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Meat Free May lunch ideas

Here we give you some ideas for wholesome, filling lunches with lots of grains/legumes to help ensure you get enough protein (cheese and eggs also good sources, unless you’re doing a vegan month like me – but you know how to make a cheese or egg sandwich so here we’re giving ideas you might not have thought of):

Mashed Chickpea Salad

What’s in it?

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/4 cup spring onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup or so mummus or tahini
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons mustard (stoneground or dijon)
  • dash of garlic powder
  • juice of 1 lemon, optional
  • small handful pumpkin seeds, optional
  • paprika/smoked paprika, as garnish

 How to make it:

Drain and rinse your chickpeas, place in medium size bowl and roughly mash with a fork, potato masher or pastry blender. Add the remaining ingredients and combine. Add more hummus if you like it creamier and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to season.

Serve on a bed of leafy greens, in a jacket potato, on crackers or make a sandwich (see below)

(Stores in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.)

Three-Bean Pasta Salad

What’s in it?

  • 150-200g pasta shells
  • 300g green beans, trimmed and cut into thirds
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 5 stalks celery, thinly sliced

How to make it:

  1. Cook pasta in salted water for 3 minutes less than package instructions, then add green beans and cook 3 minutes more. Drain and rinse.
  2. In a bowl, combine mustard, vinegar, honey, and oil. Add pasta mixture, pinto beans, chickpeas, and celery; toss gently. Season with salt and pepper.

Chickpea, cherry tomato and feta salad

What’s in it?

  • 1/4 cup canned chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Ground pepper

How to make it:

  1. Rinse and drain chickpeas.
  2. In a bowl, combine chickpeas with tomatoes, feta, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt, and a pinch of pepper.

Everyone loves a sandwich….

Mashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich

What’s in it?

  • mashed chickpea salad (see above)
  • a few slices of your favourite bread
  • leafy greens
  • avocado, mashed

How to make it:

Layer your bottom slice of bread with leafy greens, add your chickpea salad on top. On the underside of your top slice of bread, add some optional mashed avocado (tomato slices would be great too). Cut in half or eat as is.

Smashed White Bean and Avocado Sandwich

What’s in it?

  • 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 avocados, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 150g sprouted beans
  • 4 slices multigrain bread, toasted

How to make it:

  • Combine the beans, olive oil, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Roughly mash until it comes together but is still a little chunky. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the bean mixture among four slices of the bread, spreading in a single layer. Top each with some red onion, sliced cucumber, avocado, and arugula or sprouts. Season with additional salt and pepper. Top with the remaining slices of bread and serve. Yum.

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