5 Make-Ahead Vegan and Gluten-Free Lunches: Part 1

181 comments

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Last week, a blog reader, Mary, asked me if I could put together a post on healthy lunches that could be made ahead of time. I thought it was a great challenge for back to school, so I got to work planning!

I spent a few days coming up with different lunches that could be prepped on Sunday.

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Complete with food stained paper!

I had several goals for the lunch recipes:

1) Most, if not all, of the prep work could be done on Sunday.

2) It would be made mostly from scratch for maximum savings (for example, using dried legumes instead of canned)

3) It would be vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free with easy nut-free options

4) In each lunch, I would have each of the following: protein, healthy fats, fibre, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains to make a well-rounded meal.

5) Chocolate, as necessary.

This challenge certainly lit a fire under my apron!

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For the recipes, I decided on the following grains and legumes (1/2 cup dry, each):

  • Millet or Quinoa
  • Wild brown rice
  • Chickpeas
  • Black beans
  • Lentils

 

Of course, you can use pretty much any grains and legumes that you desire. I purchased these from Bulk Barn and it was much cheaper than buying the canned or non-bulk variety. More money in my pocket means more money for chocolate covered cacao nibs! Wheee.

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Next, I had to figure out all of the various prep and cook times for each. I consulted the wonderful Clean Food Cookbook for some tips!

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It went from this…

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To this…

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All of that food only cost me about $3.50. Talk about savings!

While the legumes and grains were cooking, I did some other prep.

This trail mix, below, was one of my favourite recipes of the day. In fact, I’m munching on it right now. :)

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Eric and I are seriously obsessed with this mix. The chocolate covered cacao nibs are phenomenal and something I’m going to have to re-create at home!

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I also chopped up 1 cucumber, 1 large red pepper, and 4 carrots. I put them into a big container filled with water as this will keep them fresh and crisp all week long. Quick and easy snacks paired with hummus or other dips.

Note: I would not advise putting the peppers and cukes in water as I just discovered that they don’t crisp up, but get soft! The carrots were fine all week though.

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When I had a burner free up, I made the Carrot Apple Ginger Soup using some beautiful garden carrots. Yes, my carrots are finally ready to harvest after planting tiny seeds way back on May 24. Happy!

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Dare I say it turned out even better using my garden carrots? ;)

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Once the prep work was done, I started assembling lunches.

First up, Monday’s lunch!

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I had this lunch yesterday and it was delicious! (I forgot to include the avocado in the picture, but it really makes the salad.)

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Up next, Tuesday’s lunch:

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Tuesday’s Lunch featuring Carrot Apple Ginger Soup

Ingredients:

  • Carrot Apple Ginger Soup (click for recipe) in a mason jar for portability
  • 1 cup cooked millet (or quinoa), with Earth Balance, salt & pepper
  • 1/3 cup Go Go Glow Mix (above)
  • 1 plum
  • Lemon Water

 

Be sure to heat up the millet with a bit of Earth Balance and seasoning. It’s also good mixing it into the carrot soup.

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All the prep work I did yesterday took me the entire morning (about 4 hours), but I’m glad that I did it now because I have a ton of food prepped for the week.

Here is a grocery list, if you want to follow along. Keep in mind that it’s just a guide and you can make any modifications that you desire! I just used mostly what I had on hand…I’m not suggesting you go out and buy the entire list, but get creative and see what you can use in your own pantry and fridge. :)

In Part 2, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday’s lunches are coming on up! Click here for the post.

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Like many of you, I was touched deeply by the tragedies of 9/11. I’m watching along today and sending my thoughts to those innocent lives that were lost and families and friends who were impacted. Red heart Bless you all…

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram (@ohsheglows + @theglowspot), Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+

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{ 181 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather September 11, 2011

Thank you for doing this. I was just thinking how i needed new ideas for lunch. Im off to make the Carrot Apple Ginger soup. Sounds heavenly. :)

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2 Lauren September 11, 2011

These are some great ideas-I love having yummy but healthy lunches when I’m at school, even if they get looks sometimes. ;) I have seen goji berries everywhere but haven’t tried them….maybe I need to! We were watching 9/11 ceremonies on TV this morning and I could barely keep myself from sobbing. I was only in kindergarten but they still had a huge impact on me.

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3 Janiek September 11, 2011

Oeh I love this post Angela!! This will come in so handy when I have to pack lunches for school Trail mix is indeed already one of my easy, go-to staples.

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4 Tricia September 11, 2011

Thank you so much for this post! My daughter and I have just gone back to a vegan diet and your week of lunches is a huge help!

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5 G September 11, 2011

Best. post. ever. I am a student, therefore on a budget and busy busy busy so this is an AMAZING lunch plan! Thank you so much!

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6 Marion September 11, 2011

I was about to write the exact same thing! Great post, thx!!

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7 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 11, 2011

Thanks!

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8 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 11, 2011

Glad you like the lunch idea guys!

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9 Giulia @ Tutupa's Lab September 11, 2011

uuuh, I’ve been wanting a post like this for EVER! I’m a college student and always bring my lunch with me from home. this weekly plan is excellent for inspiration!

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10 Kim @ vegan mama-to-be September 11, 2011

I don’t go to school anymore, but I do pack a lunch to work everyday. I’ve been in a lunch-rut so I’m excited to try some of these out. I totally forgot about pita pocket sandwiches, too!

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11 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 11, 2011

heh I did too til I saw a pic of one last week!

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12 Hannah September 11, 2011

Angela-what a beautiful and comprehensive post! Although I don’t have a full kitchen now, as I’m on a meal plan in school, I’m bookmarking this anyway because it is so helpful. And even with just a kitchenette I can make some of these things for when I’m not into eating what’s at the dining halls.

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13 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin September 11, 2011

This is such a great post! I really want to try that avocado and black bean salad. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the lunches for the week are!

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14 DG September 11, 2011

This is seriously awesome! Here’s another challenge. For those of us thinking of trying veganism, maybe you could do a post on how to make sure you’re getting enough nutrition (including all the various minerals, vitamins, etc).

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15 ClaireRose77 September 11, 2011

This was and a helpful and awesome post from beginning to end!! :-)cc

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16 Jennifer September 11, 2011

MASON JARS! Great idea! I’ve been trying to figure out a good way to transport soup for lunches, and have been having an impossible time finding non-plastic, leak-free, microwavable containers and the answer has been sitting on the shelf all along! Simple, but brilliant. Thanks!

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17 Cait's Plate September 11, 2011

LOVE these types of posts. They’re so helpful to reference and these are awesome ideas!

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18 marie-pier September 11, 2011

I love all the informations! I’m always a bit hesitant with dry grain but you encourage me to use them :)
Also, those lunch are so colorful, yet healthy and not pricey!

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19 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table September 11, 2011

Great ideas! I love the “quick” method of the chickpeas… I’m taking advantage of that right now so I can add to my soup. :)

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20 Heather (Faces of Beauty) September 11, 2011

yum! i love the difference flavors and textures…perfect for lunches :)

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21 Sweet and Savvy September 11, 2011

These are absolutley wonderful tips! I had to go on a gluten free diet over the summer, so going back to school where I do not even have access to a fridge or microwave has been a HUGE struggle. I will definitely be utilizing these tips. :) Thanks!

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22 Lesley September 11, 2011

I’ve always found preparing easy, healthy, and portable lunches during the week such a challenge. Thanks, Angela! A much needed post. :)

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23 Carar @ EAT. PRAY. RUN. September 11, 2011

This is a wondeful post and your photos are gorgeous! I love the breakdown of how to cook the grains and beans…very helpful tips! Thanks!

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24 Linda September 11, 2011

Love the container of veggies, will make packing lunches the night before go more quickly. I’m going to do that today. Now I wish there was a trick to ensure my kids ate them! Would cauliflower and broccoli go in water or just washed and then wrapped in paper towels?

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25 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 11, 2011

Hmm I think you could also put it in water too? I would assume so anyways!

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26 Rebecca September 11, 2011

Thank you so much for this! This is the first college semester when I’ve needed to pack lunches and lately my mind’s been drawing a blank. I’m bookmarking this post for many future references :)

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27 Carine September 11, 2011

Thanks for this post!! I’ve been looking for make-ahead lunches and this post is really useful! Also, I never thought of putting my veggies in a container filled with water to keep them fresh and crisp all week long. That’s a great tip! Can’t wait to read part II!

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28 Amber K September 11, 2011

This is such a cool idea! Thanks for all of the hard work you’re putting in. You definitely took on a huge task of vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, with nut-free options. Whew! Awesome :)

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29 Kara September 11, 2011

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! I love these ideas ad can’t wait for your next post!

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30 Madelaine @ Healthy, Hot and Happy September 11, 2011

What a wonderful post! I’m all about quick eats and often need to bring my lunch with me to school/work.

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31 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 11, 2011

This is a fun little “series!” It’s kind of neat to see your lunches throughout the week and the prep that goes into them. I always have such good intentions on Sunday’s to do prep work for the week but it seldomly happens!

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32 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 11, 2011

This challenge was also a good kick in the butt for me as I’ve been eating the same lunch day in and day out for a while now. It’s nice to change it up!

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33 mary @ what's cookin with mary September 11, 2011

This is an awesome post! I love the idea of prepping everything on Sunday. It makes staying on track with your weekly eats so easy. Making things easy = actually doing them! Right ?

I had wanted to mention that I really enjoyed your tutorial on how to chiffonade basil a little while ago. I will definitely be linking to it the next time I call for basil chiffonade. It was so clear, concise and easy to understand! …and your photography takes it over the top. :)

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34 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 11, 2011

I’m happy that helped you!

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35 Dutchgirl Sam September 11, 2011

This is great! Wow, thank you Angela. Love your lunch ideas!

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36 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes September 11, 2011

Can I just say WOW. This post seriously rocked! As a person that practically lives at the University, these lunches are amazing! Thanks sooo much :)

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37 laura September 11, 2011

Fantastic recipes! Very WF salad-car-esque, my fav ;)
Thanks for the fesh veggie tip, i would of thought they would get soggy in water.
Approx how many calories in 1/3 cup of the glow mix?

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38 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 11, 2011

I’m not sure on that one, but I will post about it if I calculate it out :)

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39 Helen September 11, 2011

This looks amazing – such a useful post! Quick question though – how do you store the grains once they’re cooked to make them last a week? I would have thought they’d go a bit smushy after five days…?

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40 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 12, 2011

generally they last in the fridge for 5-7 days in an air tight container. You can also freeze some and then thaw overnight in the fridge.

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41 Katelyn September 11, 2011

Thank you so so sooo much for doing this, I love this theme idea and really needed some new inspiration this year!! :)

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42 raechel @the rebel grrl kitchen September 11, 2011

Great idea for a post, Angela! Thanks a ton! Those are some of my favorite kitchen staples, and this really inspires me to *finally* get around to using dry beans instead of canned!

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43 Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles September 11, 2011

Thanks so much!! I always pack my lunch, but you gave me some great ideas. I especially love the “quick soak” tip, I always forget to soak my beans! Ashley at the Edible Perspective posted about cooking beans in the crock pot as opposed to boiling and it’s been working perfectly. And I had no idea about keeping cut veggies in water. Great post!

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44 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 11, 2011

Crock pot is a great idea. I heard that cooking chickpeas in a crockpot makes them larger too (which is a problem I have when cooking in a pot)

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45 Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles September 11, 2011

Yes, I’ve definitely noticed they’re larger! And I love not having to deal with waiting for them to cook, it just happens while I’m at school, or skimming bean foam. All around fantastic! Unless, of course, I’ve forgotten to soak them.

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46 Shady September 11, 2011

Angela, this is awesome! I’m returning to school for what I anxiously refer to as my ‘hell’ semester. It’s going to be an intense four months and eating healthy to properly fuel myself for days long study sessions is so important. Thanks!

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47 Beth September 11, 2011

Thank you! Lunches always stump me. These look delicious and I can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve for the rest of the week :)

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48 Melissa September 11, 2011

Great post Angela. Often my planning goes as far as making enough food the night before for lunch leftovers, but I am often stuck with days where we ate out and I have nothing to take! It’s a vicious cycle! I’m going to be whipping up a few of these today for sure!

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49 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats September 11, 2011

thanks for doing this! I have to pack lunch every day and dinner two days! These recipes will really help me out!

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50 Karen November 12, 2012

Blessing in deguise! We are not planned people over here..but need to get there. Today I made up a master grocery shopping list with all those items and plan to laminate it and carry in my purse. My daughter will have no excuse that we don’t have good nutritious lunches. I can’t thank you enough!

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51 Becky @ Skinnyfat Girls September 11, 2011

Everything looks absolutely beautiful! Your soup is so bright and colorful – it’s gotta be those homegrown carrots, eh? Oh, and I gotta get me some goji berries. Superfood!

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52 Gayatri September 11, 2011

Oh Angela you legend!!!! Going to make tha bean salad for dinner tonight :) …. Thank you!

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53 lucy September 11, 2011

I actually stopped reading this post halfway through to go and make the carrot soup…I’m back now to tell you that I love you and read the second half of the post. Amazing..thank you!!

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54 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 11, 2011

haha that’s cute :)

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55 Moni'sMeals September 11, 2011

whoa Angela! This was some work! THANK YOU!!

I also know what you mean by: “Complete with food stained paper!” always the case for me.

:)
Yes, a special day of remembrance too.

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56 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat September 11, 2011

These look awesome Ange, the trail mix in particular!! I always make a big batch of something on Sundays for lunches. You’re so lucky to have carrots growing in your garden!! I don’t think I’d be able to wait to let them grow big enough!! :) Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

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57 Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance September 11, 2011

The Go Go Glow mix looks absolutely delicious! I love the cacao nibs addition– awesome stuff :D

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58 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) September 11, 2011

All of these meals look wonderful! I love the variety, yet frugality and ease of it all. The soup and trail mix lunch is easily my favorite. So much to choose from and munch on for a long, voluminous lunch. Yum! :)

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59 Jamie September 11, 2011

Angela! I absolutely LOVE this post! As a weekly meal planner, this post will save so much time! Would you mind sharing, roughly, how much these ingredients cost all together?

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60 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 12, 2011

Hey Jamie, I’m not sure how much all the ingredients cost as I used mostly what I had in my fridge already. The great thing about the recipes is that you can modify them based on what you already have in the kitchen. I would estimate that each lunch costs about $3-4.

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61 Danielle September 11, 2011

Love this! I never knew that soaking cut veggies in water would keep them crunchy for the whole work week! I’ve been cutting mine every night for the next day’s lunch. Thanks for saving me time. I can’t wait to see what the other recipes are. :)

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62 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 12, 2011

The cuke and carrots worked but the peppers got water logged and a bit soft…fyi! ;)

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63 Jill in Chicago September 11, 2011

OH. MY. GLOW, this is a fantastic post. Thank you for the instructions and recipes. I can’t wait to see Wednesday, Thursday and Friday’s lunches!

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64 Mai September 11, 2011

Thanks for this post. . . it was MUCH needed. I’m in college, and sometimes I just can’t think of what to eat that’s quick so I resort to the same meals (sandwiches, brown rice + veggies) a lot.

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65 Tichina September 11, 2011

I am ULTRA excited to see this post :D:D dark chocolate makes going to school and work that much easier!

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66 Jessica @ TVS September 11, 2011

please please please do this again! very very helpful!

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67 Cara-Mia September 11, 2011

Wow! What a fantastic post! Cannot wait for part two.

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68 Kristy September 11, 2011

What an awesome post! You “glow” girl :)

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69 Brooke September 11, 2011

This was an awesome post! I’m really into growing my own food, but I don’t have a big enough yard right now to be self-sufficient. I’m growing lots of tomatoes though and I logged in to get your roasted tomato basil pesto recipe. However, I had to read this post first. I love your meal plan and time saving tips. I can tell I will be using this post a lot….and I love all the recipes of you using produce from your garden. It just adds something special to your recipes and their creativity :-)

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70 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 12, 2011

Thank you Brooke :) Enjoy the pesto!

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71 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga September 11, 2011

Angela this post is SO comprehensive. Wow!!

The cheat sheet is very helpful!

And the trail mix, the chopped veggies, yes…I do that too to stay organized for lunches.

I need that carrot ginger soup in my life. Looks soooo yummy.

And packing lunches, getting things ready for the week, having produce cut up and on hand, having homemade snackie items in baggies or saranwrap is such a timesaver and money saver. I am all about it!

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72 Lisa (bakebikeblog) September 11, 2011

wowza – this is one awesome post! Thankyou so much for sharinG!

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73 blossjoss September 11, 2011

These lunches look great! Can’t wait to see what else you’ve got in store for us hungry readers. My packed lunch of leftovers is looking like it needs an upgrade glow-style.

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74 Danielle September 11, 2011

def my favourite post of yours ever (that’s saying something!) Thanks so much for the work that went into this! I can def. see this being a new sunday routine :)

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75 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 12, 2011

thanks Danielle! To be honest, I didn’t know if it would help at all, but I’m glad that you feel that it has :)

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76 Kristi w. September 11, 2011

Excellent! I was just thinking to myself that I should google some healthy lunch ideas. Thanks so much, this is very useful!

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77 Mollie September 11, 2011

I just love this post. And I just love your blog! Thank you for helping those of us who want (but may not know exactly HOW) to eat healthy!

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78 Katrina September 11, 2011

Great post today! Everything looks lovely!

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79 Katie September 11, 2011

What an awesome post! I can’t wait to try these lunches!

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80 Olya September 11, 2011

Wow! That looks yummy and healthy!

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81 Sara September 11, 2011

Well isn’t this prettiest post? :) I just bought some Goji berries. They are a special (expensive) treat for me but I love them so much!

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82 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 12, 2011

I agree…once and a while I buy some and it’s a nice treat (and you feel so healthy for eating them too)

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83 Kristi September 11, 2011

OMG, I LOVE this post!! Thank you so much for doing this!! Working 2 jobs leaves me little time for meal prep during the week, so this is AWESOME. I’ve eaten one too many (plain, boring) salad for lunches lately..

THANK YOU!! :-)

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84 Kari @ bite-sized thoughts September 11, 2011

Ange, this is amazing. Thank you! It’s going to be in my bookmarks list forever :D

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85 Tracy @ Tracy's Treats September 11, 2011

Thank you for posting how to cook millet! I’ve wondered for a long time and haven’t gotten around to looking it up!

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86 Holly @ The Runny Egg September 11, 2011

Angela I love this post! I always am looking for healthy lunch ideas, and these look perfect. Plus, I mentioned to you that my friend is switching over to Veganism and she told me she is so excited to try these recipes. Thanks for putting this together!

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87 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 12, 2011

I hope she likes them! :)

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88 Simply Life September 11, 2011

wow, so many great ideas! thanks!

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89 Melissa @ West Coast Nest September 11, 2011

The timing of this post is impeccable! Today I just picked up {for the first time} a bunch of dried chickpeas, black beans and great northern beans in an attempt to save a bit of $$ at the grocery store since these items are staples in my kitchen! Having never used dried before, I was a little intimidated — thanks so much for the detailed info! Secondly, it’s tough to plan and prepare healthy balanced lunches without falling into a rut! Thanks for all the great ideas!! :)

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90 Liz @ Southern Charm September 11, 2011

Love this! Thanks for figuring this out. I will have to try it next week!

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91 Stacey September 11, 2011

Thanks so much for posting this! I’m a full time student in Calgary without the funds to buy expensive lunches at school and I’m always looking for new ideas so I won’t get bored and “cheat” by purchasing something :) I’ve recently given up meat and really love new ideas for meat free lunches that will hold me over through the day. Can’t wait to see the rest of the lunch ideas! Thanks again for taking the time to do this!
Stacey

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92 Sophie September 11, 2011

It’s amazing how much work you put in your posts! Everything looks sooo beautiful!! (and yummy)

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93 Megan @ Long Distance Relationship September 11, 2011

Thank you so much for posting this! My boyfriend and I have been slowly transitioning to a vegan diet, and today he decided (after we watched Forks Over Knives) to go for it 100%. Right away he asked “what are we going to eat for lunches?” So I know we will be turning to your page for ideas! I already made him a batch of your blueberry muffins for breakfast tomorrow, and he was pleasantly surprised with the results of vegan baking! Keep the great recipes coming!

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94 Karin September 11, 2011

This is fantastic, thank you so much! My child just started Kindergarten and has to bring a snack and lunch every day – this post is exactly what I was looking for!

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95 Tami September 11, 2011

I am so glad you did a post on lunches because I have not been very creative lately. These look so good! I can’t wait to see the next post! Thanks for sharing!

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96 Alexi September 11, 2011

Thank you so much for this post!! I am in college and have a four year old daughter–between the two of us we are vegetarian, no-dairy, soy or gluten…so lunches on the go are both necessary and challenging. THANK YOU!!!! This post was especially appreciated!

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97 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 12, 2011

That would be challenging Alexi, I hope it helps you a bit!

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98 Aleksa@terrapinette.wordpress.com September 11, 2011

that soup looks out-of-this-world!

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99 Deb September 11, 2011

Great post ~ and I loved the picture of all the food you got with $3.50!!! Some people think being a vegetarian is more expensive than being a meat-eater; I don’t get it.

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100 Ashley @ Granola Grrl September 11, 2011

Thank you so much for this post! I rarely make anything with more than 1-2 servings, and when I do I find that I don’t want to eat it for four more days :P These look AMAZING, and I’m so excited to make them tomorrow! :)

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101 Kim September 11, 2011

Could the carrot apple ginger soup be served chilled too? I’m always looking for lunches that don’t require reheating in the microwave.

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102 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 12, 2011

Good question! I have had a few spoonfuls chilled and it was pretty good, but I def. prefer it served heated.

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103 Kim September 12, 2011

Thanks!

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104 Kris | iheartwellness.com September 11, 2011

Girl, love the time, passion and love you put into every post!! You rock this food world :)

xxoo
Kris

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105 Katie September 12, 2011

This is great! I am always looking for new things to take to work. I can’t wait to make the Carrot Apple soup, it looks delicious and so colorful! Most appreciated.

Happy Monday!

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106 Kate September 12, 2011

This is a great idea! I hate having to get up early to make food for lunch. However, I’ve heard that once you cut a vegetable it loses loads of its nutrients/vitamins? Quick google search says yes – but opinions differ as to how much is lost. I’d be very interested to know what your take is on this? Or anyone elses?

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107 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 12, 2011

I’ve heard that too and have also read mixed info on it. I think for myself, it’s more important that I have the veggies accessible because then at least I know I will eat them. Half the battle for me is the prep work. I find when I don’t have them ready to eat, I often eat something else for convenience. So the way I see it is that veggies are better than no veggies, but maybe I should start drinking the soaking water? (joking!)

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108 Kate September 16, 2011

I agree! And I don’t really notice a difference in the way they make me feel! so in the end it’s a win win…. win (an office reference just for you!)

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109 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 16, 2011

heh :)

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110 Rebekah @ Medicine, Munchies & Movement September 12, 2011

This is one of the most useful/practical blog posts I have ever read! Thanks!

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111 Erika - The Teenage Taste September 12, 2011

Carrot Apple Soup….Mmmmmm! Looks so good! :-)

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112 The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh September 12, 2011

Thanks so much for this post!

I feel like a big dork now, can you put any cut veggies in a dish with water? I cut up radishes, cauliflower, celery and broccoli to use everyday and the biggest problem I have is them drying out. Do you need to change out the water every day?

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113 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 12, 2011

I’m not sure to be honest. I wouldn’t suggest soaking the peppers as I found mine got a bit soft, but I had good results with the carrots and cukes. Let me know if you try any other veggies!

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114 Beach Bum Beauty September 12, 2011

You make it all so infectious, you write with such Zest that it always puts a grin on my face x

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115 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 12, 2011

Thanks hun!

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116 Clair September 12, 2011

This is a crazy helpful post…not just the lunch ideas, but the whole spectrum of grain/legume prep, money saving, etc.

Your posts are always wonderful, but I’ll be bookmarking this one for later use!

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117 ellen September 12, 2011

This might be my favorite post of yours to date! I’m always looking for new lunch ideas. And you nailed it when you said things had to be prepped on Sunday. I love the idea of using a mason jar for soup!! I sometimes freeze the soup so it doesn’t spill in my gym back on the way to work but this is much better idea! thank you :)

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118 Brittany September 12, 2011

Angela! This is one of my all time favorite posts you’ve made! So, so informative and delicious! It’s so good to plan meals ahead of time. I’m in school right now and there’s nothing worse than being pressed for time and being forced to buy a meal out that is lacking nutrients!

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119 Rebeca September 12, 2011

Great ideas!

I HAVE to try the carrot ginger!

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120 Alex @ Raw Recovery September 12, 2011

Oh I so needed this post right now. I just started a new job and I’ve had difficulty packing lunches. Thanks! The granola mix sounds great, I’ve never tried goji berries or mulberries so I might start out with just one and create an adapted version! By the way, I brought your no bake chocolate peanut butter crispies with peanut butter fudge (with a few adaptations) to work and everyone loved them!!

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121 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 12, 2011

I’m glad to hear they were a hit. :) I hope the lunch posts help you too!

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122 Kiah September 12, 2011

What a great challenge! This makes life so much easier for those of us that have to pull some long days away from the kitchen. Thank you!

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123 LizAshlee September 12, 2011

Thank you for these great ideas!! I am going to head into the kitchen armed with these tips today!:)

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124 Bonnie September 12, 2011

so excited about these!! Had to cut out dairy & gluten a few months ago, and while I love salads I’m excited to try something new (and the Clean Food cookbook rocks!)

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125 Shannon ~ My Place In The Race September 12, 2011

I love this post! Thanks!! :D

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126 Jessica September 12, 2011

I love the Avocado and Black Bean Salad! So good! It was actually the very firsy recipe I made off of OSG and it brought me back wanting more! :) Love this!

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127 Christina September 12, 2011

I made your avo-black bean salad for a bbq at my house and it was a huge hit! I make it at least once every two weeks! So tasty! Thanks for the lunch ideas, I really have been struggling with what to bring to work so I’ll definitely keep this in mind this week :)

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128 Jennifer September 12, 2011

This is a fantastic and really helpful post! Can’t wait to see what the rest of the week’s lunches entail. I always need new lunch ideas.

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129 Emma (Emma+Jacob) September 12, 2011

This is such a helpful post! Thank you :) And yes, my meal planning/grocery list/pantry inventory scribbles look just like your paper.

Bookmarking this post!

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130 Rachel D. September 12, 2011

I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS SERIES THAT I CANNOT UNSTICK MY CAPS LOCK.

Seriously…as someone who struggles with packing healthy lunches (and a lack of foresight!), this is fantastic. Can’t wait to read the next installment!

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131 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 12, 2011

LOL :)

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132 Amy September 12, 2011

In Mondays lunch, you include a whole wheat pita. I’ve never been able to find gluten free whole wheat pitas? Was this lunch not 100% gluten free or is there a brand I should know about??

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133 Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner September 12, 2011

Thanks for the great ideas for lunches!
The go go glow mix looks delishh!!!!

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134 Alexis @ hummusapien September 12, 2011

I really need to start cooking in bulk!! I buy way too much canned beans :(

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135 Amy@ahealthyandhappyheart September 12, 2011

Thank you so much for posting! I love your ideas and recipes!

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136 Lisa September 12, 2011

Oh my gosh this post made my day. I always try to bring my lunch to work, this is such a big help. Have you done a post on dehydrating? I need tutoring!!

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137 meg September 12, 2011

Oh my god, I love you. In two weeks I’m starting evening classes and I’ve been stumped trying to think of what to pack not only for a whole day at work, but also for 4 hours of classes after work! This is a lifesaver.

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138 Ashley September 12, 2011

Ummm, you are spectacularly amazing. I was going to do a week of lunches for the blog, to give my mom ideas, but maybe I’ll just send her to your blog instead. :) The next time you cook millet you haaave to try this method: 1c millet : 2c liquid – heat pot over medium – rinse + drain millet – empty in pan, and let toast for 1-3min stirring – add water, bring to boil – reduce heat to simmer + cover for 20min – don’t stir at all – turn off heat + let sit for 5-10min – fluff with fork = MAGICAL fluffy, sticky, millet :) same for quinoa, but 15min for cook time! mmmmmm

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139 Danielle September 12, 2011

Love this post so much and can’t wait for the rest of the weeks lunches!

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140 Molly Miller September 12, 2011

Thank you thank you thank you! I am student teaching right now, and trying to create healthy lunches has been such a challenge–not just for me, but for the other teachers in my building…I can share this with them! Thank you! Looking forward to Wed, Thurs and Friday recipes. :)

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141 Jesse September 12, 2011

I’m so excited for these lunch posts because I pack my lunch every day and my dinner twice a week. I do all my prep on Sunday but I end up eating the same thing (salad) for lunch every day of the week. Chocolate covered cacao nibs sound amazing! I’ll have to look out for those the next time I’m at bulk barn.

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142 Trista September 12, 2011

Those recipes look really great, thanks for sharing! I enjoy reading your blog, even if I am not vegan. :) I do eat some vegan meals though, and get inspired by your recipes.

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143 Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes September 12, 2011

This a great and useful post full of many amazing recipes as per!

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144 Elizabeth September 12, 2011

Look at all of the work you went through in response to a readers comment!! Fantatic job.
Your recipes and planning are so amazingly helpful. These will be great lunch additions to my children’s menu. Thank you so much for doing this.
Peace & Raw Health,
Elizabeth

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145 Anna @ The Guiltless Life September 12, 2011

Wowza you must be one organizational champ to put this together! This is a fab post that I am going to have to savour over a few days…thanks so much!

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146 VeggieGirl September 12, 2011

This is why I love your blog- SOOO Pratical with tips! I actually had a lunch similar to one of your pics- the pita stuffed with veggies and hummus! I put it in a ziplock bag and ‘vacum pack’ it by squeezing out the air around it,and it doesnt move and stays perfect!

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147 Ellie@fitforthesoul September 12, 2011

wowww awesome!! I loved how you stated how cheap the beans can be! that’s pretty impressive, never thought of that haha.

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148 Caroline September 12, 2011

The Glo mix looks delicious! I do something similar for a trail mix. I suggest adding dried apricots- they go so well with almonds!

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149 Karen September 13, 2011

The pita in Monday’s lunch would not be gf unless you have a source? I’d love to get my hands on some without having to make my own… Please post so people who are new to the gf diet understand they cannot eat that safely. Folks who have been around the diet a while will know but newbies may not…. It can be overwhelming at first.

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150 Morgan @ Endorphaholic September 13, 2011

I think she said the pita was not gf, but could be subbed out for gf bread. I wish I knew of a gf pita, but I don’t think i’ve ever seen them. Good luck with gf living!

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151 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 13, 2011

Yes I said it was whole wheat and then suggested to use GF bread or GF pita as a replacement. Sorry for the confusion, I will try to clarify it a bit more in the instructions.

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152 Liz Calloway September 15, 2011

just found this site and am really excited – especially as a parent of a child with multple food allergies – (Dairy, Wheat, Eggs, and Peas). These recipes are fantastic and will make mommy’s life much easier – Thank You!!!

For a gluten free pita, might I suggest http://www.cybelepascal.com/?p=3320 for a recipe.

Thank you again!

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153 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 16, 2011

Thanks Liz!

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154 Nicole September 13, 2011

Where would a person find mulberries? I so want to make the Go Glow mix!!!

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155 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 13, 2011

Bulk Barn :)

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156 Lauren September 14, 2011

hi angela! i love your ideas! i was just thinking that i wish i could chop up veggies in advance (like on sunday for at least the first part of the week) and saw your idea about putting them in water. i didn’t think of that! which veggies do you find work best to do that way? that would save me so much time in the morning!

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157 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 16, 2011

the carrots worked great all week long, but the cukes only were good for 2-3 days. The red peppers got soft! I think the firmer the veggie is, the better it will hold up. :)

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158 Lauren September 18, 2011

I just cut up my peppers, celery, cucumbers, carrots, and some peaches for my green smoothies. I just put everything in tupperware containers in the fridge, so I’m hoping it works. This would be a huge timesaver. :) Thanks for all of your awesome ideas!!!

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159 Diane September 19, 2011

Hi Angela,

I just came across your website a few days ago and I am so happy I did! I am struggling with my weight and have been trying to lose and eat right! I have lost about 40 pounds but am so tired of counting calories all the time. I love your approach of only eating when hungry and eating the right foods! I am trying the vegetarian route (not sure if I am ready to or will go vegan) for a full week now and I feel great! I have lost 3 pounds, my skin and my hair look healthier too! I was so excited to find your meal plan for a week of lunches! I tried “Mondays” today and loved it! Any helpful tips for a newbie? I would love it if you could do easy weeknight dinners too! Thanks for the wonderful info you have truly inspired me!

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160 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 19, 2011

Hey Diane, I’m glad to hear you are experiencing benefits of a plant based diet and are enjoying the recipes. :) Thanks for your suggestion re: easy weeknight dinners! Great idea.

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161 JenATX September 19, 2011

does the Go Go Glow mix make you feel like Go Go Gadget?? haha

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162 Tara September 23, 2011

Celery and radishes keep quite well in water though! And they are also great for lunch time snacking!

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163 Sara September 25, 2011

Anglea, I just wanted to say thank you!! This is absolutely perfect! I work some long, crazy weeks … for example this week I’m working from 6:30am-7:30pm Monday thru Thursday. I’m often too tired when I get home to cook a full dinner and to pack a lunch for the next day … so I eat whatever I can find. This is a great solution. I’ve thought of doing something similar before but I’m just too lazy and have never very creative at making meals. I am going to try your menu out this week. Thank you so much for doing this! I would love to see more examples in the future!

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164 Adrienne June 15, 2012

I LOVE these ideas….after reading this i vowed to try and revise my lunch routine and have had the best eating week of the summer! I would love more simple lunch ideas like these. Thank you!

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165 Leigh November 19, 2012

Just ate your delicious Monday lunch and I have the rest of the week prepped! I would love to see more weekly menus, breakfast, lunch or dinner!

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166 Jacquie December 10, 2012

Wow! These recipes are the best I’ve seen yet! I am just getting started, trying a vegan gluten-free diet! Thank you so much for taking the time to invent, prep and share these!!!! I can’t wait to try them and I can tell my family is going to love them too!

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167 Angela (Oh She Glows) December 11, 2012

Thank you so much for your kind words Jacquie!

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168 Rebecca February 19, 2013

I am new to your site and really enjoy it. I was just wondering once you have cooked all the beans etc how do you store them please?

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169 Angela (Oh She Glows) February 20, 2013

In the fridge or the freezer in small containers :)

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170 Alyson March 1, 2013

This is a fantastic post!! Thank you so much for throwing this together! I was wondering if you had an ideas for make ahead dinners as well. I’m a busy student who spends most of my time in the library. Frequently I don’t have a chance to make it home for dinner and usually end up eating out. Any thoughts?! I absolutely love your blog, especially as a busy vegetarian, I appreciate how balanced and healthy your recipes are!

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171 Megan March 14, 2013

Please, please, please post some more of these! One week is not enough, and I am so not creative in the kitchen!

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172 Mona April 21, 2013

Hi Angela,

I made this for the week and I am excited to have such a healthy array of food. I can’t believe the difference of what my normal vegan eats were and what they are now that I’ve made all this. I was wondering if you could do another segment like this, but including more salads? Pretty please?!?! :) I am just starting to become aware of what I need to pack, but one more may do the trick. I live in Arizona and its so dang hot that I salads have been doing the trick.

Thanks!

-M

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173 Helen October 14, 2013

Thanks for the great recipes!! I absolutely love them!

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174 Suzanne November 11, 2013

Hi Angela,
This is such an awesome idea! I’m cooking the black beans, garbanzo beans, millet and lentils right now. But, despite soaking the beans for about 16 hours, they are taking waaaaaaay longer to cook than your time recommendations. Any ideas why? This is a common problem for me, which is why I cook beans in the crock pot. But I would love to do a bunch at once like you suggest! (oh, and the beans shouldn’t be old…. got them within the last few weeks… so I don’t think that’s why they are taking so long to cook).
Thanks, Suzanne

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175 Colleen April 13, 2014

HI Suzanne,

I too found, the first time I cooked beans, that they take WAY longer than 15 minutes. Most other sources online say that beans take at least an hour to cook! Not sure what Angela is doing to get such speedy beans!

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176 kateinbkk November 27, 2013

Just found this post on Pinterest. It is so wonderful! Thanks so much!

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177 Daniela March 2, 2014

Love this! I have been struggling with coming up with lunch ideas for work, and this is genius. Love the list, will definitely be packing that soup, trail mix, grains, and fruits & veggies!

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178 Shaili Parmar January 16, 2015

I was wondering how many servings each meal makes? I would be making this for two people! Thanks!

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179 Salvatore October 20, 2015

Thank you SO much for putting is together! Due to our schedules my husband and I do most of our weekly lunch meal prep on Sunday and, because of simplicity, we’ve relied on a lot of non-vegan dishes. I’ve kinda fallen off the vegetarian/vegan bandwagon over the past few months and dying to get back into it.
I’ve been searching high and low for make-ahead vegetarian and vegan “meal plans”, but you would be surprised how many just end up recommending pots of rice and beans or you get the “vegetarian meal plan – day one = fish with veggies”. Fish does not count as vegetarian!!!
Anyway, thanks again!!

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180 Salvatore October 20, 2015

(Sorry for any typos – typing from an iPad isn’t always easy)

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181 Carly October 26, 2015

This is a great post! I work 12 hour shifts, and don’t have access to a fridge to store my meals in. These look great but if you did another post like this, could you focus on gf vegan meals to take to work that don’t need to be stored in the fridge? :)

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