One Week of Dinner Ideas

Since it’s only my husband and me at home, we usually don’t worry about planning breakfasts or lunches since we typically eat something light in the morning and leftover dinners at lunchtime. He’s a sucker for eating fruit in the morning and I prefer my morning protein smoothie. Unless it’s the weekend, however; then we devour pancakes, waffles, tofu scrambles, chickpea omelettes, muffins, baked oatmeal, and sometimes homemade donuts!  

If you’re new to plant based, vegan food and meal planning, then you may also benefit from seeing a sample dinner menu in my household. For your convenience, our dinners from the past week all came from recipes that I found online, so I’m able to link directly to them here.

 

What a sample dinner menu looks like

 

Monday

Hearts of palm “fish” tacos on corn tortillas

Artichoke hearts are roasted and shredded to resemble fish, with a side of cabbage slaw and pico de gallo. It was delicious! The recipe calls for half green cabbage and half red cabbage, but I used all red cabbage. 

Tuesday

Easy vegetarian chili

You can never go wrong with chili. It’s quick, easy, and always delicious! This recipe calls for kidney and white beans, canned tomatoes, frozen corn, celery, carrots, onion, and spices.

This recipe can also be prepped the night before and cooked in the slow cooker on low for around 8 hours. Just prep the ingredients the night before, toss everything into your slow cooker and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove your slow cooker from the fridge, set it to low, and let it cook all day long. It’ll be ready to enjoy by the time you get home!

Wednesday

Macaroni salad with a side of whole grain garlic toast

This recipe calls for macaroni noodles, red bell pepper, celery, red or green onion, silken tofu, agave nectar, and spices.

This recipe made a HUGE portion, so we ended up eating it for lunch on Thursday and Friday since Thursday’s dinner of tofu sandwiches didn’t leave us any leftovers. I even ended up throwing using the leftover red cabbage from Thursdays dinner to add into the leftover macaroni salad.

Thursday

Baked sweet and sour tofu with red cabbage on ciabatta buns

This recipe called for extra firm tofu, soy sauce, lime juice, sweet red chili sauce (I used hoisin sauce instead), brown sugar, green onions, spices, ciabatta buns, and red cabbage. 

These sandwiches were delicious! I smothered the ciabatta buns in Just Mayo before assembling the sandwiches. I think this would also be delicious with the tofu marinated in barbecue sauce or with creamy coleslaw on top. 

Friday

Grilled “cheeze” sandwiches on whole grain bread with homemade mozzarella

Who doesn’t love a grilled cheese? This grilled cheeze recipe was delicious; maybe not 100 percent convincing to people who are still used to consuming dairy cheese, but it was very good and was quick to whip up. Tapioca starch, nutritional yeast, cashews, and water are all you need to whip up this mozzarella cheese sauce! 

Saturday

Frozen veggie burgers on whole grain bread, with all the fixings

I love a good old Boca vegan burger on whole grain bread and topped with Just Mayo, sliced tomato. onion. romaine, ketchup, and mustard. Yum! 

Sunday

Crispy garlic baked tofu with brown basmati rice

Crispy tofu is one of the most delicious things you can make, especially once you have mastered the art of tofu. For this recipe, all you need is a block of firm tofu, minced garlic, soy sauce or tamari, cornstarch, brown sugar, spices, sriracha, and brown rice. 

Depending on which veggies I have in the fridge, I like to serve greens on the side of as many meals as possible. Otherwise, roasted red potatoes or sweet potatoes tossed in olive oil and spices make for another great side to just about any meal.

 

Need a quick meal idea?

We’re all about eating all-natural whole foods in our home, but we get tired and don’t always feel like cooking meals from scratch. To give ourselves a break (because we all need one), we usually allow ourselves to have one or two pre-packaged meals per week (typically during the weekend). We like Gardein products or Boca Vegan Burgers with frozen french fries (we like the Alexia brand). You can find other quick meal ideas on PETA’s website. However, you should remember that plant based does mean healthier, but in the case of pre-packaged vegan meals, it doesn’t necessarily mean healthy.

One thing I really struggled with last year when I was trying to eat super clean and healthy, was that I would spend all of my free time on creating clean meals from scratch that contained no preservatives, additives, or anything artificial. I would sometimes feel so stressed and anxious that it actually started to destroy my health and wellness rather than improving it.

Sometimes you just have to sit back and weigh the pros and cons and ask yourself if it’s really going to matter that you ate an ingredient that you couldn’t pronounce. It took me a while to feel okay with the decision to stop obsessing over every single ingredient, but I feel that I’ve finally reached a healthy balance.

 

Need breakfast ideas?

If you’re looking to meal plan for breakfast and lunch in addition to dinners, then this Strawberry Nice Cream Shake, Peanut Butter and Banana Overnight Oats recipe, and Chocolate Chai Chia Pudding recipe are all major lifesavers for breakfasts. For lunch ideas, check out my favorite Pinterest lunch recipes.

Alex Beane

Alex is a freelance writer who holds a BA in Professional and Creative Writing. She has a strong interest in veganism, holistic health, and emotional and physical wellbeing. When she isn’t reading and writing about health and wellness, Alex is trying new plant based recipes in the kitchen or can be found volunteering with a Minneapolis-based animal rights organization or local rabbit rescue. Find Alex on LinkedIn or view her writing portfolio.