Multi-Grain Breakfast Bowl…Goodbye Oatmeal

Last week I shared our recipe for Overnight Chia Porridge and the fact that most of our household has a sensitivity to oats. You know I love oats. If you’ve followed my Free Meal Plans for a while you also know I ate oatmeal almost every morning for months at a time.

multi-grain breakfast bowl is vegan and gluten free

I had to say goodbye to oatmeal, at least for now, but I really needed a whole grain replacement. If I don’t have a hearty breakfast I’m more likely to skip it all together then make poor choices later in the day.

Every time I make this Breakfast Bowl it tastes different. Sometimes I use brown rice, sometimes quinoa or other grains. Often I’ll mix up several different leftovers. My kids like to eat this cold but I prefer to heat it up before adding the fruit. It’s easy enough that everyone can have it their own way. I guess I should have named it Multi-Grain Breakfast Buffet Bowl.

multi-grain breakfast bowl is vegan and gluten free

Multi-Grain Breakfast Bowl


  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup of fruit (blueberries, diced apples, bananas, raisins, etc.)
  • a little sweetener (I like maple syrup)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • OPTIONAL 1/4 cup Overnight Chia Porridge
  • OPTIONAL nuts or seeds


  1. Heat grains if you want a hot cereal.
  2. Mix in remaining ingredients and stir well.


This can be made ahead of time and stored in individual portions for quick breakfasts.

I love how easy it is to make using leftover grains.

For more inspiration check out my Plant-Based Breakfast Board on Pinterest or my Breakfast Page.

Meal Plan Monday: Soup Week

I don’t know about you but there is something about eating soup that really helps me feel nourished. I think it is because I eat a much better variety of veggies in soup that I wouldn’t eat if they were all cooked separately.

In January of 2012 I proclaimed a Soup Week. I’m really looking forward to this one because I have a few more recipes in my tool belt. I plan to make large pots of soup each night so I can have a nice selection in my freezer.

I won’t post a whole meal plan but you can get Breakfast Ideas here. You can also click on the Meal Plan Monday in the Categories section on the right. It will bring up past meal plans you can browse.

I know I always brag about living in Arizona where the weather is wonderful and it is; however lately I’ve been cold. Not the same kind of cold everyone else is experiencing but I’m a little spoiled so I’m having a hard time handling it. My answer: sweaters, coffee, and soup.

veggie broth mix

If you use canned broth or bullion these soups will be more expensive for you and possibly less healthy. I’d like to encourage you to give the Dry Broth Mix a try. It is so good and inexpensive. It takes minutes to mix up a batch in your food processor and it lasts for a long time.

Minestrone SoupMinestrone Soup! I made this last week for Healthy Cravings and we enjoyed the leftovers all weekend. We had a tense moment yesterday when we realized it was almost gone. We shared the last few cups of it then I made the next soup.

Green Chili Cilantro & Lime SOup

Green Chili Cilantro & Lime Soup! This soup is amazing! Truly. I’ll be sharing the recipe this week. I made a large pot last night. My boys didn’t love it but my husband and I did. We both had two large bowls and he took it to work for lunch. I also put some in the freezer. I have yet to get a good picture but I don’t want to wait to share this recipe.

Potato Soup

Slow Cooker Potato Soup! This is one of the easiest recipe ever! I may switch it to a busier day but I’ve really been craving potato soup. I’ll be adding more veggies to it though and perhaps more nutritional yeast. I get a look of feedback about this soup everyone seems to love it although you may want to add more seasonings especially if you attempt to make this without nutritional yeast. An immersion blender would make it smooth and creamy.

Taco Soup (2)Taco Soup! Very similar to the Enchilada Soup so you could take your pick. This soup is my favorite, I love it. If someone made this for me I’d become their best friend. It is also full of veggies and beans so you feel immensely satisfied.

Chickpea noodle soup Chickpea Noodle Soup! This is a new favorite in our house. I’ll be adding extra veggies this time depending on what is leftover. I use gluten-free noodles, I like these little shells or macaroni instead of long noodles because my boys can handle these easier but you can use any noodles you like.

Do you have a favorite soup? I love using fresh ingredients in my soup but some days I’m happy when I can throw a bunch of canned or frozen goods together and create a warm, delicious, and filling soup. Share your favorite soup in the comments!

Meal Plan Monday: Spending Less to Eat More

People always ask me what we eat; my answer is usually, “Real Food” or something similar depending on who is asking. I don’t have to read a long ingredient list because most of what we eat is pretty simple, but that doesn’t mean plain.  I buy whole ingredients that fit into my budget, some weeks we spend more than others and I stock up when our favorites are discounted.

This weeks meal plan will focus on low-cost, high quality meals. Depending on where you live you may not have access to the same food at the same prices. Tomorrow I’ll talk  more about eating plant-based on a budget. All of the items I talk about today are regular ingredients that we keep on hand. If you are new to plant-based eating it may cost a little more while you stock your pantry. You don’t have to do this overnight; we slowly bought new things as our budget allowed.

Nutty Apple Cinnamon oatmeal

Meal Plan

Breakfast can be the least expensive meal of the day. Oatmeal is easy to prepare, but sometimes takes a little practice. Cook your oats and add your favorite toppings. I like ground flax, chia seeds, and dried cranberries or raisins. Homemade granola is another easy option especially when paired with fruit. Baked Sweet Potatoes with a little bit of cinnamon is a sweet yet filling breakfast. Check out this post for more Breakfast Ideas.

Veggie Stuffed Pita

Lunch is a great time for a really big salad. I like spinach, tomatoes, peppers, beans, onions, carrots, and whatever other veggies I have. I prefer to eat it in a wrap with hummus. Most days we eat leftovers for lunch; including my husband who always takes his lunch. Soups are one of my favorite’s for lunch; Slow Cooker Potato Soup, Taco Soup, or Minestone help me warm up and fill me with fuel. Soups can also be taken to work in a thermos and kept warm. Baked Potatoes are also inexpensive yet filling, especially when combined with steamed or raw broccoli, raw veggies or any of the other lunch items mentioned. We do have our fair share of sandwiches (me and the kids) but they aren’t as inexpensive or nutritious.

apple slices with almond butter

Snacks are a great way to add an extra serving of fruit or veggies to your day. Sliced apples dipped in nut butter or veggies dipped in hummus are a favorite with my boys. Sometimes I make green smoothies too. If you have an early lunch and late dinner you may need a more substantial snack. Homemade granola or granola bars are much less expensive than sore brought and can be customized to your preferences.

Mexican Rice and Bean Casserole

Dinner is typically the biggest meal of the day at our house. The other meals are reactions while dinner is (usually) planned. We’ve been adding more salads to our dinner. I also try to have beans or a bean dominate dish. Beans are cheap and versatile. This Mexican Casserole has received rave reviews from adults and kids and is made with pantry staples. This Broccoli and Brown Rice Casserole is also a crowd pleaser and made with fresh or frozen broccoli. Our teenage daughter requested this once a week for months. Bean Burgers, Lentil Tacos, or Quinoa Tacos are easily mixed and matched for extra meals and make a great topping on top of a Taco Salad.

You’ll notice that these recipes are gluten-free, unprocessed, inexpensive and easy. Tomorrow I’ll talk more about how to eat a plant-based diet while eating inexpensively.

What are you eating this week? Any My Plant-Based Family recipes?

Meal Plan Monday: It’s Almost Christmas

Salad and GF Pasta

Right now I’m sitting on my couch eating chocolate chip cookies. Shh! Don’t tell anyone.

We’ve had more than our fair share of Christmas parties over the last few weeks. Our overly busy schedule has resulted in quite a bit of takeout too. Last week I failed to make a Meal Plan and we definitely paid for it.

nachos (1)

Meal Plan

Breakfast is usually oatmeal with ground flax, chia seeds, walnuts, and maple syrup. I love it! It’s my favorite breakfast right now and my boys love it too. Some mornings we have a quick bowl of cereal or toast with almond butter instead.

Lunch is usually leftovers. I typically have beans and grains already cooked and waiting in the fridge. I pair them with some veggies for an easy lunch. My husband usually has a huge salad for lunch or leftovers with a generous helping of steamed broccoli.

Snacks are usually fruit, green smoothies, and lately chips and salsa. Some friends made us a big batch of delicious homemade salsa. 🙂

Dinner will be eaten out a couple of times this week. I also plan to make Nachos one night, put that salsa to good use! I still have some leftover Chili and baked potatoes from the weekend. I’ve been craving marinara sauce so we may have gluten-free pasta, we don’t eat pasta very often so it will be a treat for the kids. I usually serve it with a giant salad. I’m considering making Brown Rice and Broccoli Casserole if we start to run low on leftovers; I doubt that will happen because it’s pretty full of Mexican food leftovers from a party I co-hosted on Sunday evening. 🙂

I also hope to do a little baking this week. I bought some fresh cranberries for a loaf of cranberry bread. I may even attempt a gluten-free version. I’ve also been playing around with a new chocolate mousse recipe that I’m very excited about.

What are you eating this week? Do you find it’s more difficult to stay on track during the holidays and how so you combat the craziness?



Meal Plan Monday: A Basic Meal Plan

Some weeks I don’t want to think too much. This is one of those weeks. I spent the weekend out of town (I had a great time) and I’m not ready for a new week. The problem is if I don’t make a meal plan we eat junk and fast food for waaaaaaaay too many meals. Also when I don’t have a plan I don’t always have all of the ingredients I need and I end up running to the store then buy everything that looks good and spend a lot of money. So this week I’m going to make a pretty basic plan based on what I have in my fridge and freezer.

Meal Plan

Breakfast is easy. The usual suspects include oatmeal, Breakfast Quinoa, Breakfast Rice, Toast with nut butter and fruit, baked sweet potatoes, and sometimes pancakes or a Breakfast Stir Fry. For my breakfast ideas check out this post.

Lunch is also pretty easy. We eat leftovers a lot, my husband almost always takes leftovers to work. We also eat sandwiches, baked potatoes, veggie wraps with hummus and bean and grain bowls.

Snacks are usually fruit although sometimes smoothies make an appearance too. I also like raw veggies with hummus. My sons love hummus so this is a popular snack. If I had an early lunch sometimes I’ll even have a sandwich for snack, I know I’m an animal.

Dinner is where I put most of the meal prep effort. My husband has requested rice, lentils, black-eyed peas, and quinoa so I’ll be working those in, except the black-eyed peas which I don’t care for. Those he can take to work. 🙂 I’ thinking of trying my hand at making Bean Burgers again, maybe lentil and quinoa burgers. The Brown Rice and Broccoli Casserole is always a big hit. I may add some new veggies to it this week. Also Quinoa Tacos or Quinoa Taco Salads with avocados and salsa. I’ll probably end the week with a Stir Fry so I can use up any veggies that need to be used. I think this plan will adequately use the rice, lentils and quinoa my husband requested.  Getting “buy-in” from your husband is a good thing. 🙂

The good news about this meal plan is that the rice, lentils, black-eyed peas and quinoa can all be made ahead of time so you can throw everything together quickly after work. Since I was out of town this weekend I’ll do most of these one afternoon for fast and easy meals the rest of the week. I’m also hoping to do a little baking sometime this week. If I do I’ll be sure to post pictures on Facebook.

What about you? What are you eating this week?