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0 In food

Plant based meal ideas

plant based meal ideas

Over the past month, I’ve been really making an effort to eat a more plant-based diet. For me, it was a personal choice to adapt a more healthier lifestyle as it has been shown to reduce chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer as well as aid in weight loss. I’ve never been a big meat eater, but this girl loves her dairy (give me all the half and half in my coffee and cheese please!), and I would do a salad with chicken for lunch daily. And with a big meat eating husband, at first I really had no idea what to make for lunches or dinners. But after some experimenting, I’ve found some favorites!

Below I’m sharing some of my favorite plant-based meal ideas. Now I would just like to say, that no one is perfect and I am a big believer of “everything in moderation”. Do I follow this 100%? No, I’m more 80/20.  Even if you eat plant-based 1 or 2 days a week, you’re making an effort to be healthier and be more sustainable for the environment. (Read more about my tips on how to transition to plant-based here).

Plant-based meal ideas

Breakfast

Ok so I have never been a big breakfast person. Usually it’s just 1-2 cups of coffee for me. But I did have to swap out my beloved half and half. I really really love Califa Farms vanilla almond creamer, that’s been my jam!

If I do eat breakfast it’s usually

 

Lunch

  • Shaved kale and brussel sprout salad with cooked lentils.
  • Bean salad with lavash.
  • Smoothie bowl
  • Bento Box or Snack Plate – Stuffed grape leaves, veggies, hummus, fruit
  • Butternut squash soup – here’s my recipe!

 

Dinner

  • Quinoa stuffed peppers
  • Lentil Sheperd’s Pie (This is the recipe I used)
  • Taco bake with Lightlife meat substitute
  • Stuffed spaghetti squash with sauteed spinach, vegan cheese and Primal Kitchen’s vodka sauce
  • Chickpea pasta with butternut squash sauce (I used my butternut squash soup as a sauce)

 

Snacks

 

And that’s pretty much it! I’ll add to this list as I experiment more. If you have any favorite plant based or vegan recipes, comment below!

 

For more inspo check out some of my favorite plant-based/vegan food bloggers:

Rabbit and Wolves

Love and Lemons

The Healthy Avo

 

 

5 In food

Crockpot butternut squash soup

Crock pot butternut squash soup

It’s Crocktober!!! Ok I use my crock pot all year round but especially in the fall! I’m sharing this easy recipe for my crockpot butternut squash soup. Not only is it great for those chilly fall days, but also if you’re on a vegan or plant-based diet.

And be sure to scroll to the bottom to check out some of my other friend’s favorite crockpot recipes.

Crockpot butternut squash soup

 

CrockPot Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 medium sized butternut squash
  • 2 medium apples
  • 2 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk
  • pumpkin seeds
  • olive oil for browning the onions

Directions:

1.) In a saucepan or skillet, pour some olive oil to coat the pan. Add the onions and sauteed until browned.

2.) Drizzle some olive oil into the bottom of the crockpot to prevent sticking. Add the chopped butternut squash, onions, and apples.

3.) Pour in vegetable broth and add spices.

4.) Stir well.

5.) Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours.

6.) When the apples and butternut squash are tender, add the coconut milk.

7.) Blend using an immersion blender. The consistency will be thick.

8.) Scoop into bowls and top with a drizzle of coconut milk and pumpkin seeds.

Crockpot butternut squash soup

Head to my Instagram reels to see another meal idea using this soup!

 

And check out these other crockpot recipes below:

Buffalo Chicken

Healthy white chicken chili

white chicken chili crock pot recipe share

Sweet and spicy pulled chicken

sweet and spicy pulled chicken

 

Coca Cola Pork Street Tacos

Coca Cola Pork Street tacos

Crockpot chicken and dumplings

crock pot chicken and dumplings

Creamy chicken and wild rice soup

crockpot chicken and wild rice soup

 

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crockpot butternut squash soup

1 In food/ health

Tips for transitioning your family to a more plant-based diet

This post is sponsored by Else Nutrition but all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Eating a plant-based diet can be really good for you! Rick and I are really trying to be more healthy about our food choices  for our own personal goals and to set a good example for the kids. And while we haven’t gone fully plant-based (everything in moderation), we are trying to be more mindful.  Our behaviors are trickling down to our kids and it’s been great because not only is it healthier, but I don’t have to make 3 different meals at mealtimes. Below I’m sharing my tips on transitioning your kids to a more plant based diet.

What is a plant-based diet?

Plant-based eating means eating foods that mostly come from plants such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds and nuts.  Eating a whole food plant based diet gives your body nutrients from natural minimally processed foods. There are a few types of plant based diets, the most common being a Mediterranean diet (which also includes fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, a few times a week) and vegetarian, which there are many different versions of.

Benefits of plant-based eating

The benefits to going plant based are well documented.  Plant-based diets have been shown to reduce or reverse chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, metabolic diseases and depression.  There is also evidence to support that plant based eating helps with weight management and obesity. In addition, it is also more sustainable so better for the environment.

Tips for transitioning your family to a more plant-based diet

Tips for transitioning your family to a more plant-based diet

Now I am of the mindset “everything in moderation”.  So do we still eat chicken, eggs, meats, cheese, etc? Yes we do. However with that being said, we’re being more conscientious and making an effort to incorporate more plant based meals into our diet. Here are some of my tips to help your family transition to a more plant based diet.

  1. At least one night a week, have a vegetarian meal for dinner. In our house we try to do “Meatless Mondays”. Our favorites is Zoodles with tomato sauce or chickpea pasta.
  2. Fill the majority of your plate with veggies and healthy grains. This is my tip for my husband who is a big meat eater. It’s all about changing your perception. Instead of making meat the focal point of your meal, make it about the plants with a side serving of meat.
  3. Incorporate a nutritional drink for the kids – Recently, we tried Else Nutrition. It’s a complete clean-label nutritional drink for kids ages 12-36 months made with whole foods. Endorsed by leading pediatricians, it’s a great alternative for children with lactose intolerance, sensitivities or families looking for options free of dairy or soy. My kids love their “breakfast smoothie” – almond milk, Else nutrition, a banana and some fresh berries, but it’s also great by itself.  Scroll to the bottom for a special offer for my followers/subscribers.Tips for transitioning your family to a more plant-based diet
  4. Have fruit for dessert – If you’re like me and have a sweet tooth, you probably crave something sweet after dinner to cleanse your palette. Instead of my usual ice cream, I have a bowl of berries or I make “nice cream” – blend a frozen banana with a splash of almond milk and add in some nuts and a few chocolate chips.
  5. Start small and be kind to yourself – When making any change, it’s normal to want to go full out and give it all 110%. But start small. Instead of cutting out meat and dairy completely, try just doing 1 meal a week or 1 meal a day at first. For your little ones, you can also try incorporating Else Nutrition a few days a week. Recognize that you are making a conscious effort to be better to your body and give yourself a pat on the back.

 

Click to check out Else Nutrition and use code “TINYNEST25” for 25% off.

 

Tips for transitioning your family to a more plant-based diet

 

3 In food/ Recipes

Creamy zucchini corn soup

creamy zucchini and corn soup

Fresh zucchini from the garden and summer corn make this a refreshing soup to take you from the end of summer into the beginning of fall.  This creamy zucchini corn soup is perfect for a light dinner or lunch either chilled or hot. I’m sharing the recipe below.

Creamy Zucchini Corn Soup

If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember the ginormous zucchini we picked from the garden last week. (I think we made Martha proud!) Anyways, what was I going to make with this bad boy?

 

creamy zucchini corn soup with fresh zucchini from the garden

With the temps trending a little cooler and fall approaching, I’ve had soup on my mind so I decided to make a zucchini soup. We had some leftover grilled corn on the cob from the night before so I threw that in too for some added sweetness and a little crunch! You can serve either hot or cold. I prefer it served chilled and topped with goat cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2tbsp garlic
  • 6 cups of chopped zucchini
  • 3 cups of broth (I used chicken broth because that’s what I had in my fridge)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ears of corn (grilled and sliced off the cob)
  • Optional – goat cheese

 

Directions:

1.) In a large saucepan, heat some olive oil. When the pan and olive oil is hot, brown the garlic and heat onions until translucent.

2.) Add chopped zucchini and cook until tender.

3.) Pour in broth. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir well and let simmer for 15 minutes.

4.) Using an immersion blender, (this is the one I have) puree well.

5.) Stir in heavy cream.

6.) Top with corn.

Optional – sprinkle in some goat cheese or Parmesan. Enjoy warm or chilled.

creamy zucchini corn soup

 

For more zucchini recipes check out my

Fudgy Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

 

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Creamy Zucchini Corn Soup