I’ve discovered a secret to a stress free week…Meatless Mondays and Meal Planning! With that, meatless Mondays are here to stay! Choosing meat-free meals on Monday is a great way to look and feel better, it kind of goes along with that new week, new beginning theory.
I am definitely not a vegetarian (after all, I haven’t met lamb chops I didn’t devour), but certainly a flexetarian…yup, technically, a faux vegetarian. In the faux foodie home, we eat significantly more whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, chocolate and occasionally meat. Meat is usually our side dish! If it was up to Kiki, chocolate/Nutella would be our main dish, but who can blame her!!
The main gist of the fauxfoodie flexitarian diet is exactly what it sounds like: It’s flexible. And in keeping with the flexible theme, there are various approaches: beginner, advanced, and expert. We are definitely the beginner flexitarians…about two vegetarian meals (dinners) a week. Since Kiki is still in development stage, I am very conscious of what I feed her, focusing on eating “calorie-poor but nutrient-rich”, meaning bulking up our meals with fiber-rich veggies and plenty of other protein sources like quinoa, white beans, lentils, and chickpeas. It’s definitely not an all-or-nothing approach. Instead, like many things in life, moderation is key. A little bit of veggies, a little bit of meat, a little bit of sweets!
This week’s dinner plan is here and it’s a good one! It’s filled with hearty, delicious, flavorful, vegetarian dinners, and great for meal prepping on Sunday (and having lunches for the next few days!) And if you decide not to spend meal prepping on Sundays, these recipes are fast enough to get on the table nightly and they are not salads!
Sunday: Stir fried veggie rice
Monday: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, quinoa with mustard dressing
Tuesday: Dinner with Mr. S
Wednesday: Peanut noodles with orange and red peppers
Thursday: Black bean burgers with tomato, corn and avocado salsa
Friday: Mr. S’s bday celebration starts
Saturday: Mr. S’s bday celebration continues…
Here are ten easy and quick ways to go enjoy flexitarian diet without feeling restricted and if you want to learn more about flexing your diet, I would highly recommend reading this book…it was truly an eye opener how easy it is to switch meat to a side dish and veggies to a main course!
- Grill a veggie burger and enjoy it with all the classic toppings such as ketchup, mustard and pickles.
- Enjoy hummus as a dip for veggies or as a sandwich spread in place of mayonnaise to add flavor with fewer calories and less fat.
- Toss canned white beans (rinsed and drained) into your favorite pasta dishes for extra protein and fiber.
- Make a fast and flavorful burrito with canned low-fat refried beans, lettuce, tomato and guacamole.
- Top a whole grain pizza crust with pine nuts and veggies such as spinach and onions instead of heavy cheese and meat toppings.
- Heat canned vegetarian chili and pour on a baked potato for a healthy meal in a hurry.
- Make a speedy stir-fry by adding frozen veggies, frozen pre-cooked brown rice, frozen edemame or tofu and teriyaki sauce to a hot wok or pan.
- For a quick brown bag lunch, mix Italian salad dressing with canned lentils (rinsed and drained), shredded carrots, chopped cucumber, sliced red bell pepper and stuff into a whole grain pita.
- Stash an emergency snack in your purse or desk drawer for times when hunger hits.
- Mix together canned black beans with jarred salsa for a satisfying tortilla chip dip.
Gweneth Paltrow's Roasted cauliflower, chickpeas and quinoa with mustard dressing
- 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and dried
- 1 head of cauliflower, outer leaves removed and discarded, cut into bite-sized florets
- 3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Coarse sea salt
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon seeded mustard (i.e., grainy mustard)
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and set the rack in the middle. Toss chickpeas and cauliflower together in a large roasting pan with 3 tablespoons olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Roast, stirring now and then, until everything is dark brown and the cauliflower is quite soft, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together mustards, vinegar, and 1/4 cup of olive oil with a big pinch of salt and a few healthy grinds of black pepper. While the chickpeas and cauliflower are still warm, toss them with the mustard dressing and the parsley and cooked quinoa. Serve warm or at room temperature.
As always, if you have meal plan feedback, please send me an email at email@example.com! I’d absolutely love to hear from you! Wishing you a great week!flexitarian, meal plan, Meatless Monday, vegetarian