A large component of my HLS reflections was spent thinking about why I started this blog, and what exactly I was aiming to do with it.  This naturally led me to why haven’t I converted more people to the dark green side yet?

Then, *forehead smack,*  I realized.  I’ve certainly talked the talk, but I haven’t taught you how to walk the walk.  So let’s take those training wheels off, and take a stroll.  Fancy a well packed veggie lunch?

I think I’ve been transparent about the idea that I don’t expect anyone to go cold turkey on the meat (I’m so funny), I just want to give you the tools to create more veggie centered meals, and to try and steer clear of the meat.  Just try!

Can you make it through an entire day without eating meat? My brother claims he can’t.  Then again, I also tricked him into thinking that tempeh was chicken [muahahahaha].

 Step 1: raid Whole Foods.

Don’t be afraid to tap into those savings to get some of your favorites.  That J.Crew dress (or suit) can wait – you won’t feel good in those new threads if you’re not eating well.  Having food on hand that you’re excited to eat is an important part of this step.  If you don’t like what you packed, you won’t eat it. Buy expensive avocados.  Splurge on organic fruits.  Get wild!

Step 2: Invest a little time.

The 15 minutes of lunch prep the night before is always worth it.  I try to put a form of protein in every lunch I make.  I opted for tempeh (my personal favorite), but you could also try seitan, tofu, beans or a grain such as quinoa, barley, etc.  Seitan and tofu are probably foreign, scary words to the meat-eaters, so just ignore those for now.  Stick to what you know for the moment.  Once you become more comfortable with vegetarian proteins you can begin to experiment.

I chopped up one block of tempeh, and sauteed it for a bit before adding the sauce below:

– 1 inch chopped ginger (I really like ginger, so feel free to use less if you make this.  I would also normally add garlic but we were out.)

– 3 tablespoons rice vinegar

– 8-10 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos (a soy sauce substitute)

Before tupping up the tempeh, I threw a cup or two of frozen shelled edamame into the pan.

Step 3: Pick your greens.

I usually wait until the morning of to throw everything together.  I am currently on an arugula kick, but I like mixed greens too.  I  gravitate far, far away from spinach (what is UP with that furry teeth feeling after eating spinach? I’ll have to do some research on that).
Step 4: Top it off. 

I top my lettuce pick for the day with veggies (endive, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and half of an avocado), and my pre-cooked protein.

Step 5: Pack it up.

Before running to your train, don’t forget to grab anything else you want to snack on that day (like your fancy new organic blueberries that you absolutely just bought as per my demand request).

Think you can manage that, guys?

Last thing – don’t forget breakfast.  Most important… blah, blah, blah.  I’m not your Mom.  You’re a big kid now and should be eating breakfast, hokay?

I know that these 5 steps are probably a lot for those of you who are used to the one step of ordering, but do me a favor and invest some time, money, and effort into packing yourself a lunch.  You’ll be able to save some cash in the long run to put towards that growing J.Crew.com shopping cart, and you’ll even gain some energy. Plus, I just gave you permission to go out and shop and buy yourself some nice things!  Get to it already.

What did you have for lunch on Wednesday?  Do you normally pack your lunch, or pick it up?