If you've been working from home as a result of COVID-19, you may have fallen into a new routine for lunches—one that no longer involves you prepping and packing your lunch and instead involves diving into your fridge to make something on the fly. While we've been loving taking advantage of this new normal for more exciting lunch options, some days we almost miss just grabbing our prepacked lunch and thanking our past selves for its tasty contents.
And though we could start back up our meal prepping, it's also great to have a few simple go-to lunch options. These five plant-based recipes all use around five ingredients and make lunch into something you look forward to—no matter how busy your day is:
1. The easiest homemade tomato soup
As we head toward colder days, soups become all the more appealing as a lunch option. Early fall is the perfect time to make this fresh tomato soup, while tomatoes are reaching the end of their peak season. While technically this recipe calls for more than six ingredients, the extra ones are things you're sure to have on hand: olive oil, salt, and pepper. Otherwise, it's five easy items: two varieties of fresh tomatoes, leeks, and good-quality chicken stock make up the bulk of this soup.
2. Homemade falafel, with a surprising addition
We're always looking for easy recipes that pack in plant-based protein—especially for lunch so we can avoid too much afternoon snacking—and this falafel recipe is just that. The secret ingredient here is the addition of a few tablespoons of nut butter, which helps keep the falafel from drying out.
3. A four-ingredient pasta sauce for when you want comfort food
Some days comfort is all you want from your lunch, but that doesn't mean you don't need it to be healthy(ish) too. This simple pine nut pasta sauce, when paired with a healthy noodle, is perfect for a cozy, comforting meal that will leave you full and smiling in no time at all.