Meal Plan Monday: Full of Berries and Tomatoes

I took a little break from the computer last week because we traveled to Michigan for our daughter’s graduation. We aren’t quite unpacked yet but we are slowly getting back to normal. I made Veggie Pad Thai last night and I’m soaking beans now. In a little while I’ll cook a batch of rice to use in various recipes.

Even though I didn’t take my computer I used my time off to plan and brainstorm. I have a couple dozen recipes I hope to show you over the next few months.

During the month of June I want to work on getting some extra ingredients and maybe a few meals prepped and in my freezer. We’ve been having too much food waste lately. My plan is to put serving sizes of cooked rice, beans, sauces, etc. into the freezer for an easy to grab dinner. I’ll come up with a better plan for this later, hopefully. :)

For now I’m focusing on berries and tomatoes!

Meal Plan

Plant-Based Meal Plan

Breakfast

Fresh berries are showing up in the stores. They are my breakfast inspiration.

Lunch

I’ll be focusing on simple, mostly unprocessed foods for lunch.

  • Baked Potatoes with steamed broccoli
  • Veggie Wraps with cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, red onions and greens
  • Tomato Soup with a salad or baked potato
  • Leftover Lentil & Quinoa Salad
  • Sandwiches with SunButter and fruit for the kids

Dinner

Most of our meals with be oven-less for the next few months. That leaves the stove, Crock-Pot, and grill as viable options.

If you need an idea for working more berries into your meals try my Blueberry Salad Dressing! It’s oil-free and very kid-friendly!

I’m using lots of tomatoes lately. My garden is in production mode! I gave a friend all of my ripe tomatoes before our trip and came home to find about a dozen more ready to go. I even left 4 or 5 for the bugs and birds.

Is your garden coming together? I’d love to hear what you are growing and how you work it into your Meal Plan!

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Last Week of School Meal Plan

This is the last week of school in our area. Next week kids in our area will  be running wild. It will be short-lived because it is too hot so most kids stay inside playing video games all summer. We gear up for swimming lessons at the beginning of June. My kids sleep really well while they are taking swimming lessons.

As summer begins (temps are already over 100 degrees) it becomes really important to keep the kitchen cool. I try to avoid the oven unless it is something I can cook early in the day. Most of our meals are either made on the stove, in the crock pot or served cold. Don’t forget about the grill though. You don’t have to be a meat eater to enjoy your grill this summer.

Meal plan

Plant-Based Meal Plan

Breakfast

Even though it is easier to serve cereal spending a little more time on breakfast is well worth it.

Lunch

We love leftovers for lunch, especially when we can make something “different” from the previous dinner. Switching veggies can transform a meal or adapt a salad to a wrap.

Dinner

The Taco Muffins are the most difficult meal planned for dinner and I made it yesterday (in a loaf pan). I like to have an easy meal planned for Monday’s. This week I may even dig into my stash of canned beans to save a little time. I’m neck-deep in work but we still have to eat.


 

Over the weekend I was featured in a guest post about my ebook, The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide. Read the guest post HERE! There is also a discount code for 25% off the PDF version. If you’ve been waiting to purchase my book, now is the perfect time.

 

Meal Plan Monday: Balancing Back to School

 

graphics by Melodee Fiske

graphics by Melodee Fiske

Could you use some help feeding your family healthy meals? This week’s meal plan will focus on healthy, quick, and easy meals; most of which are great for lunchboxes.

breakfast tacos

Breakfast

I can make a hot breakfast pretty quickly in the microwave but having something ready to go is even easier, especially for those of you with older kids. These options can be made the night before and reheated for a savory breakfast.

 

lunchbox copy

graphics by Melodee Fiske

Lunch

Some days I think life would be if I packed a lunch even though I’m home during the day. These lunch ideas are mostly Lunchbox friendly but it way depend on your situation, variations can be made to accommodate food restrictions, access to microwave, or length of lunch time. My older kids when through a period where they only had 15 minutes to eat (and socialize) and a phase where lunch boxes (or bags) weren’t cool so they would only take a sandwich.

Snack

I like to stick to fresh fruit for snacks but I also use snack time to experiment with different recipe ideas to see how well received they will be.

  • Fresh Strawberries dipped in a Chocolate-Sunflower Seed Dip
  • Apples
  • Mixed Fresh Berries
  • Raw Veggies with hummus

Portobello Fajita's

Dinner

I cook dinner with leftovers in mind; my husband often takes leftovers to work for lunch. Dinner is definitely the most time consuming meal of the day but only because I’ll use that time to prep other meals.

How to Make this Meal Plan Quick and Easy

These meals may seem labor intensive but they use many of the same ingredients so you can save time by cooking large amounts instead of just enough for one day. Here are a few tips to make it easier:

  • “Bake” potatoes in the crockpot overnight for the Breakfast Tacos, Savory Breakfast Muffins, and lunch and dinner baked potatoes.
  • Cook beans in the crockpot while you are at work. Make a double or triple batch of unfried beans in your food processor.
  • Cook a large batch of quinoa but don’t use any seasoning, then it can be eaten for breakfast, added to Breakfast Tacos, seasoned like Mexican Rice or use in the stir fry.
  • Add a side salad or raw veggies to any meal.

What is your best tip for quick and healthy meals?

Meal Plan Monday: Back 2 School

backtoschool1 copyGraphics by Melodee Fiske

Whether you like it or not it is “back to school” season. With that comes long nights of homework, busy schedules as extracurricular activities begin, and less time to relax as a family.

Never fear, all month I’ll be featuring Meal Plans along with new, easy and kid-friendly recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’ll even throw in a few new snacks as well.

Meal Plan

blueberry oatmeal 2

Breakfast

The first meal of the day is never set in stone at our house. My kids love quinoa for breakfast!

 

Lunch

I chose these lunches because they are easily adapted to something “new and different” (magic words at our house) from last nights dinner leftovers. These lunches are “Lunch Box Friendly” too!

  • Black Bean and Faux Cheeze Sauce Gluten-Free Quesadillas
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Sunflower seed butter and Jelly Sandwiches
  • Pasta and Veggie Salad
  • Taco Salad
  • Nachos

Snack

We usually eat fruit for snacks but I’ll throw in an occasionally muffin in the mix.

Taco Potatoes

Dinner

Don’t let dinner intimidate you! Choose one day to cook your beans and grains for the whole week. Quinoa, lentils, black beans, rice, and pinto beans can be mixed and matched to create new dishes for lunch and dinner. Don’t forget to bake extra potatoes for lunch leftovers.

 

 

Are you ready for school to start? What are your biggest concerns?

Meal Plan Monday with Jenna from Day of Knight

This month I’m skipping my Meal Plans and featuring other bloggers (and Facebook page managers) and sharing their Meal Plans. So far we have heard from Lisa of The Vegan Pact Alison of Plant-Strong New England (a Facebook page), Poppy of Poppy’s Patisserie | Bunny Kitchen and Teresa from a Facebook community group called Healthier Living. Today we are going to hear from Jenna!

I “met” Jenna months ago and fell in love with her blog. If we lived in the same city we would totally be friends! Meet Jenna!

jenna

Hi. I am Jenna from Day of Knight.  My family (including my 3 young kids) and I began our journey of becoming plant powered or Vegan, if you will, about a year ago after being transformed by the film Forks Over Knives.  If you have not seen this I urge you to watch it. It is available on Netflix. My husband and I both grew up on the typical Western/Southern diet. Medium Rare Steaks, Fried Chicken, Gravy, Bacon, Cream Cheese…basically all things creamy, cheesy and favorably delicious.  Back in 2009, my husband went into his Doctors office for just a routine physical. After being examined he was told that he was considered “Obese” and if he didn’t change his diet and way of eating he most likely wouldn’t reach living past his late 50’s.  Being told this when you are 25 will rock your core. So things changed. Naïve and not knowing exactly what you should eat to make yourself ‘healthier’ his journey began with counting calories and exercising. Fast-forward to 2.5 years later and 100 pounds lighter to July 2012, each of us seeking a healthier lifestyle. Not one just for us to look better but to feel better too.  We stumbled upon some food documentaries on Netflix that changed our lives. We watched Forks Over Knives, Food Inc., Corn King and a few more. We had our “AH-HA!” moment for how we were supposed to eat to care for our bodies. At first I was a little intimidated by this new lifestyle change. I was overwhelmed by the fears of it being expensive, time consuming and gross. Honestly, it can be all of those things but it doesn’t have to be.  I love to EAT and after a lot of research I have discovered that in order to be ‘healthy’ you do in fact have to…Eat.  And by eating I mean eating REAL, no processed, naturally grown and non-modified foods.  Foods that the Good Lord himself gave us.  As I mentioned above I have three small children, ages 7, 4 & 4. They too are plant powered/vegan. It can happen. Your kids CAN eat veggies.  All of my recipes that I am sharing below are approved by them and are on our menu rotation.  I hope you feel encouraged, challenged and inspired in your journey of living a plant-powered lifestyle.

jenna2

Breakfast:

Breakfast in our house is all about convenience. I like to sleep and I sleep until the very last minute before my kids are awake.  Once they are awake, they do not want to sit around waiting for me to prepare them a big hot breakfast. Cereal is a #1 favorite in our house.  So 98% of the time we are eating cereal in the morning.  Our favorite cereals are the Organic Honey Cheerios by Central Market with some granola with dried blueberries mixed in and/or the Organic Peanut Butter Dots by Central Market.  Sometimes we will have Organic Frozen Waffles with 100% Pure Maple Syrup.

Lunch:

Lunch is also easy around these parts. I usually make Almond Butter Strawberry Banana Sandwiches on Whole Grain/Oat bread, or Almond Butter Agave and Banana Sandwiches.  Other days I will boil  some Pasta and toss in ROA’s Sensitive Formula Marinara Sauce (it has not added sugars) or I will bake some Vegan “Chicken” Nuggets with sweet potato fries.

Dinner:

Dinner is where I usually get a little creative and I get a little more detailed, but still convenient.  Here is a typical week of dinners.

Monday: Thin Spaghetti with Arabiata Sauce and a side of broiled Asparagus and Zucchini

Tuesday: Grilled Veggie Skewers (Squash, Mushrooms, Zucchini, Purple Onion, Red and Green Bell Peppers) Short Grain Brown Rice, and seasoned Pinto Beans.

Wednesday: Asian Tofu Stir Fry… I created my own recipe for this… Find my recipe HERE.

Thursday: Veggie Fajitas. Simply Sautéed onion, bell pepper and mushrooms in veggie stock until soft and tender. Make some guacamole (2 avocados mashed, 1/3 c red onion, 2 tbsp. cilantro, squirt of fresh lime and some garlic salt and pepper all mixed together) and slap it all on a tortilla.  Some other toppings we enjoy are: Spanish Rice, Salsa and Black Beans. You can creative here.

Friday: We usually make Homemade Pizzas and have family night on Friday nights. I found a pre-made crust that we all enjoy from HEB (our grocery store). Find one in your area that has as few ingredients as possible. Also we found a sauce we like there as well. Again, the fewer ingredients the better. Some toppings we all enjoy are Black Olives, Pickled Jalapenos, Black Beans, Mushrooms and Red Onion and sometimes Squash and Zucchini thinly sliced.

Saturday: Pot Pie. HERE is the link to my recipe.

Sunday: This is our leftover/Eat Out day.

To follow along with our family and our journey to eating our way healthy you can follow my blog HERE.  I try to post a meal plan every Monday. But lets be honest, I have three small kids and some weeks, it just doesn’t happen.  You can find some of my archived EAT posts on the right sidebar in the category appropriately titled…EAT. If you stop by, be sure to say Hi.

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Thanks Jenna! You can also keep up with Jenna via Instagram and Twitter!

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