5 ingredient, 15 minute meals · easy meals · Main Dishes · soup · vegan · Vegetarian

A Week of Vegan Meals on a Budget

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A lot of my friends have told me that their biggest obstacle in healthy eating, is planning a grocery list.  I have always envied the person who can spontaneously decide what they are going to eat that night while on the way home from work.  Swinging by the grocery store to grab a few items for that evening’s meal has a certain appeal.  However, it is so not me.  I’m a planner, a list maker, a once-a-week grocery shopper and a bit of a stock-piler of bulk bargain items.

There are pros and cons to both approaches. All you spontaneous types get to feed your immediate cravings, live in the moment, and find creative solutions to last-minute dinner dilemmas.  Fellow planners, we have the advantage of cost and time saving, as it is typically cheaper to make a weekly grocery trip and stick to it.  The other advantage to having a plan, is it doesn’t leave you stranded after a busy workday, starving with nothing to eat.  Those are the times when most of us will probably end up choosing something unhealthy, for the sake of speed and convenience.

After being told many times, by many friends, things like, “I just don’t know how to plan a week’s worth of groceries,” or “I never have anything to eat in the house,” or my favorite, “I know frozen pizza is bad for me but…” I’ve decided to share with you a budget-friendly grocery list that will get you through the week.  Oh, and and I’ve included all the recipes to go along with it.  Yup, that’s 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 7 dinners.  Because that’s how much I love you guys 😉 P.S. they’re all vegan too.

The Meals

This plan is meant to feed 2 people.  When a recipe says it will last 2 suppers, it means it will make 4 servings (so 2 suppers for 2 people). I am assuming that there will be some leftovers to make a few lunches.  For example, you will definitely have leftover quinoa stuffing from the Stuffed Squash recipe, so that will make a great lunch served as a salad with some baby spinach and a drizzle of oil and vinegar. You’ll likely have a few extra bean balls as well, which will also be great in a salad or sandwich.

Breakfast

3 x Overnight Oats

4 x toast with peanut butter

Lunch

5 x Chickpea Salad Sandwich

2 x Leftovers (See note above)

Supper

2 x Spaghetti & Bean Balls

2 x Thai Red Curry with Tofu

2 x Mexican Black Bean Soup

1 x Quinoa Stuffed Squash

The Grocery List

** I made this list assuming you have the following staples.  If you are missing any of these things, add them to your list:

Salt, Pepper, Cinnamon, Dried Italian Seasoning, Ground Cumin, Chili Powder, Olive Oil,  Dijon Mustard, red wine vinegar.

4 bananas                                                                                        1 can black beans

1 2lb bag carrots                                                                            2 cans red kidney beans

3 red peppers                                                                                 2 cans chickpeas

5 tomatoes                                                                                      1 bag quinoa

2 avocados                                                                                      1 bag rice of your choice

1 bunch fresh dill                                                                          1 box spaghetti

1 bunch fresh basil                                                                       1 jar spaghetti sauce

1 bunch fresh mint                                                                       1 box Panko breadcrumbs

1 sweet potato                                                                                2 cartons vegetable broth

1 2lb bag onions                                                                             1 jar Thai Red Curry Paste

1 head of garlic                                                                              1 can coconut milk (I prefer low fat)

1 acorn squash                                                                               1 package rolled oats

1 box baby spinach                                                                       1 package Chia seeds

1 brick Extra Firm Tofu                                                               Peanut Butter

1 2L carton Almond Milk                                                            1 small package prunes

Bread                                                                                                1 small package walnuts

 

The Recipes

Overnight Oats

I have to give full credit to Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows for this one.  You can find a great recipe for overnight oats on her website, here.  However, I must say, I prefer the updated version in her cookbook.  I make a double batch in a big tupperware and I find it is enough for 6 servings (3 days for 2 people). The oats stay good in the fridge for about 3 days.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red pepper, chopped roughly
  • 1 carrot, chopped roughly
  • 1 handful fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Put everything in the blender and pulse until the mixture has the texture of coarse crumbs.  Put in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.  Use it to make sandwiches with sliced tomato and avocado, or serve it over a bed of baby spinach as a salad.

Bean Balls

(Makes about 24 balls)

** To make spaghetti and bean balls, simply add 3-4 cooked bean balls to a bowl of spaghetti topped with your favorite jarred marinara sauce.

  • 2 cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • Handful fresh basil (Leave a few leaves for your Thai red Curry)
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 onion, grated or minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp dried Italian Seasoning
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Use a potato masher to mash the beans in a large bowl. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Use your hands to shape the mixture into 1.5 inch balls.  Place on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake 15 minutes more.
  4. Let cool completely before storing any leftovers in an airtight container. The bean balls last up to a week in the fridge, or a month in the freezer.  Reheat for 1-2 minutes in the microwave before adding them to a bowl of spaghetti and tomato sauce, or serve cold in a salad or sandwich.

Thai Red Curry with Tofu

  • 1 brick extra firm tofu, wrapped in paper towels & pressed to extract excess moisture
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp fresh minced basil
  • Cooked rice to serve (1 cup uncooked rice will be enough)
  1. Heat a large pan or wok over medium heat. Saute the carrots in a little oil for 3-4 minutes.  Add the onion and pepper, continue to saute 3-4 minutes until onion in translucent.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the tofu into bite sized cubes.  Add the tofu to the pan with the veggies, saute 2 minutes.  Add the curry paste and stir to coat everything evenly.  Let cook 1 minute, then add the coconut milk to the pan, stir, and cover.  Let simmer gently 4-5 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Stir in basil and serve the curry over rice.

Mexican Black Bean Soup

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, diced (no need to peel)
  • 2 cartons vegetable broth
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Large handful baby spinach
  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat.  Saute the onion in a little oil, 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic and pepper, saute 2 minutes more.  Add everything but the beans and spinach, stir, cover and bring to boil.  Let boil 8-12 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender.
  2. Add the beans and boil 2-3 minutes more.  Stir in the spinach and cook just until wilted, about 1 minute. Enjoy!

Stuffed Squash with Quinoa

** This recipe was inspired and adapted from a cookbook I love, Quinoa Revolution by Carolyn Hemming and Patricia Green

  • 1 acorn squash, cut in half horizontally, seeds removed
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup prunes, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, minced
  • Handful mint, minced
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Drizzle the inside of the acorn squash with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Place, cut side up, on a cookie sheet.  (Tip: You may have to trim off the stem to let the squash sit flat on the tray).  Bake for 1 hour, until the flesh is very tender when poked with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse and drain the quinoa. Add to a pot with 1 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt.  Bring to boil, lower heat and cover.  Let cook 15 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.
  3. Add prunes, garlic, walnut, mint, and a generous drizzle of olive oil to the quinoa and toss to combine.  Spoon the quinoa into the cooked squash and serve! You will have quinoa leftover, store in the fridge up to one week.  Eat it plain, or add it to a salad.

 

That’s it! You will eat like a king or queen for a whole week, enjoying healthy meals that are easy to prepare.  Everything here can easily be made ahead, and stores well in the fridge or freezer to reheat later on.  If you want to freeze any of these recipes (I just wouldn’t freeze the chickpea salad), let the cooked food cool completely, then put it in an airtight container and put in the freezer.  To defrost, just put the container in the fridge overnight.

I’d love your feedback on this week long meal plan and grocery list! If anyone found it helpful, please let me know and I will make another one! Got any helpful tips of your own? I’d love to hear them.  Questions about anything I may not have been clear on? Bring them on! I really hope you will enjoy some or all of these recipes as much as I do 🙂

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