Being vegan and being a teacher is not always easy. It’s hard to turn down the cookies and cupcakes students bring without hurting their feelings and it’s hard to explain to them why I’m vegan in a way that is honest, but not biased.
The hardest part though?
Bringing my lunch every day! See, teachers don’t have the luxury of going out for lunch hour and let’s be honest, there’s not much vegan about what an elementary school cafeteria serves. So, it’s pack a lunch or cross your fingers and hope there’s something vegan in the vending machine.
At first, I spent many lunches staring into that vending machine, debating between the nut mix and the granola bar. (Hey, you don’t get a nickname like “Last Minute Liz” because of your preparedness!) Lucky for me, I was working with the most amazing teachers at the time who not only turned out to be some of my best friends, but also some of the most well-organized, talented, and creative chefs I have ever met.
This recipe was inspired by a salad that my friend, Jessica, brought in for potluck right around the time I made the switch to eating vegan. Since then, it has made frequent appearances in my lunchbox. It’s super healthy, easy to make, and will last all week if stored in a Ziploc bag.
I usually prepare it Sunday night along with baked tofu (click here for the recipe). And voilà! Almost a week’s worth of delicious, healthy, stress-free lunches. I especially crave this salad after a weekend of not-so-healthy eating; it gets me right back on track.
Of course, this salad isn’t just for lunch. It also makes a great side dish and is very popular at potlucks. Enjoy!
Weekday Raw Veggie Salad
Active Time: 10 minutes (plus 5 hours of marinating)
Makes 4-6 Servings
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried basil
Optional: One Serving of Baked Tofu (recipe here)
In a small bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients to make the dressing. Pour the dressing over the veggies, seal the bag, and shake until veggies are evenly coated.
Squeeze out any excess air and refrigerate for 5 hours or overnight before serving. This stays good for days in the Ziploc bag.
Top with baked tofu if desired. Enjoy!