Dan and I are spending the week housesitting in my parent's neighborhood. It's been a fun opportunity to see how another family runs...


Dan and I are spending the week housesitting in my parent's neighborhood. It's been a fun opportunity to see how another family runs their house, what it's like to have cats and chickens, and to see how much work two teenagers are.

I have also been cooking healthy vegan meals for four this past week. I planned the menu assuming their was nothing in the pantry, and then adjusted accordingly. What we ended up with was an almost entirely self-contained menu for nine days, with enough food to feed a hungry family of four.

To scale down for two people, you can buy the same foods over the course of almost 3 weeks--just plan on repeating meals. (Have Monday's meal on Monday and Wednesday; Tuesday's meal on Tuesday and Thursday; then make Wednesday's meal for Friday and Sunday and have leftovers on Saturday.)

If your family eats a lot (more than two active teenagers and two 20-somethings), feel free to supplement with additional snacks like a box of crackers or granola bars.

Below, you can find the meal plan and shopping list. This would be a great resource if you want to try going vegan for a week! Take advantage of the bulk foods section to get the right amount of most nuts and seeds; you can also buy grains from this section.

By the end of the week, you will theoretically have used up everything on the list. Feel free to pull from your pantry for substitutions (e.g. dried cranberries instead of raisins, or mixed hot cereal instead of oats).

What you'll need:

fresh fruit (2-3 pieces per person per day)

apples (2)
raisins (3 cups)
bananas (5-8)

frozen blueberries (2 bags)
lemon (1-2)

lime (1-2)

beet (1)
broccoli/alfalfa sprouts
cucumber (2)
bell pepper (5)
cherry tomatoes
avocado (3)
broccoli (4 heads)
Brussels sprouts (15-18 per person)
onion (2-3)
lettuce (2 heads)
sweet potato (10)
mixed greens (frozen spinach, kale, etc.)
kabocha squash (2)
radishes (1 bunch)
green cabbage (1 head)
celery (1 bunch)
baby carrots
red cabbage (1 head)
garlic (1 head)

Cans, Jars and Sauces
tomatoes (2 cans, chopped)
navy beans (1 can)
corn (1 can)
fire roasted green chilies (1 can)
pumpkin (1 can)
tahini (1 jar)
coconut milk (2 cans)
pinto beans (2 can)
kidney beans (2 can)
jarred salsa
black beans (4 cans)
peanut butter (1 jar)
hummus (big tub)
chickpeas (5 cans)
bell pepper spread (vegan)

Grains, Nuts, Seeds
naan or pita bread (8-12 pieces)
bagels (4)
quinoa (2 cups dry)
vegan trail mix (2 pounds)
French bread
cold cereal (8 servings worth)
pasta (2.5 pounds)
pepitas (1-2 cups)
oatmeal (6 cups dry)
sliced bread ***
brown rice (5 cups dry)
tortillas (20 medium/small corn)
chia seeds (4T)

non-dairy milk (1 gallon) ***
extra firm tofu (4)
Field Roast dogs or vegan sausages (6-8)
silken tofu (1 package)

Spices - optional items are in ( )

0.25c curry powder
soy sauce or teriyaki sauce
salt + pepper
olive oil
(garlic powder)
(ground cumin)
(organic sugar)

*** Note: Most sliced breads are not vegan. They often either contain honey or a milk derivative like whey. We eat honey, and have some local brands that are dairy-free. If you can't find this option, grab some crusty French bread (usually vegan, but check), pre-slice and freeze it. Pop it on the toaster when you want a sandwich.
*** Note: We prefer soy and almond milks, and almost always buy them unsweetened (as opposed to plain, which is sweetened).

What you'll cook:
Breakfast -
In a big pot, prepare ~3 cups of dry oatmeal. While it's cooking, add two big glops of peanut butter, 2 apples cut into chunks and 1 cup of raisins. Optionally, sprinkle with cinnamon and organic sugar.
Lunch -
Make sandwiches with hummus, sliced raw beets, broccoli sprouts, cucumber and bell pepper. Add 1-2 pieces of fruit and a handful of cherry tomatoes.
Dinner - 
Cook 3 cups brown rice. Heat 2 cans of black beans. Shred a head of red cabbage and toss it with olive oil, the juice from 1 lime, chopped garlic or garlic powder and, if you have it, ground cumin. Salt + pepper to taste. Serve with warmed tortillas for make-your-own tacos.

Breakfast -
Combine the leftover brown rice with chia seeds (about 1T/cup of rice), and some non-dairy milk. Microwave or heat gently on the stove top until it makes a pudding. Add 1 cup of raisins.
Lunch - 
Pack tortilla triangles, leftover cabbage slaw, black beans and rice. Add avocado slices and some jarred salsa.
Dinner -
Oven roast 4 blocks of extra firm tofu, pressed and sliced, with 4 heads of broccoli, chopped. Make 2 dry cups of brown rice. Serve with teriyaki sauce or simply a drizzle of soy sauce.

Breakfast - 
Finish off the leftover hot cereal from Monday. If there isn't enough leftover, add extra dried or fresh fruit like sliced bananas or apples.
Lunch - 
Leftover broccoli/tofu stirfry with rice.
Dinner -
Grill Field Roast or other veggie sausages (make 2-3 extra for lunch tomorrow!) on French bread. Slice Brussels sprouts and pan fry them with a chopped onion.

Breakfast - 
Vegan cold cereal with non-dairy milk, frozen blueberries.
Lunch - 
Slice the extra sausages and toss them with a jar of bell pepper spread and cooked pasta. Add any leftover Brussels sprouts.
Dinner - 
Make a salad with lettuce, a few microwaved sweet potatoes in chunks, a sliced avocado, pepitas, a can of pinto beans, a can of kidney beans, bell pepper, cucumber and radishes. Mix remaining salsa with olive oil to make a dressing.

Breakfast - 
Split a bag of trail mix (make sure it's vegan!) evenly and top with non-dairy milk. For some crunch, sprinkle in any extra cold cereal.
Lunch - 
Small container of leftover salad, plus a peanut butter and banana sandwich.
Dinner - 
Blend 1 package of silken tofu with 1 can of pumpkin and 0.5 cup of tahini. Pan fry some greens (frozen spinach, kale, leftover raw sprouts, etc.). Cook 1.5 pounds of pasta. Combine.

Breakfast - 
Make another batch of hot cereal; this time, add a bag of nuts, seeds and dried fruit trail mix as it's cooking (i.e. nothing that melts, like chocolate chips).
Lunch - 
Add a handful of raisins or other dried fruit to the leftover pasta; any leftover pepitas are also fair game.
Dinner - 
Dice and roast two large kabocha squashes, skin on. Sautee 1-2 onions over low heat until thoroughly browned. Add 0.25c curry powder, chopped garlic, 2 cans coconut milk. When the coconut milk starts to bubble, add 3 cans drained and rinsed chickpeas and the kabocha squash. (You'll need a BIG pan, or combine at the table.) Serve with naan or pita.

Breakfast - 
Vegan cold cereal with non-dairy milk, frozen blueberries.
Lunch - 
Serve leftover flatbread with hummus, baby carrots, arugula and cucumber slices.
Dinner - 
Slow cooker chili: Open and combine 2 cans chopped tomatoes, 1 can each of black, pinto, kidney, white and garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained), 1 can corn, 1 can fire roasted green chilis. Optionally, add garlic, dehydrated onions, and relavent spices.

Breakfast - 
Spread bagels with tahini. Serve with fresh fruit.
Lunch - 
Microwave 4 large sweet potatoes. Top each one with any of the leftover chili.
Dinner - 
Make 2 cups dry of quinoa. Lightly warm green cabbage, bell peppers and chickpeas. Top with a tahini dressing, made from tahini, juice of 1 lemon, chopped garlic and water to thin. Serve warm but not hot.

Breakfast - 
Smoothie: This is the best way to use up leftovers from the week. Ok to add: fruits, mild veggies (carrots, beets in moderation, spinach, kale, cucumber, celery tops), peanut butter, tahini, rolled oats, non-dairy milks, silken tofu, nuts, seeds
Lunch - 
Leftovers! Finish off anything you have left from the week. Freshen it up by chopping up fresh veggies to add, or just by giving it a good stir.
Dinner -
You know that hot cereal you made on Saturday? That's dinner! Who doesn't love breakfast for dinner??

Celery sticks with peanut butter (raisins optional). Microwaved sweet potato. Pita/naan or baby carrots with hummus. Fresh fruit. Raw cauliflower with tahini.

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