Here are three sample menus ranging from very little preparation to full-out cooking. Obviously, these menus work best mixed and matched so you aren’t in the kitchen all day one day and not much the next. Don’t be intimidated. Plant-based cooking and eating is very enjoyable and you will get to live a long and healthy life!
Day 1 - Little To No Preparation
(Think of these examples as entry level, transitional meals)
Cereal combo of Eziekiel, raw organic rolled oats, and organic puffed kamut (you can use any cereal and it doesn’t have to be a combo, I just like this) with berries, ground flaxmeal, cinnamon and oat milk.
Tip: I keep frozen berries in my freezer and run them under hot water to defrost when berries are out of season.
I try to make enough dinner the night before so I can have leftovers. If that doesn’t happen, I can make this quick lunch.
Hummus sandwich OR an Engine 2 frozen vegan burger (you can buy this at Whole Foods) and a salad (I always have a big salad). I will just describe the sandwich because you can figure out the frozen veggie burger.
I use Engine 2 or Roots oil-free hummus, Eziekiel bread lightly toasted, topped with any veggies such as spinach, tomato, banana peppers or jalapenos, cucumber, sliced zucchini and a splash of red wine vinegar and oregano. I make my salad from lettuce, spinach or kale, shredded carrots, sliced zucchini and red peppers tossed in lemon or lime. Use whatever vegetables YOU like for the sandwich and the salad.
Tip: Sundays I grocery shop and wash and cut up my produce for the week. Keep a moist paper towel around produce to keep it from drying out and going bad.
Ancient Grains pasta topped with fat-free marinara (Whole Foods has an organic brand or Engine 2) and a salad (same idea as the lunch salad). If you have time, make these fabulous Lentil Quinoa Hemp Seed Meatballs
Tip: I am always trying to get more vegetables. When the pasta is one minute away from being finished, throw in some fresh cut up kale or spinach, frozen peas, and some frozen broccoli into the boiling water.
Day 2 – Medium Effort Preparation
Greens and Berries Smoothie Recipe
(use ALL organic if possible)
2 stalks of kale or swiss chard or a BIG handful of spinach
¼- ½ of a beet, peeled
Handful of frozen blueberries
Handful of frozen cherries
1 small banana
½ tbsp. cacao
1 scoop of raw organic Green Superfood
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of turmeric and a pinch of black pepper
1 tsp. cinnamon (if you have the option ceylon is way better than korintje, you can get it at Whole Foods in the bulk spices section)
5 ice cubes
And enough water to blend
I am going to actually give you two options because I realize the first one might not be palatable to a lot of people:
Option 1 - Rice, beans, and greens. If you have a rice cooker, mazel tov. If not, it is a worthy investment. Make sure it comes with a steamer basket. I have an Aroma brand rice cooker.
It's good to add other vegetables to the bowl. You can't go wrong. I cook a few sweet potatoes in the oven to have on hand during the week. I think sweet potatoes are a great addition to rice, beans, and greens. It makes the bowl look pretty too. Remember to eat ALL the colors, they each offer something that your body needs. I don’t love beets, but they are heart healthy (red gives you a clue). I snuck in two bites of steamed beets here and the rest of the beet was in my morning smoothie.
Option 2 – from the Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease (PRHD) Cookbook S.O.B. Burgers - Smoky Oat Bean Burger and “fries.”
Tip: this is a very quick recipe if you already have some brown rice cooked up. The recipe calls for warm rice, but I have used brown rice out of the fridge and it is totally fine.
1/2cup short-grain brown rice
1 cup vegetable broth (to cook the rice in – you don’t need it if you have cooked rice)
½ cup nutritional yeast
2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup salsa, as hot as you can handle
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon smoky paprika
¼ teaspoon liquid smoke (optional) – I have never used this
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees if you choose to bake and not pan-fry the burgers. We make them both ways and don’t have a preference. Sometimes it is the busy stovetop or occupied oven that dictates.
Line with a sheet of parchment paper.
In a rice cooker or in a pot on the stovetop, combine the rice and vegetable broth, and cook as directed. When the rice is done, transfer to a bowl and stir while the rice is still warm and moist. The rice will get stickier and stickier the more you stir.
Into the rice mixture add the nutritional yeast, cannellini beans, oats, and salsa. Using your hands smash, smash, smash until none of the skins of the beans are intact. Really smash and squeeze the beans.
Add turmeric, onion powder, garlic powder, smoky paprika, and liquid smoke (if using) and continue to hand-mix and mash. The mixture will be quite mortarlike.
Form the mixture into patties.
Place the patties in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes per side, or bake for 20 minutes, 10 minutes per side until warmed through.
Serve with your choice of fixings!
Note: I use Ezekiel bread, Engine 2 buns or just wrap the burger in lettuce.
Fries – preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut up white and sweet potatoes into french fry shape, place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and cook for 30-45 minutes until golden brown.
Day 3 – When You Have Time To Cook
Steel cut oats. I cook 4 cups at a time and eat several days in a row. I top the oatmeal with defrosted berries, flax meal, cinnamon and a tiny bit of oat milk.
Summer salad and buffalo cauliflower “wings”
Summer salad: lettuce, fresh chopped mint, and dill to taste, cucumbers and fresh mandarin orange slices. Lemon hummus dressingToss to coat.
Option 1 - Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings” from the PRHD cookbook
1 head of cauliflower
1 cup of chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup of oat milk
1 ½ cups of hot sauce such as Franks or Cholulu
Heat oven to 425 degrees
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Cut a head of cauliflower into bite-size chunks.
In a bowl, mix together chickpea flour, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and oat milk. Stir the batter so there are no lumps.
Immerse the cauliflower pieces into the batter so they are well coated, and then place them on the lined pan. Cook for 18 minutes.
Take the pan out of the oven and drown (seriously) the cauliflower “wings” in your favorite hot sauce. Cook for another 8 minutes. The PRHD book has some different dressings for the cauliflower “wings” but I just eat them plain.
Option 2 - Pad Thai: This recipe is SOOOO good, even non-vegans love it. My amendments to this recipe: Use organic, non-GMO tofu (many times I omit the tofu) and do not use any oil.
Pad Thai recipe