September 18, 2017 Plant-Based Meal Plan

Are you happy that it’s almost fall! No matter the temperature, once pumpkin spice takes over it’s time to give up on any ideas that summer is hanging on.

I don’t mind fall, that means Thanksgiving, spiced apple cider, and all my favorite soups are on their way! Also, apples get really inexpensive so you can buy all you want. That means apple oatmeal, apple bread, applesauce and more!

This plant-based meal plan is perfect for fall. Your family will enjoy hearty breakfasts and warm dinners.

When it’s fall, practically all my food is eaten out of a warm bowl! I love cradling a warm bowl of soup in my hands and enjoying every last bite, then going to scoop at least one more cup! If you also love soup make sure you try my Dry Veggie Broth Mix this year! Don’t let apprehension of making something new and different, keep you from missing out on this game changer.

Plant-Based Meal Plan

Monday

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Leftover Soup and Salad

Green Chili, Cilantro, and Lime Soup

Tuesday

Toast with peanut butter (or alternative) and fresh fruit

Big salad and baked potato

Broccoli and Tofu Teriyaki and Oil-Free Stir Fry Rice

Wednesday

Apple Muffins and fruit

Chickpea Noodle Soup

Brown Rice and Broccoli Casserole in the Crock Pot

 Thursday

Instant Pot Oatmeal

Leftovers

Quinoa and Lentil Salad (I also make this with rice instead of quinoa)

Friday

Breakfast Hash and fruit

Soup and Salad

Busy Night Pasta


Over the weekend, I sent out my weekly email with Plant-Based tips! It was all about fall but I have more fall tips coming. I’ll also share about how we do Thanksgiving while being plant-based!

If you haven’t signed up to get this weekly email you can do so today. It’s a great way to get weekly plant-based encouragement delivered directly to your inbox. Most of the emails contain practical tips but it’s always great information that I think will help you on your plant-based journey!

Do you have favorite fall recipes? I’d love to hear your favorites!

September 11, 2017 Plant-Based Meal Plan

The crazier the week, the easier the meals need to be. When I think about simple meals, I think about basic plant-based staples like beans, potatoes, oats, and pasta. We usually have a good supply of veggies and a well-stocked pantry. Even when we keep it simple, it’s not boring. A Plant-Based Meal Plan that is perfect for a busy week!

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My kids request oatmeal almost every morning. Some days I’ll make something different but they still ask for oatmeal. It’s easy and healthy so I make it for them. They each like different toppings so I cook it plain and add different fruit to each bowl. If our evening’s busier than we expect, we will have something like spaghetti, Pad Thai, baked potatoes, or beans! Remember, you don’t have to have a meal with a dozen ingredients. Keep it simple!

Plant-Based Meal Plan

Monday

Oatmeal with chia seeds and diced apples

Refried Beans and leftover Tofu Scramble

Baked Potatoes made in the Instant Pot and tomato cucumber salad

Tuesday

Overnight Oatmeal

Leftover baked potatoes

Veggie Burgers and potatoes in the Air Fryer

Wednesday

Instant Pot Oatmeal with blueberries and diced apples

Broccoli Potato Soup

Spaghetti with red sauce and side salad with Creamy Italian Salad Dressing

Thursday

Breakfast Hash and Banana Bread

Leftover Soup and Salad

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

Friday

Banana Nut Oatmeal

Leftovers

Broccoli and Mushroom Stir Fry


This week, I’ll use some of the tips I shared in last weekends newsletter to stretch leftovers instead of cooking a new meal. You can sign up to get my weekly email that is always full of plant-based tips!

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

You may have noticed an abundance of Instant Pot recipes lately! I’m working my way through updating old recipes and adapting them for my pressure cooker. My latest success is adapting one of my favorite recipes, Instant Pot Minestrone Soup! Instant Pot Minestrone Soup may just be the perfect plant-based soup! Veggies, beans, broth and pasta create a hearty and healthy soup! I have been in love with the stove top version of this delicious, plant-based soup for years. The only thing I don’t love about it is how long it takes to make it. It still takes time to cut the veggies but making it in the Instant Pot means I can walk away from it and come back when it’s done. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you’ll love my stove top version of Minestrone Soup that has been a reader favorite for years! Instant Pot Minestrone Soup may just be the perfect plant-based soup! Veggies, beans, broth and pasta create a hearty and healthy soup!

Pressure Cooking with Pasta

The one thing that concerned me about making Minestrone in a pressure cooker was the noodles. Pasta and pressure cooking don’t always mix. I’ve had the best luck with whole wheat pasta like rotini or penne. I haven’t gotten gluten-free pasta to work in my pressure cooker, yet. If you are gluten-free, I recommend cooking your pasta on the stove and adding it to your soup after it is done. Even if you are not gluten-free, you may want to cook your pasta on the stove anyway. This soup creates a lovely broth, the noodles will soak it up and leave you with a casserole type dish instead of a soup. It tastes great either way but you can avoid that by adding cooked pasta right before serving. Instant Pot Minestrone Soup may just be the perfect plant-based soup! Veggies, beans, broth and pasta create a hearty and healthy soup!

Building Flavor

One of the reasons I’ve always loved Minestrone Soup is the variety of ingredients. You have veggies, beans, pasta and a flavorful broth. When I cook this on the stove I’ll let it simmer and tweak the flavors as it cooks. You can’t do that in the Instant Pot. I use my dry Veggie Broth Mix to give this soup a robust flavor. If you have a favorite veggie broth, by all means, use it instead of water. I simply add 1 Tablespoon of Veggie Broth Mix for each cup of water. For this recipe, that is 1/2 cup of Veggie Broth Mix. You’ll want to add salt and pepper to taste as well. I prefer to sprinkle both on my bowl right before eating. Instant Pot Minestrone Soup may just be the perfect plant-based soup! Veggies, beans, broth and pasta create a hearty and healthy soup!

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

This soup has a long ingredient list but it’s really easy to make. If you will be pressed for time, you can precut the onion, carrots, and celery ahead of time. The rest of the ingredients are dumped into the pot.

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup
 
Author:
Recipe type: Instant Pot
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 4 stalks chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (2-3 carrots)
  • 1 15 oz can white navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can green beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 8 cups of water with ½ cup Veggie Broth Mix (or 8 cups of your favorite veggie broth)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups whole wheat noodles (or gluten-free noodles if needed)
  • 2 cups spinach (optional)
Instructions
  1. Dump onion, celery, carrots, and canned items into the pot.
  2. Add water and Veggie Broth Mix (or veggie broth) along with other spices.
  3. If using whole wheat noodles, add them to the Instant Pot. Make sure they are covered with liquid. This should be below the max fill line.
  4. Close the lid, press manual and decrease the minutes to 5 minutes. Adjust the pressure to low.
  5. It will take a while for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure. After it finishes cooking, use the quick pressure release method. Be careful, escaping steam and liquid will be hot.
  6. Carefully remove the lid and add the spinach. Replace the lid, sealing isn't necessary.
  7. Let sit for 10 minutes, then remove lid and stir.

This delicious soup is easy to adapt if you are missing an ingredient. I usually have all of these on hand but occasionally I’ll be missing green beans or spinach. I forgot to add spinach when I made the recipe for these photos! It still tastes great! You can also use frozen or fresh ingredients instead of canned. It still comes out great! Do you love Minestrone Soup? Have you tried it in the Instant Pot?

Instant Pot Refried Beans

Before we get too far into this post I need to be upfront. These aren’t actually refried beans. They aren’t fried and contain no oil! I call them Instant Pot Refried Beans so you’ll know this recipe is for the Instant Pot and so you’ll know what to expect bean wise.

Enjoy restaurant style refried beans without sacrificing your health. These oil-free, plant-based refried beans are made in the Instant Pot.

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In 2012 when I started blogging, one of my first recipes was called Unfried Beans. I love that recipe but it has people confused and it doesn’t exactly rank high in Google searches because no one searches for unfried beans.

This new recipe, designed for the Instant Pot, is basically that same delicious recipe I’ve made hundreds of times. Since it’s all being cooked together I add fresh onion and garlic. I usually added those when I cook beans on the stove top as well.

Enjoy restaurant style refried beans without sacrificing your health. These oil-free, plant-based refried beans are made in the Instant Pot.

I first developed the old recipe when we went plant-based. We wanted the same delicious flavors we had always loved without the meat and lard! It’s kinda gross to think about.

Thankfully, this version uses spices we always have on hand because I put them in everything!

Enjoy restaurant style refried beans without sacrificing your health. These oil-free, plant-based refried beans are made in the Instant Pot.

If you have a food processor, it will save you a lot of time. I have a 10 cup Hamilton Beach food processor that we’ve used over 5 years. It’s not too expensive and has never let me down.

If you don’t have a food processor you could use a blender, immersion blender, potato masher or a fork. A food processor works the best though.

Instant Pot Refried Beans

We enjoy these beans on anything and everything! Try them in Nachos, Tostadas, burritos or a big bowl by themselves!

Instant Pot Refried Beans
 
Enjoy this easy and delicious refried bean recipe the whole family will love. This oil-free, plant-based recipe is low in fat but high in flavor!
Author:
Recipe type: Instant Pot
Ingredients
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced or chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cups dried pinto beans
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt (to your taste)
Instructions
  1. Add diced onion, minced garlic, spices, beans and water to the Instant Pot.
  2. Cook on manual for 40 minutes on high pressure.
  3. After natural pressure release, scoop out excess water. Reserve it in case you need extra.
  4. Add 2 teaspoons of salt, more or less to your own taste
  5. Use a food processor, potato masher or immersion blender to puree.
  6. Add reserved bean water if needed until you get a smooth texture.

Enjoy restaurant style refried beans without sacrificing your health. These oil-free, plant-based refried beans are made in the Instant Pot.

If you have an Instant Pot, be sure to give these refried beans a try! They are perfect for batch cooking because you can use them in so many other recipes!

What are your favorite ways to eat refried beans?

August 28, 2017 Plant-Based Meal Plan

This week’s meal plan is focused on some of our easiest plant-based favorites! My goal is to do some batch cooking with a few basics, like unfried beans,  and use those in a lot of meals in this weeks meal plan.

We love Mexican food so that heavily influences our meal plan every week. In fact, we could have Mexican food every day and be completely happy!

Check out thisPlant-Based Meal Plan with easy family-friendly recipes!

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Simple Plant-Based Meal Plan

Monday

Blueberry Muffins with fresh fruit or smoothies

Veggie Sandwich

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole

Tuesday

Blueberry Oatmeal

Burritos with leftover casserole

Minestrone Soup (I’m attempting it in the Instant Pot!)

Wednesday

Breakfast Hash

Soup and salad

Bean and Rice Burritos made with Unfried Beans and Mexican Rice

Thursday

Chia Porridge

Leftover Burritos

Tostadas and Mexican Rice

Friday

Steel Cut Oats with apples and blueberries cooking in the Instant Pot

Baked Potatoes

Plant-Based Nachos using the leftover beans and rice


One of the benefits of this type of meal plan is that I only cook a few things, then I reuse ingredients in several meals. It saves time cooking since I’ll effectively only cook the Mexican Casserole, beans, and rice for dinner. I’ll reuse these in most of the other lunch and dinner meals.

Do you like to batch cook? What do you normally make and how do you use it?

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