I recently returned to school full-time, which means that instead of keeping my lunch cool in the workplace refrigerator, I'm now toting it around with me until midday. I've turned to my freezer to help provide healthy, filling vegetarian lunches every day with frozen meals that thaw out in my bag over the course of the morning and are ready to heat and eat by the time lunch arrives.
Whether you're running all over campus or working in an office without access to a fridge, here are eight ideas for straight-from-the-freezer vegetarian meals to make lunchtime easier.
• 1. Calzones: Bake a big batch of vegetable calzones and freeze them individually for later. I've been using half whole wheat flour in the dough and stuffing the calzones with roasted eggplant, mushrooms, kale, tomato sauce and a little ricotta.
• 2. Soup: Portion your soup and freeze it in muffin tins, canning jars or plastic containers and warm it up at lunchtime.
• 3. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich (Pockets): For a simple lunch on the go, make and freeze PB&J sandwiches in bulk, or try this recipe for extra-portable Whole Wheat Peanut Butter and Jelly Pockets.
• 4. Enchiladas: Make a pan of enchiladas — you can even do it in the slow-cooker, as in this recipe for Slow-Cooker Black Bean Enchiladas — and portion them into individual containers.
• 5. Vegetable Wraps: These Roasted Sweet Potato Wraps with Caramelized Onions and Pesto freeze well and can be made with any type of roasted vegetable.
• 6. Burritos: Making your own frozen burritos is simple, economical and totally customizable.
• 7. Vegetarian Meatballs: Meatballs made with vegetables, legumes and grains in place of the usual ground meat are a light yet filling lunch option.
• 8. Chili: Try freezing recipes like this Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili in portions for a hearty fall lunch.
Do you have any ideas for great lunches from the freezer?
Related: Cook Once, Eat Twice! 15 Dinner Recipes to Double and Freeze
(Image: Emma Christensen)