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Meal Plan Ideas from The Vegetarian Reset
A Daylight Savings Special
We are coming up on Daylight Saving Time weekend here in the US. When I first moved to the US, I just couldn’t get it straight - do we lose an hour or gain an hour this time?! After a few years of practice, I realized that when we lose an hour of sleep in March, we “gain” daylight, as if to compensate (I’ll take it!). And when we gain an hour of sleep in November, we “lose” that daylight, as an atonement of sorts. Anyway, the fact that we lose an hour prompted me to write this post - how do you save time while still preparing delicious meals at home?
The term “meal prep” has always scared me off as a dreary weekend job of chopping up vegetables and storing them in labelled jars. And then every weeknight, you reach for limp vegetables from the fridge and cook a dreary meal, often the same one as the night before yesterday. But “meal planning”, on the other hand, I can get behind! This, to me, implies a strategic way of thinking about your week’s meals, so you can reuse leftovers in a completely different dish and produce fast-ish yet interesting dinners. I like to call it upcycling.
When I wrote my cookbook, I highlighted this concept in a few cases, but didn’t do it full justice. So here we are - 10 Upcycling Hacks from The Vegetarian Reset and a sample 5-day meal plan.
But first - it was We Ate Well’s 2nd birthday this week you guys! That’s right - I started this newsletter and community on March 8, 2021. We’ve come a long way together.
To celebrate our terrible two’s, I’m doing a pretty sweet giveaway! You can win one of these 5 gorgeous vegetarian cookbooks written by women (for women’s history month) AND a signed bookplate (autographed sticker for your copy of The Vegetarian Reset) from me.
The Vegan Instant Pot cookbook - exactly what it sounds like! By Nisha Vora of the fabulous vegan blog Rainbow Plant Life
Dada Eats: Love to cook it - a lovely vegetarian book with healthy and interesting recipes, by Samah Dada
East: Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Beijing - by the incredible Meera Sodha
To Asia, With Love - Everyday Asian (Vegetarian and flavorful) Recipes by Hetty McKinnon
Mumbai Modern - Vegetarian Recipes inspired by Indian roots and California Cuisine by Amisha Dodhia Gurbani of JamLab
To enter the giveaway - you’ll need to have purchased a copy of The Vegetarian Reset. I know many of you have the book. Please submit an honest review on Amazon (if you purchased the book there) and/or GoodReads. Send me a snapshot of the review by replying to this email. You can also write a review on Barnes & Noble if you bought the book there. Reviews on more than one platform count as multiple entries!
5 winners will be chosen at random and announced next Friday (March 17). If you want a particular book from this stash, make your request in your email and I’ll do my best to honor it (but no promises).
Please note that the giveaway is open to continental US and UK only at this time and is subject to availability
Participants must be 18 years of age or older.
I've found that most people don't really understand the importance of these reviews. Something like 70 percent of books are sold online today. And reviews are the single biggest way to increase the 'quality score' of the book in the almighty algorithm. Being a debut author, I don't usually get the face-out shelf space in bookstores. But online, it's possible. So do it. Even if you emailed me or texted me or told me to my face that the book was great, I still need you to make the effort to write a review.
Here are some ideas - what did you like about the book? The creativity of the recipes? The Around the World theme? The macro charts? Did it reset the way you think about a meal, or make you a cauli rice believer? Have you found a favorite?
10 Upcycling Hacks from The Vegetarian Reset
Zucchini Bread (pg. 14) - If you haven’t made the Zucchini Bread, you need to make and master it because it is used in all of these recipes in the book: Make one loaf of bread on the weekend and you can use for all of these wildly different meals during the week.
Avocado Toast (pg. 20)
Pav Bhaji (pg. 23)
Chile Cheese Toast (pg. 35 - in place of the eggplant)
French Onion Soup (pg. 120)
Eggs Florentine (pg. 137)
Chickpea Crepes (pg. 18) - another staple. Make a double batch of the batter and you can use it for other recipes during the week. Or you can freeze the finished crepe.
Roasted Red Pepper and Spinach Quesadillas (pg. 25)
Injera with Misir Wat, Gomen and Atakilt (pg. 26)
A wrap with your favorite filling (see #9 below)
Avocado Pasta (pg. 66) - as the weather gets warmer and you cannot fathom turning on your stove - make a double batch of the avocado sauce and use the second batch on Avo Toast (pg. 20).
Saag Lasagna (pg. 62) - make a double batch of the spinach gravy and freeze it for use it in a Saag Paneer/Tofu/Chickpeas next week.
Loaded Cauliflower Soup (pg. 106), Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (pg. 109), Spring Pea and Spinach Soup (pg. 116) - use leftovers (or make a double batch) to make Shakshuka (pg. 133).
Cauliflower Jeera Rice from the Kadhi with Jeera Rice (pg.41) - make a double batch or use leftovers with the Rajma Chawal (pg. 42).
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (pg. 109) - Air-fry or roast a double batch of veggies. For one batch, skip the broth and blend directly into marinara sauce to use with pasta next week.
Black Bean Soup (pg. 112) - use leftovers in the Huevos Rancheros for an extra yummy topping (and you can use store-bought salsa to save even more time).
Greek Salad (pg. 92), White Bean and Fennel Salad (pg. 96), Falafel Salad (pg. 87), Tandoori Paneer Salad (pg. 100) - Use leftovers in an omelet wrap (see Unda Kathi Roll, pg. 130) or in a Chickpea Crepe (pg. 18)
Paneer Mac-khani and Cheese (pg. 80) - Make a double batch of the onion-tomato sauce and freeze to use as gravy with chickpeas or mixed vegetables next week!
Here’s a sample 5-day meal plan from the book! The pre-requisite is making a loaf of the Zucchini Bread on the weekend. Also, please double batch recipes as needed, taking into account the number of mouths to feed and leftovers to be upcycled.
v8well Good Things
Brand new recommendations section!
I finished reading Fast Like a Girl by Dr. Mindy Pelz and highly recommend. If you are a woman and want to learn how to do intermittent fasting in sync with your hormone cycles (and you should), this is a must read. I just completed an extended fast and feel great.
Why most of us are nutrient deficient and what to do about it with Chris Kresser: On the Doctor’s Farmacy podcast with Mark Hyman. “If you’ve ever wondered if supplements are worthwhile or just create expensive urine, this is the podcast episode for you.“
Would you add beets to a smoothie?
A bit late to this TikTok party, but I’m planning to make this Green Goddess Salad from Baked By Melissa this weekend.
Did you know my cookbook is entirely gluten-free? This was an accidental benefit - since I use no grains or flour, all my recipes are gluten-free. You will have make sure to use gluten-free versions of ingredients that may have hidden gluten, such as gochujang sauce but that’s it.
The Cheese Professor published a review of my cookbook and my Eggplant Chile Cheese Toast recipe.
I was quoted in this Food & Wine article about tofu presses, and whether you should press tofu at all!
If you are on Facebook, join my cookbook group here and share your pictures as you cook along from the book! You can also ask questions about recipes and I will help in any way I can.
Get your copy of The Vegetarian Reset now!
Not sure? Download a free sample.