Vegan Breakfasts & Lunches for the Workweek

Why eat vegan? Because it’s an easy way to lose weight, feel great, and look better. And, if you’re not into being vegan all the time, do what best-selling cookbook author Mark Bittman does and go vegan before 6 p.m.  It’s easy. I’m an omnivore, probably like most of you, but I find if I can stick with a mostly plan-based diet, I’ll feel much better. And when it comes to cooking your lunches, or really any meal, it’s usually easier when there are only plants involved. As Mr. Bittman says about going VB6 (vegan before 6): “A lot of vegan meals—oatmeal, fruit salad, chopped salads, for example—take 10 minutes, maybe. If you say you’re too busy to cook, I’d ask you what you’re spending your time doing. Say you go to a deli to get a salad for lunch. You’ll stand in line for 15 minutes. Why not spend that time in the morning to prepare lunch?” Use this meal plan as a guide to set yourself up for success. 

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A tasty, simple, healthy meal to make for lunch, dinner, or whenever you want. It’s filling, stops midday snacking, and keeps you lean. Raw, vegan, paleo and primal friendly, gluten-free, and 100% ageless, they’re delicious, and easy to make!

Vegan Raw Nori Roll
Serves 1
Once rolled and sliced, these rolls are convenient to take on the go, to work, or even on the plane because they keep well for several hours. In fact, they're my new favorite thing to eat on the plane.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
3 min
Total Time
8 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
3 min
Total Time
8 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 sheet toasted nori
  2. 2 tablespoons tahini
  3. 1/4 cup kaiware sprouts
  4. 1/4 cup mung bean sprouts
  5. 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  6. 1/2 small cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  7. 1/4 avocado, sliced thinly
  8. 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
  9. Fresh lime juice
  10. Sea salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Arrange the nori sheet on a cutting board or bamboo sushi mat with the long edge close to you.
  2. Spread the tahini in a thin layer over the nori sheet.
  3. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast flakes over the tahini.
  4. Layer the shredded carrots, cucumber sticks, bean sprouts, avocado, and kaiware sprouts on top of the bottom one-third of the nori sheet.
  5. Spritz with lime juice and season with sea salt to taste.
  6. Gently but firmly, roll the edge closest to you - filled with veggies - toward the center of the nori wrap, carefully rolling a sushi-like roll, using a napkin or bamboo mat to help with rolling.
  7. With a sharp (serrated) knife, carefully slice the roll, serve immediately, and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Nutritional yeast is very easy to find these days, available online or at any natural foods store. It's really addictively delicious. Umami flavor plus, plus if you know what I mean. If you don't care for carrots or cucumber, use fresh bell peppers, lettuce, cabbage or whatever veggies you love best. And, the rolling takes practice, but you can eat your mistakes. Because I love eating these rolls, I've invested in a bamboo sushi mat - it was about 5 bucks - and it does make the rolling easier.
Ageless Diet Life http://agelessdietlife.com/
My go-to’s on busy weekdays and nights are endless variations of these three meals: tacos (or wraps), what I call bistro salads (loaded with plenty of good stuff), and grain bowls. This black bean taco recipe fits in beautifully with this easy sort of meal planning. The tacos are filling, soul-satisfying and a snap to cook. Full of protein, fiber, and phytonutrients, I promise you’ll love these tacos as much as I do. 

Quick Black Bean Tacos
Serves 4
Black bean tacos you can cook in 15 minutes that will satisfy everyone in your family. Perfect for 4 or just you.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 (15oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  2. 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  3. 1 small white onion, finely diced
  4. 1 clove of garlic, minced
  5. 1 teaspoon cumin
  6. 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  7. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  8. Black pepper
  9. Extra virgin olive oil
  10. Apple cider vinegar
  11. 8 corn tortillas
  12. 2 avocados, sliced
  13. Sprouts (sunflower sprouts work best in this dish)
  14. 1 lime, cut in wedges
  15. Hot sauce
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a cast-iron skillet on medium high, add the spices, sea salt, and the diced onion, sauté for 5 minutes, until softened, add the garlic and jalapeño, cook another minute, until garlic is golden, and then add the black beans. Cook until everything is blended. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar and black pepper. Cook for 3-5 more minutes. Cover until ready to use.
  2. While the black beans cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and then put 8 corn tortillas in the oven for about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Dress the sprouts with a teaspoon of olive oil, a squeeze of lime juice, and a pinch of sea salt.
  4. On each plate put 2 tortillas, spoon the black bean mixture, top with sprouts, 2 big slices of avocado, a lime wedge. Serve with hot sauce.
Notes
  1. Use organic everything in this dish. Better for you and much, much better tasting. Lately, I've been finding sprouted corn tortillas - organic, of course - and they are great.
Ageless Diet Life http://agelessdietlife.com/
The perfect recipe for lunch, breakfast, or dinner. I could eat this for breakfast everyday!

Savory Porridge
Serves 2
A hearty, ageless porridge with a wonderfully flavorful savory sauce and fresh vegetables and herbs.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups of filtered water
  2. 1 cup organic steel-cut oats
  3. 1 big stalk broccoli (use the stem and the crown in this dish), blanched, chopped
  4. 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  5. 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  6. 1/2 cucumber, peeled and finely diced
  7. 4 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil (or olive oil)
  8. 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, tamari, or Braggs Liquid Aminos, plus more to taste
  9. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  10. Big splash of apple cider vinegar in each bowl (about 2 tablespoons for each bowl), more to taste
  11. Sriracha, to taste
  12. Lime wedges
Instructions
  1. Put 2 cups of water with a 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt in a pot, bring to a simmer, add 1 cup of oats, reduce heat to a very low flame. Cook for about 15-20 minutes. Cover and remove the pot from the heat once done.
  2. While the porridge cooks, blanch the broccoli. Allow to cool and then chop the stalk and crown into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Chop the cilantro, bell pepper, and cucumber, or whatever variation of vegetables you're using.
  4. Spoon the porridge into two bowls, drizzle each with 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, a splash of apple cider vinegar, and 1 of soy sauce, or to taste. Top with the broccoli and cilantro (and other veggies, if you're adding more).
  5. Serve with a lime wedge and Sriracha, or preferred hot sauce
Notes
  1. Feel free to add or substitute any other fresh vegetables and/or seeds and grains you love. Red and yellow bell peppers, spinach, kale, edamame, avocado, carrots, celery, kohlrabi, bok choy... the options are endless. A combo of red bell pepper, celery, avocado, cilantro, and broccoli is colorful and delicious. Do try to use all organic ingredients if possible and available.
Ageless Diet Life http://agelessdietlife.com/
These grain bowls are adaptable, insanely flavorful, and easy to put together. Cook up the ingredients for your veggie/whole grain bowls at the beginning of the week, and mix and match ingredients as the week goes. Try quinoa, black or brown rice, buckwheat, freekeh, or even grits (as a Southerner I can be partial to stone ground grits). Put your grains in a large bowl, then arrange small piles of vegetables, protein (tofu or eggs) and something pickled and spicy (use naturally fermented pickles, sauerkraut or kimchi) over the grains. Don’t skimp on the fermented, pickled veggies.

Grain Bowl with Fermented Vegetables, Broccoli & an Egg
Serves 4
Bowls with whole grains, vegetables (fresh, fermented and pickled), protein, and a healthy fat are a great and flavorful way to stay energized all day.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. Salt, as needed
  2. 2/3 cup uncooked red or white quinoa, well rinsed
  3. 2/3 cup uncooked brown, wild, or black rice
  4. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  5. 4 teaspoons finely chopped or grated peeled ginger
  6. 2 tablespoons rice wine or apple cider vinegar
  7. ¼ cup neutral oil (peanut, grapeseed, safflower)
  8. 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  9. 4 large eggs (or to make vegan: 1 cup edamame, blanched)
  10. 1 large stalk of broccoli, steamed, stalk and florets cut into bite-sized chunks
  11. 3 radishes, thinly sliced
  12. 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped kimchi, sauerkraut and/or garlicky pickles (choose naturally fermented ones, like Bubbies)
  13. Scallions (about 4), green and white parts, diced on the bias
  14. Sesame seeds, for serving
  15. Dried toasted nori (about 1/2 for each person), crumbled or cut in strips, for serving
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and add quinoa (for 2/3 to 1 cup of quinoa, add 2 cups of water). Cover pot and let simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes longer. Fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  2. Do the same with the brown, wild or black rice, cooked in well-salted water for about 25-30 minutes (for 2/3 to 1 cup rice, add 2 cups of water).
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, freshly grated ginger, vinegar and salt to taste. Whisk in the neutral oil and sesame oil.
  4. Place a steamer basket in a large pot filled with an inch or two of water. Place broccoli in basket. Cover pot and cook over medium heat until broccoli is tender, about 5-7 minutes. You can also use kale instead of broccoli, simply cook the same way as the broccoli.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot filled with water to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower eggs into water; boil 6 minutes. Transfer eggs immediately to a bowl of ice water to cool. If vegan, blanch edamame.
  6. Put a cup of quinoa/brown or black rice in each of the 4 bowls. Divide the broccoli among the bowls, mounding it on top of the rice. Peel eggs and cut in half; place two halves on top of each bowl. Sprinkle each bowl with fermented kimchi or, my favorite, chopped Bubbie's pickles, sliced radishes, scallions, sesame seeds and seaweed. Spoon soy-ginger dressing over bowls. (Or make enough for 4, and eat the rest later in the week for lunch or a quick dinner.)
Notes
  1. Cook the grains in advance for quick assembling. Nori, dried seaweed, is a great thing to have around - makes for an easy version of tacos - and it works well, broken up into bite-sized squares, or cut into long strips, in this grain bowl. Cooked eggs are also good to have around. Make them when you cook the grains.
Ageless Diet Life http://agelessdietlife.com/
A super tasty, filling salad. Make the butternut squash in advance and you’ll have lunch or dinner ready in minutes. 

Roasted Butternut Squash Chickpea Salad
Serves 4
A bright, colorful salad inspired by the flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine. This salad is hearty enough for a meal or perfect as the salad course. Full of protein, fiber, and phytonutrients, this dish never disappoints.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 (15 oz.) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  2. 1 bunch of mint, chopped or torn
  3. 1 lemon, halved
  4. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  6. 1 pound Brussels sprouts, cored and halved
  7. 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
  8. 1 bunch of wild arugula, torn into pieces
  9. (Optional) 1/2 cup goat's milk feta
  10. Sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. On a baking sheet toss the butternut squash with tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast for 25 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool. Squeeze juice from half the lemon over squash, toss to coat, and season with salt.
  2. Once the squash is done turn the oven down to 350°F. Place Brussels sprouts in a cast iron frying pan (or a roasting pan). Toss with 1/2 tablespoon oil so that the sprouts are well coated. Sprinkle generously with salt (at least a half teaspoon). Cook for about 20-25 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together juice from half the lemon and the rest of the olive oil. Season with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  4. Add the chickpeas, squash, Brussels sprouts, and bell pepper. Toss until coated with the dressing. Add half the arugula and all the mint. Toss the salad until everything is coated. Top with crumbled feta, if you want. Serve salad over the rest of the arugula, drizzle a little more olive oil and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Notes
  1. Dairy is mostly off limits on the Ageless Diet, however, when I do use dairy I make sure it's goat's or sheep's milk. I enjoy the tang of goat's milk, plus it's more easily digested. It contains less lactose than cow's milk, and it's less inflammatory. Sometimes I'll add cucumbers to this, for a fresh, bright, crunch. If you want to add other veggies or fruits (tomatoes, avocados), please do! Or substitute your favorite squash. When pressed for time, I'll roast the brussels sprouts with the squash. Just put the sprouts in a little later because you're roasting the squash at a higher heat.
Ageless Diet Life http://agelessdietlife.com/
Chia seed pudding is super simple to make; there’s no cooking required. Mix one part chia seeds with two parts liquid (almond milk is probably the easiest choice), stir, and wait. I like to jazz it up with raspberries, nuts, cacao nibs,goji berries, raisins, pomegranate seeds, cinnamon, and anything else I can think of for extra flavor. A breakfast made with chia seeds, fresh fruits, nuts, and cacao nibs is an antioxidant powerhouse of a breakfast. 

Raspberry Cacao Chia Pudding
Serves 3
A super simple, tasty chia porridge.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup chia seeds
  2. 2 cups unsweetened, organic nut or seed milk + more as needed
  3. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  4. 2/3 cup cacao nibs
  5. 1 cup raw walnuts
  6. 2 cups fresh raspberries
  7. 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
Instructions
  1. In a bowl mix the chia seeds, sea salt, and nut milk together, and let the mixture rest for about 10 minutes. Stir again until the consistency is smooth and pudding like, let rest another 5 minutes. Add more liquid if you want a looser consistency. Serve in bowls. Top each chia pudding bowl with fresh raspberries, walnuts, hemp seeds, and cacao nibs. Enjoy!
Ageless Diet Life http://agelessdietlife.com/