Your morning coffee-and-go routine didn’t get you going. The office lunch buffet is long over; you’re well into the day, but the clock refuses to announce happy hour. You need healthy vegan snacks and vegetarian quick fixes that faultlessly fuel with sweet, salty, savory succulence. Well, we’ve got them.
No Snack Packs or fish-shaped crackers to be found here, our 15 meat-free munchies and healthy lunch ideas for workspaces keep your body energized and taste buds tantalized. Even better, they’re additionally customizable with the toppings and condiments found in a well-stocked office pantry. So get creative, and start snacking.
Thickly slice up a dense loaf of rye and top the toast with studs of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Or rip into a crusty white with a crackly crumb. Whatever your poison, whole-grain bread makes an ideal starter for a smear or nut butter and a drizzle of honey. Or char to a crisp and layer thick with soft and slightly sour cheese, thinly sliced bitter radishes and sweet cherry tomatoes, and fragrant fresh herbs. No toaster? Go Scandinavian and call it a soft open-faced sandwich instead.
A bag of plain microwave popcorn is an artist’s canvas when it comes to healthy lunch ideas for work. Drizzled with olive oil, salt, and powdered Parmesan or vegan cheese, it’s a grown-up version of everyone’s favorite smart snack. Or go international and sprinkle liberally with fragrant spice blends like sweet garam masala or za’atar—the Middle Eastern blend teeming with tangy-tart sumac, fresh-like-spring oregano and thyme, and a pinch of earthy-sweet nutmeg. How far will your pop go?
Very Veggie Chips
Throw carrots, beets, and parsnips in the chip mix, and you’ve got healthy vegan snacks that mysteriously make colleagues linger. Sweet and savory mix together in one bag, kissed with crunchy flakes of salt and enough healthy fat to keep a body satisfied. And while you nosh away, your body fills with tiny doses of nutrients plain old potatoes just don’t give.
Savory Roasted Chickpeas
Healthy lunch ideas for work need to pack fun and flavor. Roasted chickpeas pop protein in the mix, too. Find them on store shelves in fiery chipotle, tangy barbecue, or fragrant saffron flavors. Or make these healthy vegan snacks uniquely yours with a cumin, coriander, and chili-laced recipe from Food & Wine that’s endlessly adaptable. Divvy into healthy portions, stash in a desk drawer, then eat solo or toss on salads and soups for extra crunch.
These healthy vegan snacks pack nutrient-dense ingredients into bite-sized balls. Find them in flavors balancing chewy dried fruit, heart-healthy oats, toasty nuts and seeds, luxurious dark chocolate, tropical shredded coconut, and a touch of sweetness from maple syrup or coconut palm sugar. They’re every bit of the earth’s natural goodness shrunk down to a two-bite size.
Plantains are a vegan (and gluten-free!) miracle food, with a sweet and savory soft texture that knows no bounds. (Thrillist even reports of a New York restaurant mashing and frying them up in bread-sized disks for sandwiches filled with admittedly not-vegan juicy roast pork and bacon.) Keep stocked with their snackiest form—the simple chip. Salty, super crunchy, and ever so slightly sweet, the tortilla will soon wonder where all its friends have gone.
Instant Ramen to the Rescue
If you’ve got hot water at hand, then healthy lunch ideas for work need look no further than the glories of instant ramen. Vegan and vegetarian flavors let protein-packed tofu fuel, hot broth soothes, and noodles fortify. Use the ready mix as a base and load in leftover veggies, top with crunchy breadcrumbs, or drizzle with fiery chili sauce like Middle Eastern harissa or Ethiopian berbere.
Japanese Rice and Seaweed Snacks
When a project needs a brain sharp with curiosity and intrigue, your body needs a cracker that keeps your senses guessing. Imported Japanese rice crackers hit all the spots. Sweet rice plays host to umami-rich soy sauce or tamari, flakes of seaweed that taste of the salty midsummer sea, and just a hint of heat from chili. Snack solo or pair with a vegan cheese for a healthy snack that inspires.
Stress makes us snack. And so why not put mindless munching to good use? Edamame—whole soybeans—come frozen in the pod and quickly defrost in warm water. Then toss liberally with salt, and enjoy. That’s it. Protein powers up and salt satisfies, over and over, until that big project’s complete or that happy hour clock bell rings.
Bark for Chocolate
Chocolate gives us a lovely rush of caffeine along with rich cocoa comfort. Now throw some roasted nuts and sweet-and-tart dried fruit in there, and you’ve got snackable chocolate worth taking a break for. The lower the sugar, the higher the benefit, and the better quality chocolate, the better your brain will thank you for the treat.
Better Nut Butters
For healthy vegan snacks that are pure power, look no further than high-quality nut butters. When you remove the sugars most butters pack in (and please don’t jump on board with the fake chocolate or jelly ones), peanut, almond, cashew, and sunflower butters bring massive levels of protein and healthy fat to play, hitting happy spots in our brain with just a few bits. Missing the sweetness? Look to your vegan snack friends and top with some cacao nibs, a drizzle of maple syrup, some fresh fruit, or fragrant spices like cardamom, cocoa, or cinnamon.
Mixed with hot water, instant miso soup is a vegan dream. It’s warm, salty, deeply savory, and full of protein-packing tofu. But the dehydrated powder itself makes for some fun: Mix it into plain yogurt or vegan mayo for a flavor-bomb chip dip. Or sprinkle over popcorn for a salty snack with a hit of umami. It’s miso-good.
Garden of Dried Eden
Luscious dried fruit is all about quality. Look for places that sell tart apricots, luscious plums, syrupy sweet dates and just-sour cranberries in bulk bins—there, freshness is better guaranteed. Mix and match, then snack a sugar boost straight from mother nature. Wanna get French with it? Keep a small cutting board and (non-scary) paring knife in a drawer, then plate up with some nuts and a nub of cheese for healthy lunch ideas for work that look so ooh-la-la.
With a hefty crunch and exotic perfume, coconut chips make a low-carb snack option that also satisfies a sweet tooth—even if you buy the unsweetened kind. Healthy oils and the (meat-free) meat of the coconut crisp together to keep bodies satiated. Chipped up, the roasty, toasty, nutty notes and slightly sweet and salty coating hit all the comfort cravings. Snack out of the bag, or let them play with their other friends in your healthy vegan snacks drawer. (It’s getting packed in here!)
Grown Up Granola
Nowadays, a bowl of a granola can be a flavor bomb of “what was that?!” sensation. Think oats mixed with crunchy corn flakes, toasted pepitas and sesame seeds still fragrant with the warm release of their toasty oils. Then a rich sweetness from dark maple syrup, or maybe crunchy cacao nibs. Crunchy coconut chips and bite from tart dried sour cherries and golden raisins keep the textures coming. Try this vegan (and nut free) Bon Appétit recipe as a starter for making your own, then use in cereal, to top yogurt, or as the base for trail mix.
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