Oh, I’m sorry, I’m not vegetarian. My comment was based on my attempt at it long time ago, without enough knowledge, I failed because I did what I warned ou against, I ate meals at canteen and simply gave my meat to a colleague.
But I do eat vegetarian meals very often so I can give you some lunch suggestions that work for me
1. Pilaf-like base with the topping (or you can call it warm salad I guess) – I make a big batch and freeze single portions, so it’s easy to make quick lunches. Using this basic procedure you can come up with many different versions, skipping some ingredients or steps, choosing your own preferred ingredients as long as they match the rest.
I boil a huge pot of some grain (usually farro or spelt, next time I will try with wheat, once I replaced grain by orzo pasta, I liked it, my husband didn’t)
Version A: I chop some mixture of following veggies (pick one or more or all from the list): bell pepper, zucchini, patty pan squash, aubergine, fennel, onion. Stew veggies in a pot, once they are done, add your grains and mix it all.
Version B: mix the grain with any bean or lentil, either boiled at home or canned. If I do white rice, I mix it with frozen green peas.
Add salt, pepper, a bit of lemon juice, to taste.
Finish off with a generous amount of fresh herbs chopped and mixed it at the last moment (again, pick just one or more from the list) – mint, flat parsley, curly parsley, dill, sage. Those work for me, pick the ones you like.
Pilaf-like base is done. For the topping, I often make fish, but for vegetarian you can make egg (soft boiled, hard boiled, fried), fried halloumi cheese, mushroom, tofu, etc. Or no topping at all, depending how rich your base is already. Sometimes I will top with black pumpkin oil for smoothness and taste. Sometimes I will top with a bit of balsamic vinegar glaze. If I didn’t use many vegetables inside of the pilaf I will make sure to make some veggie side.
2. Pasta with pesto (sometimes without if I run out of it), mixed with lima or fava beans, topped with halloumi cheese or other vegetarian toppings you might like.
3. Lentil soups, different version made with red lentils or green lentils. Eaten with a slice of bread. Again, make a big batch and freeze single portions. Chop onions, grate carrots and parsnips, stew in a pot. Add green lentils, add water, maybe laurel leaf. Boil until soft, in the middle add some kind of tomato (tomato can, fresh tomato, tonato puree). Finish off with spices: salt, black pepper, coriander, cumin are my preferred choices for this soup, but you can add anything you like. Red lentil soup is even more basic and quick and gives totaly different feeling so you do not feel you eat the same food every day.
4. Tofu and mushroom “taiwanese” style (inspired by a meal in a taiwanese restaurant). Prepare tofu any way you like (fry slices, steam whole cube, etc), top with mushrooms stewed with garlic, ginger, shallots, sweet soy sauce, sesame oil, maybe a bit of chinese wine. Serve with rice and some blanched greens.