Meal Plan Monday: La Fiesta

 

Avocado, what else can I say. I am diggin me some avocado these days. Thankfully they have been pretty inexpensive lately, usually 2 for $1 where I shop. I also have some prepared guacamole ready to go. So we may not actually have a party but a little avocado can turn any meal into a party worthy occasion.  Most of my meals will be inspired by the lovely avocado along with other fresh veggies.

I haven’t been in much of a breakfast mood lately. Between getting my boys fed and getting the day started I don’t want to think about getting me fed too. I know that breakfast is super important so I do not skip it. Usually I’ll start with a banana, which I sometimes have to share with the offspring, so I get another banana that also gets shared. Sometimes this continues for quite a while. That is why we purchase 4 bunches of banana’s at the start of the week then usually at least 1 more by late in the week.

I think oatmeal is one of the best things you can eat for breakfast, but truthfully I’ve been a little burned out on oatmeal, I’m thinking of trying some new combinations this week. You can check out this post about breakfast for more ideas. I usually eat twice in the morning (then sometimes have an early lunch). First is typically a piece of fruit, next I’ll have something a little more substantial.

Meal Plan

Breakfast will be toast with nut butter and fruit, oatmeal, Breakfast Rice, and an occasional bowl of cereal with fruit and almond milk.

Lunch will be leftovers, Bean and Grain Bowls, spinach and hummus wraps, and maybe even some PB&Js.

Snacks will be jalapeno hummus with fresh veggies, fruit, granola bars, and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Dinner

Monday: Tonight we are having company over and plan to make Portobello Fajita’s with Mexican Rice, Unfried Beans, grilled veggies and all of the fixings.

Tuesday: will probably be leftovers 

Wednesday: Pasta night! Last week we had gluten-free (quinoa) pasta with mushrooms that was pretty out of this world.

Thursday: I want to make a huge veggie soup to use up any veggies that may have been neglected over the week. I know we have some celery that will make it into that pot, I only like cooked celery.

Friday: Date night! We will probably be grabbing hummus and pita’s  from our favorite restaurant.

My Food Demo is coming up in less than two weeks so when I get the chance I hope to do a little extra cooking to prepare for that. There are a few recipes I want to try like a whipped coconut cream, yum! Next week two of our “Big Kids” will come for a nice long summer visit. I hope to fully convert them to be plant lovers but we will see how it works. I forsee future topics of Plant-Based Teenagers and Feeding Plants to the Reluctant. 🙂

How is your summer going? Are you in love with avocados like I am or do you have a different summer time favorite

Rocking Leftover Mexican Food

I’ve mentioned the feast we had last Thursday and all of the leftovers we’ve been eating. I’ll give you a quick run down of the food I made:

  • Faux “taco” filling made with lentils and quinoa
  • Unfried Beans
  • Mexican Rice
  • Portobello Fajitas (recipe coming soon-ish)
  • flour and corn tortillas, and tortilla chips
  • faux cheese sauce
  • veggies for tacos (lettuce, tomatoes, onions)
  • homemade salsa
  • guacamole
  • three different kinds of hummus
  • veggie tray (carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, celery)
  • mixed fruit bowl (strawberries, pineapple, grapes, oranges)
  • Chocolate Mousse and Strawberries
  • Apple Pie with a whole wheat crust

This is all I can remember, now you see why we are eating leftovers and not getting tired of them. The first 5 things alone can be mixed and matched. Check out this Taco Salad, it is hard to see but you can rest assured there is plenty of guacamole and homemade salsa on this baby.

I also made, devoured, and thoroughly enjoyed this French Bread Pizza. If your wondering, “Holly, Do you miss pizza since switching to Plant-Based?” YES I DO! But I don’t miss the cheese or even the meat, for me it is all about the sauce! I love a good marinara. For this pizza I took advantage of an 88¢ baguette loaf ( I shared so I really only ate about half of it) slathered it with sauce and topped it with leftover veggies. You may also notice the portobello strip, I am NOT a muchroom fan but I have been won over with these.

The portobello brings me to the fajita’s. I was very skeptical of these but I wanted to have something else for my guests in case they weren’t fans of the quinoa/lentil combo. I broiled them in the oven so I could keep an eye on them. I have a tendency to forget about things outside on the grill, especially when I have company. Also, I had never even touched a portobello before so I wasn’t sure how it would behave while cooking. All in all I was pleasantly surprised. I think these will be on a regular rotation at our house. This first picture is of the mushrooms, onions and peppers covered in a marinade and going into the oven. 

This is a horrible picture of leftover fajita’s. What can I say, I’m not really a photographer and I don’t play one on TV.

I’ve also been eating a few too many Nachos and more than my fair share of hummus and veggies. I’m guessing no one feels bad about the leftovers at this point. The only problem is they are almost gone. I’ll probably only get one more meal out of them then it is back to cooking. 

How do you use up your leftovers? 

What to Eat

If your interested in a plant based diet you may be wondering what to eat, or thinking you will surely starve to death. Let me assure you that there is a lot of really good food out there so you will not starve. Each day this week I plan to share a sample meal plan. These meal plans will be easy to prepare with common ingredients that can be found at any grocery store. (With the exception of one ingredient in Nachos!) 

Today’s Menu Plan

Breakfast: Oatmeal

Oatmeal is easy to make, inexpensive, and really good for you. I like to make a large batch on the weekend and eat it throughout the week. I prefer steel cut oats or rolled oats cooked on the stove but if you only have time for instant you can still have a hearty healthy breakfast. Follow the package instructions as different types of oats need to be cooked for different lengths of time.

On the weekends I like to cook a large batch of oatmeal for quick breakfasts. I like to add a diced apples to the water as it starts to boil, then add the oats. Stir regularly as it cooks and add cinnamon. Raisins, dried cranberries, or other seasonal fruit will naturally sweeten your oatmeal and provide variety. I like to sweeten oatmeal with Stevia, agave or real maple syrup. In the past I would add a ton of white sugar to my oatmeal but that is not healthy and OATMEAL SHOULD NOT TASTE LIKE DESSERT! Nuts and seed provide a great topping with a little crunch. 

Lunch: Sandwich Wrap or Salad

Sandwich wraps are a quick and easy way to eat raw veggies. I usually prefer a wrap to a salad. Try to find a whole grain tortilla, pita, or some type of wrap. I like to add fat free hummus, lettuce, bell peppers, onions, beans and what ever veggies need to be used up. I’ll typically eat two wraps for lunch. If your more or a salad person eat that instead. Just eat enough that you are not hungry. Try adding avocado to your wrap or salad. Most salad dressing contain a lot of oil so try to find a fat free version, a fat free balsamic vinaigrette is a good choice. Tortilla chips and salsa can help you feel less deprived as well.

Dinner: Lentil Tacos with Beans and Mexican Rice 

Lentils are a tasty and inexpensive stand in for traditional ground beef in tacos.    Find out how to make lentil tacos here. If your short on time choose canned refried beans or pinto beans. Mexican Rice is healthy, delicious and filling. Cooking brown rice takes longer than cooking white rice so allow extra time to make this.

Mexican Rice

Ingredients
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 6 oz of tomato sauce (use an 8 oz can and save the other two ounces)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • cilantro (optional)
Do
  1. Add 1 cup of brown rice to a skillet on medium heat. I like to toast the rice a bit before adding water but if you are too impatient you can skip that part.
  2. Add 2 1/2 cups of water and the 6 ounces of tomato sauce. I’ve used the whole 8 ounces when I made this with white rice but the brown rice doesn’t need all of the tomato sauce.
  3. Add the salt and garlic.
  4. Stir everything well then put a lid on the pan. The rice will cook best with a lid on. The temperature can be turned down once it is boiling well. Start checking the rice at about 30 minutes but it may need to cook closer to 45 minutes. It is done when most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is soft. Remove from heat.
  5. Cilantro can be added on top of the rice after it is done cooking. Just sprinkle fresh cilantro on top of the rice and place lid back on skillet for a few minutes. 
Serve

This can be served as a side dish or as part of a burrito. I’ll often eat this rice with leftover beans and salsa. It is tasty in a wrap and reheats well.

 

Snacks/Dessert

When beginning a plant based diet there is no need to feel deprived. Fresh fruit makes a yummy snack. Apples, bananas, grapes, and oranges are inexpensive and easy to find. Baby carrots and other raw veggies easily portable when your on the go. Smoothies are tasty and can be made from a variety of fruits and veggies. We like Naked Juice when we are on the go. We buy them at Costco for the best deal. 

Coming this week…

Potato Soup

Apple Muffins