Your January 2024 meal plan
When you eat like this, you don't need New Year's Resolutions
Are you trying to stick with a lower carb, higher protein way of eating in 2024? Let’s do it together with my meal plan, Weeknight Simple - simple enough for weeknights, special enough for weekends.
Planning and consistency is the hardest part of the whole-foods approach to vegetarian low carb, much like it is for any other habit. Things might start off well enough in January, but when we get into busy season, we simply have to plan and have ingredients stocked to quickly put together delicious, nourishing meals.
If you want to
Eat more protein
Eat fewer carbs (but also have the flexibility to dial up when needed)
Eat more seasonally with lots of variety
Stop getting takeout too often, because you can’t control the ingredients
Stop wasting produce and shop intentionally
Cook innovative and inspiring recipes with BIG flavors
Add new dishes to your rotation
You are in the right place! Weeknight Simple is here - and it’s exactly what you told me you wanted.
Even as a cookbook author who literally wrote a book on low carb vegetarian cooking, this past year I found myself ordering in more often than I’d like, or putting together a fast meal which was (no surprise) usually dominated by rice, bread or pasta.
A few extra pounds later, I decided to change things up and simplify my life by creating some structure. Thus, Weeknight Simple was born. Dozens of you gave me feedback on how you think about meal planning, and what you like to eat for dinner.
So, here’s the plan:
Sign up for Weeknight Simple. If you sign up in January, you get a 90-day FREE trial!
Go shopping with my list - meticulously organized by supermarket aisle.
Use my step-by-step instructions to meal-prep for an hour on the weekend to make your weeknights simple.
Eat well, and feel your best.
I’ll do all the thinking for you. You’ll get 6 tested dinner recipes per month with significant ingredient overlap. Think dinner-soul-food - Soups, Salads, Rice, Breads, Pasta. These are complete dinners, you won’t need to prepare anything additional. I use the 6 tastes in Ayurveda as my guiding principles to ensure that each meal will leave your senses satiated.
Each recipe typically yields 4 servings (serving 2 for dinner plus leftovers for lunch). If you’re feeding fewer mouths you’ll have plenty of leftovers that are usually freezer-friendly.
20-30g protein per recipe (as written) - if you’ve ever tried to hit a protein target while minimizing carbs (as a vegetarian), you know this is not easy.
At least 30 plants per week (when you eat all 6 dishes as written) - Did you know that 70% of our immune system is in the gut? Or that our gut health is linked directly to our brain, skin and basically everything else? Nourishing that microbiome with lots of variety is key.
Lower carb and higher carb options - because you know your body best. But we do it carb-smart here at We Ate Well. I define a single-serving of carbs as 15-20g per meal (net carbs). I’ll give you options to go up or down a serving.
A bit overwhelmed? You don’t have to cook everything the same week (unless you want to). Pick 2 recipes per week, ideally with some overlap. Then the next week, pick 2 more. And so on. You’ll know when you’ve found a dish that is your bestie - then add it to your rotation and repeat! If you can find one meal that you want to repeat in this set of recipes, my work here is done.
If you prefer to stay a free subscriber, you can take the poll at the bottom of this email to tell me which recipe you want in my free newsletter next week.
Sign up for a free 90-day trial to get the recipes and shopping list.
On the menu for January:
A zingy yet creamy and satisfying soup punctuated by easy croutons made from Ezekiel Bread. I use lentils, nuts and silken tofu to ramp up the protein content of this soup.
Lower carb version - skip the croutons
A vividly green pesto that makes good use of solid winter greens that you might otherwise not purchase. And edamame for a dash of protein. Topped with crispy potatoes and tangy pickled onions, this one is a treat. I use Kaizen lupini bean pasta in this recipe.
Medium carb option - Use Zenb yellow pea pasta
Higher carb option - Use Jovial Einkorn pasta
A classic Indian favorite. I make it weeknight-friendly with a shortcut recipe that comes dangerously close to the authentic version that could take hours. It is served with a gently spiced cauli rice pilaf with edamame and Greek yogurt raita for additional protein.
Lower carb option - reduce the serving of Chana Masala
Higher carb option - use quinoa in place of the cauliflower rice
Chaat is ALWAYS on my mind. Here is a layered salad bowl of sorts, with a spicy roasted cauliflower and paneer topped with Chana Masala, Greek yogurt and zingy chutneys. Garnished with Masala Walnuts for that crunch.
Lower carb option - reduce the serving of Chana Masala
Roasted Cauliflower, White Bean and Paneer Salad - An elevated Sweetgreen-style bowl that makes great use of the Collard Greens & Edamame Pesto, inspired heavily by this Baked By Melissa Salad.
Lower carb option - skip the quinoa
A high-protein smoky taco filling, served on a low-carb tortilla with my spicy avocado sauce and garnished with quick pickled onions.
Lower carb option - Halve the serving of black beans
Higher carb option - Use quinoa in place of the cauliflower rice
Please set aside 30 minutes to go over the recipes + shopping list to decide which recipes you’re making and when, and map out the prep briefly.
When you sign up for the 3-month free trial -
You’ll get 3 fabulous menus and 18 recipes! You’ll have a plan and actually look forward to cooking, because you’ll have fewer decisions to make. You’ll have the opportunity to tell me what you want so we can tailor Weeknight Simple to be perfect for YOU! And then you’ll get to enjoy produce season when it really takes off in the spring.
And more than anything, you’ll be well on your way to hitting your health goals. Whether you want to feel better, lose weight, reverse symptoms, or get off your meds - focus on process and consistency and your outcome will happen, naturally. Because when you eat well, you don’t need New Year’s Resolutions.
Sign up for a free 90-day trial to get the shopping list and recipes
Not ready to sign up?
That’s ok! You get to choose which recipe I send out in my free newsletter, next week. Just tell me what recipe you would like best by taking this poll. The winning recipe will be in your inbox next week.
Happy 2024! Wishing you the best year with the best eats and the best feels. xoxo