Healthy Brown Bag Lunch Ideas For Vegan Farmer

Eating at work lunch ideas – main dish salad recipes, wraps and soups

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Hi Savvy Veg! Love your website and newsletters.

My husband is a farmer, and often takes his lunch to the field.

I would like ideas for brown-bag lunches consisting mostly of foods that he can eat on the go, as he prefers to keep working while he’s eating. (I know, a break would be good for him, but he’s a bit narrow-minded about stopping.)

He’s not as committed to the vegan way of life as I am, but he will let me pack his lunch, so I have a bit of control.

Thanks! Mary Beth A.

Savvy Vegetarian Advice:

Hi Mary Beth, thank you for your kind words.

I’m not a farmer, but I am a workaholic. I’d eat a sandwich at my computer for lunch – if I didn’t enjoy cooking, and want to live to a ripe old age. But I have a farming background, and understand your husband. Can’t waste those daylight hours!

I’m also a student of ayurveda, and one of the important ayurvedic principles is to eat your main meal at lunch time. Another one is to give it your full attention. I have trouble with that because I like to read while I eat. The problem with eating while doing something else is that your attention is divided, which isn’t good for your digestion.

It would be better if your husband could focus on food for as long as it takes him to eat it – with both hands. In other words, take a short but vital lunch break. It would make a difference to his health and well being long term – if he’ll agree to try it. You said not, but I felt obligated to put in my 2 bits worth!

His lunch shouldn’t take too long to eat, or make him want a nap 2 hours later, but it should have a variety of whole foods, pack a nutritional punch, be satisfying (tasty) and energizing.

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If he’s not quite as committed to vegan diet as you are, your might make him happier about the vegan food if you added some cheese or hard boiled egg to his lunch for a treat – if you can bring yourself to do it, or his diet allows it.

In case you were being literal about the brown bag, an insulated lunch bag or small cooler is great to keep food fresh.

For hot weather, I suggest a main dish salad with whole grains, beans or lentils and veggies, packed in a plastic or glass container, along with a sandwich or wrap, some nuts or seeds, raisins or dates or trail mix, fruit or juice, tortilla chips or cookies maybe. That would cover lunch and a snack if he wants one.

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If he insists on eating while driving his tractor or truck, you could put the salad in a wrap, with hummus or other sandwich filling. If he’s not a salad kind of guy, call it something else. Like rice and beans.

When the weather’s cooler, a thermos of hearty soup or stew or casserole with whole grains and beans would give him something hot and satisfying to eat, along with the sandwich or wrap etc. But as I said, that would require both hands and his full attention. If he likes something enough, he may take the time to eat it even if it means stopping work for 5 minutes.

Main dish salads can be made the day or evening before, using cooked grains and beans or lentils, so they don’t take long to put together. Same with stews or casseroles, which you can fridge or freeze in serving size containers.

He could drink hot cream soup or cold smoothie from a thermos with one hand and you can sneak a lot of nutrition into those foods.

For sandwich fillings, try hummus, fried or baked tofu, seitan or tempeh, falafals, nut or bean spreads, veggie burgers etc, which you can keep on hand in the fridge. Add salad & sandwich fixings or other additions he likes. Make the bread or tortilla whole grain and substantial if possible.

Savvy Veg has loads of recipes that would work for you! Check out bean recipes, soup recipes, salad recipes, rice, tofu and quinoa recipes. I do a lot of cross indexing, so you’ll get some recipes repeated in several sections. Those are the best ones imho! :-)

Since I don’t know what your husband likes to eat, I’m not sure if my suggestions will be helpful, but I hope you and he can work out a lunch arrangement that makes you both happy.

Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian

Response from Mary Beth A.

Thank you so much, Judith, for your fast reply and for all your input. I will print off your letter and let my husband read it. Sometimes we take heed to things when we hear them first hand.

My father used to get off his tractor, lean against a tree, and eat his lunch — usually leisurely, followed by a 15-minute nap. He had absolutely no health problems until his later years.

I am blessed to have a husband who will eat nearly anything, so at least I’m not dealing with a picky eater.

Thanks for all your suggestions. I’ll try to find time to spend browsing more of your recipes. He and I both would appreciate some variety in what he takes.

Warm regards, Mary Beth

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One Response to “Healthy Brown Bag Lunch Ideas For Vegan Farmer”

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