A week of vegan dinners

We’re having some vegans, who we’ve never met, over for dinner this weekend. In preparation, I am trying out some meatless recipes and flavor combinations this week. This coincides well with the recent internal nagging I’ve experienced regarding my reliance on animal-based proteins. For the sake of the environment, I need to do my homework and see what it would look like for my kitchen to rely more on plant-based proteins.

The past two nights, I’ve made dishes inspired by a new cookbook my mom gifted me (thanks Mom!) – The Plantpower Way by Rich Roll and Julie Piatt. It’s a beautiful book – full of gorgeous food, people and scenery that make you want to clean out your fridge and head straight to a farmer’s market in Malibu.

Here’s the plan for the week…

A Week of Vegan Dinners

Monday: Black Bean Burger Patties + Salad (with honey mustard vinaigrette)

Tuesday: Kelp Noodles + Kale + Sprouted Tofu

Wednesday: Vegan Lasagna + Salad

Thursday: Coconut Curry + Salad

Friday: Quinoa + Sweet Potato + Kale + Veggie Bowls

Now, a bit more about The Plantpower Way and my curiosity about a plant-based diet.

My interest in this book arose when I heard Rich Roll share his story on a podcast. His path is interesting, unconventional and surprising. He is an ultra athlete who, at age 40, changed to a plant-based, athletic lifestyle. He describes some of this transformation in The Plantpower Way, but I’m hoping to soon do a deep dive into Finding Ultra, Rich’s full detail of his experience.

The environmental impact of eating a plant-based diet is very compelling. It’s an area that I have to take an honest look at and ask, “What more could I be doing?” I buy local and seasonal. I rarely cook red meat. We eat wild fish, not farmed. I buy organic. BUT, I could be doing more. I could be more resourceful with my use of plants in my kitchen.

So, if the argument is so compelling and my kitchen includes all sorts of plants to begin with, what’s stopping me? Well, mainly these two fears:

  • What the hell would I do without chicken/turkey/salmon/eggs in my life?
  • Will I find myself eating more starches and grains? I avoid buying, preparing, eating much of these. I worry that as I take familiar proteins away, I will end up adding in grains to fill the plate and belly. For instance, there were 2 cups of brown rice in the black bean burgers I made on Monday.

Well, this week is a trial of sorts. A no-pressure exploration. So far, us adults have been pleased with the dinners (and lunch leftovers) this week. I cannot say the same for the children though.

I’ll let you know how the rest of the dinners go. Until then, I’m off to go soak some beans and flip some tofu.

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  • Reply
    02/20/2017 at 9:52 pm

    I’m interested to hear how these meals went over. I really want to add more plant-based meals in our house. We have a very few vegan dinners in our rotation, and even when I do make them, I almost always end up using chicken broth instead of veg broth, or topping the meal with cheese. Oops. Have you heard of the book “Vegan Before 6” by Mark Bittman? His approach is to only eat animal proteins after 6 pm.

    • Reply
      02/21/2017 at 10:27 am

      Hey Sis! It was fun to work with different textures and flavors with the plant based meals. Isaac and I both enjoyed 80% of them. There was one curry dish that just wasn’t quite right.

      I haven’t heard of that book. I’ll have to check it out!

      • Reply
        03/25/2017 at 3:22 pm

        I hope you post some of the recipes for the ones that worked for you and Isaac! Where do you get kelp noodles? I’ve been making zucchini noodles for the nights spaghetti’s on the menu, and can’t believe how much I like them, so I think I need to try kelp noodles too.

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