2020 was weird alright, and for me, it was also incredibly busy. I start 2021 on a completely different note. With a new job that I do from home and a lockdown, I have more time on my hands and for the first time I am able to spend extra time on cooking and creating a meal plan every single week. I guess it’s important to note that in this meal plan, I only include dinners since for breakfast I eat random stuff (sometimes just almonds) and for lunch I eat either some sandwich, bread with something or leftovers from dinner.
It is my favorite thing to do on a Sunday morning – grab my cup of coffee, open up my vegan recipes Google docs and get planning. After that, I make a long shopping list and take a walk to the store to shop for the next few days. A nice little Sunday ritual that makes my week a lot easier and gives me a productive start of what used to be a lazy Sunday before. If you are the person in your household responsible for meals (which I am because I like it), having a meal plan seems to relieve one from a lot of stress that is usually associated with not knowing what you’ll cook for dinner, realizing halfway through a meal that you don’t have any onions or simply put chaos. For some of us, this little bit of extra order in a day can make a big difference helping relieve anxiety and worry.
I hope you enjoy my weekly plan for week 1 of January and maybe some of the comments will be useful for the creation of your vegan meal plan as well.
Vegan Meal Plan Week 1
This plan was for me a combination of trying out new things and at the same time cooking some of my favorite meals as well (COUSCOUS).
Monday – Heavenly Vegan Couscous
Mondays are for me a bit busier than other days. I tend to have a couple of meetings in the morning which take quite a lot of time, then I try to do some tasks for work and get my workout before it’s time to cook. I like to have a bit of time to relax after my workout as well so on these days I prefer cooking something that is not too demanding and take it easy. This couscous is exactly that because it is also so heavenly tasty that you can’t go wrong – and that’s what you need for a good start of the week!
Cooking time: Around an hour (the whole thing)
Tuesday – Mushroom Pasta with Spinach
That Tuesday was for me a day for experimentation. I wanted to try making a mushroom pasta out of coconut milk because I recently started experimenting with coconut milk (made a lasagna) and it turned out to be amazing! The result was an incredibly tasty pasta that I kind of wished was of bigger size.
Cooking time: Around 40 minutes.
A quick and easy recipe for vegan mushroom pasta wish spinach. Made wish coconut milk, it is a budget-friendly plant-based worknight dinner for everyone.
Tip: Cook a bigger portion if you like to eat a lot or someone in your household does! 😀
Wednesday – General Tso’s Tofu
Another day for experimentation. I loved cooking this because I am fairly new at cooking with tofu and each time I do it, I love it more and more! Tofu is seriously amazing if you cook it right. A lot of people say you need a tofu press and that it has changed their lives, but I actually never used one. I just tend to press my tofu with some paper towels and a plate to get most of the liquid out of it and I am quite happy with the result. For best results though, you might enjoy having a tofu press.
I used SimpleVegan’s General Tso’s Tofu recipe that day and it tasted so good! However, I did make some mistakes: My sauce became incredibly thick and the whole meal ended up a bit dry. For best result, you might want to keep an extra eye on your sauce’s thickness and try to add a bit extra of the liquid ingredients or simply a bit less tofu.
Check out the recipe on Simple Vegan Blog —>
Thursday – Portobello Steaks with Mashed Potato
This one I did because my boyfriend loves mashed potato a lot and I wanted to figure out a new way to incorporate it into our meals. The recipe for Portobello steak was amazing and I again, used the one from SimpleVeganBlog. When I first became vegan, I believe Iosune saved my life with her easy and super tasty recipes. Incredibly good for beginner vegans and experienced.
The steaks were absolutely amazing and I have no comments except that I wish Portobello mushrooms were not so expensive so that I could make a million more steaks! For the mashed potato, I used my own recipe which is basically the easiest way to make mashed potato.
How to make vegan mashed potatoes
- Start by cooking around 1kg of potatoes (cut up in squares) in a large pot with some salt, add a cube of bouillon for extra taste (optional).
- Bring them to a boil and when they’re ready pour out the water (bouillon) and leave a little bit at the bottom.
- Mash the potato well into the leftover water to make them a bit juicier.
- Add 2 tablespoons of vegan butter and mash into the potato.
- Add 2 tablespoons of rosemary and mash again.
- Taste your mashed potatoes and add extra salt/ butter if necessary.
Friday – Vegan Buddha Bowl
Friday was supposed to be a day for a healthy dinner, except for the fact that I ended up eating Barbecue chips due to seeing a movie that night. Close enough, right?
I have never been a fan of Buddha Bowls but that day I was determined to give them another try. Buddha Bowls are usually pretty straightforward to make:
- Start with a leafy base (I used spinach)
- Add veggies (I used tomatoes, carrots, and broccoli)
- You can add fruit (I did not)
- Choose a source of protein (I used quinoa)
- Add some complex carbs (I used sweet potatoes)
- Add a healthy fat (I would have used avocado, but they were not ripe, so I used olives instead).
- For extra, I added some sesame seeds on top and a few hazelnuts.
- I topped mine with a tahini dressing and I thing that is where the problem started (the dressing is so important, be careful!)
By problem I mean that I really did not like that buddha bowl. On top of that, I felt hungry just an hour after and ended up snacking on chips. I guess it may not be for me – savory is more my type of Friday dinner.
Saturday – Easy Vegan Dahl (the typical one)
On Saturdays, I tend to go on very walks lately since it’s the only thing to do during the pandemic and I get home quite tired after, so I tend to cook something quick and easy – like a dahl. This Dahl is the best one I ever tried and the simplest one at the same time (I like my Dahl simple and without coconut milk). It is the perfect thing to make when you are in a hurry or new to plant-based cuisine. You really can’t go wrong with this recipe and that is probably the best part about it!
Cooking time: Around 30-40 minutes.
A simple, budget-friendly vegan recipe for Daal. Enjoy a plant-based daal made from red and green lentils – so easy to prepare. Perfect dinner for busy days.
Sunday – Use those leftovers!!
Sunday is the day to let your imagination run wild! If you live in the same world as I do, that means that you are often unable to buy exactly 175g of spinach or 130ml of canned tomatoes. That means that you probably got leftovers. Here’s the thing about leftovers – they’re the best! They are the reason for that one day in the week in which you eat for free! Yes! You don’t have to buy anything new on Sundays – just cook your leftovers.
On that Sunday, I ended up cooking one of the easiest, simplest meals that saved my life many times when I became eating plant-based. Without further ado, here is Rice with any vegetable.
Cooking time: Can be as low as 30 minutes.
Looking for the easiest vegan recipe for when you have leftover vegetables? Try the simple vegan rice that is my ultimate favorite easy recipe.
Other possible leftover Sunday meals:
I hope my weekly meal plan is able to help you out with yours or at least inspire you to create your own. If you wish, you are welcome to try out this plan exactly as it is.