Counselling & Psychotherapy for Women Suffering with Trauma, Emotional Eating & Not Feeling Good Enough.

100+ Plant-Based, Vegetarian and Vegan Lunch Box Ideas

Image Credit: Anna Pelzer / Unsplash

100+ Plant-Based, Vegetarian and Vegan Lunch Box Ideas

Many of the women I work with in counselling who suffer with chronic dieting, disordered eating or orthorexia are either vegetarian or vegan. Sometimes this is because they are highly sensitive and sometimes this is because their eating-disordered self is restricting certain food groups. Either way, part of our work together over-time is to start to include a wider range of foods, colours and tastes to their plates. If this sounds like you, or you are someone new to being veggie or you are a therapist working with someone suffering with these issues (and you don’t want to pathologize their veggie eating) – here is some information and a wide list of suggestions to help bring more balance and variety to the mid-day meal.

Saving Our Planet via Plant-Based Eating

Updating their 2009 position on plant-based diets, in 2016, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics write in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, ‘an “appropriately planned” vegetarian or vegan diet is suitable for “all stages of the life cycle,” and adopting such diets in childhood can reduce the risk of chronic disease later in life.’ Additionally, their paper says that plant-based diets are more environmentally friendly and sustainable than those diets which are rich in animal products, noting that they can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 50 percent. “Becoming vegetarian can be beneficial to personal health and the environment,” says Vandana Sheth, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Reference: Thomas Campbell MD & Erin Campbell MD).

The 2006 UN report and Nasa funded studies are urging a global move towards a plant-based and meat-free diet.  Because of this, Meat Free Monday has become a massive global hit with supporters such as Richard Branson, Jamie Oliver, The Food Climate Research Network, universities and schools as well as with global brands such as Puma. Meat Free Monday on their How MFM Helps Page advocate that eating less meat, even one day a week can:

  • Help our beautiful planet by reducing the impact that livestock farming, and the resulting greenhouse gas has on the planet
  • Help us to become healthy and happy by reducing heart disease, stroke and cancer
  • Help us to think of animal welfare and reduce factory farming
  • Help us to save money by decreasing expensive meat consumption

Types of Vegetarians

There are different types of vegetarians:

  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians: eat eggs, milk, and dairy products but do not eat fish, chicken or meat
  • Lacto-vegetarians: eat dairy foods and milk but do not eat eggs, fish, chicken or meat
  • Vegans: do not eat food or use goods derived from fish, chicken or other animals

Whilst the following are not considered  vegetarian, many people are actively reducing meat consumption and identify as the following:

  • Pescetarians: eat a predominately vegetarian diet as well as eating fish
  • Flexitarians: eat a predominately vegetarian diet but may occasionally eat fish, chicken or meat
  • Plant-Based: eat a predominately plant-based but may occasionally eat fish, chicken or meat

There is a wealth of information on the Vegetarian Society’s Website – a wonderful resource with 1000s of recipes.

The lunch box suggestions below contain 100s of ideas to pack a wholesome and balanced vegetarian lunch. Enjoy!

Sandwich /Wrap Base
Bread: Seeded, Rye, Quinoa, Sourdough, Chia Seed, GF
Bread Rolls: Seeded, Rye, Quinoa, Sourdough, Chia Seed, GF
Raw Breads
Turkish Bread
Lebanese bread
Tortillas – Wraps or Pinwheels
Mountain Bread – Wraps or Pinwheels
Pita Pockets
Rice Cakes/Rice Crackers
Vita Wheats
Sarnie Crackers/Cracker Breads
Rice Paper Rolls
Lettuce Wraps
Nori Sheet Wraps
Collard Wraps
Salad Fillings
Salad: Leaves, Tomato, Cucumber, Beetroot, Carrot, Onion, Alfalfa
Avocado, Peanut Butter & Salad
Cheese & Salad
Vegemite & Salad
Avocado & Salad
Spinach, Avo, Cherry Toms & Pinenut
Veggie Collard Wraps
Edamame & Salad
Florida Wrap
Avo, Homous, Broccoli & Sprouts
Egg Fillings
Egg & Lettuce
Egg & Cress
Curried Egg
Egg Slices & Salad
Houmous Fillings
Houmous & Salad
Houmous & Antipasto
Houmous & Falafel
Houmous, Cucumber & Grated Carrot
Houmous, Carrot & Raisin
Houmous & Coleslaw
Houmous & Roasted Beets
Lemony Houmous & Curried Carrot
Bean Mash/Smash/Pate Fillings
Sweet Potato Chipotle Mash & Peanut Butter
Sweet Potato Mash & Mixed Beans
Black Beans, Avo, Tomato, Jalapeno & Sour Cream
Refired Beans, Grated Cheese, Avocado, Sour Cream & Salsa
Chickpea Smash, Eggplant & Zucchini Slices
Broad Bean, Pea, Feta & Mint Smash
Cold Baked Beans
Cannellini Bean Mash & Spinach/Kale Leaves
Lentil Mash & Salad
Pumpkin Mash & Salad
Curried Chickpea & Salad
Chickpea, Walnut & Cranberry Smash
Aduki Bean Spread & Salad
Zucchini Butter
Whitebean & Kale Mash
Mushroom & Sunflower Seed Pate
Celeriac Pate
Tartex Mushroom Pate
Tartex Herb Pate
Tartext Red Pepper Pate
Nut Roast/ Nut Ball Fillings
Nut Roast & Salad
Nut Roast & Potato Salad
Nut Roast & Xmas Chutney
Nut Roast, Stuffing & Cranberry Sauce
Nut Kofta & Tsatsiki
Tofu & Tempeh Fillings
BBQ Tofu
Scrambled Tofu
Tempeh ‘Tuna’ Salad
Cheddar Cheese Fillings
Cheddar Cheese
Cheese & Branston Pickle
Cheese & Salad
Cheese Grated & Mexican Mixed Bean
Cheese & Tomato
Cheese & Piccalilli
Cheese Grated, Onion & Mayo
Cheese Grated, Grated Carrot & Sultanas
Cheese Grated & Chopped Cooked Broccoli
Cheese Ploughmans
Cheese Grated, Grated Apple, Spring Onions & Mayo
Cheese & Vegemite
Cheese, Vegemite & Cucumber
Cream Cheese, Labna & Schmear Fillings
Cream Cheese & Cucumber
Cream Cheese, Mango Chutney & Grated Cheddar
Cream Cheese & Roasted Red Capsicum
Cream Cheese & Salad
Cream Cheese & Sundried Tomatoes
Cream Cheese, Grated Apple & Cheese
Cream Cheese, Avocado, Mango Chutney & Cashews
Cream Cheese Schmear: Lemon Zest, Garlic & Dill
Labna Garden Schmear
Brie/Camembert Fillings
Brie/Camembert, Cranberry & Rocket
Brie/Camembert & Grape
Blue Cheese Fillings
Blue Cheese, Walnut & Pear
Wensleydale Cheese Fillings
Wensleydale & Carrot Chutney
Cranberry Wensleydale, Veggie Bacon & Spinach Leaves
Ricotta Mixed & Chopped Broccoli, Carrots & Red Pepper
Smoked Cheddar
Smoked Cheddar, Apple, Onion & lettuce
Smoked Cheddah & Apple Butter
Mozarella, Sundried Tomatoes & Salad
Mozarella, Marinated Artichoke & Spinach/Rocket
Mozarella, Tomatoes & Pesto
Feta, Peas & Mint
Feta, Lettuce, Tomato & Olives/Olive Tapenade
Feta, Tomato & Basil
Feta, Red Lentil & Red Pepper Wrap
Goat’s Cheese
Goat’s Cheese, Roasted Red Capsicum & Rocket
Goat’s Cheese & Roasted Vegetables
Goat’s Cheese, Pesto & Roasted Vegetables
Goat’s Cheese, Asparagus, Lemon Zest & Thyme
Goat’s Cheese, Fig & Caramelized Onion Chutney
Goat’s Cheese, Grated Beets, Carrots, Pear & Rocket
Green Goddess: Goat’s Cheese, Spinach or Kale, Avo & Herb Pesto
Vegan Cheeses
Vegan Cottage Cheese
Herbed Cashew Cheese Spread
Vegan Cheese Sauce Spread
Homemade Fresh Jam
Homemade Nutella
Peanut Butter
Cashew Nut Butter
Brazil Nut Butter
Almond Butter
Coconut Butter
Almond Butter & Banana
Almond Butter, Apple & Honey
Cashew Mayo
Veggie Ham/Veggie Bacon Slices
Veggie Ham
Veggie Ham & Salad
Veggie Ham & Mustard
Veggie Ham & Pickle
Veggie Ham & Tomato
Veggie Ham, Cheese & Tomato
Veggie BLT
Veggie BLTA
Veggie Chicken/Turkey Style Slices
Veggie Turkey & Cranberry
Veggie Turkey, Cranberry, Avo & Rocket
Veggie Turkey & Salad
Veggie Turkey & Cream Cheese
Veggie Turkey BLT
Veggie Chicken Slices  
Veggie Chicken, Lettuce & Mayo
Veggie Roast Chicken Roll
Veggie Roast Chicken Roll & Stuffing
Veggie Chicken & Pesto Mayo
Veggie Chicken & Tarragon Mayo
Veggie Chicken & Coronation Mayo
Veggie Chicken, Mango, Basil & Mint
Veggie Chicken, Walnut & Celery
Veggie Chicken & Veggie Bacon
Veggie Chicken Tandoori, Lettuce & Raita
Quorn Fillings
Quorn Chunks & Tarragon Mayo
Quorn Chunks & Coronation Mayo
Quorn Slices & Salad
Quorn Slices & Mustard
Pattie/Fritter Fillings for Sarnies or Lunch Box
Falafel, Chutney & Salad
Falafel, Houmous & Salad
Sweet Potato Patties/Rosti
Sweet Potato, Chutney & Salad
Quinoa Burgers
Risotto & Veggie Patties
Nut Roast Slices
Linda McCartney or other Vegetarian Sausages/Burgers
Haloumi & Zucchini Fritters
Lentil Croquettes
Sweet Fillings
Maple Cranberry Spread
Peanut Butter or Ricotta, Banana & Honey, Maple, Agave or Coconut Syrup
Apple Butter
Gado Gado Salad
Greek  Salad
Wardorf Salad
Rice & Bean Salad
Asian Brown Rice Salad
Noodle & Asian Slaw Salad
Peanuty Noodle Salad
Spinach, Avo, Cherry Tom & Pinenut
Pesto Pasta, Cherry Toms & Pinenuts
Soba Noodle Salad
Quinoa Salad
Freekah & Pomegranate Salad
Chickpea Curried Pasta, Mango & Coconut Salad
Cous Cous & Roasted Veggies Salad
Bulgar Wheat Salad
Roasted Vegetables Salad
Vegetarian Ceaser Salad
Cucumber Nori Rolls
Avocado Nori Rolls
Mixed Veggies Rolls
Veggie Chicken or Omlette Rolls
Vegetarian Quiche/Tarts/Muffin Tin Bakes
Pizza Cups
Cauliflower Pizza Base Pizzas
Veggie Bacon & Egg
Sweet Potato, Potato or Pumpkin Fritattas
Veggie Polenta Corn Dog Cups
Mini Vegetarian Lasagne
Mini Zucchini Lasagne  (using Zucchini slices instead of pasta)
Veggie Omelettes
Nut Roast
Mac & Cheese Bites
Nachos Cups
Tortilla Salad Cups
Veggie Ham & Cheese Muffins
Cheese & Cayenne Pepper Scones
Pumpkin Scones
Zucchini Slice
Veggie Sausage Rolls
Cheese & Spinach Triangles
Risotto Cups
Veggie Samosa & Mint Chutney
Quiche Florentine w Spinach or Kale
Quiche Goat’s Cheese & Leek
Quiche Veggie Ham & Tomato
Quiche Veggie Provencale
Crunch & Sip for Kids (Chopped into bite sized bits)
Kiwi Fruit
Orange Wedges
Watermelon Chunks
Rockmelon/Honeydew Balls
Lady Finger Bananas
Carrot Sticks
Baby Cucumbers
Capsicum Strips
Celery Sticks
Lunch Box Snacks/Sides
Fresh Fruit
Fruit Skewers
Dried Fruit
Fruit Leather
Veggie Ham & Mashed Sweet/Potato  Rollups
Veggie Ham & Cheese Stick Rollups
Celery Stuffed w Peanut Butter
Celery Stuffed w Cream Cheese
Stuffed Cucumbers w Dill Cream Cheese
Crudité s: Carrot, Celery, Capsicum, Cucumber, Mushrooms, Cherry Toms, Cauliflower & Broccoli
Devilled Eggs
Boiled Eggs
Macadamia Nuts
Trail Mix
Tamari Seed Mix
Sesame Seed Bars
Apricot & Oat Bars
Houmous Dip
Satay Sauce Dip
Beetroot Dip
Tsatsiki Dip
Chunky Pesto Dip: Kale, Sun Dried Tomato, Spinach, Basil, Mixed Herb or Coriander
Babaganoush Eggplant Dip
Nut Butter Dips
Muhammara Dip
Yoghurt Pots: Coconut, Soy or Dairy
Cheese Stick
Bliss Balls
Apple Sliced Sandwiches, Peanut Butter & Coconut
Apple Sauce & Date Muffins
Apple Sauce & Oat Bread
Banana Bread
Coconut Bread
Zucchini  Bread
Pikelets (try using a different flour!)
Soups (add white beans instead of potato to thicken the soup and boost your protein content)
Miso Soup
Red Pepper & Cannellini Bean Soup
Veggie Minestrone Soup
Curried Sweet Potato  Soup
Pumpkin Soup
Green Soup (add anything green!)
Cheese & Vegemite
Cheese & Sweet Chilli Sauce
Cheese & Veggie Bacon
Cheese, Veggie Ham & Pineapple
Veggie Chicken & BBQ Sauce
Cheese & Pineapple
Cheese & Pesto
Pizza Scrolls
Taco Scrolls

Check out some of the above recipes on my Pinterest Page





Sydney Registered Clinical Psychotherapist, Therapeutic Counsellor, Trauma + Eating Disorder Therapist, Jodie Gale, is a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and well-being. Over the last 20+ years, Jodie has helped 100s of women transform their lives. She has a private counselling, life-coaching and psychotherapy practice in Manly, Allambie Heights and Frenchs Forest on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Jodie is passionate about putting the soul back into therapy!



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