We are all pressed for time, but yet we want to eat healthy delicious meals that either help with weight loss or help us maintain our weight loss. Is this even possible? Yes, of course it is! I want to show you how easy it is to put a simple meal together that will be tasty, low calorie density but nutrient rich.
One thing I love about a whole food plant based lifestyle is that there isn’t a huge set of rules about what a nutritious meal looks like. It frees me from feeling guilty with some of the combinations that sound good to me. Even before going plant based I favored the starchy side dishes and vegetables to the main entrée. Now, I get to eat the foods I really love and it just so happens they are healthy and satisfying.
We made a video to help you and we answered your questions as well.
Tips for Quick & Easy Meals
Work Smarter Not Harder in the Kitchen!
Have a well stocked whole food plant based pantry, refrigerator and freezer.
Have no salt added canned tomatoes, beans, lentils, no salt added tomato sauce and tomato paste, low sodium vegetable broth, rice, quinoa, millet and other grains in the pantry. Freshen up your dried spices – old spices lose their flavor. Alphabetize them to make it easier to find what you are looking for. Have oats, unsweetened applesauce, bottled lemon and lime juice. Dates for baking, date paste, date syrup. No salt Seasoning blends like Italian, Greek and Southwest make seasoning so much easier. Nori sheets and brown rice wrappers are fun additions. Nutritional yeast, no salt added mustard, ketchup and BBQ sauce – we talk about these in the video. Some unsweetened plant milk is good to have as well. We like JOI the best! Use code NUTMEG for 10% off.
Keep frozen fruits and vegetables on hand. The prep has already been done and all you have to do is thaw them out or heat them up.
Batch prep your starches, salads, dressings and sauces once a week. Many of them can be made in large batches and frozen in smaller servings.
Batch prep soups, stews, chili, hummus and other foods that you eat on a regular basis. Freeze the extras for quick and easy meals.
If you like balsamic vinegars get a few bottles of flavored ones with no added sugar. They add so much flavor to plain and simple foods. Apple Cider vinegar and unseasoned Rice vinegar are nice to have too.
An organized kitchen makes food prep easier. Use clear glass containers in the fridge so you can see what is in there the minute you open the door. Also containers with firm lids allow you to stack things so you make better use of your space.
Have a place for everything and everything in it’s place.
In the pantry group things together like the grocery store shelves. It makes finding what you want easier. When you go to make your grocery list you can easily see what you are out of.
Lately, this has been one of my favorite quick and easy meals. I take batch prepped Yukon Gold Potatoes cold from the fridge, cut them and place them in a cold air fryer set to 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. See the Smashed Potatoes post and video. I just cut the potatoes now and don’t take time to smash them. The last 5 – 6 minutes of cooking time for the potatoes is when I put fresh trimmed asparagus in the air fryer. Our Chipotle Nacho Cheeze Sauce makes a wonderful dip for it all.
Air Fried Japanese Sweet Potato or Hannah Yam – I had 1/2 of each here, some frozen vegetables cooked in the microwave and some fresh asparagus air fried for 5-6 minutes at 400 degrees. Freshly ground Black Cumin Seeds make everything taste better. A Chocolate Cherry Brownie from the freezer.
A simple Burrito Bowl, brown rice or your favorite grain, frozen corn, canned no salt added beans, store bought salsa or Tami’s Easy Red Salsa. green onions, cilantro and fresh lime juice. If you batch prep some grains like rice, quinoa, millet or Oat Groats and freeze them in 1/2 or 1 cup portions then you can always use them as part of a quick and easy meal.
We use Souper Cubes to freeze our batch prepped foods including grains. They come in a variety of sizes. Once the food is frozen we pop out the “cubes” and put them in freezer bags. They take up less room and keep our freezer more organized.
Be sure to check out our affiliate link for Well Your World for all of your SOS free whole food plant based products. Having these products in the pantry makes this lifestyle so much easier. They all taste amazing! Dillon has added SOS free marinara sauces and pizza sauce!
A bowl of hot oatmeal can be a main meal! That’s right oatmeal. I don’t usually eat breakfast but I do like oats so once in a while that is what I have for dinner. You can use your choice of oats or another grain like buckwheat, millet, sorghum. While my water is boiling I add a sliced banana, sometimes I use a combination of grains. Top it off with fresh or frozen fruit and some cinnamon and a drizzle of date syrup if you wish. Yum!
When I make veggie burgers I make big batches and freeze them. We love the Smokey Black Bean Burgers. They make for great easy meals. Heat them up in skillet on the stove, in the air fryer or the microwave. I added a batch prepped Yukon Gold Potato and asparagus.
Air Fried Potatoes with a side of asparagus. Some vegan SOS free Well Your World BBQ Sauce or Ketchup and some salt free mustard make a wonderful dip for everything.
We made a video all about How To Sauté Without Oil. Make a big batch of this and put it in the fridge. Then just add a starch and a sauce or a flavored vinegar for a flavorful filling meal in minutes.
See our blog post and video Healthy Vegan Sauces to Make Delightfully Delicious Dishes. Alfredo Sauce, Classic Marinara, Chipotle Nacho Cheeze Sauce or Easy Red Salsa.
You can add a wide variety of flavors to your meals using flavored balsamic vinegars. Our favorites are from California Balsamic right here in CA. They ship all over the United States so place an order today.
A Nourish Bowl is simply beans, greens and a grain. Add splash of balsamic vinegar or a sauce and you have a meal.
Take any kind of baked potato – even a sweet potato and stuff it with beans, corn, salsa and Chipotle Nacho Cheeze Sauce.
An air fried Japanese Sweet Potato and fresh home grown tomatoes with fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Easy!
A simple sushi bowl. Brown rice, cucumber, carrots, red bell pepper, red cabbage, fresh herbs, a cut up sheet of Nori, sesame seeds, black sesame seeds and a drizzle of rice wine vinegar. This is the perfect meal for a hot summer day.
Hearts of Palm Pasta is a convenient gluten free pantry item that comes in handy for a quick and easy meal with my Classic Marinara and some lentils to make it more filling. Make a big batch of marinara and freeze it in 1 cup portions and it thaw out quickly in the microwave oven or in pan on the stove. Well Your World also has two SOS free pasta sauces you can purchase.
Chopped Salads are something I eat every day of the week. When you automate some of your meals it cuts down on decision fatigue. It makes meal planning and grocery shopping easier too. I do a Speedy Salad Batch Prep and I can make a dozen salads for the week in just 30 minutes. Add your favorite starch and you have a filling meal. You can make them pretty if you want or just toss everything in the bowl and give it a stir – it will taste amazing!
I am loving Chopped Salad Nori Wraps for a fun, warmer weather meal. I simply chop one of my Speedy Batch Prepped Salads with some fresh mint, basil and cilantro, freshly grown sprouts, air fry a Japanese Sweet Potato or Hannah Yam at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, add some of my Best Oil Free Hummus, drizzle with some flavored balsamic vinegar, roll up in a sheet of Nori. Incredibly delicious.
Sometimes I add a large 11 inch spring roll wrapper along with the nori sheet. I like to sprinkle some sesame seeds over the spring roll wrapper as it makes it so attractive. The spring roll wrapper helps it all hold together but isn’t necessary it still works with just the Nori sheet.
Poncho’s is one of my favorite go to meals. You can use frozen corn and canned beans or lentils to make this super easy and fast. Be sure to follow me on the Nutmeg Notebook Instagram and Facebook account to see more photos of my daily food.
Mama Sezz prepared whole food plant based meals and SOS free options with the Chef AJ package.
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We are also Holland Bowl Mill Affiliates. The 15 inch Holland Bowl Mill Cherry fruit bowl has a permanent home on our kitchen island. It’s beautiful and useful. The heart shaped bowl makes me happy – I love everything heart shaped! We use our 15 inch Beechwood & cherry bowl (his and her’s) to chop our salads everyday. Eating a salad for one meal every day helped me lose weight and become a size 4. I still eat a salad for one meal a day but now it’s a Big Beautiful Chopped salad and it helps me stay a size 4! See the Chopped Salad Blog Post to find out how you can incorporate a chopped salad into your daily food plan and how you can get a free mezzaluna knife with your Holland Bowl salad bowl order when you use our Holland Bowl affiliate link as well as free engraving and free shipping.