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5 Healthy Lunches (That You'll Actually Want to Eat)

Because would you rather spend your pennies at the salad bar or Saint Laurent?

We can't speak for your place of work, but lunch is a bit of a hot topic over here at TC HQ. Yes, that sentence is the exact sort of thing the college versions of ourselves would groan at—and probably down a tequila shot in response to—but seriously: while bemoaning lunch choices is very much the consequence of becoming an old, have you ever stopped to really think through the day making-or-breaking potential of that singular middle meal? 

How miserable a day can become when you actually force yourself to eat that sad, soggy sandwich or wilted salad you brought from home? And just how does lunch deplete your wallet faster than after-work drinks or inexplicably-spendy brunches? Why does noshing on spicy tuna rolls come noon guarantee your productivity will dip down to zilch for the remainder of the day? 

In the interest of, um, investigative reporting, not to mention finding a solution to our daily dilemma (and no longer annoying our colleagues with endless hemming-and-hawing come 11:30) we hit up the girls (that would be Lisa Labute and Cat Parker) behind The Goods, a Toronto-based takeout joint that specializes in all things organic and generally good for you, especially when it comes to that ungodly lunch hour. And while The Goods girls offer a weekly "lunch club" here in T.O., wherein they hand-deliver salads, grain bowls and green smoothies to your office Monday-Thursday (we like to think the Friday off designates a cheat meal), we tasked them with putting together five vegan lunch options (they're also all free of soy and nuts, and thus guilt-free as well) that those outside of the city can recreate at home. Yes, they just so happen to not only be completely delicious, but also incredibly photogenic, and we pinky promise that they won't wilt come noon. Oh, and best of all? You can use the money you save to invest in something completely necessary and very adult and responsible—we're thinking either a Saint Laurent jacket or pair of Maison Michel lace ears might be just the thing to fit the bill.

“These recipes have been put together to make super clean lunching easy. Ideal to prepare at the start of the workweek, each recipe below will make enough for four meals or four very convenient lunches Monday through Thursday. Think about rallying a few office mates and each taking a turn making lunch for the group.

These recipes are also great pre and post juice cleanse meals. If looking for a 100% raw option, opt out of the grains/legumes and double the veg and dressings. We highly suggest using organic ingredients as well as quality oils and spices as they make a world of difference to taste—come on: if you’re going to eat clean, you’ve got to buy clean.

When you start your day with a large green juice or smoothie for breakfast, you’ll find it’s a great way to keep the majority day’s meals green, vegan, gluten-free and raw daily. You’ll soon find yourself craving more goodness, and by then, game over, you’re hooked. Welcome to a whole new world.

Thanks, enjoy the goodness LL + Cat”

DRESSING

3 teaspoons smoked paprika

1/3 cup of red wine vinegar

1/3 cup of cold-pressed olive oil

2 teaspoons cracked black pepper

2 teaspoons mineral salt 

Combine ingredients in small (500 ml) mason jar and shake well to mix.

GRAINS + LEGUMES

1-1/4 cup red quinoa = 2.5 cups cooked

 1-1/4 cup dry chickpeas = 2.5 cups cooked

Soak dry chickpeas overnight and cook until soft; cook quinoa and allow both to cool.

VEGGIES

1 large cucumber, medium chop

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halve

1/2 bunch mint, chiffonade

3⁄4 cup green olives, pit & slice

GREENS 

8 ounces arugula 

Layer veggies, quinoa and chickpeas on bed of arugula, add dressing and mix well. 
Store prepared ingredients by keeping grains, veggies and sauce in separate containers to maintain freshness.

SAUCE

3 cups basil leaves, tightly packed

3 garlic scapes OR 2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons miso paste

1⁄2 cup cold-pressed olive oil 

1⁄2 cup hemp seeds

1⁄8 cup water

Add all ingredients except basil, blend well until smooth; add basil and blend again. Add a touch more water or olive oil if needed. 

BEANS

1-1⁄2 cup dry white beans = 3 cups cooked

Rinse and soak white beans overnight, cook until soft. Drain and let cool.

VEGGIES

2 large yellow or green zucchinis, spiralize into noodles 

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halve


1 cup green peas


1 yellow pepper, small chop

1⁄2 cup sundried black olives, pit & halve 

GREENS 

8 ounces box baby spinach

Layer zucchini noodles, white beans, veggies, olives and dressing, mix well.

Store prepared ingredients by keeping grains, veggies and sauce in separate containers to maintain freshness.

SAUCE

2⁄3 cup cold-pressed olive oil

1⁄2 cup raw apple cider vinegar

1⁄4 cup raw unpasteurized honey

2 teaspoons cracked black pepper

3 teaspoons mineral salt

Combine ingredients in small (500 ml) mason jar and shake well to mix.

VEGGIES

1 cup green peas

2 cups purple cabbage, finely shred

1 large cucumber, small chop

3 stalks celery, slice thin

Prepare and top salad when ready to serve:

2 avocados, halve & cube

4 tablespoons of seeds (chia, sesame and sunflower)

2 tablespoons spirulina crunchies

GREENS

8 ounces baby spinach

8 ounces kale, shred & massage 

Layer veggies on bed of greens, add toppings and dressing, mix well.

Store prepared ingredients by keeping grains, veggies and sauce in separate containers to maintain freshness.

SAUCE

1⁄2 cup cold-pressed olive oil

1⁄2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon coconut sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon mineral salt

pinch of mustard powder

pinch of onion powder

3⁄4 cup of wild blueberries (not field blueberries)

Blend all ingredients until smooth––field blueberries will not work as well as wild, as they contain more pectin and the sauce will become like jelly.

VEGGIES

2 peaches*, halve and slice when needed

1⁄2 medium zucchini or cucumber, small chop

1⁄2 small jicama, peel, small chop

1⁄2 yellow pepper, small chop

1⁄2 cup dried cherries or cranberries

GRAINS

 1-1⁄2 cup long grain brown rice
 = 3 cups cooked

1 lemon, zest and juice

1⁄4 cup parsley, fine chop

2 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil

3⁄4 teaspoon mineral salt

Cook rice, add remaining ingredients once cooled slightly and mix well.

GREENS

 8 oz. baby salad mix


Layer fruit and veggies on bed of greens, add grains and dressing, mix well.

Store prepared ingredients by keeping grains, veggies and sauce in separate containers to maintain freshness.

*Use seasonal fruit, like berries, pomegranate seeds, shredded apple, etc.

[There's] endless easy variety when you mix these six staples—veggies, herbs, grains/legumes, good oils, seasoning and leafy greens. It works like a charm every time.

VEGGIES

2⁄3 cup of five different veggies (peppers, sprouts, peas, corn, carrot, tomatoes, zucchini)

1⁄3 cup of two different herbs, fine chop (parsley and basil, mint, dill, thyme or rosemary)


1 tablespoon red onion, minced


3 tablespoon oil (olive, hemp, flax, avocado oil)

1-1⁄2 teaspoon mineral salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Prepare veggies so they’re cut to about the same size, mix together with herbs, minced onion, oil and seasoning. 

GREENS

8 ounces shredded kale, baby spinach, arugula, romaine or mixed greens

GRAINS/LEGUMES

1-1⁄2 cup dry grain or legumes = 3 cups cooked (quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, lentils, bean mix)


Layer veggies on bed of greens, add toppings, grains and dressing, mix well.

Store prepared ingredients by keeping grains, veggies and sauce in separate containers to maintain freshness.

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