There are so many places popping up that offer vegan meal plans. Some of them are reasonable, while others are quite unreasonable. I’ve realized that following a vegan diet can be a real budget buster if you’re not careful. I recently realized that with a little time, creativity & patience I could create my own personal vegan meal plan. The great thing about creating my own dishes is that I can make any combination I choose each day.
My personal plan doesn’t cover three meals a day, but it’s definitely a sufficient start. I got some unbelievable inspiration & cooking creativity and decided to make a few dishes for the week that I thought I’d share with you guys. It really didn’t take me long at all so I am dedicating Sunday evenings to making a few dishes for the weeks.
Here are the ones I made for last week:
These were so easy to make and very economical. Some prepared meals are exactly what i need for my busy lifestyle. In fact, this was way too much food for me. It really didn't seem like much food for a week, but i combine it a few other things like green smoothies & salads so i decided to freeze some of it. I think I need to find some special vegan friends to share my creations with….it's time for me to start hosting some vegan dining events or something similar to share all of the food.
I have discovered a new entrée that has become one of my favorite vegan dishes – zucchini tacos!A fellow vegan discovered a mexican restaurant in Evanston, Austin Tacos, and we were excited to see VEGAN TACOS on the menu. Now unlike many places that use some type of faux meat product filled with soy or wheat gluten, this play used all veggies. Awesome! They were quite tasty. In fact, I went a few weeks later to taste and see how I can make them my on. My zucchini tacos were quite different from Austin Tacos, but I think they taste even better because I made with just the ingredients I like. Here are a list of ingredients I used:
- red & green peppers
- black beans
- smoked corn salsa (left over from the Baked Mexican Pasta Dish)
- green onions
- corn tortillas
- cabbage slaw
I made the corn tortillas in my new special pan that I bought just for this purpose – I admit that I love tacos!
I like this pan because I do not have to make one tortilla at a time. Oh yeah! I then grilled the zucchini in my cast iron grill skillet by adding a little EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). This is where the goodness really starts.
While the zucchini was grilling. I combined some left over black beans, grilled onions & peppers, corn salsa and brown rice to add as a topping with diced jalapeno.
I like spicy food so I added some fresh diced jalapeno, I tossed in some fresh cilantro, added a little cabbage slaw and guacamole on the side for crunch. I had never tried this before, but I think this is one of the tastiest creations that I have tried thus far while transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.
This was way too much food for me to eat in one sitting!!! I am pleasantly pleased by how I am eating less and less now that I am eating better. It’s amazing how satisfied you feel when you give your body what it needs. If I had participated in the VIRTUAL VEGAN POTLUCK on May 12th, this is the dish that I intended to include. Be creative when you are making vegan dishes…..I’m learning that this is part of the fun (and motivation) for continuing on my journey no matter how many ups and downs I experience.
I was instantly captured by this dish created by Vogue Vegetarian! I love mexican food and it fit right within the lifestyle that I am “trying” to follow. I must admit that following a vegan lifestyle hasn’t been very easy for me the last few months – I found myself falling back into my old toxic eating patterns. I had to put my foot down and say “Darn it Michelle, you have come to far and you know the great benefits so don’t stop!! Seriously, sometimes we have to give ourselves a pep talk. I was reminded by someone who was very instrumental in my starting on this journey that I couldn’t give up on my plant-based dietary lifestyle….what would become of the “Emerging Vegan Sistah” if I did???? Well, it was enough to make me think and say this is part of my journey and that’s what this blog is all about – embracing the journey towards change.
I’ve learned that it brings me joy to create new dishes that align with this lifestyle. I rarely follow recipes to the letter, but I followed this pretty closely. I am not going to go through all of the ingredients and steps – visit Vogue Vegetarian’s blog for the original Vegan Mexican Pasta Bake Recipe. The recipe was much more than what I would eat so I cut it in half. I skipped the olives and I forgot the green onions (love them though!). I also have a few other changes: I added diced fresh jalapeno, i used roasted corn and red pepper pico da galo instead of just corn, I also used a spicy taco seasoning mix I found at wholefoods – just wasnt in my budget to by some additional spicy this weekend with my regular groceries. This is one of my new favs!!!
Here is all of the ingredients that I used:
I was initially overwhelmed by the amount of ingredients when I first read it. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy and quick it was to start this dish:
When I added the pasta I knew that dish was a winner!!!
I decided to add a little extra Daiya on top. You guys know I am a true Daiya fan – it was a life saver because I love cheese so much that I needed a great alternative & as you see this melted very nicely after baking. oh la la….
I must say take a bow Vogue Vegetarian this recipe gave me great inspiration! I had a nice light lunch today and I have enough for lunch and/or dinner. This was a great dish that I plan to make more. I guess I could have made the entire recipe and put half in the freezer – we live and learn. lol