honey. Spread a whole-wheat tortilla with the mixture, then top with crumbled vegan "bacon." Roll up tightly, and slice crosswise into 6 pinwheels, securing each with a toothpick. Arrange in a Tupperware or metal container, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Avocado Eggy Salad Serves 2-3
Drain and rinse one can of white beans. Put beans in a bowl and lightly mash them into egg-salad consistency. Add 1/4 cup each minced green onions, red pepper, and celery. Gently stir in half of a mashed avocado, 2 Tbs. vegan mayo, and 1/4 tsp. turmeric (for color). Season with salt and pepper, and serve on bread or rolls.

Garden Pizza in a Pocket Serves 1-2
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut 2 pitas in half and spread each half with
2 Tbs. marinara sauce. Fill halves with 1/4 cup finely chopped vegetables of your choice. Fill the remainder of each half with shredded dairy-free cheese and vegan "pepperoni" slices, if desired. Wrap each half in foil, and bake for 10-15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then unwrap and serve, or store in fridge.

Tempeh Sloppy Joes Serves 3-4
Heat 1 Tbs. oil in a skillet, and sauté 1/2 cup chopped peppers, 1/4 cup chopped onions, and one package of crumbled tempeh until onions are soft. Stir in 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 1/4 cup ketchup, and 1-3 tsp. chili powder. Simmer for 10 minutes, then serve on whole-grain hamburger buns.

Shells and Peas Salad Serves 2
In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups cooked pasta shells and 1 can drained and rinsed garbanzo beans. Add 1/2 cup each finely chopped spinach, grated carrots, and thawed frozen peas. Stir in 3 Tbs. vegan mayonnaise and grated dairy-free mozzarella cheese, if desired. Season with salt and pepper, and store in Tupperware or metal containers.


Supplement the main course with one of these kid-friendly, animal-free treats:

Fruit kebabs: thread chunks of fruit on a skewer and serve with dairy-free vanilla yogurt for dipping.

Kiwi pops: peel and thickly slice kiwi, then insert a popsicle stick into each slice.

Graham crackers sammies: mix almond butter, unsweetened cocoa powder, and honey to taste, and spread on graham crackers.

Sweet potato fries: pack in a Thermos to keep them hot, and tuck in a small container of ketchup.

Small-sized fruits: try baby bananas, clementines, apricots, and mandarin oranges.

Herbed "Parmesan" Popcorn: toss hot popcorn with garlic salt, dried oregano, and nutritional yeast until well coated.

Veggie dippers with Dilly "Ranch" Dressing: serve edamame, carrots, and red peppers with our savory dip. Serve edamame, carrots, and red peppers with our savory dip (Dilly "Ranch" Recipe).



Going Vegan

The health benefits of eating vegan can be dramatic-as long as you avoid pitfalls.