Disclosure: All reviews are my true and honest opinions. Posts may contain affiliate links where I earn a small commission from your purchase, but I will always let you know which links those are. :)

Friday, September 21, 2018

Vegan + Meat Eater Monthly Meal Plan for September 2018

The last time I showed our monthly meal plan was for JANUARY!
I started my journey to veganism on Memorial Day. We meal plan every month. But this is the first time I am coming at you with our vegan/meat-eater meal plan, so let's hop right in!

I'm vegan, my husband eats whatever he wants.

This plan isn't set in stone, it just helps me figure out the shopping list. We switch things up occasionally. 

If you're interested in how I keep myself and my husband happy, check out this post HERE where I show you meal ideas for vegan/vegetarian and meat eating families. 


This is the schedule we tend to stick to:

Mon. – easy, minimal prep
                Grilled cheese
                Breakfast for dinner
    Taco salad (w/ leftover meat)

Tues. – leftovers from Sat.

Wed. – more prep
                Beef & broccoli w/ rice
                Teriyaki/orange chicken w/ rice
                Philly cheese steak w/ fries
    Baked spaghetti w/ garlic bread

Thurs. – medium prep/other
Crockpot chicken, potatoes, carrots 
            One pot veg pasta
            Spaghetti w/ garlic bread

Fri. – fun meals
            Flatbread pizza
Burgers w/ fries
Fried chicken w/ potatoes
Sloppy joes w/ fries

Sat* – big meal w/ enough for leftovers
                Mexican casserole
                Lasagna w/ garlic bread
                Chili w/ red lobster biscuits
                Potato soup w/ red lobster biscuits (still haven't tried this one veganized yet, if you have a recipe suggestion, let me know!)

*I only plan one meal for the weekend and it goes on "Saturday" on the menu. It's not always made on Saturday. Sometimes we eat with other family, go out for dinner, attend parties, etc. Aside from the one big meal of the weekend, other meals tend to be "whatever sounds good in the moment."


I hope this was helpful in some way! I love meal planning and always knowing what's for dinner, but still being flexible if we decide to go out or want something different.

I love you guys!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Best Vegan Cheese Sauce

This is the yummiest cheese sauce I've come up with so far. Plus, it's actually good for you! I'll use it for everything.

1/2 cup cashews, soaked
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp pepper

Soak the cashews at least 2 hrs, drain.
Blend all ingredients until smooth.


Nachos (actually approved by my super picky, non-vegan husband!)
Pasta (even mac n cheese!)
Grilled cheese (just not stretchy)
Cheesy filling for ravioli or wontons (haven't tried yet but it sounds so good)
Cheesy broccoli and cauliflower (my mom used to make that all the time when we were little)
Baked potato?!
Dip for anything you can think of...
There are endless possibilities for this yummy sauce and I can't wait to try them all!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Appreciating the Little Things in Motherhood

Yesterday was my day off with the boys. And the day went awesome. Everyone woke up at around 6-6:30. I filmed a YouTube video at my desk while the boys played on my bed. We went downstairs and put the diaper laundry in the dryer from the night before and hung the covers out on the drying rack outside. I also filmed another video while we were outside. Eren got tired so I put him in the swing, and I was able to edit those two videos while Calvin watched TV. I folded the diaper laundry and started a load of regular laundry. I swept the kitchen, did the dishes from the night before, and even cleaned the downstairs half bath. I felt super accomplished. And all of this took place before 11 am. Eren wasn't having that great of a day, he was only sleeping in 30-45 min increments, but it was still maybe my most productive solo day ever since Eren was born! And I just wish everyday was like that!

But every day is not like that. It's just that simple. Some days I wake up with an attitude, or I forget to feed myself and get hangry and my fuse is really short. Some days Eren wants to nurse every hour on the hour and I have no time to do anything else. Some days the children seem to be having a pooping contest to see how many diapers I can change before lunchtime! Haha. And, simply put, sometimes a good day can turn less than good in just a moment's time.

Motherhood has surely taught me to take things a little less serious. If we're just not having a good day, I won't even attempt to accomplish household things or YouTube work. Some days I have to tell myself, "you're not going to accomplish anything today, just let it go." And those are the days when I let it all go and only tend to the children. And you simply can't predict which days will run smoothly and which ones will feel more difficult.

So even though the morning was awesome, the afternoon wasn't quite as great. Eren slept for about 30 min at the beginning of Cal's nap, but then was not very happy for the rest of the napping period. He didn't really want to nurse and he still sounded awfully tired, but didn't want to nap either. So I didn't get much down time to myself for the day. But I still felt so accomplished. And I still felt super happy and grateful for the day.

Awesome days don't happen all the time, but motherhood has changed my definition of an awesome day and has taught me to appreciate the little things more.

(written several weeks ago)

I hope you're having a good day today. :)

Friday, September 7, 2018

Easy One Pot Vegan Pasta

This batch has zucchini, broccoli, and sun-dried tomatoes chopped finely with a slice of toasted sourdough bread on the side.

This is my go-to favorite pasta since starting my transition to veganism.
I thought I would never be able to satisfy the craving for a nice, creamy pasta sauce, but seriously, this stuff is delicious!
You will NOT feel like this pasta is lacking. You won't miss cheese at all. Cooking the pasta in plant milk and veggie broth gives it sooo much flavor on its own!


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
1 cup veg broth
1/2 cup plant milk (like unsweetened cashew or almond)
2 cups macaroni pasta, uncooked
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup (or more) each of chopped zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, or whatever else sounds yummy.
tomatoes - sundried, grape, or cherry


Use a pan with a lid.
Heat up the olive oil in the pan.
Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds to a minute.
Add the veg broth and plant milk. (If I don't have veg broth I'll just add 1 cup of water with a bouillon cube. You shouldn't need to add salt because the broth is salty enough.)
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Let simmer for 15-20 min. Check to see the liquid has evaporated and the pasta is soft.
From there, you can add whatever extras you like. I like roasted veggies.

Serve on its own, with a bread stick, or a slice of yummy sourdough bread, & eat up!

For the veggies:
Since my husband hates veggies, I cook them in the oven separately and just add them to my dish at the end. I'll toss them in olive oil and throw them in the oven at 425 for 25 minutes. I actually prefer my broccoli this way, I love when it gets a teeny bit charred on the edges. I usually add the tomatoes to the finished pasta, uncooked.

I hope you enjoy this pasta as much as I do. I could eat this every night, seriously.


Thursday, September 6, 2018

My Veggie Burger Recipe : Black Beans, Chickpeas, & Sweet Potato

I've been making these for a couple years now, before I ever thought about going vegan. (I've never been a big fan of traditional beef burgers to begin with). These are delicious and actually survive the grill! I cook them in the oven and freeze them for future use. I would definitely recommend!

1 large sweet potato
1 cup (dry) chickpeas
1/2 cup (dry) black beans
1 bell pepper diced
1/2 of a sweet onion diced
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 flax egg (1 T ground flax, 3 T water mixed and set in fridge 10 min)
1 1/2 cup (dry) oats, ground (I measure before grinding)
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Form into patties.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 min, flipping halfway.
Makes 10-12 burgers.

Soak the dry chickpeas and black beans overnight.

Put the sweet potato, chickpeas, and black beans in the crockpot (8 hrs on low, 4 hours on high).

Drain everything from the crockpot and put in a large mixing bowl. It's going to be hot, so you should wait awhile before you start mixing with your hands.

Start your flax egg by grinding 1 Tbsp of flax seed and adding it to 3 T of water. Put this in the fridge for at least 10 minutes so it can set and thicken to the weird, egg-like consistency you need.

While you have the blender out, grind up your oats too. Add to the bowl with the beans and sweet potato.

Chop up your bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Add to the bowl. Add seasonings. Add the flax egg. Mix everything together. I like to use a potato masher to get the consistency I like. I leave about 1/4 of the beans whole.

Then make the patties. If the mixture is a little too wet, you can add a bit of flour to your hands or the mixture itself. I can fit about 8 patties to a baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 min. You can eat them straight out of the oven, but I bet you're not going to be serving a dozen at a time, so you can also freeze them. I'll freeze them right on the baking sheet, then once frozen the next morning, I'll throw them into a big gallon Ziploc bag. When you're ready to eat them again, just throw it on the grill or in a pan and cook like a regular burger, no thawing needed.

before cooking

These really hold up on the grill! I have come across many veggie burgers that absolutely fall apart and these are not one of them!


I love these burgers. I'll put some spicy hummus and ketchup on top and they are awesome!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Healthy Vegan Lasagna with Lentils Sauce and Chickpea Cheesy Layers

served with a french baguette with veg butter, garlic powder, mozzarella, and vegan parmesan 

I recently wanted some lasagna. So I watched a few videos, looked up some recipes on Pinterest and ultimately just decided to wing it with the tidbits of info I gathered online. So here is the lasagna I made a couple weeks ago. And it was delicious and totally hit the spot!

I'm sure you all know how to make lasagna, so let me just tell you the jist of things here.
I used lentils instead of meat.
I used a chickpea blend for the cheese.
I used store bought pasta sauce because I'm lazy.
I used magical no-boil lasagna noodles also because I'm lazy.
So pretty much the only thing you need to know is how to make the cheesy part.

"Cheese" recipe
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 Tbsp basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Throw it all in the food processor until it looks nice and mixed.
Then I crumbled it in my hands into the lasagna.

crumbled "cheese" layer

Other stuff you need:
Lasagna noodles (9)
Pasta sauce (nearly a whole jar)
1/2 cup (measured dry) Lentils, cooked

I'm sure you know how to layer lasagna, but here are the layers I made from bottom to top: sauce, noodles, sauce, cheese, lentils with sauce, noodles, etc.

Baked it according to the noodle box instructions at 375 F for 50 minutes with foil on top, then I removed the foil and baked another 10 minutes.

I did use a little bit of vegan Parmesan on top just to make it look a little more interesting than just the sauce. You could use store bought veg mozzarella or leave it plain.

I hope you enjoy it!