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    This weekened I celebrated my birthday! It was a milestone birthday, as I entered a new decade of life (you can probably guess which one it was!) I went away to one of my favourite places – Prince Edward County, with another couple and my fiance to ride bikes, explore wineries and get in some beach time. I couldn’t have asked for a better day!
    I knew I didn’t want to worry about cooking when I got home from a fun weekend, so I thought I would meal prep on Thursday evening. I don’t recommend having food in the fridge for longer than 3-4 days, so I made sure that everything I cooked could be frozen! This worked out really well, as I was able to come home and relax on Sunday.

    Below are the recipes that I made – let me know which one you’d like to try! Check out the Youtube video as well here:

    Instant-pot Mexican Black Beans and Quinoa

    • Servings: 4
    • Difficulty: easy
    • Rating: ★★★★★
    • Print


    • 1.5 cups cooked black beans
    • 1.25 cups veggie broth
    • 1 cup quinoa
    • 1 cup cup diced tomatoes
    • 2 tsp chili powder
    • 2 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice


    1. Combine the black beans, vegetable broth, quinoa, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder in the pot of the pressure cooker and close the lid.
    2. Set to “sealing”, then press manual/pressure cooker and cook for 5 minutes on high pressure. Once it is done, release the pressure manually. Remove the lid carefully and stir in the lemon juice.
    3. Divide between containers. Let cool before placing in the freezer and covering.

    Protein Pancakes

    • Servings: 3
    • Difficulty: easy
    • Rating: ★★★★★
    • Print


    • 1/2 cup almond flour
    • 1 cup chickpea flour
    • 3 tbsp vanilla protein powder
    • 1 banana
    • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 cup raspberries
    • 1 tsp cinnamon


    1. Place all ingredients (except for raspberries) in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
    2. Heat up a tiny bit of oil in a frying pan (non-stick is best) and spoon or pour in a 1/4 cup of the pancake batter per pancake.
    3. Cook on a low-medium heat for a few minutes until you see little bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake
. Flip over and cook for another few minutes, until golden brown and crispy on both sides.
    4. Repeat for the rest of the batter – makes around 8 pancakes. Top with your favourite fruit – mine is raspberries!
    5. Divide between containers. Let cool before placing in the freezer and covering.

    Spicy Black Bean Burgers

    • Servings: 4
    • Difficulty: easy
    • Rating: ★★★★★
    • Print


    • 1 15 oz can of black beans, drained
    • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
    • 1 red pepper, chopped
    • 1 tsp chipotle seasoning
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 1 cup almond meal
    • 1 flax egg


    1. Heat over to 375 F.
    2. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Mash with a potato masher or process in the food processor for a few seconds. The mixture should still be a bit chunky.
    3. Press firmly to form into 4 patties.
    4. Head a tablespoon of oil in a skillet and lightly fry until a nice outer crust forms.
    5. Repeat for all of the patties.
    6. Next, transfer the patties to a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place in the oven for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
    7. Freeze in a container once cooled.

    Loaded Veggie Lentil Lasagna

    • Difficulty: easy
    • Rating: ★★★★★
    • Print

    A lasagna so delicious that wouldn't know that it was healthy and vegan!


    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
    • 1 zucchini, chopped
    • 1/2 red onion, chopped
    • 8 ounces of spinach
    • 3 cup of prepared marinara sauce
    • 1 block of firm tofu
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
    • one box of Explore Cuisine Green Lentil Lasagne
    • vegan cheese


    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. To prepare the veggies: In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Once shimmering, add the bell pepper, zucchini and onion. Cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until the veggies are golden on the edges, about 8 to 12 minutes.
    3. Add a few large handfuls of spinach. Cook, stirring frequently, until the spinach has wilted. Repeat with remaining spinach and cook until all of the spinach has wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
    4. Next, prepare the tofu ricotta. Add the block of drained tofu, lemon juice and nutritional yeast to a blender or food processor for about 15 seconds, until the consistency is similar to ricotta cheese.
    5. Spread ½- 1 cup marinara sauce evenly over the bottom of a 9” by 9” baking dish. Layer 3 Explore Cuisine Green Lentil Lasagna noodles on top (snap off their ends to fit, and/or overlap their edges as necessary). Spread the tofu ricotta mixture evenly over the noodles. Top with 1/3 of the veggies then ¾ cup tomato sauce. Repeat this sequence 3 times, ending with marinara sauce and vegan cheese.
    6. Wrap a sheet of parchment paper around the top of the lasagna. Bake, covered, for 18 minutes, then remove the cover, rotate the pan by 180° and continue cooking for about 20 more minutes, until the top is turning spotty brown.
    7. Remove from oven and let the lasagna cool for 15 to 20 minutes, so it has time to set and cool down to a reasonable temperature. Freeze once cooled down.

    Written by Nicole Osinga, RD, MAN, BASc

    I'm a Registered Dietitian who works with clients in the Durham Region! I use evidence-based recommendations to help you achieve your nutrition goals. I have many hearty and delicious recipes to share! My office is in Courtice, ON. I regularly work with clients from Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, Newcastle, Bowmanville and Courtice.

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