For the next few weeks (at least) I want to focus on how to begin eating a Plant-Based Diet. Even if you’re not ready to give up meat and dairy entirely I hope to encourage you to include more fruit and vegetables in your diet.
If you are an all or nothing kind of person I would advise you to commit to a diet free of any animal products for at least 30 days. If that seems more difficult than climbing Everest then try to add more whole foods and slowly eliminate animal products. It was definitely easier for me than I thought, more difficult for my husband, and the hardest on my now three year old. My husband still wants steak occasionally and my three year old asks for cheese regularly. My one year old has always been plant-based and has a love of fruit and veggies of which I am envious.
This weeks Meal Plan is made up of simple foods that can be found in any grocery store, with the exception of maybe couscous. Couscous is really yummy and easy to make, if you’ve never tried it, you should. The taste reminds me of pasta. If this Meal Plan doesn’t seem tasty to you take a look at previous Meal Plans or Recipes.
Breakfast is usually quick things like oatmeal, toast, smoothies, fruit with almond butter or left over pancakes. Also we usually eat twice in the morning, once when we get up and once mid morning. I recommend rolled oats or steel cut oats, they take a few extra minutes to cook but they keep you full longer. A typical bowl of oatmeal for me will include cinnamon, diced banana, craisins, and maybe some seeds or nuts, a splash of real maple syrup adds an extra sweet touch as well.
Lunch is often leftovers, PB&J, Not So Tuna Salad, leftover Baked Potato, a spinach and hummus wrap or something easy. If I’m feeling really motivated I might make pancakes or soup with veggie odds and ends.
Snack is a must at our house. Hummus makes a regular appearance. I shared on Facebook how I could not find hummus or chickpea’s in the small town my mom lives in and had major hummus withdrawal. Some of my family members had never heard of or had hummus but it is one of my favorite things these days. I like to eat hummus with raw veggies like carrots or spinach. I don’t always have humus so sometimes I eat leftovers for snack or fruit or smoothies.
Dinner is the meal that gets the most attention. We all eat the same thing even my one and three year old’s. My one year old has a wheat/gluten allergy so most of what I make now is wheat/gluten free. I’m new to this so I’m still transitioning and figuring it out.
Monday: Baked Potatoes (make extra for easy lunches) topped with steamed veggies, beans, or chili.
Tuesday: Beans and Brown Rice served in a bowl or tortillas. You can used canned beans or make your own which is cheaper. Make extra brown rice for a quick lunch. If you’re not sold on eating brown rice try mixing white and brown rice until you acquire a taste for it, it will happen just ask my husband.
Wednesday: Minestrone Soup is easy to make and soooo delicious. I’ll be using wheat/gluten free noodles in this soup. Last time I made it I didn’t make nearly enough and graciously let my husband take some of the leftovers for lunch even though I secretly wanted to hide it and keep it all to myself. Shh don’t tell him! He was always the guy who didn’t like soup so just give this one a chance.
Thursday: Couscous with roasted veggies like onions, peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms. I may even marinate them in balsamic vinegar and veggie broth for a little while before cooking them if I am organized enough that day.
Friday: Typically a date night for me and my husband so the kids get baked sweet potato or something just as easy while we eat hummus from Pita Jungle.
I don’t plan out our weekend meals because I like to use up leftovers and cook as little as possible. I will usually soak beans and cook them on the weekend. If you cook a big pot you can save some to eat during the week and store some to put in the freezer for a quick meal.
Do you have any questions about eating a plant-based diet? Feel free to ask in the comments, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or for the quickest reply ask on My Plant-Based Family’s Facebook page.