" We're here to facilitate your plant-based journey "

PlantPlate.com is here to provide the recipes, information, and practical advice needed to follow a healthy plant-based diet. Whether you're interested in improving your health, losing weight, or eating more sustainably, a whole foods plant-based diet may be the perfect solution for you.

My name's Emma, and I started PlantPlate in 2013 with the help of my husband Scott, a web developer and fellow plantivore. I’m a certified Plant-Based Nutritionist who loves to cook, and I've followed a plant-based diet for over a decade. Having lived in various locations throughout the world - sometimes on a shoestring budget, and often with irregular and demanding work schedules - I’ve had to constantly adapt my diet in order to make it work. It’s taught me a lot, and it’s motivated me to show others just how accessible and enjoyable this way of eating can be.

The recipes featured on PlantPlate are based on minimally processed plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. They're free from all animal products, processed oils and refined carbohydrates, and are made with simple and affordable ingredients. Our articles are aimed at providing you with plant-based know-how when it comes to shopping, cooking, nutrition and day-to-day living. We have answers to common questions and share practical knowledge that we have acquired through experience. Finally, the resources section contains links to books, DVDs, and video presentations from some of the world's leading experts on plant-based nutrition. It is our hope that these resources will help you to fully understand and evaluate the health benefits of this wonderful way of eating.

Welcome to PlantPlate!  We hope you enjoy your visit. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email us at contact@plantplate.com.

The information on this website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat health problems or illnesses without first consulting your doctor.

How to Plan Weekly Menus

Learn how to plan a week's worth of plant-based meals, with menu samples to help get you started!

Whether you're catering to a family of 5, or only cooking for one, planning meals for the week ahead is a great way to save time and money.

 

"How does planning ahead save me time?" 

Well, for starters, you won't have to spend any time um-ing and ah-ing in front of the fridge each night! By co-ordinating your week, you can have leftovers prepared for lunches, enough cooked grains for 3-4 days at a time, and pre-made sauces and dressings for meals throughout the week. All these things = less time spent in the kitchen each day.

 

"How can planning ahead save me money?"

Because you'll know what exactly what you're shopping for in advance, and will therefore only buy what you need (except maybe that trashy magazine at the check-out counter.)

So how do you plan a weekly menu? You can start by following these seven simple steps:

1. Set aside time to do the planning. Sunday afternoons or Friday evenings are fantastic for menu-planning. Regardless of which specific day is convenient for you, make sure that it's one or two days before you do your groceries, so that you have time to make a comprehensive shopping list. If you have a partner or a family, they can also be included in the process. Let them pick out one or two recipes they'd like to try for dinner, or have them choose what they eat for breakfast.
2. Don't over-complicate things. Stick with one or two breakfast options, keep lunches quick and easy during the week, and don't plan to make a dinner with 17 different components when you have 20 other things to do that night.
3. Use the same ingredients 2, 3 or 4 times. If you're making black beans for Monday's dinner, use them again in Tuesday’s lunch or Wednesday's dinner. The same goes for grains- if you use brown rice 3 or 4 times during the week, cook all that you need in one batch, and refrigerate the rest. This approach can literally save you hours!
4. Try to make as few grocery trips as possible. Once a week is great if you can, but you may have to go 2 or 3 times depending on your location or living situation. No matter how often you go, be sure to make a list and stick to it! This will help you to avoid impulse buys, which can save you a lot of money in the long run.
5. Make leftovers. Chillies, soups, stews and pastas make great "leftover" lunches, meaning that you don't have to go out of your way to prepare lunch every day. 
6. Leave room for a couple of improvised meals. This gives you the freedom to use up what's left at the end of the week, and to avoid wasting food if you end up having to eat away from home.
7. Buy enough food for between meal snacks. If you don't, you'll end up buying them when you're out, and you probably won't make the best choices if you're really hungry! Stock up on fresh fruit, vegetables, brown rice cakes, raw nuts and seeds, or extra legumes for making dips.

 

If you'd like to see how to put these principles into action, we have 2 examples of menu plans below. Menu 1 is based entirely on recipes; it is more structured, and perfect for those who want to learn to cook complete plant-based meals. Menu 2 is based simply on combinations of ingredients. This allows you to "personalise" you meals and make them as creative or basic as you like.

 

SAMPLE MENU 1RECIPE BASED

 

Monday

Dinner: Quick Spiced Refried Beans (make enough for tomorrow's lunch) + Brown Rice (make enough for tomorrow's lunch) + Salad Vegetables

Tuesday

Lunch: Quick Spiced Refried Beans + Brown Rice +  Salad Vegetables
Dinner: Carrot, Orange and Ginger Soup (keep leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch) + Whole Grain Bread

Wednesday

Lunch: Carrot, Orange and Ginger Soup + Whole Grain Bread
Dinner: Rainbow Grain Bowl (make enough for tomorrow's lunch)

Thursday

Lunch: Rainbow Grain Bowl (leftovers)
Dinner: Lentil Bolognaise (make enough for tomorrow's lunch) + Salad or Steamed Greens

Friday

Lunch: Lentil Bolognaise (leftovers)
Dinner: Chickpea and Sweet Potato Satay (make enough for lunch tomorrow)

Saturday

Lunch: Chickpea and Sweet Potato Satay (leftovers)
Dinner: "Throw Together Meal" (use up what's in your fridge)

Sunday

Lunch: Whole-wheat Pitas with Salad and Healthy Hummus
Dinner: 7 Minute Soup (make enough for tomorrow's lunch) + Whole Grain Bread


 

SAMPLE MENU 2: SIMPLE COMBINATIONS

Add your favourite herbs, spices, sauces or dressings to complete your meals.

 

Monday

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Fresh Fruit
Lunch: Sweet Potato + Summer Squash + Leafy Greens
Dinner: Chickpeas + Sweet Potato + Leafy Greens

Tuesday

Breakfast: Whole Grain Bread + Nut Butter and Banana
Lunch: Chickpeas + Millet + Summer Squash
Dinner: Millet + Black Beans + Leafy Greens

Wednesday

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Fresh Fruit
Lunch: Black Beans + Sweet Corn + Tomatoes
Dinner: Whole Wheat Pasta + Mushrooms + Tomatoes + Spinach

Thursday:

Breakfast: Whole Grain Bread + Nut Butter and Banana
Lunch: Potato + Lentils + Leafy Greens
Dinner: Brown Rice + Lentils + Carrots + Sweet Corn

Friday

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Fresh Fruit
Lunch: Brown Rice + Kidney Beans + Leafy Greens
Dinner: Kidney Beans + Quinoa + Carrots + Tomatoes

Saturday

Breakfast: Whole Grain Bread + Nut Butter and Banana
Lunch: Quinoa + Beets + Leafy Greens
Dinner: Buckwheat + Mushrooms + Leafy Greens

Sunday

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Fresh Fruit
Lunch: Buckwheat + Beets + Carrots
Dinner: "Throw Together Meal"

 

 

Article photo courtesy of shimelle via Flickr