Plant-Based Crock Pot Week

It’s Back to School month at My Plant-Based Family! This month we are focusing on packing lunch boxes, easy dinner time meals and getting ready for school. Make sure you check out my Back to School Community Board on Pinterest for more ideas.

I’ll be talking about lunch packing throughout the month (I’m also sharing my son’s lunch boxes on Instagram). Today my focus in on easy dinners, specifically Crock Pot dinners! My kindergartener starts baseball this week so it will be great to have an easy dinner planned.

I love my Crock Pot! I wish I had two but I don’t really have room for another one. I love cooking in it though. Many of my recipes are designed specifically for the Crock Pot but that doesn’t stop me from making my normal stove to recipes in it too.

Meal Plan Monday Plant-Based Crock Pot dinners

Plant-Based Crock Pot Dinners

Tomato Soup with a side salad and toast

Easy Crock Pot Broccoli and Rice Casserole, this is my husbands favorite recipe!

Taco Soup with Baked Potatoes

Spaghetti Squash with Marinara and a side salad

Pinto Beans in the Crock Pot to use in Bean Burritos or Bean and Potato Burritos.

These meals assure us a delicious homemade dinner no matter how busy we get. Another way to save time is though batch cooking. I hope you read last weeks Batch Cooking Meal Plan for additional time savers and meal ideas.

Don’t forget to get your $2.00 coupon code for The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide.

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Secret Ingredient Vegan BBQ Sandwich

Shhh…I have a secret.

Any guesses?

Spaghetti Squash is the secret ingredient in my BBQ Sandwich. I know, you thought I was going to use jack fruit like lots of other bloggers. While I hear it is delicious I’ve never seen it or tried it. I’m all about easy to find, inexpensive ingredients. Of course if I ever see jack fruit in the store I’ll be sure to try it too!

Vegan BBQ Sandwich...You'll never guess the secret ingredient!

We have tried, and I mean really tried to enjoy Spaghetti Squash. I recently took a poll on Facebook to find out how everyone else makes it and it seemed like most people saute theirs butter or oil. While neither of those appeal to me I decided to try a little saute myself, except I’m using Barbecue Sauce.

Vegan BBQ Sandwich...You'll never guess the secret ingredient

Vegan BBQ Sandwich

Ingredients

Do

  1. Prepare Spaghetti Squash as mentioned HERE.
  2. Carefully remove squash from the Crock Pot and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Use a fork to rake out the spaghetti squash and put it in a small skillet.
  4. Pour you favorite barbecue sauce over the squash and mix well.
  5. All the sauce to mix well with the squash then scoop it onto buns.

Serve

These BBQ Sandwiches are perfect for a pot luck. You could even return the BBQ Spaghetti Squash to the Crock Pot for transport and to keep it warm. Serve leftover on top of baked potatoes. We enjoyed these sandwiches with pasta salad. I’ll share that recipe soon!

While Spaghetti Squash will never be our family’s favorite thing to eat this recipe is certainly our favorite way to eat it so far. My 3 year old loved it the most. He finished his in record time.

Do you like Spaghetti Squash? 

If you are taking this to a pot luck I recommend taking Potato Salad! Follow me on Pinterest for more ideas!

Creamy Tomato Soup: Never Eat Condensed Soup Again!

Sometimes I create a recipe that is so good we are completely surprised. I’m a pretty good cook, but I don’t expect to be able to recreate some foods, especially with all of the food sensitivities in our house.

Unlike the big name condensed soups (you know who I’m talking about) that use tomato paste, corn syrup, wheat and plenty of chemicals, this recipe uses only real vegetables. I am in love with this vegan, gluten-free, and sodium-free Creamy Tomato Soup. I have a feeling you will probably love it too.creamy tomato soup It is perfect for spring and summer time when you can get garden fresh tomatoes AND it doesn’t require the use of a stove! I made this with the help of my Crock-Pot and my Blendtec! Easiest. Soup. Ever! If you are not in the mood for a warm soup you can also drink this cold! creamy tomato soup

Creamy Tomato Soup

Vegan and Gluten-Free

Ingredients

  • 9 tomatoes (these were vine ripened tomatoes and between Roma and Beefsteak tomatoes in size)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 to 2 cups of water

Do

  1. Wash all produce well and remove and discard any leafy ends.
  2. Put all veggies in a Crock-Pot. Veggies can be cut if needed. I cut the celery, carrots and onions so they would fit better but left the tomatoes whole. My Crock-Pot was almost overflowing.
  3. Cook on low all day.
  4. Allow to cool slightly then blend in a Blendtec or high-powered blender. I let mine cool all the way. Don’t burn yourself. :)
  5. Add salt if needed.

Serve The soup is perfect as is or with a light dusting of salt. You could eat it with crackers, toast or a grilled Faux Cheesy Snack. I also love it cold! It’s a perfect quick snack that I can drink easily in a cup when I’m on the go and it tastes a lot like V-8.

A few months ago we bought a Blendtec and have been loving it! It has made a lot of new recipes possible like my Green Chili White Bean Dip and my Creamy Italian Salad Dressing. I recently became a Blendtec affiliate! Did you know you can get $100 Off + Free Shipping on Blendtec Factory Recertified Blenders

TIP! I store this soup in a pitcher so I can easily pour it into a bowl or a cup and it takes up less room in the fridge than a bowl.

Do you love Tomato Soup? Next time I’m going to make a spicy version!

This post contains affiliate links.

Spring Meal Plan

Have you created your Meal Plan for the week yet? If not, what is standing in your way? Is it too hard, too time consuming, or just too much trouble? I’ll admit I don’t always stick to our plan 100%. Sometimes I am missing an ingredient, or our plans will change. Some days I just don’t get the prep work done ahead of time. Still having a Meal Plan helps to focus my food prep and keeps me cooking instead of order takeout or eating cereal (again) for dinner.

As the weather heats up here in Arizona I know my days using the oven are numbered and I’ll be switching to the Crock Pot for more of our meals. Using the Crock Pot also helps me have dinner prepared at the right time. Often I get distracted and don’t start dinner until too late. If it’s in the Crock Pot I’m ready.

On the plus side my garden is producing and I think I’ll be harvesting my first ripe tomatoes this week. I see some jalapenos growing out of the little blossoms, and I have more basil than I know what to do with.

Spring Meal Plan that is vegan and Gluten-free

Spring Meal Plan

Breakfast

Every morning I get us super early and make a homemade breakfast for my family. Just kidding, we’ve been relying on cereal quite a bit lately. Some days we have oatmeal or other oat-free hot cereal like Bob’s Red Mill Mighty Tasty Gluten-Free Hot Cereal. I prefer dinner leftovers for breakfast but most mornings are made up of the following:

  • Cereal with fresh blueberries and mangos
  • Toast with SunButter Natural Sunflower Seed Spread and Apples or bananas
  • Breakfast Rice with Cinnamon, Apples and Raisins
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon
  • Baked Potatoes with a little sea salt (I’m the only weird on who eats this)

Lunch

I eat leftovers whenever they are available but my kids normally want sandwiches. We usually have a fruit or veggies as a side.

  • SunButter Sandwiches with jelly
  • Gluten-Free Pasta with marinara
  • Leftover Soup with Baked Potatoes
  • Veggie Wrap OR Veggie Sandwich on tasted bread

Dinner

I usually put more work into dinner that the other meals. We have several evening appointments this week so I’m hoping to make many of these meal ahead.

If you need some ideas for Cinco de Mayo meals check out last weeks Mexican Food Meal Plan! It is full of Vegan and Gluten-Free ideas!

This post contains affiliate links. 

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Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole (Crock-Pot)

I’m constantly working on recipes that will be easy as well as delicious. This recipe is both and 100% comfort food.

I admit, this isn’t the same dairy and fat-filled Broccoli and Rice Casserole I used to make in our omni days but for any of you who have tried my other Broccoli and Rice Casserole I think you’ll love this. Also, you can change-up the veggies for a little variety.

Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cups nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour*
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups plant-milk (I use rice milk)
  • 3 cups chopped broccoli (or other veggies)

Do

  1. Pour all ingredients into your crock-pot and give everything a good stir.
  2. Set crock-pot to low and cook for 3-4 hours. I gave it a stir about once an hour. 

Serve

This is great as a main dish. It is comforting and filling, perfect for cold weather.

*If you don’t have brown rice flour you can use wheat flour instead.

If you like this recipe try my Easy Crock Pot Mexican Rice and Bean Casserole!

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