If you struggle with making nutritious meals for yourself and your family (3x a day no less) you’re not alone. If you’re anything like me, you hope that eating a granola bar and another cup of coffee will have you covered. This is why I’ve turned to easy and delicious plant-based recipes.
I’ve come to understand that making an effort to eat nutritiously can change the trajectory of your day. The food we consume has such an effect on daily energy level, productivity level, mood, and creativity.
If you’re wrangling your kids, knee-deep in work projects, sleep-deprived, and stressed by current events, you need to set yourself up in the best way possible to take on the day.
Plant-Based Recipes You’ll Make Over and Over Again
I’m sharing my top 3 plant-based recipes. These are adapted to work for my family and inspired by vegetarian food bloggers and nutrition apps I have followed for years.
By the way, I’m by no means a nutritionist! I’m an active mom, beyond busy, hoping to make small adjustments in my diet that will help me feel stronger and stay healthy.
Breakfast: Peanut Butter Cacao Smoothie
Mornings are hectic. If you can, try eating plant-based superfoods first thing when you start your day. Superfoods are those unique ingredients that are dense with nutrients.
You can make this smoothie in a few minutes and it will keep you full until lunchtime. It feels so good to eat something nutritious. I make protein-based smoothies each morning for myself. This is my favorite.
I have adapted this recipe from one that described it tasting like “Reese’s peanut butter cup without the sugar.” So I knew immediately I would love it!
I am obsessed with cacao nibs. If you love chocolate, this superfood is a game-changer. Look up Navitas, you will be wowed by this brand and its offerings. It is my goal to figure out healthy ways to eat foods that I love. There are so many clever swaps these days that provide the satisfaction of a sweet or savory taste.
Serving Size: 1 serving
1.5 C unsweetened nut milk of choice
2 tsp cacao nibs (ground)
1 scoop of plant-based protein powder
2 Tbsp peanut butter (or almond butter)
1 Tbsp chia seeds
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend to desired consistency. Grind cacao nibs before blending into the smoothie. (use a coffee grinder)
Lunch can get away from you if you’re busy. Especially if you’re preparing food for others.
Half the time I end up eating the crusts of the sandwich I cut off for my toddler’s lunch. I may also eat some almonds, a sliced apple, a piece of cheese. More coffee. I realized I wasn’t feeling well (I was pretty tired and hungry around 3 pm) so I’ve tried to find protein-based lunches that can be prepared fast. This is my favorite so far and it is so good on toasted sourdough.
Serving Size: 2 servings
1/2 C white beans (drained and rinsed)
1 avocado (pitted, cubed)
1.5 Tbsp vegan mayo
2 celery stalks chopped
1/4 C diced red onion
2 stalks fresh rosemary, diced
Combine the beans, avocado, mayo, chopped celery, diced red onion, and herbs in a bowl. Use a pastry cutter or potato masher to gently incorporate all your ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve on the toast of your choice!
Tip: You can swap green onions for the red. Also, you can use whatever herbs you have handy. Parsley, dill, and/or chives are all good options. (I happen to have a rosemary bush in my garden so I use rosemary in everything!)
Dinner: Vegan Pad Thai
This dinner is the easiest stir fry veggies and noodles you will ever make! I keep coming back to this recipe because it is so easy and filling.
I love this recipe because you get a good serving of greens and you get the benefits that rice noodles have to offer. (lower carb count, fewer calories, and gluten-free compared to regular pasta) Anytime I can swap rice noodles for regular pasta I will try to.
Serving Size: 2 servings
1 C broccoli
1/2 C shredded carrots
1/2 C peas
1 Tbsp coconut oil (for the stir fry)
2 servings rice noodles of your choice
2 Tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp chopped green onion
Cook rice noodles for 5 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse. In a large skillet, stir fry broccoli, carrots, and peas in 1 tablespoon coconut oil until tender, for just a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Take off heat, add noodles, and 2 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter. Mix until incorporated. Top with sesame seeds and green onion.
Tip: You can swap any veggies that you love best if these aren’t your faves. Try zucchini, red pepper, and carrots. Just make sure you have 2 cups of veggies and you should be good. You can also top with chopped cilantro or basil.
Take on the day!
I hope you enjoy my top 3 plant-based recipes! I promise you they are easy to prepare and taste good.
What are your favorite plant-based recipes? Certain ingredients can be game-changers. (have you tried cacao nibs yet? Seriously I am obsessed!)
I hope this post encourages you to make nutritious swaps in your diet that will help you feel stronger and stay healthy during these crazy times!
Maureen Lowe is a Bay Area native that relocated to the high desert mountains of Southwest Reno with her family in 2017. Mama to her active pup and toddler boy, Maureen is a textile designer and graduate of CCA San Francisco. With a lifelong love of nature and the arts, Maureen has made it a mission to explore Reno’s scenic trails and cultural offerings to find kid and dog-friendly outings that work in all seasons.