Yes, meal prep can be streamlined without being boring. These four easy recipes will get you through the week, and only require about an hour of prep.
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This vegan baked potato recipe kicks up dinner an easy notch with its savory toppings, and can be sped up with a handy shortcut!
A baked potato is an American classic. With its filling starchy-goodness, it’s the perfect comfort meal after a long day. A loaded vegan baked potato is healthier since it uses cholesterol-free ingredients. That makes this meal heart-friendly since there won’t be any artery clogging that usually comes along with non-vegan toppings.
If you’re thinking a vegan baked potato means no bacon, think again. Tempeh bacon is a great substitute since it’s full of protein and takes on a smoky flavor when cooked right. Plus, it adds that crunchy goodness that’s so satisfying.
Russet potatoes also contain noteworthy nutrients that will make you feel good about eating them. They are a great source of potassium, protein, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium, and iron.
Be sure to leave your potato unpeeled and eat the skin. The skin of potatoes contains a large majority of the nutrients. Iron, especially, is found in higher quantities in the skin rather than in the flesh. Plus, the skin takes on a crispy, delicious texture once baked!
If you’d like to make this recipe quicker and more hands-off, make the tempeh bacon in advance. It should stay good for up to four days in the refrigerator.
Ultimate Vegan Baked Potato Recipe
- 4 large russet potatoes, rinsed and scrubbed
- 2 tablespoons safflower oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 8 ounces tempeh
- 2 tablespoons safflower oil
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Dash of liquid smoke
- Toppings: Vegan butter, sliced green onions, vegan cheese, vegan sour cream
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large rimmed baking tray with parchment paper or a baking mat. Brush each potato with oil and then place on the baking tray. Pierce each potato a few times with a knife. Bake for about 40-50 minutes, until fork tender.
- Meanwhile, slice tempeh thinly into long strips. Add oil, tamari, maple syrup, sea salt, and liquid smoke to a bowl and whisk. Add tempeh and toss thoroughly to coat.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh and let cook for five to seven minutes on each side until crispy and golden brown. Remove from heat.
- Slice an “X” in each cooked potato. Push together each end to form an opening. Add one to two tablespoons butter inside each potato. Then, top with vegan cheese and return to oven for three minutes, or until cheese has melted. Top with vegan sour cream, green onions, and tempeh bacon. Serve immediately and enjoy!
If you are concerned about calories, adding additional toppings like vegan cheese, sour cream and more, will up the calorie count of this recipe depending on how much you add.
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Stir-fries have a lot going for them. For one, they’re super easy to make—usually all you need is a pan and about 15 minutes to throw one together, which is perfect whether you’re too busy for something more complicated or you’re super hungry and need food ASAP. And since they’re almost always made of some combo of vegetables and protein, served over a whole grain like rice, they make for a balanced meal. Basically, a stir-fry is the perfect no-fuss weeknight dinner.
Some of these 14 recipes expand upon the stir-fry formula of oil + ingredients + soy sauce. They experiment with all kinds of different spices, sauces, veggies, and proteins. There’s a tofu option that’ll take you less than 10 minutes to make; a curried, grain-based version that’ll rock your world; a fiery, simple kung pao shrimp recipe; and so many more. All of them have the fiber, protein, and healthy carbs you need to feel satisfied, and none of them have more than 500 calories.
To be clear, you don’t need to count calories to be healthy, and some people are better off ignoring them completely. But whether or not that’s something you’re doing, these easy, healthy, delicious stir-fries are worth adding to your dinner rotation.
Have an extra cozy and autumn-inspired pasta night with this simple sweet potato pasta with creamy garlic tahini sauce. Consider it pasta Alfredo, elevated.
Sweet Potato Pasta Ingredients
Made with just a handful of pantry staples, plus everyone’s favorite root vegetable, this sweet potato pasta can be on the table in less than fifteen minutes.
Sweet potatoes make for a delicious (and super nutritious) noodle. These tubers are rich in a variety of nutrients including vitamins A, B6, and C, potassium, iron, copper, and fiber. They’re also abundant in phytochemicals and antioxidants, compounds that work to protect the body from oxidative stress and cell damage.
Use a spiralizer to make long strands of sweet potato noodles. No spiralizer? Many natural grocery stores such as Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s sell sweet potato noodles (among other spiralized vegetables) ready to go in the refrigerated section.
Spiralized sweet potatoes are then topped with a creamy, vegan sauce made of tahini, almond milk, garlic, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice, which can be blended up, in a small blender or food processor.
Tahini, made from ground sesame seeds, gives the sauce a perfectly nutty flavor, along with a variety of vitamins and minerals, like calcium. Nutritional yeast imparts a cheesy flavor, while lemon juice brightens and adds balance.
Sauté the sweet potato pasta with the creamy tahini sauce and have a nourishing dinner ready to go in no time.
Sweet Potato Pasta with Garlic Tahini Sauce
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley, to garnish (optional)
- Using a spiralizer, carefully spiralize sweet potato into long noodles. Set aside.
- Make the sauce: In a small blender (like a bullet) or food processor, combine all sauce ingredients: tahini, almond milk, garlic clove, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and sea salt and pepper to taste. Blend on high until sauce is combined and creamy. Add more almond milk to thin, if necessary.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add sweet potato noodles and sauté for five minutes, or until noodles become slightly tender. Stir in sauce (you may have extra) and sauté for an additional five minutes, or until sauce is warmed and pasta is creamy.
- Divide pasta between two dishes and garnish with parsley, if desired.
Related On Organic Authority
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Photos by Kate Gavlick
Whether you’re a wellness aficionado who’s obsessed with healthy food blogs or a junk food lover who enjoys the occasional salad, chances are, you’ve heard of Whole30, a 30-day elimination diet that promises to benefit your digestive system with some seriously ascetic dietary changes.
Whole30 participants are asked to avoid grains, soy, dairy, most legumes (like beans and peanuts), added sugar, alcohol, and processed goods for the month they’re doing the program. So what is on the menu? Veggies, fruit, meat, fish, and healthy fats—like olive oil and (some) nuts.
The reasoning: According to the creators of Whole30, foods on the “banned” list are associated with food intolerances and other dietary problems. By staying away from these foods for 30 days, you’re giving your body a chance to “reset,” according to Whole30’s creators. Once you’re finished with the 30 days, you can slowly reintroduce these foods back into your life—all the while paying attention to how they make you feel. Think of it as a really strict, monthlong elimination diet, basically.
Now, for a quick caveat: SELF has reported at length that going on an elimination diet without first consulting a doctor is a Bad Idea. Elimination diets can be great diagnostic tools for helping people pinpoint (and avoid) specific irritants, but only when done under the care and supervision of a licensed professional. Why? If you don’t consult a doctor before (and while) trying an elimination diet—especially one that’s as strict as Whole30—you might not be getting all the nutrients you need. So if you’re thinking about participating in Whole30 at all, go ahead and call up your doctor. Talk the program through with them before banning cheese and peanut butter from your life for the next month. It’ll be worth it—I promise.
Let’s get back to business. If you’re planning to do a Whole30 (or if you’re in the midst of one right now), you’re probably finding that many of your go-to recipes aren’t compliant. Bummer, but there’s a silver lining: It’s an excuse to expand your cooking repertoire and experiment with ingredients you wouldn’t usually include on your grocery list.
“A great thing about the Whole30 from a dietitian’s perspective is the fact that it brings your attention to food quality while opening up your food world to a whole host of foods you may have never thought to include in your diet,” Jessica Beacom, R.D., tells SELF. On her blog, The Real Food Dietitians, Beacom has published tons of Whole30 recipes, hoping to inspire readers to try new foods and different cooking techniques.
And a quick perusal of the internet—or, you know, a quick skim through this article—will reveal to you that Beacom’s not the only one churning out Whole30 inspo. There are myriad healthy food blogs publishing Whole30-compliant recipes that are as delicious as they are healthy, so you can rest assured knowing your life won’t consist of meat-and-vegetables monotony for the month you’re doing the program.
Below, you’ll find 19 blogs that are chock full of yummy, Whole30-compliant recipes. These blogs have dozens (some even have hundreds!) of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack recipes to choose from. Most of them are so good that you might even keep cooking them after your Whole30 days are up.
I love breakfast for so many reasons, but especially because it’s always reliably cheap to make. No matter how tight my finances, I can always count on an affordable carton of eggs or a giant, $3 caninster of oats to help me make something tasty, healthy, and satisfying enough to get me through my morning.
In fact, most classic breakfast ingredients are similarly inexpensive, which means it’s entirely possible to make a cheap morning meal on the regular. Believe it or not, anything from frittatas to chilaquiles can be made at home for less than $2 per serving, so you can save your money for fancier meals and still eat something totally amazing before noon.
Instead of figuring out the math yourself, make one of these 15 recipes, all of which will cost you less than $2 per serving. (Either the blogger calculated and provided this information, or we did the math using prices from Peapod.) In addition to being tasty and cheap, they’re filled with the fiber, protein, and healthy carbs you need to conquer your day. So they’re good for your wallet and even better for your body.
Chances are, you’ve heard about the Whole30 diet. Maybe you’ve tried it (or at least researched it), or perhaps you know it as the reason why your colleague isn’t eating peanut butter right now. In a nutshell, Whole30 is a 30-day elimination diet that entirely cuts out grains, legumes (beans, lentils, peanuts, etc.), soy, dairy, added sugars, and processed foods. Oh, and no booze, either. Anyone on the Whole30 will spend 30 days eating tons of fresh veggies, meat, seafood, fruit, eggs, nuts, seeds, and certain oils. You can find the official program rules here.
Sound restrictive? That’s because it is. Eliminating entire food groups is hard, and SELF has reported at length that going on an elimination diet without first consulting a doctor is a bad idea. (Anyone with a history of disordered eating should likely steer clear of the Whole30 or any other plan that involves restrictive rules, but again, your best bet is to consult a doctor.) If you do decide to take on a Whole30, a doctor or a registered dietitian can give you expert advice on how to make sure you’re getting the energy and nutrients you need throughout the 30-day program.
If you’re planning to do a Whole30 (or if you’re in the midst of one right now), you’re probably finding that many of your go-to recipes aren’t compliant. Bummer, but there’s a silver lining: It’s an excuse to expand your cooking repertoire and experiment with ingredients you wouldn’t usually include on your grocery list.
These 31 easy breakfast recipes are a great starting point. Even if you’re not doing a Whole30 and just want to shake up your breakfast routine with new protein- and veggie-packed options, these dishes are tasty and satisfying.