How I plan my family’s plant-based meals
For dinner I base all of our meals around complex carbohydrates (starches), e.g. potatoes/sweet potatoes, whole meal pasta or brown rice. Sometimes we’ll have wholemeal bread/wraps, quinoa or pearl barley, but not as often.
So when planning meals I first choose potatoes, pasta or rice (or other complex carbohydrate). Then decide what to have with them, or what recipe to use them in. Almost all meals include legumes (eg lentils/chickpeas/black beans/red kidney beans are the ones we eat most often) and vegetables, either cooked or raw.
Super Simple Meal Formula
Also, you can put together a quick, simple and easy meal using this formula, as opposed to using a recipe. I like following this formula as I can just use whatever I have in my fridge/pantry and it’s easy. I don’t need a recipe that I have to follow. This sort of meal is sometimes called a nourish bowl, grain bowl, or Buddha bowl.
15 Minute Meals
I also keep on hand some staple ingredients that I can use to make super quick 10-15 minute meals. Below are three examples of some 15 minute meals that I make.
10 minute chickpea pita pockets (or wraps)
15 minute rice and black bean soup
There are some staple pre-prepared ingredients available from the supermarket that will make quick meals really easy. My favourites are: canned beans (e.g. chickpeas/bnlack beans), frozen/canned corn kernels, microwave brown rice, pasta sauce or salsa in a jar, frozen/canned veggies.
Meals we eat regularly
I’ve categorised these under the carbohydrate (unrefined) the meal is based on
Burrito bowl (brown rice, black beans, salsa, tomato, corn, avocado, lettuce, olives, cashew sour cream)
Buddha Bowl (brown rice, tofu, steamed veg, salad, peanut sauce)
Mexican rice and black bean stew
Mexican sweet potato and bean stew
African sweet potato peanut stew
Baked oven fries with salsa, nacho ‘cheese’ sauce and black beans
Pumpkin and red lentil lasagna
Roasted sweet potato lasagna
Roast vegetable pasta
One pot pasta and beans
Green split pea soup
Creamy red lentil soup
Vegetable and pearl barley soup