If your interested in a plant based diet you may be wondering what to eat, or thinking you will surely starve to death. Let me assure you that there is a lot of really good food out there so you will not starve. Each day this week I plan to share a sample meal plan. These meal plans will be easy to prepare with common ingredients that can be found at any grocery store. (With the exception of one ingredient in Nachos!)
Today’s Menu Plan
Oatmeal is easy to make, inexpensive, and really good for you. I like to make a large batch on the weekend and eat it throughout the week. I prefer steel cut oats or rolled oats cooked on the stove but if you only have time for instant you can still have a hearty healthy breakfast. Follow the package instructions as different types of oats need to be cooked for different lengths of time.
On the weekends I like to cook a large batch of oatmeal for quick breakfasts. I like to add a diced apples to the water as it starts to boil, then add the oats. Stir regularly as it cooks and add cinnamon. Raisins, dried cranberries, or other seasonal fruit will naturally sweeten your oatmeal and provide variety. I like to sweeten oatmeal with Stevia, agave or real maple syrup. In the past I would add a ton of white sugar to my oatmeal but that is not healthy and OATMEAL SHOULD NOT TASTE LIKE DESSERT! Nuts and seed provide a great topping with a little crunch.
Lunch: Sandwich Wrap or Salad
Sandwich wraps are a quick and easy way to eat raw veggies. I usually prefer a wrap to a salad. Try to find a whole grain tortilla, pita, or some type of wrap. I like to add fat free hummus, lettuce, bell peppers, onions, beans and what ever veggies need to be used up. I’ll typically eat two wraps for lunch. If your more or a salad person eat that instead. Just eat enough that you are not hungry. Try adding avocado to your wrap or salad. Most salad dressing contain a lot of oil so try to find a fat free version, a fat free balsamic vinaigrette is a good choice. Tortilla chips and salsa can help you feel less deprived as well.
Dinner: Lentil Tacos with Beans and Mexican Rice
Lentils are a tasty and inexpensive stand in for traditional ground beef in tacos. Find out how to make lentil tacos here. If your short on time choose canned refried beans or pinto beans. Mexican Rice is healthy, delicious and filling. Cooking brown rice takes longer than cooking white rice so allow extra time to make this.
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 6 oz of tomato sauce (use an 8 oz can and save the other two ounces)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic
- cilantro (optional)
- Add 1 cup of brown rice to a skillet on medium heat. I like to toast the rice a bit before adding water but if you are too impatient you can skip that part.
- Add 2 1/2 cups of water and the 6 ounces of tomato sauce. I’ve used the whole 8 ounces when I made this with white rice but the brown rice doesn’t need all of the tomato sauce.
- Add the salt and garlic.
- Stir everything well then put a lid on the pan. The rice will cook best with a lid on. The temperature can be turned down once it is boiling well. Start checking the rice at about 30 minutes but it may need to cook closer to 45 minutes. It is done when most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is soft. Remove from heat.
- Cilantro can be added on top of the rice after it is done cooking. Just sprinkle fresh cilantro on top of the rice and place lid back on skillet for a few minutes.
This can be served as a side dish or as part of a burrito. I’ll often eat this rice with leftover beans and salsa. It is tasty in a wrap and reheats well.
When beginning a plant based diet there is no need to feel deprived. Fresh fruit makes a yummy snack. Apples, bananas, grapes, and oranges are inexpensive and easy to find. Baby carrots and other raw veggies easily portable when your on the go. Smoothies are tasty and can be made from a variety of fruits and veggies. We like Naked Juice when we are on the go. We buy them at Costco for the best deal.
Coming this week…