If you’re looking for some inspiration, these plant based diet lunch ideas can help you to mix things up a bit. Do you find that you’re always packing the same old peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Or maybe you just grab some fruit and run out the door? A healthy plant based diet lunch doesn’t have to be complicated at all.
We like to follow Dr. Fuhrman’s “G-BOMBS” diet when it comes to creating our plant based diet lunches. “G-BOMBS” is an acronym that can be helpful for remembering the absolute healthiest, anti-cancer foods available to us. These foods should be included in your daily diet because they are highly effective at preventing chronic disease such as cancer and they also promote health and longevity. (1)
“G-BOMBS” stands for:
- Greens Beans
G – Greens
Dark leafy greens contain only about 100 calories per pound and are loaded with vitamins and nutrients. Raw greens contain substances that protect blood vessel health and are also associated with reducing the risk of diabetes.
Greens can help with weight loss as they are low in calories and can be eaten in large quantities.
Leafy greens are loaded with antioxidant pigments called carotenoids, most specifically zeaxanthin and lutein, which promote healthy eyesight.
B – Beans
Beans and legumes are literal powerhouses of superb nutrition and are the most nutrient-packed carbohydrate source.
Beans are especially good for weight loss because the body digests them slowly helping to curb cravings and stabilize blood sugar levels.
Beans are packed with fiber and resistant starches (carbs that are not broken down by the body’s unique digestive enzymes).
O – Onions
Onions, chives, leeks, garlic, scallions and shallots make up the Allium family of vegetables. They are effective at protecting and boosting the immune system and have anti-diabetic and anti-cancer effects in the body.
Studies show that eating onions can help lower the risk for prostate and gastric cancers.
Onions are packed with high concentrations of flavonoid antioxidants such as quercetic which has been shown to slow down tumor development. Flavonoids contain anti-inflammatory properties that can contribute to cancer prevention.
M – Mushrooms
Eating mushrooms on a regular basis has been associated with a decreased risk for stomach, breast, and colorectal cancers.
Cremini, maitake, oyster, Portobello, reishi and shiitake mushrooms all contain anti-cancer properties. Some of these mushrooms work as anti-inflammatories, some stimulate the immune system, slow cancer cell growth, prevent DNA damage, inhibit angiogenesis, and even cause programmed cancer cell destruction.
Mushrooms contain aromatase inhibitors that can block estrogen production thus preventing breast cancer from forming.
B – Berries
Blackberries, blueberries and strawberries are superfoods that are packed with antioxidants, nutrients, and flavonoids.
Berries can reduce blood pressure and inflammation, prevent DNA damage, inhibit tumor growth and reduce the risk for diabetes.
Berries are excellent brain food and can improve both memory and motor coordination.
S – Seeds
Seeds contain healthy fats and are loaded with micronutrients including minerals, phytosterols, and antioxidants.
Chia, flax, and hemp seeds are rich sources of omega-3 fats.
Eating flaxseeds can protect against heart disease and cancer.
Plant Based Diet Lunch Recipe – Rainbow Kale Salad
- 1 large bunch kale, chopped fine
- 1 bell pepper, diced – any color is fine
- 1.5 cups carrots, shredded
- ½ head purple cabbage, sliced thin
- 2 cups broccoli florets, chopped into small bite sized pieces
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) – drained and rinsed
- ¾ cup peanuts, roasted (or your favorite nuts)
- 2 tablespoons nut butter (almond, peanut, cashew, macadamia)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
- ½ lime, juiced
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon Dijon (or brown) mustard
- ½ tablespoon agave or maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon pink salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¾ teaspoon garlic, powdered
- Toss kale, bell pepper, carrots, cabbage, broccoli and garbanzo beans in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a blender, combine all dressing ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.
- For serving, add salad to a bowl and top with approximately 2 tablespoons of dressing and sprinkle on nuts for garnish.
Plant Based Diet Lunch Recipe – Barley, Beans, Spinach & Mushrooms
- 1 cup uncooked barley
- 1 15-ounce can vegetable broth (we used mushroom)
- 1 cup plus 1-ounce water
- 1 teaspoon thyme, dried
- 8 ounces mushrooms of your choice (white, button, cremini, oyster, morel, chanterelle)
- 1 15-ounce can beans (garbanzo, white, navy, butter) – DO NOT DRAIN
- ½ cup caramelized onions
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon thyme, dried
- ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon pink salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup plant-based parmesan cheese (optional)
- 2 cups spinach
- In large saucepan bring barley, broth, water and thyme to a boil.
- Stir well, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 60 minutes.
- Fluff with fork when fully cooked.
- Heat olive oil (if using) in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Use a splash of water if not using oil.
- nce the pan is hot, add in mushrooms and garlic, cooking for 2 minutes.
- Add caramelized onions, mix thoroughly.
- Add in salt, pepper and thyme.
- Reduce heat to medium.
- Once mushrooms have cooked, add in barley. Stir well.
- Add in beans, make sure to use the liquid from the can as well. Stir carefully.
- Add balsamic vinegar.
- Remove from heat and add spinach. Stir to combine and wilt the spinach.
- Add parmesan if using.
Plant Based Diet Lunch Recipe – Quinoa Fruit Salad
- 2 cups cooked quinoa, chilled
- ½ cup blackberries
- ½ blueberries
- ½ strawberries, sliced
- ¼ cup mandarin oranges
- ¼ pineapple, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or lime)
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
- 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon mint, julienned – for garnish
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds – for garnish
- ¼ cup sliced almonds (or nuts of your choice) – for garnish
- Combine quinoa with fruit and toss lightly so as not to damage the berries.
- ombine lemon juice, pomegranate seeds, agave or maple syrup, and cinnamon in a bowl and stir until well combined.
- Pour dressing over the salad and stir to combine.
- Sprinkle mint, hemp seeds and nuts for garnish.