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Another week of meal planning to keep our food budget on track. I mentioned in yesterday’s review of November that we have spent way less on food that budgeted this month. This is brilliant as we are being as frugal as possible with all the expense of Christmas on the way.
I also mentioned the documentary we watched on Netflix called Game Changers. If you have ever toyed with the idea of a plant based diet for environmental or moral reasons, or have health issues such as obesity, heart problems or diabetes, it is well worth a watch. It is also the reason behind this week’s more plant based meal plan!
Cutting back on the meat and dairy
This film has definitely inspired us to cut back further on our meat intake, but also on dairy and eggs. To be honest, I would love to just go the whole way and be vegan, but having IBS means I just can’t. As soon as I start eating lots of beans and pulses the issues begin, and I can’t stomach soya.
I have bought some firm tofu to try though, as I have read that this is low FODMAP (meaning it doesn’t cause fermentation in your gut). However, it may be that I have a problem with this too as it is made from soya beans. We shall see!
Nevertheless, there is no reason we can’t substitute plant milks for dairy, eat a peanut butter sandwich rather than a cheese one, eat coconut yogurt, etc. If you haven’t tried coconut yogurt you should – it’s delicious! We really like the Coconut Collaborative mango and passionfruit one. Their coconut based chocolate mousses are actually to die for, although a little pricy. Good for a treat.
We can also eat less meat in our meals generally. I am ok with small amounts of chick peas and brown lentils. Quorn is also fine and they do a vegan version, although I do find it incredibly bland. We both love nuts though, so they will be featuring more in the week’s ahead.
So this week’s plant based meal plan reflects this change of tack. It does contain some meat and eggs, as we have them so it makes sense to use them.
A more plant-based meal plan
Time for another of our Simply Cook* recipe mixes! I’m not being very adventurous with these really, as I have gone for a lot of their spicy, curry type ones. They are all really good though, as well as being quick and easy.
We are using some chicken in the freezer to make Malay Laksa, a spicy noodle soup. The recipe suggests adding butternut squash and asparagus. We have sweet potatoes and green beans, so will be using those instead.
It would be easy enough to make this vegan simply by using other vegetables instead of the chicken.
If you want to try Simply Cook, you can get an introductory box for £3 here*.
Let’s give the tofu a try…. We have a large box of paella rice, so I will make a rice dish with peppers, lots of vegetables, tomatoes and the marinated tofu.
We will have this with some winter carrot salad.
Off out for a meal with my old colleagues from work. We are going to the Toby Carvery, so I will try to pre-order a nut roast. They never seem to have any when I go in there.
Chick pea curry and rice with the last of the reduced price 30p naan breads I picked up a few weeks back.
I bought some vegan meatballs in the week. These are made with pea protein – I have no idea how my belly will react to these. Again, we will have to see! I will make a tomato sauce and serve them with pasta.
Nut cutlets with roast potatoes (well, cooked in the air fryer in a fraction of the time with no oil), greens and carrots.
I bought the cutlets this time, although I often make this type of meal. A nut roast sliced and put in the freezer does just as well, so I need to do a bit of batch cooking this month.
Omelettes, jacket potatoes and whatever vegetables/salad needs using up. Again, we have eggs so need to use them. However, I am going to stop buying them and will see how we manage without.
So that’s my plant based meal plan for the week. Desserts will be stewed apples with home made dairy free custard, the afore mentioned coconut yogurts or fruit.
Lunches are usually something on toast like eggs or sardines. I will use up what we have but need to rethink my habits. Maybe some nice, warming veggie soups, guacamole or hummous wraps, or marmite/peanut butter on toast or in sandwiches?
Are you looking at eating less meat and dairy? Are you a fully fledged vegan already? If so, what would you include in a plant based meal plan?