Week 2 Free Plant Based Meal Plan: A Focus on Healthy Recipes
In an effort to fit into New Years resolutions, This week’s meal plan is going to focus more on healthy options. This means it will be more whole foods plant based which means more but a bit more work.
“Healthy” is a loaded term so I am defining “healthy” here to mean whole, unprocessed plant foods. I am going to try to follow the proportions in Canada’s food guide because it is an awesome food guide. That means I am hoping each meal will be 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% high protein foods and 25% whole grains.
I’ll do my best to reach these proportions using the eye ball method. I don’t have time to be super accurate or the motivation to weigh food or anything like that. Some meals are more grain or protein based making 50% fruit and veg difficult so I am going to add some fresh salads from time to time.
If you would prefer video to reading, there is a link to the YouTube video below.
The oats will be the whole grain, the soy milk will be the protein (I will add soy milk to the cooking process as well as serving with it). All 3 recipes can be found here. Oatmeal doesn't have enough fruit so we will also have fruit salad or a smoothie each day.
Our Oatmeal Schedule:
Apple cinnamon pecan oatmeal with a drizzle of maple syrup.
Black Forest oat meal: with frozen cherries, cocoa and coconut whipped cream.
Peanut butter banana oatmeal
Apple cinnamon pecan oatmeal
Black forest oatmeal Peanut butter banana oatmeal
Bonus day: what ever we feel like oatmeal
Either a Smoothie or a Fruit Salad Everyday:
Fruit Salad: Just pick 4-5 fruits you like, chop them to the right size and pop them in a bowl. For us this week this meant bananas, cantaloupe, apples, oranges and pomegranate. For fun, a squirt of coconut whipped cream goes a long way. The kids love dipping their fruit in the whipped cream.
Banana strawberry smoothies: 2 large bananas, 2 cups of frozen strawberries and a cup of soy milk which is blended in my ninja until smooth. (I pour some into a bowl for baby and mix it with some coconut yogurt to thicken it so it is easier for him to eat with a spoon. He also has some cereal or oatmeal or toast with that usually.)
Non-instant, Instant Soups: They are not really instant, there is prep work ahead of time but at lunch you just need to add hot water.
Beforehand you just put pre-cooked quinoa or rice, chopped veggies and cubed tofu into 3 jars. Add a third of a smashed bouillon cube or a tablespoon of miso paste to each jar. Miso is easier to mix but expensive. The veggies I choose were sliced cabbage, celery and snap peas but you can choose what you like. I would select vegetables that are good raw as the boiling water doesn't cook them. It's a fresh veggie soup. This is a great option if you really need some veggies mid-day but have no time to cook.
Avocado on toast with a side salad is an option for non-soup days.
Snacks: Hummus and veggies
Kid Lunches: Soup or a left over chickpea burger with a fruit cocktail and a MadeGood bar. He also got vegan pizza at school one day.
Simple kid lunch soup: I have 3 mini thermoses. I just boiled about a cup of pasta in vegetable broth and filled each thermos 1/3 of the way with pasta, 1/3 of the way with black beans or tofu cubes and 1/3 of the way with finely chopped carrot (which I cooked in the microwave for a minute or two). I added enough vegetable broth to make each one soupy. 1 cup of pasta makes too much for these soups but I also give pasta to the baby some days because he is old enough and likes it.
Baby: depend on the day but I try to ensure he has a protein rich food (tofu, hummus, beans, tempeh, peanut butter etc.) and a fruit or vegetable for lunch. He also has pasta sometimes. He has snacks when he gets hungry and nurses when ever he wants but that is not too planned.
1. Taco Salad: This week I was more heavy on the leafy greens (lettuce for crunch, spinach for health) and peppers. I smooshed an avocado with lime juice and added a dollop of this quick guacamole as well.
The kids: Tofu and beans (without spices) with a side of greens and guacamole. Components of the above recipe.
2. Thai Curry with brown basmati rice: I added cubed tofu to the curry after the coconut milk for more protein. I added a few handfuls of snap peas for more veggies a few minutes before serving to keep the crunch.
The kids: They have the same components as the Thai curry without the spices and separated into piles on a plate. Small piles of cubed tofu, a small cup of rice and chopped but raw celery, tomato, pepper and snap peas.
3. Chickpea burgers with salad: with whole grain buns, lettuce and tomato.
Salad: base it with leafy greens (lettuce and spinach) and add some pepper, tomato, celery, some nuts. Serve with your favorite dressing. [For balsamic vinaigrette: about 50% olive oil (4 tbsp), 25% balsamic vinegar (2 tbsp) and 25% maple syrup (2 tbsp) and a 1/4 tsp of mustard powder to emulsify. Mix it vigorously.]
The Kids: My 8 year old had a burger and salad. Baby had a cut up burger patty with ketchup, fresh tomatoes and a lentil puff heart.
4. Borscht: with whole grain bread and a side of edamame. I just heat the edamame in he microwave and sprinkle it with some sea salt. We buy it frozen.
Kids: Same as us
5.Pesto risotto: with extra roast vegetables [carrots, a pepper, a can of Lima beans and a beet in addition to the zucchini that the recipe calls for]. You can double the seasoning for that part of the recipe.
The kids: can both eat this, I will just cut up babies veggies smaller.
6. Fajitas: with smashed avocado and salsa instead of daiya. I fried up some strips of tofu as the protein source here and added them to the filling.
The kids: My 8 year old had tofu and vegan 'cheese' in a wrap with some mushrooms. Baby had tofu, veggies and some tortilla.
7. Vegetable soup: no recipe needed for this one. Simply blend 4 tomatoes, 2-3 cloves of garlic, a bullion cube and an onion in a blender as the base. Pour mixture in a large pot on medium heat and add a bunch of chopped veggies, maybe some cubed tofu, maybe some seeds or nuts or beans or grains. Whatever you have in your fridge that you don't want to go bad should get added to this soup. Add water as needed, ½ tsp of chili powder and 1 tsp of salt.
The kids can eat this meal pretty easily.