In the Autumn and Winter I tend to rely on leftovers or making a big pot of soup for lunch, but when the warmer weather comes around I don’t always feel like having something hot and overly filling. So I have put together a list of ideas and recipes for some lighter more summery lunches.

‘Tuna’ salad sandwich

I have to be honest here and say this doesn’t taste exactly like tuna, but it is delicious and has sort of the same consistency. I normally like to have something on the side with a sandwich and carrots with hummus does the trick.

Ingredients (makes one pretty large sandwich):

  • 1/2 can of chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegan mayo
  • juice from 1/4 lemon
  • 1 medium pickle (I don’t like celery, pickles do the trick!)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 slices of seedy bread
  • 1/2 sheet of nori
  • sweet chili sauce
  • cucumber slices

Instructions:

  1. Mash together the mayo, chickpeas, chopped pickle, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  2. Toast the bread, spread sweet chili sauce, shred the nori and line one of the slices with it. Thinly slice the cucumber and add a layer.
  3. Put the chickpea mixture on the bread. I don’t recommend trying to cut it in half. Things got messy.

sumtuna

Quinoa salad

This is a really good one to make a big batch of on Sunday evening and have for the first few days of the week, it makes it easy to make good choices on Monday afternoon when cake is calling.

Ingredients:

  • quinoa
  • red onion
  • garlic
  • cucumber
  • red or yellow bell pepper
  • cherry tomatoes
  • vegetable stock cube
  • sweet potato
  • avocado
  • lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • maple syrup

Instructions:

1. Cook your quinoa according to the package, I am no expert, I have about a 50% success rate at this point. I like to add a veggie stock cube to the pot as it’s cooking for more flavour.

2. While your quinoa is cooking, chop a sweet potato into cubes and stick it in the oven on 160C for 30 minutes or until cooked through. When it comes out sometimes I toss the cubes in a bit of maple syrup.

3. Chop your veggies. I like to cut everything into sugar cube size, but you do what you like. Mince your red onion and garlic nice and small. Be careful about how much garlic you use because raw garlic is much stronger than cooked.

4. Once your quinoa and sweet potato have cooled, mix everything together and add your lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

sumq

Peanut butter banana nice cream

This one only really works if you are at home or if you (somehow) have a good blender at your work place, but I just got a Vitamix after dreaming about having one for years, so I couldn’t resist putting this on the list.

Ingredients:

  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 2 tbsp PB powder or 1 tbsp real PB
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • granola or nuts/seeds to sprinkle
  • optional maple syrup or agave
  • splash of soy milk
  • ice cubes if necessary

Instructions:

  1. Put your frozen bananas in the blender with the pb, vanilla, soy milk and blend. If it comes out crumbly, put some more soy milk in, if too watery add ice cubes.
  2. Put it in a bowl, sprinkle granola and squeeze a bit go agave on top. SO GOOD.

sumnice

Caesar salad

One of my go to’s for lunch and dinner in the summer. I’ve posted the recipe for the dressing here. I like to make a large batch of this and have it handy for a few days of the week. I really like it with some sort of Quorn chicken bits on it, both the nuggs and the spicy burgers work perfectly sliced on top or some baked tofu.

salad tofu
with smoked tofu

Summer salad

I know this list is salad heavy, but in the warmer months there is so much tasty fresh food available and when it is hot out it just feels better to have lighter foods.

Ingredients:

  • romaine lettuce
  • cucumber
  • cherry tomatoes
  • strawberries
  • nuts or seed mixture
  • vegan cheese – I used Tyne Chaese because I recently got an order, but it would also be great with Sainsbury’s Free From Greek style cheese
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • agave
  • tahini

Instructions:

Dressing – Mix together 2 tbsp olive oil with 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, chop a clove of garlic as fine as you can and mix it in, add a small squeeze of agave and salt and pepper to taste.

Salad – Chop all the vegetables, nuts and fruit, throw in a bowl. Toss with dressing right before serving.

Drizzle tahini over the top.

This would also be delicious with a Quorn spicy chicken burger chopped into it for a more substantial meal.

sumsal

Hopefully this post gives you a few quick ideas for healthy summertime meals. I am always looking for more ideas so if you have some favourites, let me know!