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    Plant-Based Meal Prep for Bone Health

    Today I’m highlighting National Osteoporosis Month, as it is quite common – Osteoporosis affects 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men in their lifetime!  

    How can we reduce our risk for osteoporosis? Diet and lifestyle play a huge role. However, it’s not just the calcium from dairy food that matter. There are other surprising foods in the plant-based world that can benefit bone health!

    Gluten-Free, Plant-Based Meal Prep Sunday

    Gluten as been a hot topic for some time in the recent years. Myself, I have had the discussion around the decision to cut out gluten or not, with many, many people.

    While I could write a lengthy discussion on this topic, I think you should first check out this article that I wrote a few years ago.  To sum it up, there has been an increase in celiac disease among the population, but we have also developed an increased tendency to rely on self-diagnosis and eliminate gluten from our diets.

    No- Cook Meal Prep Sunday

    The meal prep “theme” was inspired by the fact…that I couldn’t use my stove this weekend!

    We couldn’t use our stove because it had to be moved for backsplash tiling to be done (which I had the hardest time picking out – anyone else?) We couldn’t move it back yet, as the tiles were just grouted…but here we are with the perfect oppotunity for a “No Cook Meal Prep Sunday”!

    Check out my recipes below and watch me make them on Youtube below!

    Super Fast & Budget-Friendly Meal Prep

    It’s amazing how much time and money meal prep can save us. However, not all of us engage in meal prep regularly. Why? One big reason is the perceived challenge of time. Yes, meal prep can certainly be time consuming – but it doesn’t have to be, if we are strategic! This week was the most speedy and budget-friendly meal prep that I’ve done in a long time! Some strategies involved in this weeks meal prep to make it super quick:

    • The use of sheet pan dinners – literally everything on a baking pan, in the oven…and you’re done!
    • Using canned beans – simply drain, rinse and they’re ready to use
    • Using easy-to-chop/no-chop fruits and veggies….because chopping is the worst! This week I used peppers (easy to chop), mini potatoes (no chop), boxed salad (no chop) frozen fruit (no chop)
    • Used pre-made dressing when needed

    Without further ado, check out the recipes below and watch me meal prep in action and grab the recipes below!

    Roasted Lentil Potato Salad ($1.15/serving)

    • Servings: 4
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Print

    Ingredients


    – 2 lbs mini potatoes
    – 1 tbsp avocado oil
    – 2 cup cooked lentils
    – 3 cups arugula/mixed greens
    – 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    – 1/4 cup finely chopped dill
    – 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
    – 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    – 11 teaspoon dijon mustard
    – 1/2 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
    – 1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese

    Directions


    1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Scrub the potatoes and cut any larger ones so that they’re all roughly the same size.
    2. Add the avocado oil and use your hands to mix until the potatoes are well coated. Roast for 40-50 minutes, or until very golden.
    3. To make the dressing, add the olive oil, dill, chives, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper to a jar or small bowl and mix to fully combine. It should be a light golden colour and not separated.
    4. To assemble the salad, place the spinach and lentils into a large bowl. Top with the potatoes immediately after coming out of the oven.
    5. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix until the potatoes are fully coated with dressing and the spinach is wilted. Serve immediately.

    Berry Overnight Oats ($2.24/serving)

    • Servings: 4
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Print

    Ingredients


    – 2 cups rolled oats
    – 1/4 cup chia seeds
    – 2 cups almond milk
    – 2 cups greek yogurt/dairy free yogurt
    – 2 cups frozen fruit
    –1/2 cup walnuts

    Directions


    1.Mix the oats, chia seeds, almond milk, greek yogurt together and top with the frozen berries and walnuts. Enjoy!.

    Tofu and Brussels Balsamic Pizza ($3.21/serving)

    • Servings: 4
    • Difficulty: Very easy
    • Print

    Ingredients

    • 2 tbsp avocado oil
    • 1 large red onion
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1 cup (8 ounces) brussels sprouts, shaved
    • 4 individual naan breads
    • 1 14 oz block of tofu, pressed and cubed
    • avocado oil spray
    • 2 cups vegan cheese


    Directions


    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and place a pizza stone on the middle rack if you have one. Slice your onions into thin rounds (the thinner you slice them, the faster they will cook).
    2. To prepare the red onions, warm 1 tablespoon avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the onions are nice and soft. Pour in the balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Continue cooking, uncovered, for a few more minutes, until the balsamic vinegar has condensed and mostly absorbed into the onions. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
    3. While the onions are cooking, add the cubed tofu to another frying pan, sprayed with oil and brown each side.
    4.Top the naan bread with an even layer of cooked red onions, followed by vegan cheese, followed by the brussels and then the cubes tofu.
    5.Transfer one pizza to the oven at a time (if you don’t have a baking stone, bake your pizza on a cookie sheet). Bake until the crust is golden, the cheese is bubbly and the Brussels sprouts are crispy on the edges, about 10 to 14 minutes. Repeat with remaining pizza, if you have one.

    Sheet Pan Mexican Rice ($1.89/serving)

    • Servings: 4
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Print

    Ingredients


    – 2 cups cooked brown rice
    – 2 cups cooked black beans
    – 3 bell peppers, chopped (different colours)
    – 1/2 red onion, chopped
    – 1 tbsp cumin p
    – 1 tbsp chili powder
    – 1 tsp garlic powder
    – 1/2 cup salsa, divided

    Directions


    1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
    2.On a parchment-lined sheet pan, add the cooked brown rice, black beans, peppers, onions, chili powder, cumin and garlic. Stir well to combine.
    3. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping halfway, or until the peppers have slightly browned. Add salsa before serving.

    Fall Foods Meal Prep

    It’s beginning to look a lot like PUMPKIN SEASON!

    Although I did find myself mourning summer coming to an end a week ago (because let’s face it – summer was so different this year without cottage trips, concerts, weddings etc) I have become recently excited for the fall. Why?

    Fall represents change. And lord knows that we need change in this world right now!
    Fall is a cozy season. Perfect for settling into a new house with our puppy and new fall decor!
    Fall is THE BEST running season! Although I’m usually training for an October race at this time, I’m looking to take this running season to be a more leisurely one.

    Anyways, this week I dive right into fall recipes! Pumpkin, root veggies – coming right at you!

    Check out the recipes below and my Youtube channel for the recipes being made in action!

    Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

    • Servings: 4
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Print

    Ingredients


    – 2 cup rolled oats
    – 2 cup almond milk
    – 1 cup pumpkin puree
    – 2 tablespoon maple syrup
    – 2 tablespoon chia seeds
    – 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    – 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    – 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    – 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    pecans for topping

    Directions


    1. Combine all of these ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together until well combined. Transfer into mason jars or other containers, cover, and place in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight.

    Pumpkin Lasagna

    • Servings: 4
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Print

    Ingredients


    – 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
    – 1 small onion, chopped
    – 2 teaspoons avocado oile
    – 15 oz pumpkin puree
    – 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
    – 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
    – 9 no-cook lasagna noodles
    – 1 block of firm tofu
    – 1 tbsp lemon juice
    – 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
    – 1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese

    Directions


    1. In a small skillet, saute the mushrooms and onion in avocado oil until tender; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin, coconut milk and thyme.
    2. Meanwhile, 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.
    3. Spread 1/2 cup pumpkin sauce in an 11×7-in. Baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with 3 noodles (noodles will overlap slightly). Spread 1/2 cup pumpkin sauce to edges of noodles. Top with half of mushroom mixture, 1/2 cup tofu ricotta and 1/3 cup vegan mozzarella. Repeat layers. Top with remaining noodles and sauce.
    Cover and bake at 375° for 45 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting..

    Root Veggie and White Bean Soup

    • Servings: 6
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Print

    Ingredients


    – 2 Tbsp avocado oil
    – 3 carrots, peeled and diced
    – 3 parsnips, peeled and diced
    – 1 large onion, chopped
    – 2 cloves garlic, minced
    – 1/2 cup chopped and peeled butternut squash
    – 2 medium tomatoes, chopped (2)
    – 6 cups sodium-reduced veggie broth (1.5 L)
    – 1 can white navy beans, rinsed and drained (1)
    – 4 cups baby spinach (1 L)

    Directions


    1. In a large pot, heat avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots, parsnips, onion, garlic and squash. Cook and stir vegetables until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes. Cook vegetables 3-4 minutes longer.
    2. Add veggie broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover pot and let vegetables simmer until soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add beans and heat through. Stir in spinach.
    3. Serve immediately in soup bowls or store in containers.br>

    Tofu and Hummus Sandwiches

    • Servings: 4
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Print

    Ingredients


    – 1 block extra-firm tofu
    – ½ tbsp avocado oil
    – 3 cloves garlic, minced
    – 2 tbsp soy sauce
    – 2 tbsp maple syrup
    – 2 tbsp water
    – ½ tsp liquid smoke
    – 8 slices of rye bread
    – 1/2 cup hummus, divided
    – Sandwich toppings: lettuce, onions and tomatoes

    Directions


    1. Slice tofu into ¼” (½ cm) slices. Press or pat tofu dry with a clean kitchen towel. In a shallow dish or sandwich-sized food storage bag, add garlic, soy sauce, maple syrup, water, and liquid smoke. Add the sliced tofu and marinate for 30-60 minutes.
    2. Add the marinated tofu to the skillet, but reserve and excess marinade. Cook both sides until golden-brown. Pour the remaining marinade into the pan with the tofu, stirring gently. Continue cooking until the tofu has absorbed all the marinade. Set aside.
    3. Store the sandwich inputs separately, until you are ready to eat. Enjoy!