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Saturday, May 28, 2011

What's for Dinner?

I feel like recently I am being asked quite a bit about what I eat. Being vegetarian or vegan is not that difficult and it's not much of an adjustment, but I know that comes easy for me to say because I have been vegetarian for nearly 20 years now!
People have lots of reasons for being and becoming vegetarians, but I mostly decided to do it because of the cruelty factor with factory farming and how unnecessary I think it all is. I won't get preach-y about it, but I have decided that I will post a (work)week of menus and see what you all think.
Most importantly: Whether you are vegetarian or not, planning menus for the week makes it easy to get dinner on the table in about 1/2 an hour (which is usually my goal), the weekly menu plan also means it's easy to grocery shop and you don't have to worry about killing yourself trying to figure out what to have after you are already tired (and hungry!). Additionally, you can rest assured that you are feeding your family healthy and well balanced meals because you took the time and energy to create it in your meal plans. And all that is a peaceful-ness and joy that just doesn't come from take-out or pre-made meals (unless you did it yourself!).
If the response to these plans is favorable, I will do it next week to and we will see how it goes.
So..... if this is something you are interested in and something that you think you would check out weekly, please, please share your comments below and let me know! (thanks!)

Roasted Veggie Enchiladas from Eating Well
Brown Rice
Green Salad with Sweet Slaw Dressing

White Bean Minestrone Soup
Garlic Bread / Rolls
Green Salad with Olive Oil and Vinegar dressing

Zucchini Noodles with Chunky Tomato Sauce
Tomato and Cuke Salad with Dill

Left over Bonanza

Garden burgers / Vegan Hot Dogs / Mac and Cheese

Some basic notes for you:
1. These roasted veggie enchiladas are KILLER. Not kidding. They are way low in fat and calories, don't need cheese, and totally remind me of something I would get in a restaurant. You can pretty much use whatever veggies you have on hand and they come out great. Also, I roast the veggies the night before and it comes together very quickly on a weeknight.
Brown rice is made either the night before and saved in the fridge or the week before and then frozen until the night before where I let it sit and defrost.
2. This white bean soup doesn't have a standard recipe... I generally saute a bunch of veggies, add in some tomatoes and broth, let simmer for about 1/2 and hour and then add in a can of beans (and sometimes some left over rice or chopped up pasta). The garlic bread is just rolls with vegan butter, garlic, and a little bit of minced parsley, either broiled or toasted until crispy.
3. The zucchini noodles I make with a spiralizer (or mandolin) and then saute some onions in olive oil, add in two cans of tomatoes, some spices (usually garlic, basil, and either parsley or oregano) and let it simmer until I am ready to server dinner.
4. The left over Bonanza happens weekly (lol). Sometimes, I get creative and make something with the leftovers, but usually, it's just everything pulled out of the fridge and everyone can pick out what they want of the leftovers. Really - - as long as everyone has a couple of food groups on their plates, I am happy.
5. Friday is the night I get a break from cooking - and I deserve it! kidding. But, I do give myself a break on Fridays, hence the prepared, or nearly prepared foods.
6. We usually go for dinner or order in from somewhere local on Saturdays and we always have a big pasta dinner with salad on Sundays.

Here is the government's food pyramid if you need some comparison on what you should mostly be eating and how your food plan fits in with it:

I am not necessarily saying that I personally endorse this food plan in it's entirety, but if you are looking for a place to start planning healthy meals, why not start here?
That's this coming week.
What are you having?

Please comment below and let me know what you think of the meal plan, or these recipes and meal ideas. I would love to hear what you think.
Have a wonderful, safe holiday weekend!!!
Don't forget to stop by our giveaway post for our Shaklee (natural beauty products and environmentally friendly household products) giveaway. We will have TWO winners. There is still a little time left to enter!

More later!  :)