A Plant-Based Meal Plan using Basic Pantry Staples

Last week I shared my list of Basic Pantry Staples, as well as Refrigerated Staples, for Plant-Based living. This week I wanted to share an easy Meal Plan that could be made using those staples. Truthfully, most of my Meal Plans can be made with basic pantry staples but this plan will be extra easy.

Meal Plan Monday

Breakfast

We usually opt of easy breakfasts most days but even the longer cooking items on this list can be made ahead and reheated in the mornings.

Lunch

I love having leftovers for lunch. Some days I use leftovers to create a whole new meal. Having basics like potatoes, beans and chopped veggies can bring lunch together quickly.

Dinner

I’m willing to spend more time on dinner but that doesn’t mean I want to spend an hour in the kitchen. Most of these choices can come together quickly, especially if you batch cook beans and grains on the weekend.

This is definitely more food than we would eat in a week. I offer this menu as a guide, pick and choose what you would like to try. I prefer to cook larger portions less often.  Some weeks I eat Baked Potatoes everyday with different toppings. Last week for example, I ate baked potatoes with Steamed Broccoli, Pico de Gallo, Black beans and Pico, Barbecue sauce, well you get the idea.

What does your Meal Plan look like this week? Did you get the Basic Staples for a Plant-Based Diet yet?

Basic Fridge/Freezer Staples for a Plant-Based Diet

Yesterday I shared my list of Basic Pantry Staples for a Plant-Based Diet. Today I want to share my list of staples that need to be kept cold in the refrigerator or freezer with a few exceptions for fresh produce. Making changes to a healthier lifestyle can be difficult. Use this guide to make your journey toward a plant-based diet a little easier.

basic refrigerator freezer staples

Basic Staples for the Refrigerator and Freezer

Freezer 

  • bananas
  • blueberries
  • breads
  • broccoli
  • cherries
  • corn
  • herbs
  • mixed veggies
  • stir fry veggies
  • strawberries
  • whole wheat pastry flour

I also like to freeze leftover soups and baked goods like muffins and breads. If I chop too many veggies I’ll store them in the freezer to use in a quick stir fry or soup.

 Refrigerator

  • applesauce
  • Braggs Liquid Aminos
  • chia seeds
  • coconut milk coffee creamer
  • fat-free balsamic vinaigrette
  • flax seeds
  • jelly (with no added sugar)
  • lemon/lime juice
  • milk (we use rice milk)
  • mustard
  • natural nut butters
  • nutritional yeast
  • dates
  • maple syrup
  • salsa
  • sunflower seed butter

Many of these items are more like add on’s or condiments. I often feel like our fridge is full of things that aren’t really food. Some of these items could be stored in the pantry instead of the fridge but I live in the desert so it is typically hotter here so I store them in the fridge.

Fresh Produce 

  • apples
  • bananas
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • garlic
  • onions
  • oranges
  • peppers (jalapenos, bell peppers and sweet peppers)
  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • spinach and other lettuces
  • tomatoes
  • other seasonal produce (cucumbers, pears, peaches, melons, etc.)

These are our basic produce picks. We buy these regularly and at any given time you will find them in our fridge. We try to stick to seasonal produce so you’ll rarely find asparagus in our fridge. We don’t store all of our produce in the fridge. Some things like potatoes and onions are stored in the pantry. Broccoli and spinach are always in the refrigerator. Other items like apples and peppers could be stored at room temperature or refrigerated.

I’m about to make this even easier! Here is a printer-friendly compilation of all my Basic Staples for a Plant-Based Diet! <<Click on the link for a PDF!

What are your top picks for Basic Pantry (and fridge staples)?  I’d love to see how they differ.

For more helpful information about getting started on a plant-based diet check out my ebook, The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide: How to Cook, Shop and Eat Well.

Plant-Based Diet Ebook

Basic Pantry Staples for a Plant-Based Diet

When starting a new journey it’s helpful to have a map. I often liken a Plant-Based Diet to a journey because for most of us it is a completely new adventure. I know I was unprepared for all of the changes. I’ve vowed to make it easier for those who come after me.

I wish I could take each of you to the grocery store and point out the best products. Since I can’t do that I think the next best thing is to share this list of Basic Pantry Staples. I almost always have these on hand. Our list has changed over the years do to allergies and intolerance’s but I believe it will give you a good idea of where to get started.

basic pantry staples

Basic Pantry Staples

Spices

  • black/white pepper
  • chili powder
  • cinnamon
  • cumin
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • sea salt
  • turmeric

Pantry

  • agave nectar
  • applesauce
  • baking soda & baking powder
  • brown rice
  • canned beans
  • (whole grain) cereal
  • chocolate chips (Enjoy Life Brand is my favorite)
  • cocoa
  • coffee
  • dried beans (pinto, black, chickpea’s, lentils, etc.)
  • dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, etc.)
  • flour (whole wheat and gluten-free)
  • grains
  • (shelf stable) non-dairy milks
  • nutritional yeast
  • nuts/seeds
  • old-fashioned oats
  • pasta
  • pasta sauce
  • quinoa
  • raw sugar
  • red wine vinegar
  • tomato sauce
  • tortillas
  • tortilla chips
  • turbinado sugar
  • vanilla 

This list is based the items we have kept in our pantry over the last few years. Your list may look different depending on your preferences and restrictions. I can make most of my recipes with these ingredients. I did not buy them all at once and I don’t use them all the time but these are my essentials.

Tomorrow I’ll share my list for Basic Staples for the Refrigerator and Freezer.

Does your list of Basic Pantry Staples differ?

To find out more helpful information about getting started on a Plant-Based Diet check out my ebook, The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide: How to Cook, Shop and Eat Well.

Plant-Based Diet Ebook

Meal Plan Monday: Fast Food Detox

We had a great time last week with our family in town visiting, but man, oh man did we eat out. A lot! It was just easier. Excuses, excuses. Our bodies are in need of a fast food detox.

This week my husband and I are ready to eat nothing but real, whole food, that is made in our kitchen. The kids will just have to go along with my plan because they don’t get a say. They may get sandwiches if we decide to eat something that isn’t “kid-friendly.” As I type I have people working in my house, and the water turned off to make repairs. If they are not done soon it may challenge my resolve but I have enough bottled water to cook rice and lentils. I think.

This week is also Healthy Cravings. I’ll be showing everyone who attends how to eat healthy without breaking their budget.

Meal Plan

Plant-Based Meal Plan

Breakfast

I’ve been craving savory foods for breakfast but since I don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking I’ve been eating leftover casseroles, soups or baked potatoes. Not quite typical but it’s been really good.

Lunch

I’m planning salads this week. Restaurant salads usually contain a lot of unhealthy ingredients. I always feel like I have to remove more items than I keep. My salads are big, filling and really hit the spot. I’ll do a few other things too. We usually have fruit with all of our meals. 

  • Lentil & Rice Salad
  • Bean and Grain Bowl
  • Taco Salad
  • Baked Potatoes with Steamed Broccoli and raw veggies
  • Sandwiches for the kids

Dinner

I want all of my dinners this week to be veggie-centric feasts. It’s easier to accomplish a “fast food detox” when I’m eating delicious foods in hearty portions.

I need to add a few other touches but I haven’t done my grocery shopping yet so I will wait and see what produce looks best. I will also bake some potatoes and cook some beans for quick meals and snacks like these Bean and Potato Burritos. If you saw the Green Chili White Bean dip I posted last week you’ll want to make some beans too.

 

Green Chili White Bean Dip

I’ve been selfishly keeping this Green Chili White Bean Dip to myself. Today is the day I set it free! It’s made with pantry staples so if you have nothing in the fridge you can still make this dip. I think it is “guilt-free” so if you end up eating the whole bowl with a spoon there is no harm done.

Green Chili white bean dip

Green Chili White Bean Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed (I used Great Northern beans)
  • 1 (4 oz) can of diced green chilies
  • 1 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • cilantro (optional)

Do

  1. Pour beans, chilies, and seasonings into a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth, add a little water if needed.
  3. Taste, add extra seasonings if desired.

Serve

I devoured this dip with Way Better Snacks Simply Beyond Black Bean Tortilla Chips and homemade Pico de Gallo. Way Better Snacks are made from real ingredients like seeds, grains and beans.

You could also eat the Green Chili White Bean Dip with veggies or use it as a sandwich or wrap spread. I finished it off with a spoon though, it is just that good!

This tip would be perfect for a potluck!

I also wanted to invite you all to join a brand new Facebook group for our community. The My Plant-Based Family Group is a group for anyone interested in plant-based living. Discussion, questions and encouragement are welcome! Click HERE to join!