Plant-Based Meal Plan and More!

Are you ready for the week? I’m not mentally prepared yet, but I’ve already created my plant-based meal plan for the week.

Plant-Based Meal Plan

Over the weekend I did some meal prep for a birthday party and thankfully we have leftovers and a well stocked fridge and pantry. I made my Instant Pot Refried Beans and a quicker version of my Mexican Rice. I’ll either share a new recipe or update the old recipe with the changes soon. Having beans and rice in the fridge makes meals come together quickly!

When I started blogging again once my son was a year into treatment, I asked what type of recipes everyone wanted and overwhelmingly it was quick and easy recipes. I’ve been working on creating new recipes and remaking old ones so they are easier for busy families.

Quick and Easy Plant-Based Recipes

In fact, I made you a little gift for those of you who subscribe to my weekly emails! You can download my favorite quick and easy recipes if you are a subscriber. I’ve taken some time off from these emails but they are starting back up THIS WEEK! Don’t worry, you can still sign up and get my favorite quick and easy recipes and a weekly email from me with easy, actionable plant-based tips!

Sign up to get Quick and Easy Plant-Based Recipes plus free weekly tips! https://pages.convertkit.com/24e92386c0/c521864834Click to Tweet

These days, my favorite meals are ready in less than 30 minutes. If it’s going to be longer than that, it needs to be “hands off” time, like in the Instant Pot or oven.

For breakfast, I prefer super quick. We normally have oatmeal, cereal or toast. I usually skip breakfast with the kids and have a mid-morning smoothie after they are in school.

My husband and I both eat leftovers for lunch. We like warm meals. He has already requested my One Pot Broccoli Rice recipe that I shared last week! I’m happy with beans and rice, but big salads or sandwiches are good too.

Our dinners are mostly quick and easy. Once or twice a week I might make something that takes longer, especially when I’m testing new recipes or tweaking recipes to get it just right.

Plant-Based Meal Plan

Monday

Breakfast: Instant Pot Oatmeal and Smoothies

Lunch: Taco Salad

Dinner: One Pot Broccoli and Rice

Tuesday

Breakfast: Banana Nut Oatmeal

Lunch: Leftover Broccoli Rice

Dinner: Busy Night Pasta and side salad and Creamy Italian Salad Dressing (oil-free)

Wednesday

Breakfast: Overnight Oats or Smoothies

Lunch: Leftover pasta

Dinner: Oil-Free Fried Rice and Pineapple and Tofu Kabobs

Thursday

Breakfast: Instant Pot Oatmeal

Lunch: leftovers

Dinner: Breakfast for Dinner! Breakfast Hash, Tofu Scramble and fresh fruit

Friday

Breakfast: Leftover Breakfast Hash

Lunch: Beans and Rice

Dinner: Pizza Pasta

Do you know what you will be eating this week?

If not, don’t forget to claim your gift and download my Quick and Easy Recipes that are ready in 30 minutes or less!

One Pot Broccoli and Rice

One of my husbands favorite plant-based meals has always been my Broccoli Rice Casserole. I’ve simplified it into a quick and easy one pot meal that can be made in a skillet. I hope you love this One Pot Broccoli and Rice Skillet as much as he does!

One Pot Broccoli and Rice

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This is actually the third version of this recipe on my site! In the first, you have to cook the rice, and the sauce, and the broccoli and combine. It’s not hard but it’s a lot of dishes. The second version is a Crock Pot recipe that is really easy but takes hours to cook. I also make it in the Instant Pot but I haven’t shared that version yet.

This version of my Broccoli and Rice is done in less than half an hour! I changed up the ingredients a bit to make this quicker version. The biggest change was using Jasmine rice. I used to always use brown rice but it take about 45 minutes to cook on the stove.

When I asked my readers what they wanted, most said quick and easy recipes so that has become my focus! I want to help you!

One Pot Broccoli and Rice

When I made this, we eat it as a main dish. It works well as a side dish as well. I think it’s one of those perfect dishes, like my Mexican Casserole, that can be made as is to keep plant-based eaters happy but served with a side of meat for family members who aren’t on a plant-based diet.

This recipe makes 4 servings when eaten as a main dish. It reheats well, my husband always takes the leftovers to work for lunch and heats it up in the microwave.

When I asked my readers what they wanted, most said quick and easy recipes so that has become my focus! I want to help you!Click to Tweet

Plant-Based Broccoli and Rice

Ingredients

Do

  1. In a skillet with a lid, bring your water to a boil.
  2. Add rice and seasoning and stir well. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and cover with a lid.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir well, and add 1 cup of plant-milk and all your broccoli. Cover with the lid. If you feel like it’s too dry, you can add 1/2 a cup of water.
  5. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until broccoli is tender. I cooked for 5 and needed a couple more minutes, it will depend on your heat and the size of your broccoli.

This Broccoli and Rice came out perfect! We added a little more salt to our individual bowls.

Are you looking for quick and easy meals? 

New Plant-Based Meal Plan

Do you need plant-based meal plan inspiration? You aren’t alone! That’s why I created these plant-based meal plans each week!

Plant-Based Meal Plan

This week, we will have a mix of make-ahead meals and others that will serve as lunch time leftovers.

Also this week, I’ve revived the My Plant-Based Family Facebook Group! I stopped accepting new members when my son was sick but we are open again! Feel free to join! We will have some free group challenges soon!

I’ve been creating new recipes and spending more time sharing on Instagram! If you make any of my recipes, share on Instagram and tag me and use #MyPlantBasedFamily! I’d love to see what you are making.

Our breakfasts are usually quick and easy, I might cook something more complicated one day a week or so. Lunches are usually leftovers from the previous night’s dinner or something that was meal prepped. Dinners usually take a bit more time. At least half of the week, I make something quick and easy, if a recipe takes about an hour or more, I expect to have plenty of leftovers.

NEW Plant-Based Meal Plan

Monday

Breakfast: Overnight Oats

Lunch: Mediterranean Bowl (Can you tell it’s my favorite lately?)

Dinner: Lentil Tacos, Mexican Rice, Refried Beans

Tuesday

Breakfast: Breakfast Hash

Lunch: Taco Salad using dinner leftovers

Dinner: Spaghetti, steamed veggies, and salad

 

This Plant-Based Taco Salad is a family favorite. Choose your favorite ingredients and customize your taco salad to your tastes.

Wednesday

Breakfast: Smoothie Bowl or Smoothie

Lunch: Burritos using leftover Refried Beans

Dinner: New Lentil Veggie Soup Recipe Coming Soon

Thursday

Breakfast: Banana Nut Oatmeal (Instant Pot and Stove top directions)

Lunch: Soup and Salad or Sandwich

Dinner: New version of my Broccoli and Rice Casserole! This one is ready in 20 minutes!

Stove Top Broccoli and Rice

Friday

Breakfast: Overnight Oats

Lunch: Leftover Broccoli and Rice

Dinner: Chickpea Nuggets, Mashed Potatoes and Brown Gravy

There it is, our meal plan for the week. I hope it will provide you with inspiration as you create your own meal plan!

By the way, did you know I create Custom Meal Plans? If you have dietary restrictions or just don’t know what to eat, I can create a meal plan designed just for you.

What are you eating this week? Any new recipes?

Keep Produce Fresh

Do you ever buy a lot of produce and have it go bad before you can eat it? This used to happen all the time to me! Through research, trial and error, I found some tips to keep produce fresh longer!

Keep Produce Fresh

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We’ve adopted a new habit of washing our produce as soon as we get home from the store. It’s a little bit of work upfront but I save that time later when I’m cooking and every time my kids want an apple.

We used to be a little more lax about washing produce. I would usually do it but the rest of our family wasn’t as consistent. Then our son was diagnosed with cancer and it became a real concern. It should have been already.

Every year we hear about produce that is contaminated with e.coli, listeria, and other nasty things. It’s important to wash your produce every time!

Interesting fact, people with compromised immune systems (pregnant women, people with cancer, etc.) are discouraged from eating processed fruits, veggies, salads, etc. because there is such a high risk of contamination in those products.

There are other things on produce we want to clean off as well like pesticides and waxes.

Now, we wash all our produce before use, most of it is washed as soon as we get in the door.

Does your produce go bad before you can eat it? These tips will help keep your produce fresh.

Washing Fresh Produce

For most of our produce like apples, peaches, plums, broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, citrus, melons,  etc. I give them a sink bath.

I thoroughly clean my sink, fill one side with cold water and sprinkle baking soda in the water and mix it with my hand. I don’t measure but I probably use 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda. When I use more water, I use more baking soda, less water…less baking soda.

Then I add my produce, all mixed together, into the sink bath. I set a timer, because I always forget, and let them soak for 15 minutes. Then I rinse them off with cold water and stick them in my dish drainer.

If something is especially dirty, I use my veggie brush to give them a good scrub.

Washing Berries

Berries require a different method of cleaning. My son could eat his weight in berries! When we have them, he will easily eat pounds of them every day! When possible we buy in bulk. If you buy in bulk, or even just small amounts that may sit in the fridge for a few days, I recommend you inspect them closely. One moldy berry will ruin the whole bunch quickly.

Washing berries is one way to inspect all our berries. The moisture can make them spoil faster so if you will not be eating them quickly, you may want to wait until just before eating to wash.

Rinsing berries under cold water will clean them. My friend Sarah at Never Free Farm gave me a great tip for berries. She fills a small basin with cold and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. Then soaks up to two pounds of berries for 5 to 10 minutes. If you don’t know Sarah, follow her, you’ll be impressed!

Washing Mushrooms

There are different schools of thought on washing mushrooms. Some people just wipe them with a damp cloth. Others use a special mushroom brush. I usually rinse them just before using and carefully dry them off.

Produce Storage Containers

While foods that are stored whole like melons and apples don’t need special containers. I’ve found a few inexpensive containers that have done wonders for keeping cut food fresh longer.

Containers like these Rubbermaid Freshworks keep produce from spoiling for much longer. I have the older model but the old ones don’t have as many size options. Read the reviews and you’ll see why I love them! Containers like this make it easier to keep cut veggies ready for quick meals like this Plant-Based Mediterranean Bowl.

I use these for cut cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots and sometimes fruit, like freshly cut pineapple. Many of the reviews mention people putting whole fruits in them, including berries. Berries never last long enough at my house. Most get eaten while they are drying on the counter.

I don’t have a special container that is big enough for my lettuce. When washing my romaine, I give them a sink bath, pull all the leaves off and dry them individually. Then I store the whole leaves in a large container with paper towels on the bottom, a few layers of romaine leaves, another layer of paper towels, and so on. I’ve had romaine last for 2 weeks this way! 2 WEEKS!

A salad spinner works well too. If you want to avoid the waste of paper towels, you can store your washed lettuce in a salad spinner.

Where you live plays a big part in how you store produce too. Since I live in Arizona, it is hot most of the year. Some foods that are typically stored on the counter top have to be stored in the fridge when the temperatures get high. If you live somewhere colder, you may be able to keep most of your whole produce on your counters for a long time. Check out this seasonal produce chart specifically for Arizona!

What are your tips to keeping produce fresh? Do you have a special tool that you love?

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!