Plant-Based Valentine’s Day Meal Ideas

Are you making a special plant-based Valentine’s Day meal?

I got an email from a reader who wanted to know what I suggested for a special Valentine’s Day meal. Her husband asked if she could make a plant-based meal, even though he isn’t plant-based. Sounds like a sweetheart!

Veggie Pad Thai

I used to suggest big fancy meals but these days I’m all about keeping it simple. My recommendation was Veggie Pad Thai! I know, it’s not a traditional choice but it’s easy to make, cooks quickly, and is easy to adapt based on what you like.

My husband loves the Veggie Pad Thai. I do a mix of both of our favorite veggies and give him more of the mushrooms while I take more of the peppers. He likes to drizzle Sriracha on top.

Just because it’s Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you need to put yourself out to make a meal. Spending less time in the kitchen so you can spend more time with your family seems like a win to me.

I know that some of you are over the top kind of people. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I mean that you love creating big elaborate meals for your family. That is awesome! Go for it!

If Pad Thai isn’t your thing, I’ve got a few other recipes for you. You can check out my post from 5 years ago (yes, I’ve been blogging that long) when my kids were little!

Chickpea Nuggets are vegan, gluten-free, and a fun kid food. They are easy to make and delicious.

More Plant-Based Valentine’s Day Ideas

If I had plenty of time and energy, I’d plan a kid friendly meal of Chickpea Nuggets, Mashed Potatoes, Brown Gravy and veggies. I’d probably have a veggie tray or big salad too.

This page contains affiliate links.

Something you may not have heard yet, my Chickpea Nugget recipe is included in Ocean Robbins new book, The 31 Day Food Revolution! I’m so excited to read this book. You should check it out if you are looking for new reading material.

Plant-Based Dessert

Of course, we can’t forget about dessert. If there was any time to have desserts it’s random mid-week holidays, err, I mean Valentine’s Day. HA HA, just kidding. You don’t have to convince me to have dessert.

Banana Muffins with Chocolate Plant-Based Valentine's day

You can tell from my dessert page that I love chocolate. My husband never really liked chocolate but he has come around a bit. He still won’t eat a lot but he enjoys it in small amounts. With that in mind, big desserts are out, but smaller desserts like chocolate covered strawberries made with Enjoy Life Foods chocolate are totally in.

Another option we love is making my Banana Bread into muffins and putting chocolate chips (or chunks) in half of them.

What is your idea of a perfect plant-based Valentine’s Day meal? Do you like simple, elaborate, family friendly or romantic?

Oil-Free Pumpkin Granola

Since September 1st is the beginning of pumpkin season I decided it was time to share my pumpkin granola recipe. This is no ordinary pumpkin granola! It has my favorite fall flavors in an easy to make oil-free granola.

This oil-free Pumpkin Granola recipe has the best fall flavors mixed in. Pumpkin spice, pecans and even cranberries!

This page contains affiliate links.

Most granola recipes are made with oil and it can be tricky to make it without. The payoff is worth it because you get a delicious chewy granola. (My husband loves chewy granola.) Don’t get me wrong. It still has plenty of crunch from raw pepitas and pecans. If you have a nut allergy, you can leave the pecans out but they are my favorite part!

This oil-free Pumpkin Granola recipe has the best fall flavors mixed in. Pumpkin spice, pecans and even cranberries!

I typically make my granola mild, I don’t want flavor too strong so it doesn’t overpower whatever it is served with. The funny thing is, I can’t stop snacking on this one by itself. I finally had to put it away because it’s way too tempting when left on the counter.

If you are looking for an easy and delicious granola recipe that has the best flavors of fall, try this recipe! You get the pumpkin, maple syrup, the classic pumpkin pie spices, raw pepitas, pecans and dried cranberries!

If you aren’t ready for fall after reading that list, nothing will help you! But don’t worry, if you aren’t a cranberry fan, you can leave them out. I made a batch of both but I’m partial to the cranberries!

This oil-free Pumpkin Granola recipe has the best fall flavors mixed in. Pumpkin spice, pecans and even cranberries!

One important note, if you need to be gluten-free because of an allergy or celiac disease, make sure you use gluten-free oats. I completely trust GF Harvest!

Oil-Free Pumpkin Granola

Enjoy this Pumpkin Granola on vegan yogurt, baked fruit, a smoothie bowl, pumpkin pudding, or like me, by the handful!

Oil-Free Pumpkin Granola
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 5 cups
  • 3 Cups rolled oats (choose certified gluten-free oats if needed)
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup plant milk (I used rice milk)
  • ¼ cup raw pepitas
  • ½ cup pecan halves
  • ½ cup dried cranberries (optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add your rolled oats and set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, add your pumpkin puree, maple syrup, spices, vanilla and plant milk. Stir well.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the oats a little at a time and stir well. Once all the wet ingredients are incorporated into the oats, add the raw pepitas and pecan halves and mix again. Don't add the dried cranberries yet!
  5. Scoop mixture onto the parchment covered baking sheet. Be careful not to get it too close to the edge. If there isn't enough room, use two baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes total but pull it out every 10 minutes to stir gently. Once done, allow to cool.
  7. After the granola is cool, mix in the dried cranberries and store in an airtight container.

You can skip the parchment if you have a Silpat! It’s a non-stick silicone baking mat (and it makes a great gift).

This oil-free Pumpkin Granola recipe has the best fall flavors mixed in. Pumpkin spice, pecans and even cranberries!

Did I leave out any of your favorite fall flavors? 

Plant-Based Thanksgiving Menu

In years past, I would start planning for Thanksgiving weeks ahead of the holiday. I would plan my menu, my shop days and when each recipe would be started and finished. I even planned what dishes I would need so that I would make sure to have everything ready. I wrote a rather long post about it years ago.

Thanksgiving Planning

I’d like to say I’m much more laid back now but that isn’t really the case. You see, I make the same recipes every year. A few years ago I wrote the Healthy Holiday Meal Plan and Cookbook and shared all my recipes and tips. Now I just follow the plan, adapting it each year based on our plans and what we will bring to dinner.

We usually start cooking a few days ahead of time. Some years we start cooking on Monday but this year it will be Tuesday or Wednesday. We are getting together with a few other families and everyone is bringing a few dishes. I’m bringing my Sweet Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, a few desserts and drinks.

Dividing up the cooking makes it so much easier. I still remember when I used to cook EVERYTHING for Thanksgiving and wear my self out. This year I’ll make a few dishes, enjoy spending time with family and friends, then relax (and prep for Gilmore Girls).

Whether you are making a dish or two or taking on the whole meal by yourself I have a meal plan that will help. My Healthy Holiday Meal Plan and Cookbook makes planning for Thanksgiving much easier.

A Healthy Holiday Meal Plan and Cook Book contains 20 plant-based recipes that are also gluten-free and allergy-friendly. Perfect for vegetarians and vegans during the holidays.

The Healthy Holiday Meal Plan & Cookbook

The Healthy Holiday Meal Plan & Cookbook contains 20 plant-based recipes that are meat, dairy, and gluten-free! The top 6* recipes also come with a detailed shopping list and your choice of 3 different planning guides that show you how to prepare the top 6 recipes ahead of time (or all on the same day) and have your food on the table as efficiently as possible.

Recipes include:

  • Thanksgiving Sage Dressing*
  • Gluten-Free Cornbread for Dressing
  • Perfectly Whipped Mashed Potatoes*
  • Sweet Potato Casserole with optional Pecan Glaze*
  • Thanksgiving Mushroom Gravy*
  • Green Bean Casserole*
  • Creamy Crustless Pumpkin Pie*
  • Dry Veggie Broth Mix
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Holiday Lentil Loaf
  • Cheezy Potatoes (Vegan Scalloped Potatoes)
  • Faux Cheese Sauce
  • Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad with Oil-Free Cranberry Dressing
  • Oil-Free Cranberry Salad Dressing
  • Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
  • Veggie Pot Pie (this recipe contains gluten but can be made GF using the GF Pie Crust Recipe)
  • Recipe for Easy All Purpose Sauce for Veggie Pot Pie
  • Roasted Asparagus
  • Maple Glazed Carrots
  • Gluten-Free Pie Crust
  • Apple Pie
  • Creamy Apple Pie Bars

Order your PDF download of A Healthy Holiday Meal Plan & Cookbook for only $4.99. This is also available on at Amazon on Kindle. Please note that the PDF and Amazon versions have different covers but the content inside is the same. If you’ve used the Healthy Holiday Meal Plan and Cookbook please consider leaving a review on Amazon. You’re honest review will help other people make an informed purchase. 

If you have any Thanksgiving meal prep plans feel free to send them my way. I’ll be watching for emails with Thanksgiving in the subject line. I try to make myself available for those last minute questions on Thanksgiving Day too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This page contains affiliate links.

Our 4th of July Menu

It’s the 4th of July and in the US, we are celebrating Independence Day. I’m enjoying a nice long weekend with family and friends and I’ve neglected to plan for the holiday.

Today, I’ve got a great 4th of July menu planned even if you don’t have time. I’m using items from my basic pantry and fridge staples list.

Plant-Based Burger

This Veggie Burger uses beans and rice and they are easy to make without a lot of prior planning.

Kidney Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burger is a great plant-based option for vegans.

Plant-Based Side Dish

Pasta Salad is an easy side dish, it uses basic ingredients and is a crowd-pleaser.

Sweet and Tangy Pasta Salad is gluten-free, vegan and perfect for summer potlucks.


Plant-Based Dips

I love dips! If you’ve been here a while you know that already. Holidays call for Hummus and salsa with a side of raw veggies and tortilla chips.

Jalapeno Hummus is plant-based and oil-free recipe will win over any critic.

Oven roasted salsa

We can’t forget the fruit! This easy dairy-free fruit dip is easy so easy to make even the kids can help.

Chocolate Fruit Dip

Plant-Based Dessert

I can’t think of a better dessert for the 4th of July than frozen fruit treats! No need to turn on the oven with these delicious treats. Choose from Triple Berry Yogurt Pops or Mango Lime Ice Pops.

Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt Pops are dairy-free and suitable for vegans. These frozen treats are easily made with a yogurt alternative and fresh fruit.

Mango Lime Ice Pops are a great frozen treat that is healthy and tasty. These vegan treats are still creamy even without the dairy.

How are you celebrating the holiday? Will there be delicious plant-based food there? If so, take pictures and tag me on Instagram so I can see.

Don’t forget to sign up for plant-based tips delivered straight to your inbox!

Easy Mother’s Day Brunch Ideas

Mother’s Day is coming up Sunday. Will you be showering you mom with gifts or really good food?

I never plan a big Mother’s Day celebration because I don’t want to spend the day working to “celebrate” me. Of course, a girl has to eat and restaurants are always busy on Mother’s Day. Might as well enjoy good food (and some gifts).

I’m a big fan of Mother’s Day brunch. I love breakfast foods and I don’t always take the time to make them.

Easy ideas for a plant-based (vegan) Mother's Day Brunch.

Easy Mother’s Day Brunch Menu

Since it is Mother’s Day I’m going to give you ideas for EASY brunch ideas. First, I have a tip for you. Every brunch seems better if you have a big, pretty bowl of fruit. This time of year I love strawberries, cantaloupe, cuties (because they separate so easy), grapes, blueberries and anything else that strikes your fancy.

Muffins and Sweet Breads

Start with some easy muffins or sweet breads. Choose one or two recipes depending on how much you need. These can be made the day before. I prefer:

Oatmeal Bar or Pancakes

Make a big pot of oatmeal and have an assortment of fruit, seeds and nuts to mix in. I love making Steel Cut Oats in my Instant Pot. You can prepare everything the day before and then easily make the oatmeal right before brunch.

If oatmeal is more of an everyday food instead of a “special” food have pancakes instead. You can use many of the same toppings or if you want a decadent option add Enjoy Life chocolate chips. We have a big electric griddle that makes cooking a bunch of pancakes really easy.


Everything can’t be sweet. I love having Breakfast Tacos or Breakfast Hash. You can make them mild or with a little kick. Sometimes I’ll do a tofu scramble when I’m out of tortillas. Usually the tacos win.

Serve with coffee and you have a Mother’s Day brunch that dreams are made of, especially if I don’t have to do the dishes.

Of course, gifts are always a nice touch!

Instant Pot

Today you can get a great deal on the Instant Pot at Amazon. This is a great starter model and it’s a screaming deal. You should get one for all of the mom’s in your life. But really, my husband loves cooking in our Instant Pot so really anyone who needs a gift would love it.

Vegan Baking

There is only a few days left sign up for the Healthy Vegan Baking eCourse. Lucie did an amazing job creating this course that will tell you everything you need to know about healthy plant-based (and allergy-friendly) baking. After this weekend enrollment closes so sign up! It makes a great Mother’s Day gift.

If you are looking for something more personal you can always write your mom (or wife) a letter or clean the house, acts of service are sweet gifts. Of course, a Fitbit isn’t bad either.

Easy ideas for a plant-based (vegan) Mother's Day Brunch.

This page contains affiliate links.