My Favorite Vegan Meals to Make

I love a good plant based meal. I am not vegan but I have been eating less meat in general and looking to eliminate dairy (which is in everything!). There are many reasons I have chosen to do this, but my biggest reason is health. Animal protein, and specifically dairy, can be hard on the liver. There’s also a big misconception of how much protein we actually need. I won’t get into all of that though because that’s a whole post in itself! So, in the meantime, here are a few favorites that are in our meal rotation. They’re even hubby approved!

Maple Miso Roasted Veggies and Quinoa Bowl: This is probably our most made veggie based meal lately. It’s easy and delicious. I use Red Miso Paste instead of white because I feel like it has a bit more flavor. The link above will take you to my Plan To Eat page (my referral link here). Unfortunately I cannot find the original recipe for this. I have it credited to but I can’t find it. However, check out their Soba Noodle dish. It’s another awesome one!

They don’t look like much, but these veggies are delicious once roasted!

Chili Garlic Cauliflower Risotto Bowls: The sauce on this bowl is AMAZING! Seriously, make a double batch of it. You won’t be sorry. I added some Sriracha Tofu and am really sad that my local Sprouts only has the tofu occasionally .

Crowd Pleasing Caesar Salad: This salad is delicious! I added some Sun-Dried Tomatoes (the ones in a bag, not packed in oil). I’ve also used her recipe for crunchy chickpeas on other salads as well, just change up the spices.

One Pot Zucchini Pasta: This is probably the quickest meal of the list. It’s really easy to make, especially if you buy pre-spiralized zucchini noodles, which you can find at most grocery stores. It’s a staple in our house.

Mexican Lasagna: I make this for every new mom. It’s healthy, delicious, filling, and everyone always asks me for the recipe. The recipe uses regular cheese but of course you can sub in vegan cheese.

Veggie Tortilla Soup: I know it’s getting warm out but in the winter, I make this all the time. This recipe is actually a compilation of a few soups and I unfortunately am not sure where the originals were since I’ve edited my saved version as I’ve worked on making it. Bear with me as I kind of wing it each time I make it!


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced (I typically get red bell peppers)
1 large carrot, diced
1/2 large jalapeño pepper, finely diced (exclude the seeds)
2 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes in juice
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 tbs olive oil
4 corn tortillas
Kosher salt

chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 avocado, sliced or diced


SOUP: In a large pot, heat the oil. Add in the onion, bell pepper, carrot, and jalapeño. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and the vegetables have just a bit of golden color to them (about 10 minutes). Add in the spices and stir for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Add in the broth, tomatoes, beans and quinoa. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the quinoa is cooked through and the veggies are soft. It’s about 30-40 minutes.

TORTILLA STRIPS: Pre-heat your oven to 375. Slice the tortillas into strips, as thick or as thin as you like. I use a pizza cutter to make it quick and easy. Place them on a cookie sheet and make sure they do not overlap. Drizzle with olive oil and bake to preferred doneness. Usually about 15 minutes. Add salt if you like.

Divide into bowls and garnish with cilantro, avocado, and tortilla strips.

I love Plan To Eat for my meal planning. I’ve talked about it before and it has been such a great tool for making the process quick and easy. After inputting your recipes (and theres an “easy button” for adding online recipes), you drag and drop them into the planning calendar then your shopping list is automatically made! Meal planning was always such a chore but now it’s much faster.

I hope these recipes give you some new additions to your meal rotations! I’ve made these multiple times so I promise they’re good. ENJOY!


Pre-Baby Meal Planning

In an effort to make things easy when baby arrives, I pre-planned a bunch of meals that can be thrown in the oven along with some snacks for those 2 am feeding sessions. I am pretty sure that with everything else going on, trying to figure out dinner each night is not something we want to add to our figurative plates.  For those that were found on Pinterest or inspired by another recipe found there, I have linked back to the original posts as best as I can.  Or if you have a Plan To Eat account, friend me!  If you don’t, it’s seriously AMAZING and you can check it out here!  Here’s a rundown of what I made:


All of these recipes are “lactation” friendly recipes.  Lactogenic foods are those that are said to help increase milk supply.  It is very important to me to be able to nurse exclusively for the first 6 months and continue through the first year so I figure I’d do what I could to support the success of my goal.  Some of these foods include oats, brewers yeast, and flax seed which go great in baked goods!  If nothing else, my sweet tooth will be satisfied!  (some people swear by these, others say they don’t work.  If nothing else, they are healthy things to add to your diet.  Please see a certified lactation consultant for your specific concerns and questions. is also a resource that was provided by the lactation consultant who taught the breastfeeding class through my hospital.)


Vegan Apple Pie Muffins I just used organic all purpose flour since I already had it instead of gluten free flour the recipe calls for.  These are actually my favorite of the ‘snack’ items I made.

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins The first time I made these I used frozen blueberries since I already had them.  Fresh blueberries make these muffins so much better.


Pumpkin Spice Cookies


These are highly carb based so I do plan on sending the hubs out for fresh fruit and veggies, even if it’s just a side salad with each meal.  Thankfully it’s the start of farmers market season in my area!

Spicy Italian Sausage Meatloaf-from the cookbook Cravings.  Check out my previous post on this recipe here.

Mac N Cheese-Phil made this for me.  It’s based on a recipe from Morton’s The Cookbook.  He refuses to share his secrets 😉

Enchilada Bake-This is my own recipe that was evolved from a Mexican Lasagna recipe and my love of enchiladas but my dislike of rolling each individual filled tortilla.  I pretty much eyeball and taste test to get the right spice ratio.  It’s full of flavor and one of our favorites.  I made it with corn tortillas but I also love to use thinly sliced sweet potatoes to separate the layers.  Basically here’s your list:  ground beef, corn, black beans, green onions, diced tomatoes, enchilada sauce, cheese, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and cilantro.

World’s Best Lasagna I made this with zucchini instead of pasta noodles to separate the layers.  To keep it from being too liquid-y, I drained the diced tomatoes and dried out the zucchini on the counter between layers of paper towels before assembling the meal.

Breakfast, lunch, and in between:

For breakfast I have been on a cereal kick.  Honey Nut Cheerios to be specific, with cashew milk and a sliced banana or blueberries.  I also stocked up on oatmeal and omelet supplies are on my “to purchase fresh” list.  My plan for lunches is either leftovers or sandwiches.  My latest sandwich craving is hummus, tomato, kale, avocado, and a slice of cheese.  We also stocked up on some frozen pizza, potstickers, ravioli, and chicken.  Costco has these great chicken salad cups that are the perfect size to make sandwiches out of that we have too, along with rice crackers, chips and salsa, string cheese, and fruit snacks.   Hopefully we are set to not have to run out to a drive thru too often.  Thankfully Safeway delivers and Raleys has e-cart and I am lucky that Phil is also a great cook!

Between what I have planned and those that have offered to bring by meals, I think we are set for at least the first few weeks!  My goal was to make good food that was filling and relatively healthy.  Did you meal plan pre-baby?  What were your favorite meals?


shown above: 2 pans lasagna, 2 pans enchilada bake, 2 loaf pans of meatloaf, 1 batch of brownies, frozen cookie dough, and 1 frozen pizza.  Everything else is in the other freezer!






Buy this book!   

No, this is not a paid post, but I got this cookbook a few weeks ago ($15.99 on iBooks) and both Phil and I have loved the meals we’ve made from it!!

I knew of Chrissy Teigen as John Legend’s model wife and I have a friend who could be her Japanese doppelgänger. When I saw a few minutes of her as co-host of an awards show (MTV maybe??) last year I was really unsure how to take her personality. My first impression was loud, kind of vulgar, and in your face. Somehow, a few months ago I ended up following her Instagram feed. I don’t remember if I stumbled across it because of the upcoming cookbook or the fact that she’s also pregnant with a little girl and due not long before I am. Either way, I have come to respect and love her unapologetic responses to critics, her humor, love of life, and the adorable pictures she posts of her pups.

Without further ado, check out my thoughts on 4 recipes we’ve made.  I won’t post the full recipes, because copywrite laws and what not, but I promise the book is worth it!

1.  Crab Cakes Benedict

I have avoided Eggs Benedict because of the undercooked eggs while pregnant so I did vary this recipe a bit. It was still delicious and the fake hollandaise (not pictured-I got a little camera happy and took pictures too early!) has so many uses outside of this dish.  I added the sourdough English muffin and I fried my eggs instead of poaching them. I attempted a poached egg. It wasn’t pretty. Everything else was ready to go so frying up the eggs was the fastest way to get this in my belly while the crab cakes were still warm.

2. Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Grapes and Almonds  I’m a big fan of Brussels sprouts even though I’m pretty sure I hated them as a kid.  They’re high in vitamins C and K along with being a good source of B vitamins.  I added an apple to the mix and it’s a great side or afternoon snack. If you were to add some protein, it’d be a great meal.  This is perfect as the weather warms up. It’s light, citrusy with a lemon dressing and full of flavor even with minimal ingredients.

3. Prosciutto-Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breasts Even with my recent meat aversion this was good enough to finish off a small chicken breast. It’s full of gooey cheeses and has great flavor. The recipe called for bacon, which I left out because I made this on a week night and was looking for a way to cut down on prep time.  I also purchased thin cut breast filets instead of pounding regular chicken flat although even the thin cut could have been thinner in some areas. The tomatoes are a part of the recipe and they are so yummy with the cheese that melts out of the chicken. I don’t have any cast iron which is what she uses in the book, so I put it all in a Pampered Chef stoneware dish, added some asparagus and about 30 minutes later we dug in.

4.  Spicy Italian Sausage Meatloaf Again with the picture…this time I dished up our plates before remembering to grab my camera.  Meatloaf is one of those things you either love or hate. Until I had a roommate make it for me quite a few years ago after dental surgery I hated it. Hers was a good, classic style of meatloaf. This, is its spicier cousin. It has both beef and ground sausage and it’s delicious!  If you know me and know how my eating habits have evolved over the past few years this one probably shocks you. And who would have guessed that I wish I would have doubled up in the ketchup glaze?!  I’m not sure I even know myself to anymore. I blame the baby! 😉 I pretty much followed the recipe with the only real change being the dish it was cooked in because apparently we don’t own a loaf pan. It ended up working out though because the package of ground beef I had was a little over a pound, and this Le Creuset dish is a little shallower allowing the meat to cook faster.  I added cauliflower mash as the side to at least pretend we were trying to be on the healthier side.

Overall this has quickly become a favorite for new recipes. Skimming through, many of the recipes take a little longer than I like to spend on cooking on a weeknight after work but if you have a bit of extra time or are great at prep work this could easily work into a weekly meal routine.

Do you already have this book?  What’s your favorite recipe?!