Whole Food Plant Based Menu, Easy Vegan Meals

My CSA box this week is loaded with tomatoes, zucchini, basil, cucumbers, corn, eggplant, carrots, cucumbers and sweet onions. I seem to be stuck on an Italian theme with these beauties but all of them would work well in Mexican or Greek cuisines too.  They lend themselves to simple greens and grain salads as well.

I’m starting to plan for the southern migration to Baja. Cooking vegan food there will be more challenging but I love a food challenge. I do plan to bring lots of nuts which are expensive in Mexico. I will have access to a variety of dried legumes and grains but not as many canned legumes or prepared soy products and vegan cheeses.  I purchased a second Vitamix and Instant Pot to keep in Mexico. I always bring coffee and non-alcoholic wines!

Meal prep ideas:

Soak and cook cannelli beans and chic peas. Cook a batch of quinoa. Wash a huge salad spinner full of lettuces and fresh herbs. Combine any or all of these ingredients with a splash of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Grill some zucchini, onion and corn for salad add ons. Peel and cut up carrots and cucumbers.



Stuff cooked manicotti noodles with vegan ricotta, fresh basil chopped and drained frozen spinach.  Cover with marinara sauce and bake in a casserole dish at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. You can top these with vegan mozzarella cheese if you like it.  Serve with fruit and fresh tomato and basil salad.

Tomato, Cannelli Bean, Fresh Herb Salad:

Combine 2 cup of diced fresh tomatoes, 14 ounces of rinsed canned cannelli beans, 2 cup of chopped herbs and/ or greens: basil, sorrel, dandelion greens, arugula, baby kale.

Salad Dressing: 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of grainy mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until combined. Dress salad 30 minutes before serving.

Potato Leek Soup with White Beans

Cashew Garlic Cream Sauce and PastaThis sauce is very rich and makes a large batch. Use on pizza or pasta or freeze 1/2. I will serve it over warm pasta (substitute cooked whole grains in you prefer) and sautéed mushrooms.  Whole Foods has a mushroom and almond cheese ravioli that I want to try too. A spicy green salad with additional arugula, endive and/or mustard greens would pair well with this rich pasta dish.

Grilled Zucchini, Corn, Sweet Onion and Tofu Feta Salad: 

Brush zucchini planks and thick slices of onion with olive oil and grill until soft and charred, chop into large dice when cool. Clean fresh sweet corn and grill until charred. Cut kernels from the cob. Toss with Tofu Feta, juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 chopped fresh cilantro. Make it Mexican with 1/2-1 finely chopped jalapeños and slice olives.

Spicy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa:

So easy and delicious, trust me! Combine small diced raw cauliflower with a dash of olive oil and prepared or homemade taco seasoning. I use smoked paprika, ground cumin, California chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder.  Let marinate for at least 30 minutes. Combine cauliflower with 1/2 cup of panko Breda crumbs. Stir fry until browned and crisp tender. I like to serve these tacos in thick wheat flat breads, Trader Joe’s has good ones. Top with shredded purple cabbage, mango salsa, avocado slices and pickled red onions. Make sure you serve with a side of pinto beans to increase the protein.

Mango Salsa: Combine diced fresh mango, red onion, red bell pepper, fresh cilantro and minced Serrano pepper.

Remember to include these super food plants most days:

Greens, Whole Grains, Beans, Berries, Seeds and Nuts, other colorful fruits and vegetables.

Increase your happiness: Eat good food, be kind, express gratitude and serve others.



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