January 9, 2017 Plant-Based Meal Plan

Is meal planning a goal for you this year? I don’t make resolutions but I do my best to create a meal plan almost every week. This meal plan is completely plant-based and includes a lot of Instant Pot recipes (don’t worry if you don’t have an IP though).

I first started blogging in 2012. You can go back and see those first meal plans. I’ve changed the way I plan over the years but the important thing is being consistent about planning, even if it isn’t perfect.

If you are struggling to meal plan I’ve got some tips that will help you. If you aren’t ready to fly on your own, you can always come here each Monday for a new meal plan, or view my Meal Planning Archives.

This Plant-Based Meal Plan is perfect for families, especially people wanting to eat healthy with their pressure cookers. Many recipes are for the Instant Pot.

Plant-Based Meal Plan


Overnight Oats

Leftover soup

Lentils, Broccoli Mashed Potatoes and Carrots


Instant Pot Oatmeal 


Chickpea and Rice Soup


Toast and fruit

Leftover soup

“Beefy” Lentil and Veggie Soup or Taco Soup


Instant Pot Oatmeal

Veggie Sandwich

Instant Pot Black Beans and Rice that I’ll dress up with some avocado and salsa.


Breakfast Hash and Smoothies or Muffins


Lentil Tacos and Mexican Rice

Get plugged into more plant-based goodness by following me on Facebook or Instagram! You can also join the My Plant-Based Family group for support.

Instant Pot Lentils, Broccoli Mashed Potatoes and Carrots

One of the first things I learned to actually cook when I was a kid was pot roast with potatoes and carrots. I clearly remember my Mom calling me from work and telling me what to do to get dinner started. I think I was in 5th grade and I was so proud that I could make a grown up meal.

While I don’t cook meat any more, occasionally I want a meal that isn’t all mixed together. I know some of you have noticed that most of my meals are soups, casseroles, one-pot type of recipes. Sometimes, I want a main dish and side dishes.

This easy Instant Pot recipes will impress your family. This vegan recipe is comfort food in a bowl.

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I used my memories of my first solo cooking experience to create a new Instant Pot recipe. Don’t worry; it’s plant-based, full of fiber and cholesterol free.

I love using lentils in place of beef in my recipes. Like my Lentil Shepherd’s Pie, Lentil Tacos, Instant Pot Lentil Tacos, “Beefy” Lentil Soup and more.

This time I made Lentils, Broccoli Mashed Potatoes and Carrots. They were all cooked at the same time in my Instant Pot. I have the 6 quart IP by the way.

This easy Instant Pot recipes will impress your family. This vegan recipe is comfort food in a bowl.

You could definitely cook these separately on the stove if you don’t have an Instant Pot. See why I bought mine!

This recipe requires that you have a steamer basket. I bought this one on Amazon and I’ve been very happy with it. It collapses so it can be stored in a small space.

I wanted to have an easy recipe where I could throw everything in and have it cooked together. The carrots and broccoli do get over cooked with this method. I don’t mind because the broccoli is getting mashed into the potatoes anyway. I feel it’s a small price to pay to avoid having to cook multiple items at different times.This easy Instant Pot recipes will impress your family. This vegan recipe is comfort food in a bowl.

Instant Pot Lentils, Broccoli Mashed Potatoes and Carrots

This easy recipe will feed a family of four with some leftovers. If you love carrots you may want to add extra though. You can make it your own by adding your favorite spices or extra veggies.

Instant Pot Lentils, Broccoli Mashed Potatoes and Carrots
  • 1 cup dry brown lentils
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups of water
  • 5 russet potatoes, peeled if desired and cut in half
  • 4 large carrots cut in half (to fit in pot)
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cups rice milk (any unsweetened plant milk is acceptable)
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  1. Pour lentils into your Instant Pot and sprinkle the onion powder and garlic powder on top. Add the 2 cups of water.
  2. Place the steamer basket on top of the lentils.
  3. Put the potatoes, carrots and broccoli in the steamer basket.
  4. Close the lid and make sure the release is in the sealed position.
  5. Press the Manual button and use the arrows to bring it down to 10 minutes.
  6. Once done, turn off and let the pressure reduce naturally. After 10 minutes you can do a quick release.
  7. Sort the food by placing the carrots in a small bowl, the potatoes and broccoli in a large mixing bowl and the lentils can stay in the Instant Pot. Don't forget to discard the bay leaf.
  8. Pour plant-based milk, salt and nutritional yeast over the potatoes and broccoli. Use a potato masher to make mashed potatoes.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste.

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Last Plant-Based Meal Plan of 2016

This will be the last plant-based meal plan of 2016. I’m ready for Christmas and spending a few days off with my family.

This week will be crazy! We have a lot scheduled so I’m only going to plan dinners this week. We will stick to our usual leftovers for lunches and breakfasts will be things like oatmeal, smoothies, bagels, etc.

I’ve been able to stay focused on healthy eating, even with all of the holiday festivities, because I love soup. Each week I make 2-3 big pots of soup so I always have a healthy meal available. Even now I have leftover Enchilada Soup and Chickpea and Rice Soup in the fridge. I don’t get to the point of eating something I’m going to regret because I always have a healthy option ready to go.

If you are struggling to eat healthy, try making a delicious soup. You can always freeze the leftovers.

A plant-based meal plan for winter with quick and easy meals.

Plant-Based Meal Plan


Chickpea and Rice Soup. It’s already leftovers but we have at least one more meal left.


Spaghetti with marinara sauce and a side salad.


Veggie Pad Thai, we love this quick and easy recipe.


Mexican Casserole in the Instant Pot, see Crock Pot version here. This is still one of my most popular recipes.


Taco Soup, this is one of my all time favorite soups!

When it comes to holidays I usually rely on my Plant-Based Holiday Meal Plan and Cookbook! It’s all my favorite holiday recipes with a healthier twist.

If you get my weekly Plant-Based Tips in your inbox every Saturday (you can sign up here) you won’t see it this Saturday. I’m not sending it out on Christmas Eve. I will have a special email going out on December 31st, so make sure you are on my list!

Lastly, today is the LAST DAY to get the special bonus for pre-buying the Plant-Based Basics eCourse! The eCourse starts January 1st! Check out this Facebook video where I talk about the bonus and the eCourse.

I’ve got some great things planned for 2017! I’m excited to have you on this journey with me!

Chickpea and Rice Soup

We’ve fallen in love with a new soup! Actually, it’s an old classic that I’ve turned into a healthy, plant-based family favorite, Chickpea and Rice Soup. Plus, I’m giving you instructions for both the stove top and Instant Pot versions.

This vegan and gluten-free Chickpea and Rice Soup is easy and delicious. It has stove top and Instant Pot instructions. This is my favorite Instant Pot recipe!

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You know I love my Chickpea Noodle Soup. I didn’t think life could get much better than that until I tried Chickpea and Rice Soup.

I really wanted to make a soup that I could make in the Instant Pot. I don’t make noodles in the Instant Pot because we usually use gluten-free noodles and they are more temperamental that their wheat counter parts.

The first time I made this soup, I did a stove top version to try to get all the proportions correct. Then I started working on my Instant Pot version. I made this soup so many times we grew a little sick of it. Not because of the taste but because it was the only thing I ate for days. Yes, days!

Usually when I make something with chickpeas I’ll use canned because chickpeas have such a long cooking time. I really wanted to get away from using canned though so I ordered some from Amazon. If you don’t have a Prime membership you are missing out! Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial OR Give the Gift of Amazon Prime!

I found Palouse Brand and was intrigued. Not only are they non-GMO but they give you a code so you can track your chickpeas to see the field they were grown in. Also, they are not irradiated, sounds strange to have to say but a lot of companies  expose food to radiation for sterilization. Maybe that is why these seem to taste so much better than other chickpeas I’ve had.

This vegan and gluten-free Chickpea and Rice Soup is easy and delicious. It has stove top and Instant Pot instructions. This is my favorite Instant Pot recipe!

Veggie Broth

Whichever process you follow to make this soup, Stove Top or Instant Pot, I highly recommend you use my Veggie Broth Mix. It will make the best soup. If you use my Veggie Broth Mix you won’t need to use the seasonings mentioned in the recipe, just use salt with the mix.

If you just can’t bring yourself to make my mix then you can use your favorite pre-made broth instead of water or use the seasonings I recommend. Your call! I like to make recipes that don’t have to be 100% exact.

Make sure you use brown rice when you make this. If you get a quick cooking rice this recipe won’t work. You need a rice that can stand up to a long cooking time in the Instant Pot with the chickpeas. If you only have a fast cooking rice, I recommend using the stove top version and adapting the recipe as needed.

Stove Top version (with canned chickpeas)

I know some of you will want to make this soup right away before you have a chance to order your Palouse Brand chickpeas from Amazon. You probably have all the ingredients already since they are regular pantry staples.

When I’m cooking recipes on the stove I like to start with my onion. I’ll add my diced onion to the pan and allow it to begin cooking, add a little water if needed when it starts to stick. Normally, I’d add my veggies next but since I cook with brown rice it takes a long time to cook on the stove. Add your brown rice and water and seasonings (or broth mix). Allow the rice to cook for 15 minutes. Then add the rest of your veggies. Cook the soup for another 30 minutes. Last, add your canned, drained and rinsed chickpeas. Your rice and veggies should be done. Add salt to taste.

This vegan and gluten-free Chickpea and Rice Soup is easy and delicious. It has stove top and Instant Pot instructions. This is my favorite Instant Pot recipe!

Instant Pot version (with unsoaked chickpeas)

Even though this soup is easy, it’s one of the longest cooking things I’ve made in the Instant Pot. This recipe takes at least 20 minutes to come to pressure the first time. It isn’t a fast soup.

I’ve made this in the Instant Pot three ways. One is to cook everything at the same time even though the veggies get very soft. It’s easy because you add all the ingredients and cook on manual for 40 minutes with a natural pressure release. Yes, it’s that easy.

The second way is to cook the chickpeas and rice together, then add the veggies for a few more minutes. My husband likes it all cooked together because he prefers the veggies super soft. I like my veggies a little more firm but it requires a two step cooking process.

To make the two step cooking process work you’ll add dry chickpeas and rice to your Instant Pot with 4 cups of water. Cook on manual for 35 minutes. Once this is done, turn it off and allow the pressure to come down naturally for at least 10 minutes. Then carefully let out the steam.

Add the rest of the ingredients (veggies, spices unless using my veggie broth mix, and water), and give it a good stir so that nothing is stuck to the bottom. Cook on manual for 5 minutes then allow the pressure to come down naturally again.

It’s important to note that a lot of people have trouble getting their Instant Pots to come back up to pressure a second time after cooking something. If you run into this problem you can try to wash your lid and sealing ring (but be careful, it will be hot).

Instant Pot version (with Soaked Chickpeas)

This is the third way I’ve made Chickpea and Rice Soup and my favorite! It does require a little preplanning because you have to soak the chickpeas over night.

First, rinse off one cup of chickpeas and put them in a pot or large bowl with 4 cups of water. Then, the next morning rinse your soaked chickpeas in clean water and put them in your Instant Pot with your rice, veggies, spices and 8 cups of water. Give it a stir and press manual. Move the arrows to go down to 23 minutes. Once done, allow the pressure to release naturally, then scoop and enjoy!

This vegan and gluten-free Chickpea and Rice Soup is easy and delicious. It has stove top and Instant Pot instructions. This is my favorite Instant Pot recipe!

Chickpea and Rice Soup

This plant-based soup is also gluten-free. It’s a great fall or winter soup and uses basic pantry and fridge staples that we almost always have on hand.


Chickpea and Rice Soup
This version is for using unsoaked chickpeas in the Instant Pot. See other cooking versions above.
Recipe type: Soup
  • 1 cup dry chickpeas
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 4 cups water (for step 1)
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 4 cups water (for step 2)
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  1. Add rice, chickpeas and 4 cups of water to your Instant Pot.
  2. Close the lid and vent.
  3. Press manual and use the arrows to go up to 35 minutes.
  4. Allow the IP to naturally release the pressure for at least 10 minutes. Then open the lid.
  5. Add the rest of the veggies, spices (or Veggie Broth Mix mentioned above) and 4 more cups of water.
  6. Stir everything well and make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom.
  7. Close the lid and vent.
  8. Press manual and use arrows to go down to 5 minutes.
  9. Once done, allow pressure to release manually.

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Plant-Based eCourse starts January 1st (get the bonus today)

If you or someone you love is trying to transition to a plant-based diet I have a special message for you!

I have an ecourse that will teach you everything you need to know to adopt a plant-based lifestyle. The course is self-paced so you can take it on your own schedule but we start together on January 1st.

This course is great for people who are making those first plant-based steps but also for people who have been trying to make the transition to plant-based living but have struggled.

Plant-Based Basics eCourse

Plant-Based Basics

This eCourse is in it’s third year. It’s broken down into 5 modules (over 20 lessons) and will teach you everything you need to know about:

  • What to eat and what to avoid
  • Plant-Based shopping strategies
  • Meal Planning for your schedule and budget
  • Time savers
  • If supplements are necessary
  • Money savers
  • The best way to get protein
  • and so much more

You’ll also be able to connect with other people in our private Facebook group that are exactly where you are and others who have been where you are but are now thriving on a plant-based diet.

eCourse Success

You aren’t alone on your plant-based journey. The Plant-Based Basics eCourse isn’t just lessons. It’s a community of people who are on this journey with you. Read what Susan had to say.

I was able to stay more focused because I had constant reminders on Facebook and in the lessons to keep aiming me in the right direction. There was always someone to bounce off an idea and ask for support and suggestions. I lost 5 pounds over the course and really could have done more with a little more exercise.

I think the entire program was phenomenal! The simplicity yet thoroughness of the eCourse allowed even a novice Plant-Based person to educate themselves about why this lifestyle is better than the Standard American Diet and to implement steps to take to eat and be healthier.

The meal plans were great and included a variety of recipes to suit many different sorts of tastes. I found many recipes that I can incorporate into my meal rotations and I would do this eCourse again, just to solidify my knowledge and share with others. The fact that there was a group of us all doing the same thing meant for a great camaraderie. ~ Susan

Special Bonus (time sensitive) The_Plant_Based_Diet_Starter_Guide

The Plant-Based Basics eCourse makes a great gift. Pre-buy the eCourse by December 19th and I’ll send you a free copy of my book The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide (US only). Additionally, if you are purchasing the eCourse as a gift, I’ll send you a digital certificate you can print and put under the tree.

You don’t have to be overwhelmed by trying to change your diet. Learn how to transition to a plant-based diet with a supportive group that wants you to succeed.

Are You Ready?

If you are ready to sign up for the Plant-Based Basics eCourse you can do it right here. You won’t be charged until January 1st. Then fill out this form so I know who to send the book and digital certificate to.

If you want more information about the eCourse, no problem. Learn more about the course and see what other people have said, but don’t forget to come back and fill out this form by December 19th to get the bonuses.

If you miss the deadline for the book, a digital certificate can still be sent for gift giving but the book will no longer be available as a bonus.


Don’t wait! You don’t want to miss your chance to get a free copy of The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide!

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