Meal Planning 2.24.18

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

After eating out a lot more than normal and I’m sure eating way too much oil, I wanted to get back to eating HCLF no oil this week so I planned some basics that would fit the bill. I was doing well with weight loss on this lifestyle so it’s best to just jump back in after veering off while out of town (and ordering Thai coming back in town.) I wanted recipes that I knew could be done without oil, and I mixed some new things with some tried and true meals.

This morning I had leftover potatoes I made at the beach for breakfast one morning, so I put them in the toaster oven for a few minutes and they were just as good! I diced a bag of small multicolored potatoes and sprinkled them with rosemary, Italian seasoning, and pepper. I baked them on a nonstick baking sheet on 400* for 30-40 minutes until crispy and served with ketchup and berries. You can sprinkle them with salt after they come out of the oven, but if you do it before it kind of dissipates.

Here are the meals I’m planning on cooking this week if you need some HCLF meal planning ideas.

Maple Mustard Buddha Bowls– I’ve been craving roasted Brussel sprouts since we haven’t had them in a while, so I decided to make a buddha bowl out of it. I’m roasting Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, onions, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and kale and making a maple syrup and Dijon mustard dressing to drizzle on top.

Pita Pizzas– Josh LOVED these the first time I made them, and when I asked him what he would want this week these (and sushi) were his suggestions. I’m going to go ahead and roast extra mushrooms, onions, kale, and a diced eggplant with the vegetables for buddha bowls, so that the veggies are done and just top a pita with sauce and the veggies for an easy dinner.

Eggplant Rollatini– I’m planning on stuffing thin sliced eggplant with my tofu ricotta, and baking with oil free marinara with a side of pasta and asparagus.

Lentils and Rice- I’m going to make lentils and rice in the rice cooker and throw in whatever extra veggies/spices I have on hand. I’ll serve with a side salad.

Veggie Sushi– This is becoming a fast favorite/ weekly dinner in our house. It’s healthy, easy and delicious.

Refried Bean and Veggie Tacos– I’ve made these before and they were so good! Corn tortillas spread with refried beans, stuffed with roasted veggies, folded, and toasted in a pan for a yummy taco night!

I hope these ideas help you with meal planning this week! Meal planning is weirdly one of my favorite things to do now and I always have a hard time narrowing down the choices. We’re going to Bahamas in a month so I want to make sure my eating stays on track. There’s always next week for all of the other things I wanted to make!

Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Brown Rice Bake

This recipe was kept pretty true to itself, with the only change of adding more rice because I had leftover and instead of miso I took their suggestion and added soy sauce and rice vinegar instead. This was a great cozy night in meal and was definitely a better vegan cheese sauce than I’ve had before. It gave the rice a creamy texture and came together easily. Josh didn’t love the breadcrumbs on top, but I thought it gave it a mac n cheese like texture. This felt like a delicious casserole, but made plant based so no need to feel guilty about going back for more. I froze the rest so we could have it another time. The recipe I used is below if you want to try!


Veggie and Tofu Fried Rice

Veggie and Tofu Fried Rice

Veggie and Tofu Fried Rice

After watching them add a pound of butter while making fried rice last weekend at hibachi, I wanted to find a healthy oil-free option that was still full of flavor. I cooked brown basmati rice in the rice cooker with miso broth which added a lot of asian flavor without tons of added calories. I sauteed a bag of frozen asian stir fry vegetables with 2/3 block of extra firm tofu (crumbled), and chopped kale. The crumbled tofu acts as the scrambled egg in the fried rice and gives it the same texture as egg. Using a nonstick wok worked really well because I could saute all of the veggies and tofu without having to use oil, and added minced garlic and ginger for flavor. I topped it off with low sodium soy sauce and it was exactly what I had in mind.

Veggie and Tofu Fried Rice

2/3 block of extra firm organic tofu, crumbled

2 cups brown basmati rice, dry

2 1/2 cups Miso Broth (TJ’s)

2 1/2 cups water

1 bag of frozen Stir Fry Vegetables (TJ’s)

4 handfuls kale, finely chopped

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp minced ginger

2 scallions, finely sliced

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/2 tsp pepper

  1. Cook brown rice with miso broth and water, then open lid to let cool.
  2. In a large wok, sauté bag of vegetables with 2/3 block of crumbled tofu, and finely chopped kale over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic, ginger, scallions, and pepper and then add the rice to the veggies.
  4. Top with soy sauce and combine.

HCH Lentil Loaf and Baked Fries

Lentil Loaf

Lentil Loaf

Tonight I made High Carb Hannah’s lentil loaf instead of the lentil sloppy joe’s that I had planned, because I watched her video on how she made it yesterday and it looked so good I changed my mind! The good thing is, I already had all of the ingredients because they’re so similar. Instead of making the creamy mashed potatoes that she made with it, I made some crispy oven baked fries.

Meatloaf is one of my mom’s specialties so we had it a lot growing up, so this is nice to have something familiar and plant based vegan. Mom, do you want leftovers for a meatloaf sandwich tomorrow? (She likes the leftovers more than the night of.) This hit the spot and was a very comforting meal. I’m including High Carb Hannah’s recipes at the bottom of the page, because I edited mine a little bit. I think next time I’d make them in a muffin tin so that they have more of the crunchy exterior and would ensure the inside is cooked enough for a better texture inside. This is how I made it-

HCH Lentil Loaf

1 cup green lentils, dry

1/2 cup split red lentils, dry

1 yellow onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 carrot, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp italian seasoning

1/2 tsp onion powder

3 cups water

1 tsp Vegetarian Better Than Bouillon Beef

1 tsp fennel seed

1 tsp 21 Seasoning Salute (TJ’s)

1/4 cup organic ketchup

flax eggs, 3 tbsp ground flax mixed with 6 tbsp water and sit 10 minutes

1 1/2 cup quick oats, ground in a food processor until fine

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350* and mix flax egg to let sit.
  2. In a large pot add peppers, onions, and carrots and saute for a few minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add lentils, bouillon, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes.
  4. In a food processor or blender, grind oats into oat flour and set aside.
  5. Once water is absorbed and lentils are tender, remove mixture from heat and add the spices, flax egg, and combine. Slowly start stirring in the oat flour until you get a “meatloaf” like consistency.
  6. Transfer mixture to a nonstick loaf pan (or I used parchment paper) and cook uncovered for 45 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and spread an even layer of ketchup on top of the loaf, and then return to the oven to cook an additional 15 minutes to form a glaze.
  8. Let it rest before serving so that it has time to meld together before slicing, this is SUPER IMPORTANT! I’d wait 20-30 minutes before serving because we were too hungry and sliced after 5 and it was slightly mushy, but after a few more minutes the texture firmed up and was better. IMG_0534.jpg

Crispy Baked Fries

4 russet potatoes, cleaned and sliced into fries

cold water

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp paprika


  1. Preheat oven to 400* and place potato slices in a bowl of cold water so that some of the starch will be removed (about 30 minutes.)
  2. Sprinkle spices on the potatoes and then spread them on a rack on a baking sheet to ensure crispiness.
  3. Bake for 35-45 minutes until they are crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
  4. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce!






Original Recipe Here-

Valentine’s Ideas

Dark Chocolate Chip Strawberries

Dark Chocolate Chip Strawberries

It’s been a relaxing and rainy weekend and not much cooking has been happening around here until today. Friday we went out with Josh’s family and had sushi and last night we ordered vegetable hibachi in. It was actually pretty good and you can order it without butter and asked for light on the oil, so it didn’t taste so greasy.

Tonight we had our annual Valentine’s family dinner with my family, and it’s the only time we get to eat in the dining room, so it’s a pretty big deal! It’s a steak dinner so this year I made something that I could have, and my family really enjoyed it as well. I made a vegetable sushi platter for appetizer with several varieties and I saved some of it to have as my meal with roasted veggies and for dessert I made some dark chocolate covered strawberries sprinkled with dairy free chocolate chips. I haven’t been eating chocolate very much since starting to eat HCLF, so these were a treat! They were a great vegan Valentine’s sweet and they were really easy to make.

The sushi is a perfect valentine’s meal to impress. It looks really fancy like you put a lot of time into it, plus it’s delicious and not too heavy. You can add whatever you want inside so it’s versatile and so much cheaper than going out (especially on Valentine’s Day!)

 Vegetable Sushi 

Nori sheets (Whole Foods)

short grain brown rice (almost 1 cup per roll)

2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar per cup of rice

Filling Ideas-

Teriyaki Grilled Portobello, Asparagus, and Carrot- 

1 portobello cap, cleaned

asparagus spears, microwaved for 1 minute

shredded carrots

scallion slices

Teriyaki sauce

  1. Marinate cap in teriyaki for about an hour, then grill on a grill pan until tender. Slice into slices and place back in the leftover marinade.

Avocado, Cucumber, Carrot, Scallion, and spring mix

Avocado, cucumber, avocado, scallion

Avocado, mango, cucumber

Teriyaki Grilled Portobello, Asparagus, Cucumber, Spring Mix

To Assemble-

  1. Mix warm rice with proper amount of vinegar (2 tbsp per 1 cup rice) and let sit for a few minutes until sticky.
  2. Lay nori sheet on a clean and dry surface shiny side down and long ends horizontal, and spread rice with paddle on nori, I leave about 1/2 inch of room on the side closest to me and farthest from me.
  3. Add a little of each ingredient (few pieces of each) about 1/3 way across (near you) in a horizontal line.
  4. Wet your finger and wet the empty space of nori farthest from you to ensure secure sealing.
  5. Start rolling the sushi up while you are holding the ingredients in, squeeze and roll.
  6. Leave it for a few minutes to seal and then use a sharp serrated knife to cut into 3/4 inch pieces.
  7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with wasabi, ginger, and soy sauce.
Vegetable Sushi Rolls

Vegetable Sushi Rolls

Vegetable Sushi Rolls

Vegetable Sushi Rolls

Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries

I used the 72% Endangered Specials Dark Chocolate bars from Whole Foods (2 for $5) and melted them with a tbsp of water in the microwave. Yes, no double boiler and so technically wrong, but it works. You microwave for 30 seconds at a time and use a whisk to stir and keep going until it’s totally melted and glossy. Dip the strawberries and twist, then I used Enjoy Life dairy free mini chocolate chips and pressed them on while the chocolate was still wet. Then refrigerate to set up and serve!

2 dark chocolate bars, melted

1/4 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips

1 carton fresh strawberries

Dark Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

I teach 2nd grade so I always make my kids a Valentine’s treat every year. I usually make rice crispy hearts, but this year I wanted to make a vegan option. I melted down a few bars of dark chocolate and poured it into a thin, tall container so that dipping pretzel rods was easy. After dipping the pretzel rods, I laid them on parchment to harden and sprinkled them with valentines sprinkles to look festive.

4 bars of 72% dark chocolate, melted over double boiler

1 bag of pretzel rods

Valentine’s sprinkles

  1. Melt chocolate over a double boiler and pour melted chocolate into a tall, thin container.
  2. Dip each pretzel about halfway and then lay on parchment to cool.
  3. Sprinkle with Valentines sprinkles while still wet and cool completely.
Dark Chocolate Pretzels

Dark Chocolate Pretzels

Dark Chocolate Pretzels

Dark Chocolate Pretzels

Vegan Baked Ziti

Vegan Baked Ziti

Vegan Baked Ziti

Anyone else always get Sbarro ziti in the food court growing up on a long day of shopping with your mom? Even though you were lactose intolerant? Only me…? Not the best decision I might add.

This is also something my mom used to make, and then it became my go-to in high school  meal when all of my friends would come over. So instead of filling this baked ziti with ground beef, Ragu, and a variety of cheeses, I came up with a plant based version that still has the creamy tomato sauce and the crunchy noodles on the top (my favorite part!) The tofu becomes a ricotta, and then it’s mixed with mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and marinara make a pink sauce. I used whole wheat ziti and combined that with my sauce and sprinkled about a tbsp of Follow Your Heart Parmesan for the top. It still blows my mind that by just eating these veggies and pasta, my protein percentage was over where I wanted it to be for this meal. It’s 23% protein, 15% fat, and 62% carbs.

                                                            Vegan Baked Ziti

serves 8

1 lb whole wheat ziti noodles

1 large can low fat Tuscan Marinara, TJ’s

10 oz baby bella mushrooms

1 bag baby spinach

5 oz grape tomatoes, halved

1 tbsp Follow Your Heart Parmesan

salt and pepper to taste


                                                          Tofu Ricotta

1 lb extra firm organic tofu

2 tsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp italian seasoning

2 tsp minced garlic

3 tbsp water

salt and pepper to taste

  • You can use as much ricotta in the recipe as you’d like, I used it all and it was a tad too pink so next time I’ll start with half and add in more if I want more.
Tofu Ricotta

Tofu Ricotta

  1. Preheat oven to 400* and prepare the tofu ricotta. Drain the tofu and cube it, then add to the food processor or mixer and blend with other ingredients.
  2. In a large saute pan, saute the mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  3. Add the can of marinara to the vegetables when they’re tender and combine.
  4. Add the ricotta to the sauce, I’d start with half and then work your way up to the amount you’d like. I dumped it all and it was a little too pink for what I was going for, so I had to add a little more marinara. IMG_0478.jpg
  5. Combine the cooked pasta with the sauce and then add the mixture to a 9×13 baking dish.IMG_0480.jpg
  6. Sprinkle with a little vegan parmesan and nutritional yeast.
  7. Bake covered for 40 minutes and then uncover and cook an additional 10 minutes until pasta is golden brown.
Vegan Baked Ziti

Vegan Baked Ziti

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Lentil Shepard's Pie

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

If you’re a vegan who misses the flavor of beef, this could be the one for you. I used Vegetarian Better than Bouillon Beef flavor and vegetable broth to cook the lentils so they absorbed the flavor and kind of tastes like traditional ground meat shepherd’s pie with a different texture. I used the inside of the potatoes from Super Bowl to make my mashed potatoes to top my pie and they combined to make a really savory, satisfying meal. I used a recipe I found on Pinterest and since I’m not using oil I adjusted the recipe to fit my needs and added other things in so this is my take on it. You can add whatever veggies you’d like, but the mushroom, onion, and green pea mixture worked really well in this recipe.

                                                                Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Mashed potatoes-

5-6 russet potatoes, baked and insides scooped

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp garlic powder

salt and pepper


1 cup dry green lentils

10 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced

5 oz frozen onion, celery, carrot mix

1 tbs minced garlic

1 tsp vegan Worcestershire

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 cup green peas, frozen

1 tbsp Vegetarian Better Than Bouillon Beef flavor, Whole Foods

3 cups vegetable broth, no oil. Pacific brand.

1 tsp thyme

1 tbsp cornstarch

pepper to taste

  1. Preheat your oven to 425* and heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Cook your frozen mirepoix of veggies with your mushrooms, garlic, thyme, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Once cooked, remove from pan.
  3. Add vegetable broth, lentils, and bouillon to pan and simmer for 15 minutes until tender.
  4. While lentils simmer, combine mashed potato ingredients and use a mixer to blend until smooth.
  5. There should be liquid still left in the pan after lentils cook, so add cornstarch and cooked veggies back in the pan. If there’s not, add some more broth. Add cup of peas and cook over low until sauce thickens. Sprinkle with pepper and add to a 9×13 baking dish.
  6. Carefully scoop tiny amounts of mashed potatoes over the lentils and then spread around. If you do large dollops they sink to the bottom.
  7. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes until edges are bubbling.

    Lentil Shepherd's Pie

    Lentil Shepherd’s Pie