My Amazon Favorites

Recently a reader asked if I had a list of products I always get from Amazon. I regularly mention and link to Amazon products but I haven’t updated an official list in a long time. I decided that now was a great time to make that list!

Plant-Based Diet Favorites at Amazon

This post contains affiliate links.

I have an Amazon Prime account so I get free two-day shipping on most of the things I buy. Don’t worry, you can Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial right now!

Just yesterday we got a giant box of toilet paper delivered to our door. I feel like it’s usually easier to buy stuff on Amazon than go to the store, but that is probably my introvert heart talking.

I try not to buy too many processed foods so that really limits what I buy. Plus, we have a Costco membership so most of our bulk shopping is done there. It’s hard to beat Costco for organics but sometimes I can’t find the products I want there.

Amazon Favorites


I buy several kinds of oatmeal from Amazon. I usually get Bob’s Red Mill brand because I’ve never had a complaint. We buy steel cut oats, rolled oats and quick oats. I use different oats for different recipes.

Brown Rice Noodles

You know that my Veggie Pad Thai is a staple on my meal plans. I can have it ready in about 20 minutes. The key is having these quick cooking brown rice noodles in my pantry. I used to get them on Subscribe and Save, that means they were shipped every 6 weeks. You can choose how often subscribe and save items are shipped to you but every 6 weeks worked well for us.

Dried Chickpeas

This one is a newer find. I discovered Palouse brand non-GMO chickpeas last fall and loved them. I don’t always choose organic, depending on my budget but these were worth it. They taste noticeably better than any dried chickpea (or canned) that I had had before.

Peanut Butter Alternatives

When my son had peanut allergies (I know that sounds weird but he had a peanut allergy until he was 5 years old), we always bought our peanut butter alternatives on Amazon. SunButter is great for nut and soy allergies. If you use it a lot, go for the big one and get two 5 pound tubs. If you can’t tolerate sunflower seeds, give WOW Butter a try. You can get it in bulk too!

Other Amazon Products

We also buy small kitchen appliances (like my Instant Pot) and electronics at Amazon.

If you have products that you buy regularly, check to see if you can get an Amazon Dash button. It’s easy to Shop with Amazon Dash Buttons! You get a button that can be pressed for an instant order. This is good for things like toilet paper, trash bags, laundry soap or other products you order regularly. I like that the button can be placed in the same room as the product so I don’t forget to order it.

If you’ve been wondering if an Amazon Prime account is right for you Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial! It’s a win-win!

What are your favorite things to order from Amazon! I know I’m forgetting something! 

August 7, 2017 Plant-Based Meal Plan

We started back to school last week. I was happy our meal plan was easy because it was a busy week. This week is the first full week of school so I’ll have more easy meals on my mind and on my plant-based meal plan.

So far, we have a great breakfast routine on school days. My boys have been requesting oatmeal every day and I’m happy to make it for them. It’s super easy and super healthy! This week, I’m expecting to serve oatmeal with diced apples and raisins every morning.

We normally stick to leftovers for lunch. Some days I can hardly wait for lunch time! I’ve even been known to eat leftover soup for breakfast!

This Plant-Based Meal Plan is perfect for back to school or any busy season of life.

This page contains affiliate links.

This meal plan will focus on our evening dinners. Personally, I prefer to cook 3-4 big dinners a week then eat leftovers. I used to write my meal plans that way but people would be confused so I started writing out daily meal plans. I rarely make all 5 days worth of planned meals. I double recipes or add extra sides so I can get by with less cooking.

Sometimes I cook a meal that I know my kids won’t like. Either it’s spicy or uses veggies or textures that I know they aren’t interested in. I’ll take each kids’ preferences into account. Some days I tell them they don’t have a choice, they have to eat it. Other days I’ll give them the option of leftovers, oatmeal (yes, even for dinner), a sandwich or beans.

Plant-Based Meal Plan

I’ve already cooked a big batch of chickpeas that I’ll use this week in the soup, stir fry and BBQ chickpeas.

I discovered Palouse Brand Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas) on Amazon last fall and fell in love. If you think you don’t like chickpeas try this brand. They taste so much better than canned or other brands. They are non-GMO and you get a code to track your chickpeas to the field they were grown in. It’s pretty cool if you are a food geek like me!


Instant Pot Chickpea and Rice Soup (link includes stove top directions)


Tostadas with Mexican Rice


Broccoli and Mushroom Stir Fry


BBQ Chickpea Salad


Pizza Pasta, side salad, and veggies.

If we have enough leftovers, I may not make it all the way to my Pizza Pasta. Since I’ve already cooked a bunch of chickpeas, I’ll prioritize using them up first.

Do you have kids going back to school soon?

July 31, 2017 Plant-Based Meal Plan

If you struggle to figure out what to make each week I encourage you to write down a meal plan. Having something you can look at will help you stay on track.

As I was making lunch on Sunday, my son asked if we could have Spaghetti this week. I said yes and made a mental note to put Spaghetti in our plant-based meal plan this week. One dinner down, four more to plan.

Plant-Based Meal Plan

Last week, we never got around to making Lentil Tacos so those are going back on the meal plan this week. I already have all the ingredients I need. We usually eat some version of leftover dinner for lunch and rotate through a few breakfast ideas each week. Now I’m almost half way to a new meal plan!

Plant-Based Meal Plan


Banana Bread and fresh fruit

Soup and Salad

Lentil Tacos with Mexican Rice


Instant Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal with blueberries

Taco Salad

Spaghetti with side salad and Creamy Italian Salad Dressing


Chia Porridge

Leftover pasta

Tofu Scramble and fresh fruit


Breakfast Stir Fry

Baked Potato

Chickpea Noodle Soup


Banana Nut Oatmeal

Veggie Sandwich

Mexican Rice and Unfried Beans or Unfried Black Beans

It feels like summer is still in full swing but my kids are starting back to school this week! Soon we will be back to homework, rushed mornings, afterschool snacks and packed lunches.

If you are in the same situation I hope you got my email on Saturday morning! Every Saturday I send out an email full of plant-based tips and last weekend they were focused on Back to School! I’ve got more coming next weekend so be sure to sign up!

In the mean time, check out these tips to your lunch box and download the free printable! It will give you plenty of inspiration as you pack your lunches!

Should I use Oil on a Plant-Based Diet?

An issue that often comes up when deciding to eat a healthy whole food plant-based diet is the issue of oil. I can’t tell you how many emails I get with readers asking if they should have oil on a plant-based diet.

Is olive oil healthy? Should I eat olive oil on a plant-based diet?

There are MANY schools of thought on oil. Some doctors swear you need oils to be healthy. Other doctors insist that oils are not only unnecessary but absolutely harmful.

I tend to agree with my favorite plant-based doctors and follow the no oil plan. Doctors like Dr. McDougall, Dr. Campbell, Dr. Esselstyn, and Dr. Fuhrman; they advise people to avoid oil at all cost.

There are other doctors who insist that people need oil to be healthy. The thing is, you have to decide what to believe.

Sometimes it’s best to agree to disagree. If you are relatively healthy, you may not notice oil causing you harm. If, however, you are overweight or are trying to reverse disease it’s time to jump on the oil-free, whole food train. To be clear, I don’t think anyone needs oil in their diet but you may not notice the toll it takes if you are fairly healthy.

What about Healthy Fats?

There are a lot of people out there that talk about healthy oils and healthy fats. The truth is, the only type of fat that is healthy are those found naturally in whole foods, not those that are extracted from the food through processing.

If you need healthy fats, try those found in nuts, avocados, and olives.

Processed Oil is Not a Whole Food

Oil is an extremely processed substance that has no nutrients, whatsoever. Let that sink in!

Manufacturers take whole foods and take all the fiber and nutrients away and leave the fat to make oil. I’ll admit that was a simplification of the process but my point is that oil is a processed food.

What’s more, oil is extremely dense in calories, with a whopping 4000 calories per pound. To be realistic let’s break that down into servings, which can be about 120 calories per 1 tablespoon (or more if we’re being honest) when used in salad dressings and you can see what a huge effect oil can have on your daily caloric intake. If you are like me, you love to douse your salad in a lot more than one tablespoon of dressing! If you are frying food in oil, forget about it!

Is coconut oil healthy? Should I eat coconut oil on a plant-based diet?

Processed Oil is Not a Super Food

You’ve probably heard a lot about the amazing benefits of coconut oil. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but coconut oil is just fat. Coconut oil is great for your skin though, if you don’t have acne and suffer from dry skin. If you have coconut oil in your pantry, move it to your bathroom and use it as a makeup remover.  

A recent video by Dr. Fuhrman gives a concise answer about the benefit of coconut oil. When asked about the healthy properties of coconut oil, he calls it utter nonsense.

Processed Oil Has Very Few if Any Micronutrients

Some oils do have omega 3 fatty acids, but usually, it’s so minuscule that you’re not getting much bang for your caloric buck when ingesting them. You can actually end up gaining weight, clogging your arteries, or worse if you are using processed oil as a way to get in essential fatty acids. There are better ways.

Healthy Fats from Plants

Finally, let’s go over plants you can eat to get healthy fats into your diet. The healthy fats in these plants actually benefit your health on an oil-free plant-based diet.

  • Avocados – Rich and creamy, the avocado has about 322 calories and is made up of almost half fat. But, it has no trans fatty acids, no cholesterol, and only 5 grams of saturated fat. For this, you also get vitamin A, C, Iron, and Calcium with a nice dose of dietary fiber to help with digestion.
  • Nuts – Full of unsaturated fat, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamin E and a substance called sterols, which help lower your cholesterol along with L-arginine which keeps your blood flowing helping to avoid blood clots. Nuts are good for you in moderation (unless you have an allergy or other applicable medical condition).
  • Seeds – Hemp, chia, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds are amazing additions to a healthy plant-based diet. They are full of omega-3 fatty acids, low in bad fats, full of fiber, protein, and even calcium. Add them to your salads or oatmeal. You can also blend them into some fruit for delicious and heart healthy dressings.
  • Bananas – Who doesn’t love a delicious banana? It’s packaged just right to take it on the go and is almost a perfect food for plant-based eaters. You can make nice cream, smoothies; use it to replace fat in baking and more. It’s full of wonderful nutrients, the carbs you need with the right amount of healthy fat a good kick of potassium, fiber and more which make it the perfect post-workout food.

In addition to these amazing oil-free plant-based foods, you can add coconut, olives, edamame, etc.  These additions to your diet will fill you up, make you feel satisfied, and keep you healthy without adding oils to your diet.

Don’t worry, oil free food has a lot of flavor! Check out my list of oil-free salad dressings and sauces!

July 24, 2017 Plant-Based Meal Plan

I’ve been loving big salads lately! When it’s hot and I don’t want to cook, I love having meals I can build without heating up the kitchen. Sometimes that means using my Instant Pot, other times I reach for canned beans, but lately, it’s big, beautiful salads.

This week, I’m planning to keep it simple. I made a big pot of soup this weekend and have plenty of fresh produce. I’m also planning to make lentil tacos with all the fixins!

Plant-Based Meal Plan

This page contains affiliate links.

We eat the best when we have a plan and healthy ingredients. Thankfully, my big Amazon shipment of oatmeal just came in! I love my Prime account and use it for most of my shelf stable food. Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial and see if you love it too!

Plant-Based Meal Plan


Overnight Oats

Soup and Salad

Lentil Tacos with Mexican Rice


Toast with peanut butter (or alternative) and fresh strawberries

Bean Burrito

Black Bean and Mango Salad


Instant Pot Oatmeal with blueberries

Leftover Black Bean and Mango Salad

Veggie Pad Thai


Breakfast Hash and fresh fruit

Veggie Wrap with Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus

Hawaiian Tofu Kabobs and Quinoa


Chia Porridge

Soup and Salad

Pizza Pasta

This Dry Veggie Broth Mix is a life changer!

I have a few other things I make a lot, they help me keep things simple and take my recipes to the next level! The Dry Veggie Broth Mix is easy to make and can be used to make a delicious broth. I always tell people this recipe is life changing and I’ve heard amazing reviews! Give it a try!

The other things I make a lot are delicious salad dressings! If you are looking for some tasty, oil-free dressing for your salad I have some recommendations.

My Sweet and Tangy Salad Dressing is exactly how it sounds, sweet and tangy. A pinch of xantham gum or ground flax will thicken it up.

My Creamy Italian Salad Dressing is thick and creamy. It’s low fat and made without nuts or seeds so eat as much as you want. You can try it on pasta too!

During the summer, we also love my Blueberry Vinaigrette and Raspberry Vinaigrette.

What are you eating this week? Leave a comment or tag My Plant-Based Family on social media!

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