Four vegan lunches you can throw together in five minutes flat

It's easy to make your own pita chips for this falafel salad.
It's easy to make your own pita chips for this falafel salad. Photo: Smith Street Books

Depending on where we live, and where we work, finding decent vegan takeaway meals can be tricky. That's why it's always going to be easier – and certainly more nutritious – to pack your own five-minute vegan lunchbox every day. And, when you whip out your expertly prepared lunch, you might even encourage co-workers and friends to try the same, writes Alexander Hart. Here are four lunch recipes from his cookbook, The 5-Minute Vegan Lunchbox, whether you're back in the office or working from home.

Falafel salad

Pita crisps are readily available at supermarkets, but are simple to make at home. Simply cut a large pita bread into pieces, spray with olive oil, sprinkle with cumin and coriander, pre-made Middle Eastern spice mix or za'atar spice mix (or even just salt and pepper) and bake in a moderate oven for about 10 minutes, until crisp and golden. Cool and store in an airtight container until you're ready to use.

INGREDIENTS

The 5-Minute Vegan Lunchbox.
The 5-Minute Vegan Lunchbox. Photo: Smith Street Books
  • handful of pita crisps, store-bought or made with pita bread
  • 3-4 falafel balls, roughly torn
  • large handful of parsley leaves
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 short cucumber, chopped

Tahini dressing

  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp water
  • salt and pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Toss the salad ingredients together, then tip into your lunchbox.
  2. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small jar or container with a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving and toss well.

Serves 1

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Curried eggless salad wrap
Falafel salad
Lentil, radish & herb salad 
Sesame soba noodle 
This is an edited extract from The 5-Minute Vegan Lunchbox by Alexander Hart, published by Smith Street Books
Single use print & online

Photo: Smith Street Books

Curried eggless salad wrap

This is a tasty, filling wrap that will definitely leave you satisfied for lunch. A vegan alternative to the traditional curried egg sandwich, this one packs the flavour without the animal products.

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g firm tofu, finely diced
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
  • handful of watercress leaves
  • 1 wrap
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Cook the tofu and curry powder in the oil in a frying pan over high heat for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Spread the mayonnaise over the wrap.
  3. Top with the curried tofu, watercress and onion. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Roll up and secure the wrap.

Makes 1 wrap

Curried eggless salad wrap
Falafel salad
Lentil, radish & herb salad 
Sesame soba noodle 
This is an edited extract from The 5-Minute Vegan Lunchbox by Alexander Hart, published by Smith Street Books
Single use print & online

Photo: Smith Street Books

Sesame soba noodle, avocado and snow pea salad

"Soba" is the Japanese word for buckwheat – a gluten-free grain popular throughout Asia. However, if you are wanting to avoid gluten, make sure you look at the ingredient list, as some noodles sold as soba are actually wheat-based.

INGREDIENTS

  • 180g cooked soba noodles, cooled under running water, drained
  • sesame oil, for drizzling
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
  • 50g snow peas, trimmed and sliced diagonally

Soy sesame dressing

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

METHOD

  1. Toss the soba noodles with a little sesame oil.
  2. Squeeze the lemon juice over the avocado wedges and gently toss to coat.
  3. Toss the soba noodles and avocado wedges with the remaining salad ingredients, then tip into your lunchbox.
  4. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small jar or container with a tight-fitting lid.
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving and toss well.

Serves 1

Curried eggless salad wrap
Falafel salad
Lentil, radish & herb salad 
Sesame soba noodle 
This is an edited extract from The 5-Minute Vegan Lunchbox by Alexander Hart, published by Smith Street Books
Single use print & online

Photo: Smith Street Books

Lentil, radish and herb salad 

There are many types of lentils available, which are chiefly categorised by their colour – brown, green, red, yellow and black. Each type of lentil has its own flavour and texture profile, and different cooking methods. By far, the most common variety you'll come across – especially in tins – are brown lentils. This simple recipe will, however, work with whatever lentils you have at hand.

INGREDIENTS

  • 150g drained tinned lentils
  • 3 radishes, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • handful each of rocket, mint and parsley leaves

Lemon and cumin dressing

  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Toss the salad ingredients together, then tip into your lunchbox.
  2. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small jar or container with a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving and toss well.

Serves 1

This is an edited extract from The 5-Minute Vegan Lunchbox by Alexander Hart, published by Smith Street Books, RRP $24.99. Buy now