Vegetarian Meal Ideas For One Week For Those New To The Veggie Life

Welcome to the veg life.

There are many different reasons why people decide to follow a vegetarian diet, but it can be hard for first timers to find nutritious and delicious meals to cook. This is my second time following the veggie lifestyle and I still struggle with finding what I can make—especially since I’m no David Chang in the kitchen.

My best friend and I have been sharing healthy vegetarian-friendly recipes for the past two weeks on our quest to cook more meals with feel good foods that are easy to make. Both moms (and not the greatest chefs), we set out to find recipes that are simple, tasty and NOT time consuming.

Both former vegetarians (thanks a lot pregnancy cravings) looking to go back to a mainly meatless diet, bouncing meals ideas back and forth has become really fun.

Going back to a veggie life was actually my steak loving husband’s idea, as he is looking to clean up his diet. I am looking to learn how to make better tasting veggie meals for him, since he isn’t one to eat quinoa and having zuchinni noodles won’t fill him up as an entree. For me, I could live off of spinach-based salads and call it a day, but I get that he needs a little more substance. And since I am training for a half marathon, I really do too.

Thus started my recipe quest with my bestie, asking her for ideas and sharing mine. It was her who requested my food diary to see what I eat in a given week since my cooking kick has produced some tasty looking dishes—all while fueling my body for my recent beast mode status of running long distance and racing.

My response ? That I would be too embarrassed by writing down the amount of snacks and iced caramel lattes from Dunkin that I consume in a week. Her response? That would be the best part, of course—revealing that I am human, too.

I decided to go for it, since I haven’t kept a food log in forever and it would make force me to have some self control and focus on cooking.

So here’s a weeks worth of vegetarian meal ideas for those looking to start following this diet, featuring wholesome and nutritious, as well as sugary and delicious treats. Life is all about balance anyway!

MONDAY

Breakfast

2 cups of coffe with 3 tbsp of vanilla creamer each (It’s MONDAY!!)

Homemade strawberry banana bread (I used almond flour instead and added in walnuts)

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Lunch

1 large Portabella stuffed mushroom (added diced mushrooms to the stuffing, and substituted cheese for Gorgonzola. Also used champagne vinaigrette dressing instead of Italian.)

2 pieces of zucchini cheesy “bread”

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Water with lemon and apple cider vinegar

Snack

Pistachios (a few handfuls)

Fruit & veggie green smoothie with almond milk

Dinner

Veggie burger burrito (veggie burger, organic brown rice, spinach, yellow peppers and mushrooms, hot sauce and sour cream on a tortilla)

Snack

Englightened mint chocolate chip ice cream

Water

 

TUESDAY

Breakfast

Strawberry banana peach almond milk smooithie

Strawberry banana walnut bread

Lunch

Cauliflower crack with Light Ranch dipping sauce

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1 piece of zucchini cheesy “bread”

Workout: 5 mile run

Water

Snack

Chocolate strawberry protein shake

Dinner

2 stuffed Portabella mushrooms

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 9.13.56 AM

Red pepper hummus with Ritz crackers

Snack

Wine night!! (about 4 glasses, sorry not sorry)

Mozzarella  cheese stick and more crackers

Water

WEDNESDAY

Breakfast

Coffee with 3 tbsp of vanilla creamer

Granola bites

Water

Lunch

Cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter

Workout: 10 mile run

During workout: GU gel (100 calories)

Water

Snack

Medium chocolate peanut butter plus shake from Smoothie King

Handful of corn poppers

Dinner

Left over cauliflower crack with light ranch

Spinach salad with shredded carrots, roasted pecans, Gorgonzola cheese and champagne vinaigrette dressing

Water

Hot peppermint tea with apple cider vinegar and raw manuka honey

Snack

Enlightened Birthday Cake ice cream 1/2 pint (140 calories; I ran 10 miles today, don’t judge me!)

THURSDAY

Breakfast

2 scrambled eggs with a little ketchup

Coffee with 3 tbsp vanilla creamer

+ half a mini pancake (left over from toddler’s breakfast)

Lunch

Spinach salad with shredded carrots, blue cheese crumbles, roasted pecans and strawberry balsamic dressing

Water

Snack

Dunkin Donuts iced caramel latte with skim milk

Blueberry muffin

Dinner

1 Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Pepper (pepper stuffed with brown rice, cheddar cheese, broccoli and marina sauce)

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 11.46.15 AM

1 small loaded sweet potato (sweet potato topped with broccoli, diced yellow pepper, cheddar cheese and sour cream

Water

Dessert

2 sweet potato cookies (recipe from Run Fast, Eat Slow)

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 9.13.36 AM

Friday

Breakfast

2 sweet potato cookies

Coffee with 3 tbsp of vanilla creamer

Workout: Kickboxing class

Snack

Harvest Snaps – Chipotle Lime

Lunch

Suja Green Delight fruit & veggie juice (apple, banana, mango, lemon, kale, spinach, spirulina, chlorella, barely grass, alfalfa grass)

Butternut squash noddles with Classico sun dried tomato alfredo sauce

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 11.46.05 AM

1 small loaded sweet potato

Dinner

Chinese takeout: salmon terrioyki and spicy tuna roll (this turned out to be a pescartarian week)

 

Saturday

Breakfast

Superhero muffin

Water

Workout:  Max Challenege 5k race (did 3.8 miles)

Post run snack

Plain bagel (no butter or cream cheese)

Medium Dunkin Donuts caramel latte

Lunch

Shrimp Po Boy

Fried Oreo (3 pieces)

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 11.58.59 AM

Dinner

Falafael sandwich with lettuce, tomato and hot sauce

Snack

Harvest Snaps- Sun dried tomato

(*Clearly this was a cheat day of unhealthy foods, but was a park fair so it’s all about enjoying the moment and eating in moderation.)

 

Sunday

Breakfast

Coffee and vanilla creamer

Banana

Lunch

Vegfest food festival- Vegan buffalo meatballs

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 9.05.22 AM

Spinach empanada

 

Dinner

Shrimp with cherry tomatoes and spaghetti (from Run Fast, East Slow cookbook)

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What I learned from this week

Writing down what I eat made me want to think twice about snacking or reaching for unhealthy foods. With that said, looking at this diary made me realize I drink a lot of coffee and need to be more mindful about snacking better. I also learned to try new things in the kitchen. Not every meal is going to be amazing, but these are all meals I would make again give or take a few ingredients. Moving forward, I am looking to up my game in the kitchen and experiment more!

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