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Plant Based Meal Ideas – Lunch

Plant Based Meal Ideas – Lunch

Today, we continue our series of plant based meal ideas! Changing the balance of the foods you eat (even if you don’t leave chickpeas-lunchproblem foods out completely) can be an important step towards ensuring you and your family have the nutrition they need to lead healthy, long lives! So, try several new plant based meals each week!

At lunch, most of us are on the go. We like things that require minimal preparation, or that can be prepared in advance and easily held. Today’s menu ideas give you plenty to work with!

Our first lunch idea contains two plant based diet staples – chickpeas and quinoa! Both are nutritional powerhouses, and pack enough of what you need to see you through the afternoon. A one cup serving of chickpeas contains 12.5 grams of dietary fiber (helps lower cholesterol and protect against type two diabetes, among other benefits) and 14.5 grams of protein (provides sustainable energy and helps build strong bones and body) and 268 calories. Quinoa provides 5.2 grams of dietary fiber and 8 grams of protein. Unlike many grains, quinoa provides all the essential amino acids your body requires, making it a complete protein!

For lunch, try this easy, make-ahead hearty salad. You’ll need 3 cups cooked quinoa, chilled (cook in broth for added flavor), 2 cups cooked, drained chickpeas (canned are easy and good), 2/3 cup chopped kale (without stems, packed), ? cup chopped bell pepper (use both red and green for pleasing color), and ? cup chopped green onion. Toss all ingredients together with a dressing of your choice (try just sesame oil and citrus juice). Stores well overnight in the refrigerator.

Or, on a cold, damp day, try this warming Chickpea Curry Soup! You’ll need olive oil, ? chopped onion, minced garlic, a can of chickpeas, curry powder, red pepper flakes (optional), 2 cups broth, 2/3 cup coconut cream and some lime juice. In a saucepan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil (or other healthy fat). Saute onion and garlic. Add chickpeas, curry powder, and pepper flakes (if desired) and cook for about five minutes. Add broth and simmer for 5-10 minutes, then puree and stir in coconut cream. If it’s too thick, thin with a bit of water. Stir in juice from half a lime. Serve garnished with a drizzle of the coconut cream, freshly ground black pepper, and pumpkinseeds. This can be made ahead for several meals.

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