Plant-Based Family Meals: What I Feed My Family in a Typical Week
When I decided to lean into a plant-based lifestyle, that meant remixing my plate, as well as the plate of everyone in the house. As the Mama, my daughter, and husband look to me for the good stuff. I have always been a good home cook, but when I started leaning away from animal products, things got a little dicey.
Let me help you understand the home that I live in: Both my husband and daughter are, for the most part, "food supportive." My hubby is happy with veggies, grains, and the occasional seafood. Our 11-year-old is a little less flexible and she advocates for the meals that she wants. Taco Tuesday is a real thing for her, and it doesn’t include tofu. She recently told me that she was having a love affair with cheeseburgers, but believes that by the time she is 14 she will be vegan. Whoa! Admittedly, she is far more food-savvy than I was at her age, so I applaud her awareness – and her timeline.
Grocery shopping is a family affair. My mom never talked to us about what she was going to buy at the supermarket. I have found that by announcing my menu ideas, I avoid a lot of pushback when serving the meal because everyone feels like they have had a say. I listen to their input, and then come up with a game plan that includes mostly plant-based meals. What’s funny is that I don’t actually buy a lot of foods that say, “plant-based on the label.” I mostly buy foods that are whole foods and I try to stay away from heavily processed foods.
My grocery list is really just a collection of items that I believe will help me whip up some greatness. Like most busy families, I need our meals to be quick, uncomplicated, and yummy.
What that means: There are always grains and veggies and beans or lentils. I am personally fighting inflammation (from a condition that is now thankfully under control) and I don’t feel so great after eating a lot of dairy. As a result, I swap out plant-based alternatives for milk or eggs whenever I can. To be honest, my husband and daughter don’t even notice. My goal is to serve food that looks good and tastes good.
Some days are more challenging than others. As a plant-based advocate, I am focused on getting more people to add more plants to their plates. But in my home, sometimes it’s all about the NY-style pizza and I’m okay with that. We are doing better today than we were last year. I just focus on the wins!
This is my actual grocery list from this past month to give you an idea of how to feed your family a plant-forward week of healthy meals, as well as a sample day of eating for my family.
Happy shopping and eating. To learn more about me, my journey, and my plant-based recipes, visit me on Instagram.
Sample Plant-Based Grocery List
- Frozen blueberries
- Frozen spinach
- Russet potatoes
- Black beans
- Coconut milk
- Rolled oats
Sample Day of Eating Plant-Based for a Family of Three
Breakfast: Coconut Quinoa Oatmeal topped with Blueberries
Start the day off with a creamy bowl of goodness filled with fiber and nutrients.
- One can of coconut milk -13.5 ounces
- ½ cup of water
- One cup of quinoa
- 1 cup of rolled oats
- 2 tsp agave syrup
1. Grab a medium saucepan. Add coconut milk, water, quinoa and rolled oats. Simmer on the stove for 20 minutes.
2. Stir often and let it cook until it reaches your preferred consistency. Top with agave and blueberries.
Lunch: Stuffed Baked Potatoes (Black Beans, Onions, Vegan Cheese)
This potato and black bean combination provides plenty of flavor and fiber to keep you satisfied.
- 6 Russet potatoes
- 1 can of black beans
- 1 Onion
- 1 cup of vegan cheese
1. Prep and bake your potatoes for 50-60 minutes at 400° F. Heat the beans in a small saucepan.
2. Dice the onions. When the potatoes are done, slice down the middle and stuff with beans, onions, and cheese. Eating on the go? Wrap them in foil or plastic wrap and take them with you.
After School Snack: Blueberry Smoothie made with oat milk yogurt
Blueberries are an antioxidant powerhouse and oat milk is dairy and cholesterol-free. Four ingredients make the perfect after-school pick me up.
- 6oz Oat milk yogurt
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 tsp agave syrup
1. Add all ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth. Enjoy!
Dinner: Roasted Chickpeas, Roasted Carrots, Sautéed Spinach and Brown Rice with a drizzle of hummus dressing
The last meal of the day is simple but tasty with filling chickpeas, naturally sweet carrots, superstar spinach, and a nutritious grain, in this case, brown rice.
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 6-8 carrots
- 3 cups of spinach
- 1 cup of brown rice
- salt/pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Prepare the rice as per the package directions. Drain the chickpeas and add to a small bowl. Toss chickpeas with 1 tbsp olive oil and salt/pepper. Transfer to a cookie sheet.
2. Peel and slice the carrots (about ½ inch thick). Add carrots to the cookie sheet next to the chickpeas.
3. Drizzle the carrots with 1tbps olive oil and add salt/pepper (optional). Put the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes.
4. While that’s in the oven, heat a fry pan or skillet with ½ cup of water. Add the spinach and let cook on medium heat. Once the spinach is broken down, remove it from heat.
- 4 oz ready-made Hummus
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Add chickpeas, roasted carrots, spinach, and rice to a plate. Drizzle dressing and enjoy!
Bottom Line: Your grocery list to make plant-based meals for the whole family
In order to shift your family toward a nutritious diet of mostly plant-based meals, all you have to do is plan ahead and get their "input" about what is about to be prepared and served. Work together to make dishes that are quick, easy, and nutritious, and the whole family will love it.
For more great plant-based recipe ideas, check out The Beet's recipe library of over 1,000 plant-based and vegan recipes.