Weeknight Meatless Meals Made Easy

Weeknight meals can be tough, especially around the holidays. The hustle and bustle of the day, wrapping gifts, shopping, spreading holiday cheer, holiday parties, and festive outings leave little time to make a healthy, quick meal.

Because of all the running around during the holidays, it’s so important to keep healthy and I truly believe that health starts with nutrition and nutrition starts with what we’re eating.

To simplify: eating healthy meals packed with nutrients contributes to your health!

But who the grinch has the time to check off all the holiday to-do’s plus make a home-cooked meal!?!?!

This past week, Mike and I have been dealing with a few health issues (tooth infection after math for me and a follow up MRI visit to an orthopedic Dr. for Mike – outcomes are positive!) I got home from a business trip, and we are getting ready to put our investment property on the market, so have been particularly busy. But eating healthy is a priority, so I wanted to post our nightly dinners to show how easy it can be to whip up plant-packed meals in under an hour.

Falafels

Sunday Night Menu: Falafels, steamed broccoli & a pomegranate power green salad

Falafel Recipe

1 can 15oz chickpeas drained
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Tahini paste
1 1/2 cups of Kale
Pepper & salt (a pinch of each)
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon coconut oil for sauteing

Combine first 6 ingredients in cuisine art & pulse/blend to a paste (it’s ok to have some lumps). Add the flour. Form 4 patties with mixture. Heat oil in a saute pan. Saute on each side for 5 minutes, making sure they don’t burn.

 

Monday Night Menu: Sweet Potato Bake with a spinach salad

Sweet Potato Bake

Sweet Potato Mexican Bake recipe

2 small sweet potatoes
1 bag of mixed frozen veggies
1 tablespoon veggie broth
1 tablespoon water

Slice potatoes thinly and put on cookie sheet (you can toss with a bit of oil if you want). Cook at 375 for 20 minutes.

Sauce:
1/2 cup of Carrots
1/2 cup of Broccoli stems
1/2 tsp of garlic & onion powder
1/2 tsp salt & paprika
1/2 cup almond milk
4 tablespoons of dijon mustard
1 tsp of Tapatio (optional, but we like it spicy!)

Cook carrots & broccoli in a bit of water, until soft. Add veggies & the rest of the ingredients to cuisine art/blender and blend until smooth.

Put frozen veggies with broth & water in an oven safe dish. Top with sauce & once potatoes are done, overlay them on top of the bake. Turn oven down to 350 and bake for another 20-30 minutes.

Meatless Meals

Tuesday Night Menu: Mushroom & Tomato Stroganoff with Trader Joe’s Eggplant Cutlets & a Kale Salad

Mushroom & Tomato Stroganoff – Recipe found on One Green Planet (I used veggie broth & it turned out more like a tomato based sauce, but it was still amazing!)

I used Quinoa elbow macaroni & cooked some leftover Trader Joe’s Eggplant Cutlets – these are great and I usually get two-three meals out of the bag.

Szechuan Eggplant

Wednesday Night Menu: Szechuan Eggplant with broccoli & Yellow Peppers over Quinoa & a red leaf lettuce salad

Got this amazing Szechuan recipe from The Edible Garden – I altered a few things, not adding as much oil to cook/fry the eggplant. Instead I tried to steam it with a bit of water in the wok. I also added peppers & broccoli once the eggplant was cooked & the sauce was added (I like my veggies crispy). One more addition: sesame seeds. These are just great and add a bit of flavor & crunch.

 

Each and every one of these meals took less than 45 minutes to put together and were packed full of flavor, nutrients, and best of all homemade using whole ingredients. Yes, the cutlets & macaroni are processed – but I try to make the whole foods and veggies the center piece.

What are you cooking this week? Would love to hear about the meals, challenges or questions you have!

Happy Weeknight Cooking!

Mama Mia: Homemade Kidney Bean Balls

Being mostly plant-based may seem like I’m missing out – no meatballs, hamburgers, sausages or meatloaf!?!?! Well, I’m going to be bold and say the plant-based versions of all of these are better!

Plant Power
Plant Power

Not only do they contain enzymes, nutrients, vitamins essential for our health, they leave out the saturated fat & cholesterol animal protein adds. Think of the cow as the middleman – it eats plants to get nutrients, but the nutrients gets filtered through its system and passed on to our plates with all the extra bullsh*$!

And above all else, the plant versions are delicious!

I was craving Italian, something hearty, so whipped up these kidney bean balls last weekend. They turned out amazing – super hearty, filling, and packed with plant goodness. The secret ingredient? Fresh baked breadcrumbs! I had stale whole wheat hamburger buns in my fridge, so ripped em’ to shreds and made an Italian style breadcrumb that added a ton of flavor.

Ingredients

Breadcrumbs

Stale bread (2-3 slices, or 2 hamburger buns)
2 tablespoons oregano & parsley & onion powder
2 Tablespoons of olive soil
Pinch of sea salt & pepper

Crumble bread into bite sized pieces and put into a bowl. Mix all dry ingredients and toss oil into the bowl – mix well. Bake breadcrumbs at 350 for 12-16 minutes.

Kidney Bean Balls

1 can of organic kidney beans (rinsed)
1/2 medium red onion
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon balsamic olive oil 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon of flaxmeal mixed with 2 tablespoons of water – let mixture sit until gooey)

Chop onion and put into a cuisine art along with the garlic gloves. Mix until minced. Add can of beans and pulse about 4-5 times. You want mixture to be chunky. Add flax egg and balsamic stir with a wooden spoon. Toss in breadcrumbs and mix. Form into balls and put on a cookie sheet with parchment paper (I sprayed a bit of olive oil on parchment paper). Bake at 375 for about 15-20 minutes. Balls should be firm.

Check out my instagram page to see a video of the plant-goodness!

Enjoy!

Pizza Pizza Plants to eat-sa!

Who doesn’t love pizza?! I don’t care who ya are….there’s nothing like a good slice of zza to chow down on. That being said, the huge amount of dough, gobs of cheese and grease soaked slices aren’t too appealing to me anymore.

But where to get that pizza fix!?

Kale & Tofu Parmesan Pizza
Kale & Tofu Parmesan Pizza

Today’s Lunch: Tofu Parmesan & kale pizza on a Wheat Tortilla

Mike was home for lunch today, so in between meetings, I whipped this quick & nutritionally dense plant–based pizza up. It was delicious!

Ingredients

2 whole wheat tortillas
1 cup of tomato sauce
2 cups of kale
8 button mushrooms slices
2/3 cup of Daiya Mozzarella Cheese
2 small tomatoes
1/2 package of tofu, drained and cubed
1 tablespoon of oregano, parsley, nutritional yeast, 1/2 tablespoon of garlic salt & a pinch of salt

Lunch for Mike & I
Lunch for Mike & I

Mix seasonings in a small bowl and toss in tofu. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.

Tofu Seasoning
Tofu Seasoning
Tofu Parmesan
Tofu Parmesan

Spread both tortillas out – put 1/2 cup of sauce on each. Top with mushrooms, tomato, kale.
Once tofu is done, put on pizza and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Wet the edges of the tortilla so it doesn’t burn.

Tofu Parmesan & kale Pizza
Tofu Parmesan & kale Pizza

Happy Lunch!