I've been struggling to find things for my husband that can help him stay plant strong at lunch. His old lunch used to be two ham and cheese sandwiches on whole wheat with some pretzels. It isn't terribly high in calories, but it is high in salt and the animal products contain cholesterol. It's not exactly heart healthy.
We went through a lot of options and we came up with one that really works for him. Why not a homemade freezer burrito? I have seen these in the freezer section at Whole Foods but at $3 a pop, that simply isn't economical but making them at home is!
I can't take credit for this idea, but it's so simple and wonderful. You can find the recipe here. I highly recommend you click on it.
We made many customizations to the recipe (as I imagine you will too)! We eliminated the oil, added hot New Mexican green chiles, fajita seasoning, and used salsa in lieu of the tomatoes. We also used taco size tortillas because Nick preferred two smaller burritos over one massive burrito. It's just easier to eat at a work desk. I also used 3 packages of pre-cut onion, pepper freezer vegetable medleys for convenience. It took no time to make, though it did take a little time to put them together and wrapped in their individual packages. I'm sure you could find a greener way to do this then to use saran wrap. For a little effort, it made 15 burritos, or just over 7 lunches!
On the Cheap Freezer Burritos
adapted by Vegan Piggy
2 cans (3 cups cooked) no sodium added black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 small jar of lower sodium salsa
pinch of crushed red pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 packages of frozen veggies (12 oz. ea) onion and bell pepper medley (get creative here!)
2-3 TB hot New Mexican green chiles (you can find these canned or in the freezer section, we roast our own when they are in season and freeze for year round convenience)
1 t. cumin
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
squeeze of lime
fajita seasoning to taste (we use no sodium added Mrs. Dash fiesta lime)
15 whole wheat tortillas - taco size
In a food processor, process half of black beans and salsa until smooth. Then, saute over medium heat, the garlic and crushed red pepper in a little bit of water to prevent sticking. Add frozen veggies and allow to cook. You may need to drain some of the liquid from the veggies. Once the veggies are cooked through, add seasonings and squeeze of lime. Add processed bean mixture as well as the whole beans, brown rice, and cilantro. Your filling mixture is complete. Dish out mixture in large scoop fulls onto taco size whole wheat tortillas and wrap up. We used saran wrap and then put those into freezer bags. They are ready to grab and go. Nick just nukes them in the microwave.
You can see really cute photos of these on Vegan Piggy's site. They are awesome and I so appreciate the idea!
Nutritional Analysis (per burrito):
Total Fat 4.1 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 360.8 mg
Potassium 178.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 36.9 g
Dietary Fiber 5.7 g
Sugars 3.3 g
Protein 6.9 g
tortillas (pack and a 1/2) $3.00
green chiles $.25
other pantry staples/spices $.15
$7.25/15 = $.48 per burrito