Plant-Based Meal Plan

I didn’t do any meal prep this week but I did the grocery shopping so we have plenty of healthy foods ready to prepare. Before shopping, Jim and I discussed our Plant-Based Meal Plan for the week.

Produce for Plant-Based Meal Plan

This week we have planned a few easy meals, continued testing of a new recipe, and one of our family favorites. The new recipe is a quick and easy meal, less than 30 minutes, but I’m trying to get it just right. I had a friend make it and she and her family loved it. I think one more round of tweaks and it will be ready to share here.

We have also added smoothies back into our routine. I’m a big fan of hearty breakfasts but sometimes smoothies are the best thing for us. I shared my smoothie on Instagram this week. I’m hoping to start sharing more of our meals.

I’ve found one plant-based protein powder that we all enjoy. It’s from Vega.¬† I only use about 1/2 a scoop at a time and fill the blender with frozen fruit. My kids split a blender’s worth and I drink the whole thing, about 20-30 oz depending on the day.

Last week was Spring Break here so my kids were home with me while I worked. In my down time I started re-reading Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live book. It encourages me to focus on eating more nutrient dense foods. I’ve owned this book since 2012 and pick it back up every few years. Sometimes it helps to have a reminder to eat well. I’ve got lots of veggies ready to incorporate this week.

Plant-Based Meal Plan

Monday

Breakfast: Berry Kale Smoothie

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: New Recipe!!!

Tuesday

Breakfast: Instant Pot Oatmeal

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: Broccoli Mushroom Stir Fry

Wednesday

Breakfast: Strawberry Orange Smoothies

Lunch: Mediterranean Bowl

Dinner: Black Bean Chili with Baked Potatoes

Plant-Based Gluten-Free Breakfast Cookies that are allergy-friendly and delicious. These cookies are a great choice for breakfast on the go.

Thursday

Breakfast: Breakfast Cookies

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: Enchilada Casserole

The Plant-Based Blueberry Muffins are oil-free and super easy to make. No one will believe these delicious muffins are vegan!

Friday

Breakfast: Blueberry Muffins

Lunch: Mediterranean Bowl

Dinner: Broccoli Rice Casserole

Would you like to see more Instant Pot recipes or more recipes that only use stove top? I try to share both versions or post two separate recipes. I’d love to know your preference!

Ultimate Plant-Based Meal Plan for Families

My goal is to make plant-based eating easy for everyone. Transitioning a family to a plant-based diet is more difficult than transitioning one person. I decided to create a meal plan that will be fool-proof for most families. The Ultimate Plant-Based Meal Plan for Families is also a short guide to walk you through what you need to know to adopt a plant-based diet, including recipes that your whole family will love!

plant-based meal plan for families

While I can’t really guarantee that every person in your family will love every recipe, these are my most loved recipes that are family-friendly and easy to adapt for individual tastes.

What to Eat on a Plant-Based Diet

When people switch to a plant-based diet, they usually wonder what they should be eating. The answer is as diverse as the person asking. Different people like different food.

I looked through all the recipes on this website and thought about all the foods we typically eat and made a list of our most loved recipes.

We typically eat a lot of beans, rice, and pasta along with an assortment of fruits and veggies. We keep it simple and eat the same basic things, branching out occasionally to try new recipes.

If you loved pasta and Italian dishes before going plant-based, you’ll probably love plant-based versions. If you loved spicy foods, or Asian foods, or Mexican foods, etc. you’ll likely love healthier versions of your favorites.

However, it can take time for your palate to adjust to a diet without meat, dairy, eggs, and the other things you cut out. Sometimes it could take a while before your favorites are your favorite again.

Instant Pot Oatmeal

Plant-Based Breakfast

Switching to plant-based breakfasts are the easiest part of transitioning to plant-based eating, at least for me. We liked oatmeal, cereal, smoothies, etc. before making the switch. Choosing plant-based milk was the biggest change for us.

Invest in a few plant-based milks to try, once you find one you like, it will make breakfast easy peasy. I like soy milk and almond milk the best but rice milk is the over all family favorite so it’s what we keep on hand.

We usually eat the same breakfast every day. Cereal, oatmeal, toast or bagels. They are all quick and easy! Here is a sample of our favorite breakfasts.

Instant Pot Oatmeal

Toast with peanut butter and fruit

Banana Nut Oatmeal

Strawberry Banana Muffins or Banana Bread

Overnight Oats

For more ideas, check out my Plant-Based Breakfast Page or my Ultimate Oatmeal Guide!

When we have company or more time on the weekends I might make my Breakfast Hash or Breakfast Tacos. They are more time consuming than I’ll normally spend in the mornings but they are both delicious savory breakfast options.

Plant-Based Lunch

I usually eat dinner leftovers for lunch. It’s easy and saves time. My work day is busy and I don’t like to take time off to make food and eat so I stick to foods that I can heat and eat or just graze on throughout the day.

If I don’t have any leftovers available for lunch, I’ll eat something easy like a sandwich, hummus with veggies and maybe crackers or pretzels, beans with chips and salsa. In the summer when we have a lot of fresh veggies prepped, I might make a quick salad or my Mediterranean Bowl. Baked Potatoes are easy lunches but depending on where you eat lunch, it may not be an option.

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup may just be the perfect plant-based soup! Veggies, beans, broth and pasta create a hearty and healthy soup!

Plant-Based Dinner

I feel like plant-based dinners are the most difficult transition point for families. Often, this meal was full of meat and dairy before switching to a plant-based diet. For some families, it may be the only meal they are eating together and they want it to be peaceful.

These are our absolute favorite family friendly meals.

Minestrone Soup

Mexican Casserole

Veggie Pad Thai

Veggie Pasta

Lentil Tacos with Mexican Rice

Our 8 year old loves these more than our 10 year old. If they don’t like our dinner, we will let them having something else. Usually they choose one of their normal breakfasts like oatmeal or cereal, sometimes it’s a PB&J. Sometimes they will have other leftovers.

Often they will have the meal but pick out what they don’t like. This is normal childhood behavior, it doesn’t mean they won’t eat healthy foods. My son might eat the Minestrone but leave the tomatoes and celery. They both love the nachos but only the chips and beans, they don’t like the peppers or salsa.

When encouraging my kids to eat well, I’m not interested in a power struggle. Some kids will never be happy with their meals! Kids age, disposition, and preference all plays into it. It takes time to get used to eating healthy, it may take your kids longer than it takes you.

 

Would you like to be able to print off the dinner meal plan with an easy to follow shopping list?

I created a Dinner Only version of this meal plan that includes step by step recipe instructions and a shopping list. It takes some of the work out of clicking through the links, printing the recipe and painstakingly creating your list.

This Dinner Only version of the Ultimate Plant-Based Meal Plan for Families is available for $5.00!

Plant-Based Meal Plan

I’m convinced that the best way to successfully adopt a plant-based diet is to follow a Plant-Based Meal Plan, at least in the beginning.

When we first started eating plant-based, it was completely new. Every single thing we ate before going plant-based had meat or dairy in it. I was nowhere close to being a healthy eater. To transition, I had to be deliberate and plan every single meal.Instant Pot Oatmeal

Making the move to a plant-based diet payed off and I was able to reverse illness. That’s one of the reasons I’m so passionate about meal planning and sharing meal plans with you.

This Week’s Plant-Based Meal Plan

Monday

Instant Pot Oatmeal

Sandwiches, Veggies and Hummus

Plant-Based Nachos

Tuesday

Toast with peanut butter and banana slices

Leftover Beans, Rice and Salsa

Spaghetti and Asparagus

Instant Pot Breakfast Rice

Wednesday

Instant Pot Breakfast Rice

Leftover Spaghetti and toast

Orange Tofu Stir Fry (I showed a sneak peak of the sauce in my Instagram stories)

Chipotle Black Bean Chili

Thursday

Overnight Oats

Sandwiches, Veggies and Hummus

Black Bean Chili and Instant Pot Baked Potatoes

Friday

Strawberry, Cherry and Kale Smoothie

Leftover Chili and Baked Potatoes

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole

Tips for New Meal Planners

If you are brand new to meal planning or following a meal plan someone else creates, it’s important to start small. It can be overwhelming to cook three meals a day if you aren’t used to it. That’s one of the reasons we eat leftovers for lunch.

I also give myself the option to skip any dinner and eat leftovers when possible. We don’t usually have leftover spaghetti or tofu because my kids love them, but we always have leftover chili because it’s too spicy for my kids. Yay, more for us!

We don’t need a lot of variety for breakfast or lunch but like to eat something new for dinner. Some foods lend themselves to being leftovers. Like beans and rice, we have it early in the week so we can use the leftovers in several different recipes like nachos or burritos.

Do you follow a meal plan? What are you eating this week?

Plant-Based Meal Plan

Are you ready for a new Plant-Based Meal Plan? Me too!

The weather in Arizona has been crazy, over half the state is covered in snow! That is unusual for us. While it’s warmed up a bit, it’s still pretty cold; warm, comforting recipes are the only cure we have until the weather comes around.

Chipotle Black Bean Chili

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My big kids, who are adults, live in much colder places than we do. I still call them the big kids and probably always will, even after our little kids are grown too. Last week, I was talking to my daughter about dinner ideas. She got an Instant Pot for Christmas and we brainstormed some recipes for her and her husband to make. That conversation had me thinking about these recipes.

Plant-Based Meal Plan

Breakfast

We typically stick to easy breakfasts during the week. Quick and easy oatmeal, Instant Pot Oatmeal or Instant Pot Breakfast Rice require very little hands on time and can be started ahead of time and eaten once you are ready.

Lunch

We usually have leftovers or something really easy for lunch. Leftover soup is one of my favorite lunches because it tastes just as good as something I made fresh but doesn’t take as much time away from my work schedule.

Leftover beans and rice with salsa is another favorite. You could wrap it in a tortilla, or scoop it with chips if you are in to that sort of thing. I’ve been having a lot of chips and salsa lately.

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup may just be the perfect plant-based soup! Veggies, beans, broth and pasta create a hearty and healthy soup!

Dinner

Lately, my aim is to cook meals that can be eaten multiple times, either the next night, or for lunch the next day. I’m also trying to cook them in 30 minutes or less. Some meals may take more time cooking, but if my hands-on time is short, I don’t mind a longer cooking time, especially if it’s in my Instant Pot and I can be busy doing something else.

Monday

Veggie Pad Thai: I’ve been craving this Veggie Pad Thai for weeks but haven’t had a chance to make it. My daughter who lives across the country is even planning to make it this week!

Tuesday

Chipotle Black Bean Chili: This was a new recipe last week and I can tell you that we love it! It’s too spicy for my kids but I’ve eaten some every day since making it. It has black beans, quinoa and a good mix of veggies. Enjoy it on a baked potato, with tortillas or on it’s own. My mom loved it too.

Wednesday

Minestrone Soup: If my family had to pick one soup that everyone loved, it has be Minestrone Soup. I’ll save time by making it in the Instant Pot but you can easily make it on the stove.

Thursday

Chili Fries: Don’t worry, these are a healthy version of chili fries. I’ll use the leftover Chipotle Black Bean Chili and serve them over potatoes wedges I cook in my Air Fryer. Since the chili will only need to be reheated, I’ll only have to cook the potatoes. If I run short on time, I’ll cook “baked” potatoes in my Instant Pot instead.

Friday

Chickpea Noodle Soup: This is another soup my family loves. They can’t get enough of it and I’m pretty sure it’s because of the Dry Veggie Broth Mix that I use. You could use your favorite broth but if you have nutritional yeast and some basic spices, you can make your own.

These recipes rely on ingredients I normally keep stocked in my fridge and pantry. The only item that isn’t a regular is the chipotle peppers in the chili but since I’m in love with that new recipe, I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep those stocked.

Instant Pot Chickpea and Rice Soup

Family Friendly Plant-Based Recipes

All of these recipes except the chili are family friendly. The chili is spicy and my kids don’t like spicy. If you have teens or kids who love spicy food, they would probably like it.

The thing is, family friendly is really in the eye of the beholder. One of my sons loves fruit and veggies, the other not so much. On the night when we have the Chili Fries, they will just have the fries with a side of something else.

On Minestrone Soup night, one of my kids will pick through the veggies in the soup and only eat some of them. I’m ok with that. I sometimes skip foods I don’t like too.

When there are meals they truly don’t like, I have them fix themselves something like a sandwich or oatmeal. I’ll pull out some veggies or fruit to accompany their choice.

If you need help getting your kids to eat healthy foods, I’ve got some tips!

Do you follow a meal plan every week? Do you need help making a weekly meal plan or do you prefer to wing it?