So for the past week I’ve kept track of what we ate, starting from last Monday. This has been really helpful to me to see what we eat and to help me to make our meal plans. I have never done this before, but I figure I would like to give it a try. What I do make sure to do is make enough of a meal so that there are leftovers for the next day for either lunch or dinner. If I am baking (which I often do) I usually double or sometimes even triple a recipe so that there is enough to last a while for snacks or treats and for my husband to have to take to work. I haven’t really baked since Christmas (except for bread) and made my first cookies of the year yesterday (oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip).
Today I wanted to share what our past week in meals looked like, to help new vegans or aspiring vegan families get an idea of what vegan snacks and meals our family eats. First, a few helpful notes.
For snacks I allow fresh fruit (we usually have apples, bananas, oranges or grapes), raw vegetables (carrots, peppers, cucumber, broccoli or cauliflower with catalina dressing to dip) nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews or sunflower seeds), fruit source bars or dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, prunes, banana chips), rice cakes or whole wheat crackers. If I have baked muffins or cookies we have that sometimes too.
Our family eats a lot of the same thing and doesn’t mind leftovers. I find that this is a great money saver. I also try as much as possible to never throw food away, ever. If the girls don’t finish their plates, I save the food to have as their snack when they are hungry later or someone else eats it. I noticed that we ate a lot of soup this week because I was sick and made two pots of soup on Thursday, we finished the soup today at lunch (that’s a lot of soup!). I love to make soup because it is cheap and filling and healthy. A pot of soup and loaf of homemade bread feeds our family of four for at least two meals and costs around $11.60.
We eat a lot of oatmeal, which is again, cheap, filling and healthy. A 2.25 kilogram bag of oatmeal costs $4.98 and lasts us a few weeks, feeding us all for many breakfasts (at least 13). With our morning oatmeal, we always have fresh or frozen fruit (usually chopped apples, blueberries or strawberries), nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds), pure maple syrup and either soy or almond milk. Everyone likes their oatmeal different in the family and different ways on different days too. This again is a huge money saver compared to cereal or even toast. I can’t believe how a loaf of whole wheat bread costs $4.69. I am trying to make more of our own bread again to save money, plus it tastes so much better!
Another cheap, filling breakfast that we often have is pancakes, with banana on the side or thawed frozen berries. It costs $6.98 for a 2 kg bag of whole frozen strawberries or $13.98 for a 2 kg bag of frozen blueberries. We often use berries in our oatmeal as well. I think I will have to do a separate posts on how much I spend on food for our family and the ways I stretch our money to buy the healthiest ingredients as well. I never knew that I had so many tricks and ways to save! 🙂
We also had cereal a lot this week too because I got 4 bags of Mesa Sunrise cereal on sale for $7.49 a bag (a savings of $3.00/bag), so we have a lot of cereal on hand at the moment. Kesa also can never live without puffed kamut or wheat cereal and snacks on that often at bedtime. We always have either unsweetened almond breeze milk or the girls favorite ‘red milk’ Organic Silk.
Alright, here it goes!
Breakfast – Cereal and sliced banana with unsweetened almond milk (Mesa Sunrise or Kamut Puffs)
Snack – Fruit and nuts
Lunch – Veggies Love Macaroni and Cheese
Dinner – Oatmeal and Blueberries/Walnuts or Pecans and Soy or Almond Milk
Breakfast – Oatmeal and Strawberries/Pecans/Milk/Maple Syrup
Snack – Fruit/Nuts (bananas)
Snack – Nuts/Dried Fruit/Crackers
Dinner – Tofu Nuggets, Mashed Potatoes, Corn and Green Beans
Snack – Cereal and banana (Mesa Sunrise or Kamut Puffs)
Breakfast – Oatmeal and Strawberries, maple syrup, nuts and milk
Snack – Fruit (apple slices and peanut butter)
Lunch – Leftover nuggets, potatoes and vegetables
Snack – Fruit Source Bars
Dinner – Smoky Hickory Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers, potatoes, salad and raw vegetables (peppers, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower) and dip
Snack – Cereal with sliced banana
Breakfast – Oatmeal and apples, cinnamon, maple syrup, walnuts, milk
Snack – Crackers and juice (whole grain Ritz)
Snack – Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwiches, Grapes and Silk
Dinner – Leftover Burgers, potatoes, salad and raw vegetables.
Snack – Fruit
Breakfast – Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes
Snack – Fruit (apples, grapes)
Lunch – Leftover Soup and Bread
Snack – Rice Cakes and Fruit Bars
Dinner – ‘Honey’ Dijon Tofu Salad Sandwiches and raw vegetables
Snack – Oatmeal and blueberries/nuts/maple syrup and milk
Breakfast – Cashew Butter and Apple Butter Wraps with Banana and Almond Milk
Snack – Apples
Lunch – Leftover Soup and Bread
Snack – Nuts/Dried Fruit
Snack – Cereal and Banana
Breakfast – Toast with Almond Butter and Apple Butter, Banana and Almond Milk
Snack – Fruit
Lunch – Leftover Soup and Bread
Snack – Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Dinner – Tofu Dogs, Salad and Raw Vegetables
Snack – Chocolate Chip Cookies and Almond Milk (recipe below)
Here is the recipe for the Chocolate Chip Cookies I made last night!
Healthy Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
I hate when I am looking up healthy baking recipes and come across recipes with ‘healthy’ in the title when they are still made with tons of sugar, butter and white flour. I decided to call this chocolate chip cookie recipe healthy, offering new hope to those who are searching for a healthier treat. These soft cookies are made with whole wheat flour, pure maple syrup in place of what would be sugar and canola oil instead of what would be butter. One of our new favorite cookies!
Makes 20 cookies
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2/3 cup sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, sea salt. Add the chocolate chips. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, sunflower oil and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the medium mixing bowl and mix until combined. Drop a tablespoon-size amount of the cookie dough onto the baking sheet, leaving a bit of space between the cookies as they will expand. Continue to drop the dough to make 20 cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until very lightly golden.
The dough will seem kind of soft and oily, but this is the best batch of vegan chocolate chip cookies that I have attempted and the first I have posted, so believe me, these are really good!
I found keeping track of our family’s meals really helpful for me and am going to try today to sit down and plan out this week’s meals and stick to them. I foresee more variety as I am feeling better today and more like cooking again. We also did our grocery shopping on the weekend so I have a lot of ingredients to get creative with!
Do you find this post helpful? Would you like to see more meal plan posts? Do you have any specific questions you would like me to help answer for you in another post regarding the way our family eats, vegan food or meals? Let me know by leaving a comment below, I would love to hear from you! 🙂
Have a great day!