One Week of Dinner Recipes

Can you believe September is nearly half over? I can’t! The days are getting shorter and meal planning is becoming even more important so you can get outside and enjoy the sunshine and warm weather while it lasts. 

If you’re new to plant based, vegan food and meal planning, or if you’re looking for help with planning your dinners, then I’ve got you covered! Here are seven days of dinner ideas for you and your family to enjoy. 


Tofu and spinach saag with brown rice

This recipe is super simple and delicious! All you need is one block of tofu, 10 oz of baby spinach, canola oil or olive oil, onion, garlic, ginger, 1 green or red chili pepper (I left it out because I don’t do spicy foods), cumin, ground coriander, garam masala, ground turmeric, 2 vine tomatoes, and cooked brown rice. Yum! 


Pasta alfredo with garlic toast

This recipe came from one of my favorite cookbooks from Chloe Coscarelli, Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen. You can find this recipe on page 116 of the cookbook. It’s one of my absolute favorite recipes ever and it’s pretty amazing how you can turn cauliflower into a deliciously creamy alfredo sauce. Yum!

To make the recipe, you just need a box of penne or fusilli, 12 oz of fresh cauliflower florets, 5 garlic cloves, 1 sliced onion, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, 2 cups almond milk, 2 tbs lemon juice, and black pepper. 

First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and spread cauliflower, garlic, and onion on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and season with salt. Roast for 30 minutes. Next, cook the pasta. Once the vegetables are done roasting, transfer them to a blender (a Vitamix works wonders for this) and add the almond milk, lemon juice, and sea salt. Blend until smooth. Toss with the cooked pasta and season with pepper and sea salt. 


Millet with roasted asparagus and tomatoes

To make this simple recipe, all you need is to cook about one cup of dry millet according to the package instructions. If you don’t have millet or don’t like millet, you could also use brown rice, quinoa, or really any other type of grain.

Next, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place one pound of asparagus (with ends trimmed) on a baking sheet. Add one pint of sliced grape tomatoes to the baking sheet and drizzle everything with olive oil and season with sea salt. Cook until the asparagus is done. The tomatoes should be wilted. Serve the asparagus and tomatoes on top of the grains and season with sea salt and olive oil. 


Roasted broccoli sweet potato chickpea salad

To make this recipe, you’ll need 1-2 small sweet potatoes, 1 head of broccoli, olive oil, salt, pepper, chickpeas, tandoori masala spice, coconut sugar, hummus, garlic, dill, and lemon juice. Yum! 


Pizza Margherita

This pizza is absolutely AMAZING, which is no surprise since it’s from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli. You have to make the pizza and the mozzarella cheese separately, and it’s SO worth it. Save 1/4 of the cheese for later (to add to a meal in next week’s meal plan). You can find the pizza recipe on page 86 and the cheese recipe on page 237.

For the pizza, you’ll need 1 pound of pizza dough (I bought the fresh pizza dough from Trader Joe’s), olive oil, 1 tablespoon cornmeal, flour for your work surface, garlic powder, sea salt, 3/4 cup tomato sauce, and 1-2 tomatoes (thinly sliced). I ended up using 2 large tomatoes because my pizza was so large and one tomato didn’t seem like enough. 

For the mozzarella sauce, you’ll need 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, 1 garlic clove, 1 teaspoon onion powder, and 2 tablespoons cornstarch. To make the sauce, combine the cashews and water in a blender such as a Vitamin and blend on high for about 2 minutes (if you don’t use a Vitamix, make sure to soak the cashews overnight and drain before using or boil them for 10 minutes and drain before using, to loosen them up). Add the lemon juice, salt, garlic, onion powder, cornstarch, and blend until smooth. 

To make the pizza, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and oil a large baking sheet. Sprinkle the cornmeal on the baking sheet. Roll out your pizza dough into a large rectangle shape (it took me about 30 minutes just to roll out the dough from Trader Joe’s, but it was still totally worth it). Fit the dough into the baking sheet and brush the dough with oil. Season with garlic powder and salt. Spread tomato sauce over the dough but leave about a 3/4-inch border for the crust. Top with tomato slices. Season with salt and pepper and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the edges are golden. Remove from the oven and drizzle with mozzarella sauce. Bake for a few minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let cool before eating. BEST PIZZA EVER! 


Leftover pizza

This pizza was AMAZING, so of course we had to have it again the next day! 


Lemon herb white beans with mashed potatoes

This recipe sounds strange and I was hesitant to try it at first, but Chloe Coscarelli is my favorite chef so I knew it would be amazing. And it was! You can find this recipe on page 159 of Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen. I doubled the recipe so we’d have enough for lunch the next day, so be sure to double it if you’re looking for more than two servings. 

For the beans, you just need one tablespoon of olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 15-oz can cannellini or other white beans (drained and rinsed), 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes (you can find these in health food stores, vitamin stores, or online), 3/4 cup non-dairy milk, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. 

For the spinach, you need 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 5-oz bag of baby spinach, sea salt, black pepper, and cooked mashed potatoes. I like to make my mashed potatoes with the skins on, with about 1/4-1/2 cup almond milk, sea salt, and Earth Balance butter. 

To make the beans, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and Italian seasoning, and cook for about a minute. Add the beans, salt, nutritional yeast, and milk. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and sea salt to taste. Add more milk as needed if the mixture gets too thick.

To make the spinach, heat oil over medium heat. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, place a scoop of mashed potatoes on a bed of spinach, then top the potatoes with the beans. 

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.