Whether you eat a cauliflower steak or prefer strips of flank, there’s a good argument to be made for dishes piled high with plants. And I’m not just talking about eating the rainbow – although that matters too. Plant based recipes filled with roots, leaves, berries, seeds, grains, and legumes do something incredibly special for your body.
They feed your microbes.
And if you’re at all interested in gut health, brain health, immune health, or pregnancy health – take note and make sure your dishes include plenty of plant power. Of course, there are exceptions, times when you may need to limit your diet so that you can recalibrate your wellbeing. But ultimately, more plants equals more microbial diversity. And that’s a good thing.
If you’re looking for a little inspiration, here’s a week of plant based recipes that make a delicious dinner and even better leftovers.
If you meal plan, Sunday is a good day to fit in lots of food prep for the week ahead. Chop bell peppers. Spiralize zucchini. Get beans soaking and ferments brewing. Cook up a large pot of millet or quinoa to carry you through a midday scramble for food. You get the idea.
Fresh Arugula and Black Bean Tacos with Pickled Radish and Feta
Prep day. With all the cooking – and let face it, nibbling – you may want to keep dinner light and full of nibbly bits. Tacos fit the bill. Cashew cream and salsa macha give your plate even more swag. Plus, you’re bound to have leftovers, which you can dip into throughout the week.
Whether or not you do dairy, cashew cream is a fun staple to have around. Stir a dollop into soup. Drizzle it over tacos. Use it as a base for dressing. Put a teaspoon in your tea.
Because the week is better when it’s filled with condiments. And you’ll want to cover everything with this smoky, nutty salsa.
Carrot, Feta & Pistachio Salad with Orange Blossom Toss
It’s no exaggeration to say this recipe leaves me speechless. Orange blossom water. The deep aromatics of cumin and cardamon. Crushed red pepper flakes. Pistachio. Mint. And the tangy richness of feta. Seriously? Make this. Make it now.
And remember the millet you cooked on your big prep day? Warm it up and serve alongside a salad that might make you weep.
Do you plan for soup on Tuesday too? When meal planning, it can help to have certain themes for each day. Like soup on Tuesdays, brinner on Fridays (we’ll get there), and pizza on Saturdays.
Chilled Roasted Heirloom Tomato Soup
Grilled and chilled, this tomato soup works with heirloom or roma tomatoes. After you check tomatoes off your shopping list, do not store them in the fridge. They’ll turn mealy and sad. Instead, keep your savory fruit on the countertop until you’re ready to roast them.
Smoky Shoestring Sweet Potato Fries
The smoke. The heat. The crunch. Really, these shoestring fries are begging to sit in a neat tangle on top of tomato soup. Dontcha think?
By Wednesday afternoon, I’m back from the farmer’s market with bags of colorful plant things that need to be eaten. Whichever day to shop again or maybe have CSA (community supported agriculture) box delivered to your door – set aside some time to prep and use those veggies. And make something dazzling, like this curry.
Thai Green Curry with Spring Vegetables
Part soup, part sauce you can’t get enough of. Using a green curry paste, this dish is easier to make than it looks and it cooks up in less than an hour. If you have it, use a leftover grain and precut your veggies for an ultra quick and delicious meal.
Thursday is a good time to use up perishable stragglers left in your refrigerator’s crisper or limp veggies sitting on a shelf. There might be cold quinoa packed in a glass cube. Some avocados that will turn unless you use them. Whether it’s a casserole, a stew, or a hodgepodge bowl of delicious fun.
Southwestern Kale Power Salad with Sweet Potato, Quinoa & Avocado Sauce
Gimme all the bowls. They’re so easy and once you get the hang of them, the type of thing you can throw together in a heartbeat. Massaged kale, some sort of starch like quinoa, sweet little hunks of sweet potatoes, and easy black beans with avocado and a sprinkle of feta.
Roasted Beet Cauliflower Hummus
Gorgeous to look at, delicious to eat, and good for you. Cauliflower is the new black. And this hummus lets you know that it can do anything.
Fridays are for brinner. Always and forever…casual Friday, breakfast for dinner. It just makes so much sense. And who am I to mess with that kind of logic?
Sheet Pan Baked Eggs
I often enjoy eggs for brinner. If cooked the right way, leftovers make a great weekend snack that I can eat cold over the sink or carry with me in the car.
You can easily put these sheet pan baked eggs on repeat and fill with whatever you have on hand – a basket of cherry tomatoes, spinach leaves, a few snips of cilantro. Spread with salsa macha from earlier in the week for a perfect bite.
Tomorrow is your big prep day. So, you may feel like keeping things simple and easy on Saturday. Like dough, sauce, and cheese. #stillwinning