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happy happy Monday!


I’m honoured to have been able to drop in to your inbox and connect with you more over the past few months! (Click here to read past emails if you missed out).

This week I'm sharing all about meal planning. I've NEVER been one to make and stick to a meal plan; most of my feeble past attempts have been derailed after day 2. I've always said I'd rather just cook what I feel like in the moment, and not be tied to a schedule or plan. BUT I'm also coming to realize that with a toddler and business to run, along with all of LIFE, this means dinnertime can be stressful, rushed, and I don't really get to enjoy the food I'm making.

I have high hopes for this meal plan, as I've taken the time to really organize and simplify it, as well as designate what at I can do in the morning or days before in order to make dinner time an easier, more enjoyable experience. Also, because I plan to double up batches of things that freeze well, the following week will be even easier. My meal plan is 7 days (allowing one Wild Card being dinner out or with friends or family, or leftovers from previous days). The plan is just focused on dinner, as I find we often eat the leftovers for lunch the next day, and breakfast is usually smoothies, pancakes or oats (you can find our favourite recipes in past emails).

To make things simple I decided to stick to recipes I've made before and are Lily and Justin approved. I've linked the original recipes that they are inspired by - my recipes have some changes, zero waste modifications and time saving tips. It's all vegan, and mostly (or easily made) gluten free. The images (except falafel) are all from Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows (her Blog, App and Cookbooks are all awesome!).

Enjoy :)

 

Meal Prep Schedule

 

Day

Main dish

AM Prep

PM Prep

Monday

Dahl & Quinoa

 

cook quinoa (2 cups dry - save extra for tomorrow's tabouleh) and make dahl (10 min prep)

Put chickpeas (2.5 cups dry) in slow cooker to cook overnight

Tuesday

Falafel & Tabouleh

make make double batch falafel (freeze half), make tahini dressing (use extra for tomorrow's salad), and tabouleh (25 min)

cook falafel  (10 min)

Wednesday

Mac and Cheeze, salad

make cheeze sauce (10min)

cook pasta, assemble salad (10 min)

put black beans (2.5 cups dry) in slow cooker to cook overnight

Thursday

Burrito bowls

prep burrito beans, put rice in rice cooker (2 cups dry - save 1 cup cooked for burgers tomorrow) (10 min)

make avocado-lime sauce and salsa if making (5 -10 min)

Friday

Bean burgers and fries

make double batch burgers (freeze half), prep potato fries (20 min)
buy buns

bake potato fries, make avocado garlic aioli, cook burgers (25 min)

Saturday

Wild card

 

 

Sunday

Cream of Everything soup with bread

make bread in breadmaker or buy

make soup (10 min prep)

Lentil Dahl


Inspired by 8-minute pantry dahl by Oh She Glows. You could double this recipe and freeze half.
  1. In a large pot, melt 1 tbsp coconut oil over low-medium heat.
  2. Dice 5 cups of veggies into 1/2-inch pieces, add them into the pot as you chop them, stirring as you go (I use what we have, such as broccoli, zucchini, onions, bell peppers, carrots, potatoes).
  3. Add in 1/2 cup red lentils (dry), 1 cup water, 2-3 diced tomatoes, 1 can coconut milk*, and the following spices: 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tbsp curry powder** or more to taste. Stir until combined.
  4. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 18 to 25 minutes, until the veggies and lentils are tender;
  5. Serve with the quinoa or other grain, garnish with cilantro (optional)
*You can also easily make coconut milk with water and shredded coconut to make this entirely zero waste
**Sometimes I use curry paste from a glass jar that I then upcycle

 

Falafel and Tabouleh


The falafel and tahini dressing I've shared in previous emails. For the falafel, I suggest making a double batch so you can freeze half.

Time saving tip: If you add a bit of water or aquafaba to make the falafels less of a crumbly dough and more of a paste, you can save time by just dropping spoonfuls directly into the fry pan, rather than rolling them into balls first. It's easier to freeze this way too - just freeze the un-rolled dough in an airtight container and make sure to take it out of the freezer the day before to thaw.

This is the tabouleh recipe (inspired by this one by Oh She Glows):

Combine in a large bowl:
  • 2.5 cups cooked quinoa (leftover from Monday)
  • 1 cup packed fresh parsley*, minced
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro*, minced
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 large green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt & ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Optional - other veggies like red bell pepper, cucumber or red cabbage. I also sometimes add 1/4 cup hemp hearts.
*If I don't have fresh herbs on hand, I'll sub 2 tbsp dried parsley and shredded kale or other green.

 

Mac and Cheeze


There are SO many delicious vegan mac and cheeze recipes out there. Here's an easy one that wins over the whole family (inspired by this one by Vegan Yumminess).
  1. Cook 3 cups dried macaroni (we love the brown rice ones from Bulk Barn)
  2. Boil in enough water just to cover: 1 cup diced yellow potatoes, 1/2 cup diced carrots or sweet potato, 1/2 cup raw cashews (this eliminates the need for soaking beforehand), and 1/3 cup chopped onion until veggies are soft.
  3. Strain veggies/cashews and add them to your blender along with 3/4 cup water (preferably use liquid from pot of boiled veggies) and the following:
    • 1/4 cup coconut milk
    • 2 tablespoons of my nacho seasoning (if you haven't made this yet, you're missing out!)
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or sub white wine vinegar)
    • 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
    • 1 pinch of cayenne if you like spice
  4. Blend until smooth, then pour over macaroni and combine. Save some cheese sauce (about 3/4 cup) for tomorrow's burrito bowls.
  5. Top with my cashew parmesan and/or nacho seasoning.
For the side salad - I keep it simple and do shredded kale, other veggies if desired, with leftover tahini dressing from the day before.


 

Burrito Bowls


Our family loves burritos. If asked what she wants to eat, "I want a buwwito" is Lily's most common response. This is an easy burrito bowl recipe that everyone loves, inspired by this one by Oh She Glows.

Make rice (2 cups dry) in rice cooker. Save 1 cup cooked for burgers tomorrow.

Make burrito beans:
  1.  In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil over medium heat. Stir in 1 diced onion and 4 minced cloves garlic, along with a pinch of salt, and sauté for about 5 to 6 minutes, until softened.
  2. Stir in 2-3 chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp each of: chili powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Continue sautéing for another 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in 2 cups of cooked black beans. Cook for a few more minutes until heated throughout. Taste and add more salt if desired. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional).
Make avocado-lime sauce:
  1. Blend together 1 large avocado, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 tbsp water, 1 garlic clove.
Make salsa (here's one of my favourite recipes), or use store bought in a glass jar you can up-cycle. Pile beans, sauce, salsa and cheeze sauce on the rice and dig in!

 

Burgers and Fries


Bean Burgers (this is a double batch - freeze half). Blend in food processor:
  • 3 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • mix-ins like grated carrot, zucchini, kale, sunflower/pumpkins seeds, fresh cilantro (1/2 - 1 cup each)
  • 2 tbsp of my nacho seasoning
Form into patties. Freeze half the patties: place on a baking sheet in the freezer for 45 minutes, then put in an airtight container to continue freezing (so that they don't stick together). Cook the other half of the patties in a fry pan on medium-high heat, until crispy on both sides (5-7 min each side). Buns I buy at Co-op from the bulk baked goods in the bakery section.

Potato Fries 
Chop potatoes and/or sweet potatoes into thin wedges and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with my nacho seasoning, mix around with your hands until everything is coated. Bake at 425 F for 25 minutes, unsticking and flipping with a spatula half way through. I often roast other veggies at the same time, like broccoli and bell peppers.

Avocado Garlic Aioli
You can use whatever condiments you want, but this avocado garlic aioli is divine.

 

Cream of Everything Soup


At the end of the week there will inevitably be some lingering veggies that have seen better days. Before doing another shop I like to clear everything out in a soup or stew. This has been our go-to lately! Lily absolutely loves it (you might have seen some IG stories of her gobbling it up).

Sauté in a large pot for about 10 minutes (adding as you chop):
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 fill the pot with veggies (Broccoli, leek, cauliflower, kale, zucchini, onion are some go-tos
Add enough veggie broth* to just cover the veggies, simmer for 10 minutes or until all veggies are soft. Purée with an immersion blender (or in a blender) and add 1 cup coconut milk. Add salt and pepper to taste.
*make by boiling veggie scraps, or I use this kind in a glass jar from Costco that is perfect for up-cycling).

For bread, I'll either make a loaf in the bread maker or buy package free (I just get them to place in my own bag) at the bakery.






 

Grocery List

 

Things I always have

Things to make sure I have

sea salt

2 sweet potatoes

black pepper

5 yellow potatoes

garlic powder

4 onions

fresh garlic

1-2 bunches kale

fresh ginger

4 avocados

turmeric

6 small tomatoes

cumin

6 medium carrots

chili

1 bunch celery

cashews

1 head broccoli

nutritional yeast

1 zucchini

rice

1 red and 1 yellow peppers

quinoa

1 bunch fresh parsley

pasta

1 bunch fresh cilantro

black beans

green onion

chickpeas

lemons*

red lentils

limes*

olive oil, avocado oil

coconut milk (2 cans or make)

flour

vegan mayo (or make)

vegetable broth

 
I also like to always keep on hand prepped cashew parmesan and nacho seasoning (obvi!).

*I also buy glass bottles of lemon/lime juice which a great for storing dressings and drinks


 

Much love and gratitude,
Amelia
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