The Daily Beet

16 Jan Simple meal ideas.

Share this story

It seems that the biggest issue people run into when changing their food habits is time. But with a little planning, you can get your meals done in just a few minutes. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to find a few staple meals that you enjoy. For instance, every day we have a big bowl. We cut up fruit in the beginning of the week, so in the morning aside from pouring the cereal and non-dairy milk, all we have to do is get the cut up fruit from the refrigerator.

We also like to have things like cooked brown rice and beans on hand, already made. It makes life a lot easier if you can do this.

For lunches, get a nice lunch box or a tiffin. Have your lunch packed and ready the night before so that you are not rushing around the house in the morning trying to get everything together. Knowing what you are going to eat the next day will help a lot as you make changes to your diet. So, have a plan.

Breakfast ideas:

Fruit salad with a few chopped walnuts or ground flax seed.

Quinoa: warm or cold with some chopped up fruit, you can add flax seed or a few walnuts if you like.

Oatmeal: with some fresh fruit, a few walnuts or flax seed.

Black bean scramble: Black beans, chopped vegetables, topped with no salt added salsa. Pan “fry” in a big pan using water instead of oil or spray.

Breakfast tacos: black beans, greens, salsa on a corn tortilla.

Lunch/Dinner ideas:

Salad is always an easy choice, use lots of fresh vegetables! We like topping salad with homemade salsa or a homemade hummus. Make your salads interesting – beans, vegetables, even fruit! We recently discovered that grapes taste great on salads.

Hummus and veggies. Make your own hummus so it is fat free – just chickpeas, add water in the blender as needed, lemon, garlic and nutritional yeast. Serve with raw chopped veggies.

Soup! We LOVE soup. You can dream up all kinds of soup ideas and you can add lots of greens to them! One of my favorites is to take well cooked cauliflower, (1-2 heads) some water, some spices and blend or use a mixer. We add all kinds of vegetables and greens – it’s a very creamy soup.

Chili: Diced tomatoes, vegetables and beans – that’s all you need.. .and a few hot pepper spices if you are daring.

Quinoa salad: cooked quinoa, beans, vegetables.

Rice and beans: Probably one of the easiest things you can do. Just brown rice, beans, vegetables and low sodium salsa. Use big lettuce leaves for “taco shells”.

Collard wraps: We boil collard greens for about 5 minutes (after removing the stem) before I use them for wraps. I like to stuff them with all kinds of veggies – and I love using “cauliflower rice”.

To make cauliflower rice – grate cauliflower or put in a food processor. When it is grated and looks kind of like rice, put it in a shallow pan with some water until it is soft, but not mushy.

Add cauliflower rice to beans, vegetables, spices and then put the mixture on top of the big leaves and roll up!

Vegetable sushi: Use short grain brown rice or use cauliflower rice. Add in cucumber, peppers and if you like, a little avocado.

Sweet potato and toppings: Our favorite is to add steamed kale and black beans, it is delicious and simple.

Zucchini pasta: Slice zucchini with a vegetable slicer to make thin long slices. Top with chickpeas, diced tomatoes, italian seasonings and a little nutritional yeast.

Portobello Fajitas: Slice mushrooms, peppers, onions and add to a shallow pan with a little water – cook with salt free spices. Serve on top of brown rice, and top with shredded cold greens, low sodium salsa and a few slices of avocado.

Fancy taco salad: This is one of our favorite things to make. On a bed of dark leafy greens add chopped veggies, beans, butter nut squash (cut up) or sweet potato (cut up), top with salsa.

Pasta: Any whole grain pasta, tomato sauce (we use POMI), chickpeas and vegetables (we often use frozen vegetables).



You can also make sorbet just by using frozen fruit or a little fruit and ice. (put in a blender until it looks creamy)

Frozen banana makes a great “ice-cream” blend frozen bananas and frozen cherries, and you have a really nice cherry ice-cream. Add a little water to make it easier to blend.

Dates: 2-3 pitted dates make a delicious dessert – to me they taste like caramel.

What are some of your go-to simple meals?

Share this story
Engine 2 Team
Engine 2 Team

The Engine 2 Team is dedicated to helping you become plant-strong! Each of us are on the plant-strong journey right along side of you!

  • Kathy Grant
    Posted at 13:30h, 16 January

    These are great ideas. Thanks for making it so “simple!”

  • Behnaz Safavi
    Posted at 18:04h, 16 January

    Thank you. I always get more creative reading your recepies.

  • Behnaz Safavi
    Posted at 18:04h, 16 January

    Thank you.

  • Aggie
    Posted at 05:05h, 17 January

    Thanks for all the great ideas.

    My favorite go to meal is black bean burgers. I make a batch every weekend and keep them in the refrigerator/freezer to have all week . I have had them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Sometimes on a wheat bun, or with brown rice or on a salad. They are good with anything. The recipe in the Engine 2 book is great since it makes eight burgers.

  • Corinne
    Posted at 07:11h, 17 January

    This post sounds exactly like my diet! (minus the pasta) My go-to simple meal is quinoa with some kind of veggies plus a quick and easy peanut or tahini based sauce. Or, toasted sprouted grain bread with pb& j with a big side of steamed greens is something that can be ready in less than 10 minutes. My go-to snack is an apple with peanut butter. I always have some kind of healthy dessert, usually made with dates/nuts/cocoa powder in the freezer for sweet cravings.

  • Lani Muelrath
    Posted at 08:43h, 17 January

    Simple with a capital S.

    Last night Simple? Mound of spinach from the bag, pile of cooked frozen corn, heap of salsa on the top. Heaven!

    Lani Muelrath

  • Nick
    Posted at 16:15h, 17 January

    Oatmeal is wonderful! Being a endurance athlete it is my go to meal! I have several different combinations! The best is Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal! Stir the PB in the cooked oatmeal then put a spoonful of jelly/preserves/fruit in the middle! You will be amazed! Did I mention is takes less than 5 minutes to make!

  • Nick
    Posted at 16:16h, 17 January

    Can of beans, Salsa, microwave……stir….so good…..

Copyright 2014 Engine 2 Diet | Terms Of Use | Privacy Policy