As a busy mom trying to juggle so many different priorities, it’s never been more important to keep myself healthy… and never so difficult! For some reason lunches are the most challenging for me, the days seem to just disappear before I know it. I’m sure I’m not the only one! Which is why my cousin and fellow new mama Jillian and I were so excited to do this post to help give you (and US!) a couple of new healthy, quick and delicious plant-based lunch ideas.
The start of a new year marks a fresh beginning and for many, a whole whack of healthy eating resolutions. The Washington Post predicts that 2017 will see some strong food trends including eating more healthy fats, whole foods, and plant proteins: AMEN!
At this time of the year, you may be tempted to make some drastic changes to your diet, and many people cut out grains in an attempt to lose weight. And while I fully support reducing refined carbohydrate foods to improve your health (ie: white flour products, white rice, sugar etc), cutting out the grain group entirely isn’t the way to go.
Not all carbs are created equal. In fact, in North America research shows that we don’t eat ENOUGH whole grains, which has a profound impact on our health. Whole grains such as quinoa, oats, wheat, rye, spelt, barley (I could go on) are packed with nutrients including fiber, protein, B vitamins that are vital for our energy and minerals such as zinc and magnesium. Eating whole grains reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and some forms of cancer. Let’s just say that I won’t be cutting these out of my diet anytime soon!
We’ve partnered with Dempster’s to create two (well, really three) delicious plant-based recipes that taste amazing and are super healthy! The Dempster’s 100% Whole Grains line of bread has ‘whole grain flour’ listed as the first ingredient (ingredients are listed according to their respective weight in a product, decreasing in weight as you move down the list), which is exactly what you should look for in a bread. Not to mention it is ALSO made with NO artificial colours and flavours!
I hope these new recipes help you get a healthy kick start to your New Year! xx
Chickpea ‘Toona’ Sandwich
This sandwich tastes a lot like a traditional tuna sandwich but is completely vegan (just use a different Dempster’s bread variety if you want it 100% vegan as this one has honey)! You can pile it as high as you want with other veggies (we just suggest lettuce here), and you can easily transform it into a melt by only using one slice of bread per sandwich, topping with shredded cheese or vegan ‘cheese’, broiling and adding a handful of fresh arugula or spinach on top.
Makes 2 sandwiches
- 4 slices Dempster’s 100% Whole Grains Honey & Oatmeal Bread
- 6 leafs of green lettuce, washed and dried
- 1 15-oz can of chickpeas, drained
- 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp. mayo (vegan if desired)
- juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. capers
- ½ c. diced celery
- 2 scallions, roughly chopped
- 1 large (or 2 small) cloves of garlic, crushed
- sea salt to taste
- Place 3 leafs of lettuce on two of the slices of bread (you can spread a light amount of mayo on each slice first if you wish).
- In a food processor combine all of the remaining ingredients and pulse until it is mixed but not smooth (you want to keep some texture in the filling).
- Spread one half of filling on top of the lettuce leaves and place the remaining two slices of bread on top of each prepared half.
Vegan Crispy Buffalo Tofu Wrap
We LOVE the taste of anything done buffalo style, and these wraps are sure to be a crowd pleaser! Even the carnivores in our family devoured them!
Makes 4 wraps
- 4 large Dempster’s 100% Whole Grains Ancient Grains tortillas
- 1 x 350g. package extra firm tofu, cut into 8 long sticks
- 2 Tbsp. corn starch
- vegetable oil
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (to dredge the tofu)
- 1 romaine lettuce heart, washed with the stem end cut off
- ¼ c. vegan Caesar salad dressing
- 2 small tomatoes, cut in quarters
- 1 avocado, sliced
- ¼ small red onion cut into slices
- hot sauce (I used Frank’s Hot Sauce)
- Using a paper towel or clean dish towel, pat the tofu dry. In a large shallow bowl or pie plate, toss the tofu in the corn starch to lightly coat. In another large shallow bowl or pie plate, combine the panko, sea salt, garlic powder and cornstarch. Dredge the tofu in unsweetened almond milk and lightly coat in the panko mixture. Set aside.
- Toss the romaine lettuce leaves (I keep them whole as they are easier to roll) in the Caesar dressing and set aside.
- In a medium frying pan heat ½” of oil on medium high heat. Cook the tofu on all sides (you should only have to turn it once) until it is lightly browned, about 4 minutes per side. When done, toss the sticks in hot sauce (if you aren’t going to assemble them right away, put the hot sauce on just before serving).
- To assemble, place your Dempster’s 100% Whole Grains Ancient Grains tortilla on a flat surface and layer two romaine lettuce leaves, two tofu ‘sticks’, ¼ of the avocado, two wedges of tomato and a couple of rings of red onion in the centre of the wrap. Tightly roll the wrap-up. Repeat this process with the remaining three wraps and enjoy!
For more recipe ideas check out the hashtag #DeliciousStartsWithDempsters on Instagram. Thank you Dempster’s for sponsoring this post!