Menu Planning

mulberrymarket

I mentioned in one of the last posts that when you switch from a meat-based to a plant-based diet, you need to start thinking about your produce as the stars of the show. This will reduce waste, and make meal planning easier. I wanted to share my menu for the next few days based on what we have in the fridge and what I just picked up at Aldi.

First though, I’ve discovered there are really only about 10 different types of vegetarian meals. Maybe this is true for all meals if you just add “meat and two veg” to this list, but it FEELS like there is less variety without meat. I try to include at least one meal from every category in every two week period so things stay interesting. Obviously in the summer we eat more salads, and more soup and casserole or risotto dishes in the winter. My categories are:

  • Pasta, or Asian noodle dishes
  • Stir fry or curry dishes, usually over rice
  • Patties (veggie burgers, falafel patties, lentil loaf, corn fritters, zucchini patties, etc)
  • Risotto, casseroles, or other hot grain-and-veggie medleys
  • Cold grain or bean salads
  • Green salads
  • Mexican dishes
  • Soup
  • Potato or squash-based dishes, such as stuffed potatoes or squash
  • Wraps, pastries, or sandwiches

Please let me know in the comments if there’s another type of dish you regularly make!

I’ve prioritized the menu according to what veggies I need to use first:

  • BBQ “Chicken” sandwiches with roasted lemon-garlic baby Brussels sprouts, and fresh peas with mint (Brussels and peas from the farmers market) We don’t often eat meat-substitutes, but I wanted to try these (Kroger Simple Truth brand Meatless Griller Strips) and they are quite good. Good for a quick meal when there’s nothing in the house.
  • Vegan Scalloped two potato pie, with broccoli. I used half white, half sweet potatoes, and added nutritional yeast to the flour.
  • Mushroom Stroganoff* over noodles, with green salad -see my note about this recipe at the bottom
  • Asian Green Salad with Five-Spice-baked tofu, sliced almond, mandarin oranges, sweet onion, red pepper, and orange-sesame dressing (we have green salad and Vidalias to use up)
  • Yakisoba (I have cabbage to use up)
  • Kale and Potato patties, with sauteed zucchini, onions and tomatoes
  • Minestrone Soup with fresh bread (zucchini)
  • Tamale Pie with Avocado creme
  • Mediterranean Cold Bean and Bulgar Salad (like 3-Bean Salad, with tomatoes, cucumber, olives, artichoke hearts, onions, and bulgar wheat)
  • Green Curry with basil, bell pepper, carrots, onions, and Asian eggplant over brown rice
  • Pantry Spaghetti with garlic bread

From there I’ll do another produce run and go from there, plus allow for veggies from the Farmer’s Market next Thursday. I’ll try and post about anything I didn’t link (my own recipes!)

*About the Stroganoff, it needs a lot of tweaking. I’d skip the vinegar and add a touch more mustard, add garlic and onions, and double the almond milk.

What tips and tricks do you have for vegetarian menu planning?

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