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Quick and Easy Vegetarian Lunches – Simple Vegetarian Meals

Vegetarian meals make for quick lunches and are a great healthy option for anyone’s diet. Using fresh and natural ingredients, you can put together vegetarian lunches simply and easily. There are so many food options that you will never be bored with lunch. Here are some very easy and flavorful vegetarian lunches and recipes that come together quickly for a healthy lunch anytime.

For quick meal planning, try these easy vegetarian recipes that can be made using only a few simple ingredients.

For something simple, just combine plain yogurt (regular or soy) with cut up fresh fruit pieces, a sweetener like honey, agave syrup, or maple syrup, and chopped nuts and serve with whole grain crackers or toasted bread slices on the side

Steamed edamame beans combined with chopped red bell peppers, jicama cubes, and pitted black olives tossed in an olive oil vinaigrette served along with a small bowl of cooked rice drizzled with some soy sauce and lemon juice

For a really quick meal, serve up a cooked vegetarian hotdog or burger on a whole grain bun with some flavorful toppings (ketchup, mustard, sliced pickles, tomato slices, cheese, etc.) and serve with a simple side dish of steamed vegetables tossed with some olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.

For a quick salad meal, try cutting up the cooked vegetarian burger or hotdog into pieces and add to some mixed salad greens, pickle slices, diced tomatoes, and some shredded cheese (cheddar or Swiss are good choices) and toss with Italian dressing and serve with a cup of soup on the side.

Try this easy tofu spread for lunch. Simply combine drained and mashed soft tofu with some of your favorite chutney, or salsa, or a mustard and mayonnaise combination. Serve this tofu spread on toasted English muffins and top with some flavor accents like capers, chopped walnut pieces, chopped, pitted black olives, or chopped fresh herbs. Add a slice of cheese on top if desired and place in a microwave or toaster oven just until the cheese melts. Serve sandwich with baked potato chips and a piece of fruit.

Make a quick bean salad with canned black beans (rinsed and drained), chopped walnuts, chopped tomatoes, corn kernels, chopped fresh cilantro, and some rice vinegar. Toss all ingredients together and serve with warm rolls and whipped cream cheese spread.

Thinly slice some button mushrooms and toss with a little low-sodium soy sauce, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Allow to marinate for 10 minutes or so. Take a soft tortilla shell and spread with some whipped cream cheese spread or hummus, top with the mushroom mixture (allow the excess liquid to drain off before putting in the tortilla shell), a sprinkling of vegetarian bacon bits, fresh sprouts, and thin slices of avocado. Fold up the bottom of the tortilla and then fold in the sides to close and serve this easy wrap sandwich with a side of frozen and thawed mixed vegetables dressed with your choice of dressing.

Take two slices of crusty bread, toast, and spread one side of one slice with mustard and the other slice with some basil pesto. Layer the mustard side with thinly sliced baked tofu and top with some marinated artichoke hearts (drained) and a slice of sharp cheddar cheese. Place the sandwich under a broiler or into a microwave or toaster oven just until the cheese melts and then top the sandwich with the other slice of bread. Serve sandwich with celery and carrot sticks and baked potato chips.

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Foodie Events

Now, all these events are going to be in Chicago since that’s where I live.  However, if you have anything you’d like me to add in your local area, just let me know!

Veggie Fest 2008 – Its a 2 day festival featuring cooking demonstrations, 40 vegetarian food venders and exhibitors, and discusssions on heathful living.  11 am – 6 pm Saturday at the Science of Spirituality Center, 4S175 Naperville Rd., Napterville.  For more information, call 800-222-2207

Windy City Chili Cookoff – Cooks compete for the best chili in salsa, chili verde, and traditional categories as part of the Retro on Roscoe Street Festival.  The $5 entry fee includes samples of the chili with they last.  The fee also benefits St. Teresa of Avila food pantry.  1 pm Saturday and Sunday at Roscoe St and Hoyne Ave.  For more information, call 773-871-5623

Morel Tales – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is presenting  “Exploring the Wild Mushroom . . . Myths, Flavors, and Facts” at Kendall College in a Chicago Foodways Roundtable discussion.  $3 unless you are a Kendall College student (then free).  10 am Saturday at Kendal College, 900 N North Branch St.  Reservations can be made by calling 847-432-8255 or emailing chicago.foodways.roundtable@gmail.com

Party With Style –  Justin Hall from FIG Catering shows how to host an elegant and delicious dinner party.  Free. 2 pm Saturday at Bloomingdale’s Home & Furniture Store, 600 N Wabash Ave.  For more information, call 312-324-7678

Fish Tips – Sam Dean grills halibut basted with maple chipotle marinade in a demonstration class for free.  Noon Saturday at Burhops Seafood, Plaza Del Lago, 1515 N Sheridan Road, Wilmette.  For more information, please call 847-256-6400

Brunch Demystified – Keven Hickey and Jonathan Lane of the Four Seasons present classes that explore the hotel’s famous Sunday brunch.  $100 includes brunch.  11 am August 10 and August 24.  120 W Delaware Pl.  For reservations, please call 312-649-2325

Sweet and Savory Grilling – Chefs Pamela Fitzpatrick and Mark Gyure show how to make three seasonal pizzas and desserts on the grill.  August 12 at Fox & Obel, 401 E Illinois St.  For reservations, call 312-379-0133

Swedish specialty – Chef Donna Scheppe teaches how to create a Swedish tea ring in a hands on class for $25.  1 pm August 4 at Two Kitchens, 2035 W Washington St, Suite 155, Naperville.  Register by calling 630-717-9630.