Three Weeks of Packed Lunch Ideas (for School, University and Work)

For two decades as a university student, care worker and teacher I took a packed lunch to work. I had no choice there were no options for me as a vegetarian and I have also always been a fussy eater. White bread sandwiches have never cut it for me. And that was pretty much all that seemed to be available at school canteens.
Then on the two occasions I found my school close to a shop it was still my preferred choice to take my own lunch. When I worked at an English language school in Perth my beautiful friend Erika and I used to take it in turns to pack lunch for each other. That was such a treat. 
A few weeks ago a good friend, Satisha, shared that her adult son Luca was transitioning to a vegan diet but was struggling with his uni lunches as food choices were limited. I decided I had to write a blog on this as Luca was one of the very first customers of my home delivery service. For those of you who don’t know I started my business delivering veg meals. Satisha and Luca ordered regularly and I was so happy that a teenager enjoyed what I cooked. I loved getting Satisha’s reports on what meals Luca liked the most.
Then last week my bestie from high school wrote and asked for some slice ideas for her to take for breakfast on her commute to work each day. So Penny you will also find a few things in this blog. 
I hope you all enjoy my lunchtime ideas. The things that I loved about taking my lunch to work each day was: 
  • I looked forward to my lunch break all the more knowing I had a nourishing lunch to eat.
  • I saved money as eating out everyday becomes costly.
  • I had more time to myself as it takes time to go and collect food.
  • I felt good about myself as people praised my lunches (I know this is a little sad but it’s the truth).
Finding a container to put your packed lunch in is important. I will never forget peeling the squished banana from my Issues and Dilemmas of Teaching Assignment. That was the last day I took my lunch wrapped in a plastic bag. It baffles me how that rogue banana found its way out of the bag!
These days you can get great tiffins (multi tiered containers) that are totally leak proof. Mine never was.
You can also get glass Pyrex. They are lovely to eat from but quite heavy and also not leak proof.
If you are taking a dressing, find a nice lightweight container that seals well to take it in.
The very best option these days is a very lightweight stainless steel lunch box that is completely leak proof. I bet my banana couldn’t have escaped that!
Below are my ideas. To be totally honest if I didn’t have leftovers from dinner the night before to take for lunch I would usually make a salad, some grain or boil potatoes and make a nice dressing. This I loved equally as much as any of the ideas below. However if you want variety try out some of these suggestions. Many of the things can be frozen which saves you more time in the weeks to come.  Soups can also be taken if they are blended and you have a thermos. 

Week One

Day One 

For dinner the night before make an extra portion of fried rice and pack it for your lunch. It’s even better the next day. 

Day Two & Three

Vietnamese Style Baguette

Vietnamese Style Baguette
(or if you are not the sandwich type then make it into a salad)

1 baguette (half for day two and half for day three)
1 block tempeh or 350g tofu 
1 tsp shriarcha or other chilli sauce or even a fresh chilli chopped small 
3 tbsp tamari
1 to 2 tsp maple syrup (optional)
1 clove garlic minced
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar 
1 more tsp maple syrup 
1 carrot grated
½ Lebanese cucumber julienned
⅛ red cabbage shredded
Splash of oil for frying
½ avocado


  1. Mix the shriarcha, tamari, maple syrup, garlic and ginger together and marinade the tempeh in this. 
  2. Place the vinegar and maple syrup in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and place the cabbage, cucumber and carrot in the vinegar and let sit.
  3. Fry the tempeh or tofu until brown on each side. Let cool.
  4. Spread the avocado on the baguette and then add the tempeh and the cabbage pickles.
  5. If making a salad instead add some tomato, lettuce and take some lime wedges and olive oil as a dressing.
# If you make this recipe please share on facebook or instagram to #veetsvegancookingschool

Day Four and Five

The night before make the potato bake into a slice. It will make plenty of pieces. Eat it for dinner with a salad or steamed veg and then take a slice for the next few days with salad. Freeze the rest of the slice and get it out for another dinner sometime or take it again in a week or so for another packed lunch. See Potato and Spinach Bake Recipe

Week Two 

Day One

On the weekend make some hummus. If you are not a hummus fan then make a pesto or other dip you like.
If you like wraps, make a wrap of hummus salad and cooked quinoa. This certainly is a protein packed wrap.
If you are not a fan of wraps or sandwiches pack up the hummus in a container and take either a salad or cut up cucumber, celery, tomatoes and radishes with a side of quinoa and grated carrot and beetroot. Dress the quinoa with lemon and olive oil.

Day Two 

For dinner make the Nut Roast Balls or you can make them into a slice and cut out pieces of the slice. Eat some of the balls or slice with roast veggies for dinner, then take some for lunch. Make the left over veggies into a salad with some washed rocket and take any left over hummus as the dressing for the salad. Freeze the rest of the nut balls or slice for another week’s dinner or packed lunch.

Day Three & Four 

Make the Tempeh Tunaless Salad and put it on a sandwich with lettuce and slices of tomato. If you don’t want a sandwich then make it into a salad. Cook some rice to go with it if you want more bulk and protein. If you don’t like tempeh this recipe works really well with chickpeas. 

Day Five 

Pesto Pasta. Make it for your dinner and then have a portion for lunch the next day. Mix in some cooked or raw veggies and add a nut or pepita sprinkle for extra protein.

Week Three

Day One & Two

The day before make a Zucchini Slice and pack some slices for lunch with a big salad with either some cooked rice, pasta, quinoa or buckwheat run through it. Take a simple dressing. 
Freeze the rest of the slice for another week.

Day Three & Four 

Make rice balls with quinoa tabouleh and tahini. Or the rice balls with a lush salad and tahini.
The rice balls freeze so you can save them for another week and the tahini will last in the fridge for a week. Once again to save time, make it for dinner the night before.

Day Five 

A burrito wrap or salad. Make a Mexican bean dinner the night before. Then fill a wrap with left over rice, beans, avocado, tomato and lettuce. Or make a salad with the same ingredients adding some rice to it. Or if you have a bit of extra time on your hands make the lettuce cups. 
# If you have any time at all please take a photo of any of your packed lunches made from these ideas and tag me on insta or facebook #veetsvegancookingschool


Announcing New Dates For the Vegan Foundation Course

While there are still places left in this years vegan foundation courses I thought some of you might like to plan ahead so here are the new dates. 
First the remaining dates for 2019.
August 22nd to 24th 1 place left
September 12th to 16th 1 place left 
October 3rd to 5th 2 places left 
November 14th to 16th 4 places left 
New Dates for 2020
6th to 18th Jan
13th to 15th Feb 
12th to 14th March 
2nd to 4th April 
7th to 9th May 
13th to 15th August  
17th to 19th September
19th to 21st November 
Come along and be a part of the Vegan Foundation Course mob (I know it should be tribe but I love the endearing indigenous term of mob)
Have a great week everyone


Love Veet 

Categories:Mains Snacks/Sides Breakfasts

Tags:Tempeh Lunches Gluten Free

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