middle-school-lunch-roomVegetarianism is nothing new but kids going vegetarian is getting more and more common these days and a lot of the time it is not their parents making a decision to change their diet but the kids themselves.

Lunchtime, especially at school, can be very hard on the picky vegetarian. Most schools still do not really cater to vegetarian tastes so kids have two basic choices – eat the school lunch side dishes only or bring their own lunch in from home. All of the following however are great filling and healthy lunch recipes that travel well in a lunchbox and will provide far more nutrition and energy for the rest of the day than a side of fries!

Tofu Eggless Salad Sandwiches

This tasty recipe makes a sandwich filling that is every bit as tasty as traditional egg salad but without well, the smell.


1 pound medium-firm tofu, drained
1 large stalk celery, finely diced
1 scallion, finely chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 to 2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
1 teaspoon good-quality curry powder, or more, to taste
Salt and pepper

The How To

Dice tofu into several large pieces and blot dry with paper towels. Mash well in a large mixing bowl and then add the scallion and celery and mix well again. In another small bowl combine the mayonnaise, salt, pepper curry powder and mustard and stir until well mixed. Combine the ingredients in the two bowls and then use as a sandwich filling on your favorite bread, although this makes a great mess free wrap as well.

Chunky Bean Sandwich Spread

This hearty veggie spread tastes best when it is served on fresh crusty bread.


1/2 medium green or red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives
1 to 2 scallions, green part only, coarsely chopped
One 16-ounce cans pinto or pink beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons mayonnaise, or more, as desired
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoons ground cumin
Thinly sliced tomatoes
Shredded lettuce

The How To

Add the scallions, peppers and olives together in a blender and combine well. Once the mixture is combined but still coarse add the beans, cumin and lemon juice and then combine again until you have a chunky mixture that pours out of the mixing dish easily.

To serve as a great tasty sandwich spread the bread with the chunky bean mixture and then top with lettuce and tomato .

Veggie Club Sandwich

This is an elegant meat free take on a classic sandwich that kids and adults will love.


3 slices hearty sliced bread
1 large handful watercress
1 carrot , peeled and coarsely grated
Lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tablespoons reduced-fat hummus
2 tomatoes , thickly sliced

The How To

While the bread toasts combine the watercress, carrot, lemon juice and oil together in a bowl. On the first slice of toast spread a generous layer of hummus and then top with some of the watercress ‘salad’ Add another slice of toast and repeat the process. Taking the final piece of toast spread it with the rest of the hummus in a thinner layer and then place on top of the sandwich spread side down. Cut into triangles for easier eating.

The Elvis Sandwich

A meat free take on a sandwich that was said to be one of The King’s favorite treats. It may sound like a strange combination of ingredients but it actually tastes fantastic!


3 slices veggie bacon like Fakin’ Bacon
2 slices whole grain bread
Natural peanut butter
1/2 medium banana, thinly sliced

Heat a small amount of butter in a skillet and fry the ‘bacon’ on both sides but not so it is too crispy. Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread and then top with the ‘bacon’ and the banana. Spread the other bread slice with a thinner layer of peanut butter and then place it on top, spread side down. Heat a little more butter in the skillet and grill the sandwich on both sides until golden brown.

Pesto Pasta Salad with a Twist

This easy to make, easy to eat salad is filling and nutritious and a great choice for a hot day when bread might wilt in a lunchbox.


1/2 pound dry penne pasta
4 red potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/4 pound fresh green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup pesto
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

The How To

Cook penne pasta until it is nice and al dente. Drain and set aside. In another saucepan cook potatoes until soft and then add green beans and cook for another two to three minutes. Drain, remove from the heat and set aside.

Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet and saute the garlic for a few minutes. Stir in potatoes and beans and cook for another minute or two. Toss potato ‘mixture into the pasta , add yogurt and Parmesan cheese and mix well.

     © 2016 The Fitness Center of Lilburn.

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