5 vegan grab-and-go highstreet lunches

Slate it all you want, but attempting Veganuary and not eating animal products for a month requires real dedication. I’ve never really considered myself a “meat-lover” and I actually was vegetarian for almost a year back in my teens (purely because my dad bet that I couldn’t do it…). But I am someone who would happily have fish or cheese with every meal, plus when I do go out for dinner, I often always order a meat dish. So for me, Veganuary, is a real test of my self-restraint.

With food chains and supermarkets waking up to the fact more and more people want tasty vegan food, the range of options has been growing year on year. Because of this, it is easier than ever to have a plant-based diet, which is why I have compiled my top 5 high street vegan lunch options that won’t break the bank.

Leon – Meatless Meatballs

A firm favourite of mine which is really helping me get through Veganuary. These meatless meatballs from Leon are a real winter warmer, the tomato sauce is almost like a hearty soup with the texture of the aubergine, black olive and rosemary meatballs satisfying my meaty cravings. Topped with a vegan garlic aioli, these are a must try for any first time vegans or those trying a plant-based diet.

meatless meatballs leon

Pret – Avo, Olives & Toms Baguette

After opening their first ‘Veggie Pret’ back in the summer of 2016, Pret have been changing their offerings due to a rise in veganism. They now boast four purely veggie shops – three in London and one in Manchester. They have an impressive selection of vegan lunch options and although not all of them are available in every branch, the avo, olives and toms baguette is a real winner in my eyes. This baguette is made from sliced avocado, olive tapenade, roasted tomatoes plus a handful of rocket. Garnished with fresh basil leaves and pine nuts.

pret avo olives toms

Arancini  Brothers – Nuddy Box

Back in January 2018, Arancini Brothers turned their Old Street shop into a 100% vegan eatery and it was so successful that now all their restaurants only offer up plant-based options. Apart from the classic option of vegan burgers and wraps, the Nuddy box is a hit. The risotto balls sit proudly on top of a bed of salad (which rotates daily), topped with roasted mushrooms, onion jam, aubergine tomato sauce and a sprinkling of seeds for good measure.

arancini brothers

Itsu – Veggie Sushi Collection

I have a sushi addiction and eating a plant-based diet this Veganary means I can’t get my mitts on salmon nigiri which I adore so much. I am a mad Itsu fan, and since working in London, it has remained a firm favourite. Luckily for me, Itsu have four vegan sushi dishes which are helping to curb my cravings. The most popular thing on their vegan menu is the veggie sushi collection. In the box, you’ll find crunchy veggie maki rolls, baby avocado rolls and steamed veggie dumplings on an edamame bean salad.

itsu veggie collection

Crussh – Cheese Toastie

Crussh has over 50 vegan options on its menu and as a Veganuary special, their Soho store has become 100% plant-based for the entire month of January. They were the first high street outlet to serve a vegan cheese toastie – which is perfect for a hungover lunch at the office. Their vegan smoked gouda-style cheese is served with red pepper tapenade and rocket, in between slices of spelt sourdough.

crussh cheese toastie

Still hungry? Check out Veganuary’s list of chain restaurants which serve up plant-based dishes to sink your teeth into.

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Eat Smart | A guide to grab-and-go highstreet lunches

Not every lunch hour can include a perfectly meal-preped dish from home or a bespoke salad creation at a deli counter. Sometimes you have have 10 minutes to spare away from your desk and the high street is now doing worthy job of stocking its aisle with increasingly interesting and nutritionally sounding options that make that desk lunch a little bit less torturous. And so, here are some of my favourite options.

Pret

Grab the Roast Salmon and Avocado Superbowl. It’s a tasty mix of lentils and quinoa, topped with avocado, kale, edamame beans, a seed mix – and not to mention a hefty portion of brain boosting salmon. It’s got around 25g of protein and with healthy fats from the avocado, you’ll feel fuller for longer.

pret

Eat

Now the Miso and Tahini Beef Salad isn’t the healthiest of options from Eat, but it is by far my favourite. In the pot you’ll find black rice and colourful selection of vegetables like carrots, edamame beans, red peppers, broccoli and mixed leaves. It’s then topped with slices of rare beef. The dressing is by far the best bit, but is also the naughty part of the salad – it’s a rich and creamy and flavoured with miso and tahini, yum.

east

Itsu 

Whenever I walk into Itsu I can’t get salad, I just love sushi – I can’t get enough of it. I usually grab myself the Eat Beautiful Box. It’s filled with tuna and salmon sushi, salmon maki rolls and edamame beans. If I’m feeling particularity indulgent I go for the It’s Everything Box.

itsu

Leon

At Leon they have a huge variety of salads, but go for either the  Vietnamese Chicken Rice Noodle Salad (coming in at only 288 calories) or the Chargrilled Chicken and Chorizo Club Superfood Salad.

leon

Crussh

Now Crussh is usually the place I head to when I need breakfast on the go but they’re also great for lunch. Get their Beetroot and Goats Cheese Salad, it’s served with Harissa Yoghurt and Pomegrante on a bed on Quinoa. You also have to pick up one of their juices or smoothies whilst you’re here. My favourite is the ‘Fat Burner’ which consists of Apple Juice, Yoghurt, Bananas, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries and Cranberries.

crussh