Oh, hello there! Remember me? Once upon a springtime I used to post recipes here on this little tiny speck of the internet, but I’ve been pretty quiet this summer. Oh, there were patriotic popsicles, and carrot dogs, and coleslaw, but for the most part, it probably appeared that I had fallen off the face of the earth. Here’s what I was really doing.
Friends, I made a meal plan. That probably doesn’t sound like a very big deal to you, but this is a HUGE FREAKING DEAL for me, and do you know why? Because I had a dream, and I made it happen. Has that ever happened to you? Where you have an idea to do something, take on a project, whatever it is, and you think about it, and you dream about it, and you talk about it, and finally you just shut up already and DO THE THING? That’s what just happened, and it feels pretty darn good, I have to tell you.
So without further ado, I present to you…Plant Based Comfort Food: A 5-Dinner Meal Plan.
The thing about meal planning is that it is a pain in the you know where. You know where, right? It feels like just one more thing to do when our to-do lists are already miles long. So instead of actually meal planning, I kept thinking about one thing that could make meal planning become more of a creative outlet while also keeping my virtual wallet full.
That one thing is leftovers. That’s what makes this meal plan kind of a big deal. Well, at least to me.
There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who like leftovers and those who don’t. But now, there is a third type of person. They person who doesn’t like leftovers but also doesn’t know that that the meal they’re having for dinner has part of last night’s meal in it. Leftovers subterfuge.
This meal plan is the first in what I’m calling the “Stretch it Out” series. You’ll start to see this graphic pop up on the blog whenever there’s a recipe whose leftovers can be transformed into another meal. Intentional leftovers, you might say. Let’s look at some examples.
We start with Vegetable Bolognese, which is basically vegetable meat substitute mixed into protein-packed marinara sauce. Like a classic spaghetti with meat sauce, minus the meat and plus a ton of veggies. It has fooled many a meat-eater.
This vegan mac and cheese has leftover mashed potatoes in it. Yes, really. Yes, it’s in the meal plan. Oh, and it’s oil-free, too.
These veggie meatloaf cups have leftovers from TWO recipes. They’re made with protein-packed marinara sauce and vegetable meat substitute that originally started out in the vegetable bolognese we saw earlier. And we know where those leftover mashed potatoes end up.
As if we hadn’t stretched it out enough, there was still enough vegetable meat substitute to go into the filling for these easy vegan taquitos. That’s one recipe, stretched into three meals. Pretty cool, huh?
Oh, and that protein-packed marinara? It gets used again, this time for pizza sauce.
That browned cheesy substance on top of that pizza would be my savory cashew cream. All of the recipe testers for the meal plan went gaga over it. It’s good stuff. Oh, and you can use some to make easy vegan ranch for a salad dressing. All in the meal plan.
Are you starting to see where my wacky brain was headed with this meal plan idea? It’s all fine and good for me to tell you about it, but really the best way to see how it works is to actually follow the whole plan from start to finish. So, here’s how you can do that!
There are two options for the meal plan – the plan itself, which is a PDF file that looks great on any device and can be printed if that’s your thing.
Or, you can get the meal plan PLUS cook-along videos where I make the meal plan from start to finish in my kitchen, and you can follow along with me. This is a great option for more novice cooks or those who are visual learners. Plus you may just get to hear me bust out a karaoke version of a Journey song in one of the videos.
It’s a strange feeling to finally be putting this out in the world after having worked on it for so long. It was truly a labor of love, and I can only hope that if it finds its way into your kitchen that it will make that particular week just a little bit easier.
And now, after having made these recipes about 50 bazillion times, I’m finally ready to move onto something else. I’m thinking…Thanksgiving meal plan. Oh, this is so happening. Get ready. 🙂
Still want to learn more about the meal plan? You can check out this awkward promo video here.
I don’t even want to tell you how many takes I did.