Monday, November 23, 2009

Quick Light Lunch: Veggie Burger, Broccoli and Tropical Salsa

I have had people I know comment that I rarely post what I have for lunch and ask what type of quick meals do I make. They seem to be under the impression that healthy vegan food is time consuming and too difficult for them. Since I know at least a few people are interested I am going to try to post my lunches more often to give you ideas of what you can quickly toss together for lunch that is both healthy and vegan.

Today I grabbed a frozen veggie burger (courtesy of Costco) in a dry skillet and added broccoli and tropical salsa to it and called it a meal. Actually it is a little light on calories, but I am more of nibbler so there will be more food later this afternoon. I also put this into my hubby’s lunch today along with a couple of red potatoes (microwaved) topped with cream of cabbage and spinach, an apple with walnut butter and curried kale chips. I know it sounds like a lot of food for him but it isn’t many calories and he should have the nutrition.

My favorite part of this meal is the broccoli and tropical salsa. I love the pineapple and jalapeno with the broccoli. This is just a good cold as it is warm. It is great to have in the refrigerator for a quick healthy nibble. Here is what I made for my lunch today.

Quick Light Lunch: Veggie Burger, Broccoli and Tropical Salsa
Serves 1


1 Don Lee Farms Veggie Burger
2 cups frozen broccoli florets
1 serving tropical salsa


Cook the veggie burger in a dry skillet over medium for 3 or 4 minutes on both sides, until it is beginning to brown.

While the burger is heating, place the broccoli in a microwave safe bowl and cook until it is defrosted.

To serve add tropical salsa to both the broccoli and veggie burger and serve.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 283.49
Calories From Fat (24%) - 68.01

Total Fat - 6.05g
Saturated Fat - 1.15g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 504.47mg
Potassium - 785.51mg
Total Carbohydrates - 40.37g
Fiber - 12.81g
Sugar - 9.25g
Protein - 13.43g


Lunch is normally a quick meal at my house. I don’t like to use many processed foods, but occasionally they come in really handy. Today I didn’t have any homemade veggie burgers in my freezer so I relied on my stash of the store bought variety.

This light lunch packs a nice amount of nutrition containing more than 3,400IU of vitamin A, 200mg of vitamin C, 190mg of calcium, 220mcg of folate, 250mcg of vitamin K, 160mcg of phosphorus, and 8mcg of selenium. Not too bad for a mere 283 calories.

Unrelated note:

Those of you that have known us for years know we haven’t always eaten this healthy. In fact, it is safe to say we gravitated toward amazing gourmet food with little concern for health. For a couple of years we would eat a healthy vegan diet at home but there were no rules when we went out to eat. We deluded ourselves into thinking that we were close to the 10% rule that Dr. Fuhrman advocates in "Eat to Live" and "Eat for Health". Had I read the books more carefully I would seen that he was advocating 10% of your calories not 10% of your food could be from those less healthy foods. Even eating only 2 meals out of 21 out of the house had to result in at least 30 of 40% of our weekly calories coming from unhealthy sources due to the calorie density of those foods.

It pains me to admit this but I don’t think my GI system can handle not eating clean anymore. I feel so much better when I eat my own healthy food that it makes the thought of eating out a little worrisome, as I know the side effects to come. After having dinner out on Friday I wanted to blame my not feeling quite myself on the wine. However, I realized that it took me almost 48 hours to feel completely like myself again. I don’t think wine could impact me for that long, at least it never has.

I am mentioning this because sometimes we don’t notice how good something is until it is gone. I was beginning to take feeling good for granted. Eating out has reminded me that what we consume has a big impact on how we feel. In other words we are what we eat. I will be paying more attention to the signals from the body and trying to feed it the healthy food it seems to now crave.


  1. Alicia, I know what you mean. I suffered with gerd for years and took lots of meds for it. After changing my diet to a mainly whole foods vegetarian diet, I no longer take meds, have heartburn or feel bad after eating. It feels good to eat healthy! Luckily, I have never liked eating in restaurants, so I do not feel deprived. I much prefer making my own food.

  2. Janet,

    Sorry to hear about the gerd, but glad to hear it is under control now. I believe that the food we eat has a huge impact on our health.

    It is amazing how much food shapes how we feel, and how we age. I only hope doctors will one day come around to the impact nutrition has on disease prevention.

    I love to cook too, but do miss our chef friends food. He is so talented, I miss the inspiration I got from seeing what he combined and how he combined it.


  3. I have GERD, too. Eating mostly vegan controls it so much better than being omni or dairy-dependent.

  4. Brigid,

    Wow, I didn't realize gerd was so prevalent. Is a vegan diet something that was recommended by your doctor to control the gerd, or did you figure it out on your own?

    I am always amazed by the benefits of a healthy vegan diet.


  5. Your lunch looks absolutely delicious! It does sound quick and easy, I really love your idea! I'll grab a bag of this veggie burger the next trip to Costco, I've never tried it before!

  6. Oraphan,

    At our Costco these burgers are in the same refrigerator case with the falafel and fresh pasta. I wrap them individually in plastic film when I get home and stash them in the freezer in a ziptop bag for quick meals.


  7. that veggie burger looks delicious, I think I will make this for lunch tomorrow :)


  8. I agree 100% with this post. These days, if I eat any sugar before bed, I wake up feeling like someone hit me over the head with a frying pan. So weird. (The Costco in Winchester doesn't carry Don Lee Farms Burgers. Bummer)

  9. Dani,

    Thanks for commenting and nice to meet you! I hope you enjoy this quick lunch as much as I do.


    I have heard of other people getting headaches from sugar. Although I don't know why. If I see anything that explains it I will let you know.

    I am so sorry your Costco doesn't carry the burgers. Do you have any other Costco locations nearby? We have four locations that are within 20 miles and they all carry slightly different items. When something isn't available at one location I ask them to look it up at customer service and they can see if it is available at other stores. You might try that.


  10. I definitely plan to check the refridgerator case if I get by another nearby Costco.


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