Six Plant-based Dinners

Should you care to give it a shot, here's what you need to have on hand. This list looks intimidatingly long, but you probably have a lot of this on hand already:



yellow squash

onions yellow, red, and green




corn (you can use frozen or canned)

cilantro (if you like it)

limes (you can use bottled)




napa cabbage

sweet potatoes (for roasting as a side dish to tempeh sammies)

red potatoes (for roasting as a side dish to squash gratin)

glass noodles or, if I prefer, mung bean sprouts

silken tofu

sun dried tomatoes


rice noodles (flat, for stir fry)

stuff you like to stir-fry (broccoli? peppers?)

stuff you like on your tacos/in your burritos (lettuce? salsa? avocado?)

stuff you like on a burger (tomato? lettuce? pickles?)

Stop and take a moment to reflect on how refreshing it is to do the bulk of your shopping in the produce department! (or better yet, your garden!)


cashews (preferably raw, or just buy some already prepared vegan parmesan)

nutritional yeast (once you try this on popcorn, you'll be a convert)

canned kidney beans, cannellini beans and black olives

lentils, brown

spaghetti sauce​

bread crumbs

sub rolls and burger rolls

veg broth

brown rice

spring roll wrappers (no, not egg roll wrappers. Find these in the international foods freezer at Wegmans (locally opposite the peanut butter section) or your favorite asian market. (Look in the frozen section)

frozen chopped spinach

kalamata olives

roasted red peppers



canned chipotle in adobo

hoisin sauce

Dinner #1 Zucchini Gratin

Recipe courtesy of Minimalist Baker Everyday Cooking

(see her link for vegan parmesan which is essential to this recipe)

Green bean saute--recipe on this very blog!

Roasted red potatoes: super simple. Chop up some red potatoes, toss in olive oil (or lightly spray, like I do), sprinkle on your fave seasoning (I like Bragg's Organic Sprinkle), and bake 375 for about an hour.

Dinner #2 "Meat"ball Subs

Recipe courtesy of Thug Kitchen Party Grub

We like Wegman's Grandma's Pomodoro Sauce when we don't have homemade sauce ready

Dinner #3 "Baked Spanish Rice Bowls"

Recipe courtesy of Thug Kitchen but swap out the green peas for black olives and ramp up the flavor with a couple of canned chipotle in adobo. Add to a bowl with your favorite toppings. Ours include crushed tortilla chips, guacamole, salsa, lettuce, and onions.

Dinner #4 "Baked Spring Rolls and Lo Mein"

Spring roll recipe courtesy of Thug Kitchen Party Grub

To make Lo Mein I simply saute some favorite veggies (broccoli, peas, peppers, carrots, garlic, ginger) in a small amount of oil (1Tbsp) until crisp-tender. Quickly add some cooked, flat rice noodles, and toss/saute. Mix in some some hoisin sauce just before serving.

Dinner #5 "Creamed Spinach Pizza"

Recipes courtesy of Forks Over Knives (pizza) and Mark Bittman (crust)

Dinner #6 "Tempeh Sammies and Roasted Sweet Potatoes"

Recipe (tempeh) courtesy of

Recipe (sundried tomato spread) courtesy of

Visit the website for these recipes since the links do not work here.

To roast sweet potatoes, cut them into wedges (unpeeled), spritz with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 375 for about 45 minutes.