Lunch Archives | Plant Based, Family Friendly Meal Planning by Stephanie Dreyer, Los Angeles

January 17, 2018
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Roasted vegetables are one of my favorite things to batch cook each Sunday. I eat them all week long as a dinner side dish, tossed in tofu scrambles… and my favorite, piled into vegan bowls. This Italian Roasted Vegetable Bowl is a delicious way to eat up leftover veggies or roast a pan especially for this bowl like I do! I prefer plump, juicy tomatoes and cauliflower for the veg mix, but sub your favorites. The key is to roast them with whole garlic cloves and herbs. I use the Italian seasoning blend from Penzey’s Spices (my favorite local spice store).

A good bowl is full of layers, so in addition to the roasted vegetables, you’ll find a mound of lacinato kale, cannellini beans, and orzo. I sauted the canned beans with garlic, olive oil, and thyme for taste bud pleasing results. Sure, you could just rinse and drain a handful of beans directly into the bowl, but I find that it’s the bursts of flavor from each component in the bowl that take an average bowl to wow status. Lentils would also be a great sub for the beans. I used orzo instead of a grain in this recipe because of its Italian status and similarity in texture to rice, but risotto would be a nice swap if you want a grain.

This Italian Roasted Vegetable Bowl is full of flavor. Topped with a creamy, dairy-free dressing, it's a complete meal to lunch on all week long.

Drizzled on top is a luscious, dairy-free Caesar dressing that adds just the right amount of tangy to each bite. Soaked cashews are the creamy base for this otherwise, quick and easy sauce that comes together in less than 5 minutes in your high-powered blender. Dijon mustard and capers add bright, vibrant flavors to this traditional recipe.

This Italian Roasted Vegetable Bowl is full of flavor. Topped with a creamy, dairy-free dressing, it's a complete meal to lunch on all week long.

You can cook and prepare all of the ingredients, as well as the dressing ahead of time and store them for the week, making it quick and easy to throw this meal together all week long. Lunch is served! Give it a taste and let me know what you think.

This Italian Roasted Vegetable Bowl is full of flavor. Topped with a creamy, dairy-free dressing, it's a complete meal to lunch on all week long.
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This Italian Roasted Vegetable Bowl is full of flavor. Topped with a creamy, dairy-free dressing, it's a complete meal to lunch on all week long.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the Creamy Caesar Dressing:

  • ¼ cup cashews soaked for 2 hours or overnight and drained
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon shoyu or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

For the Bowl:

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 head cauliflower broken into florets
  • 10 garlic cloves peeled
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 6 leaves lacinato kale chopped
  • 1 cup orzo dried

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the vegetables, garlic cloves, olive oil, and herbs on a sheet pan until coated. Roast for about 30 minutes until the cauliflower is fork tender.
  3. While the vegetables are roasting, bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the orzo and drain.
  4. Heat a saucepan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the minced garlic and saute for 1 minute until fragrant. Stir in the beans and thyme. Cook for 3-4 minutes until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and mix until smooth.
  6. To assemble the bowl, start with a layer of kale on the bottom. Top with the orzo, beans, and vegetables. Drizzle the dressing on top.

This Italian Roasted Vegetable Bowl is full of flavor. Topped with a creamy, dairy-free dressing, it's a complete meal to lunch on all week long.


January 10, 2018
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Vegan bowls are one of my favorite lunch meals. They are easy to prepare and quick for the lunch rush I am inevitably juggling as I race to get my work and to-do list completed before I pick up the kids from school. Most times I make a bowl, I just pull together whatever ingredients, leftover veggies, or legumes I have in the fridge or pantry (it’s a really great way to eat up your leftovers!). Sometimes, I will put a little more thought into my bowl obsession and plan my veggies and proteins ahead of time, like my BBQ Tofu Bowl. Today’s Green Goddess Zucchini Noodle Bowl recipe is one of those bowls, but it won’t take you more than 15 minutes to throw together.

This Green Goddess Zucchini Noodle Bowl is light, fresh, and ready in just 10 minutes with 4 ingredients! #dairyfree #veganbowl #greengoddess

In my opinion, the secret to any great vegan bowl is the dressing or sauce. The new Green Goddess Salad Dressing from Trader Joe’s is the inspiration for this bowl. It’s all natural and vegan, containing just a few ingredients: avocado, green onion, cold pressed lemon juice, chives, parsley, basil, garlic, water, apple cider vinegar, and an olive oil blend. Two tablespoons are only 20 calories so indulge in a generous pour over the rest of this bowl’s ingredients.

This Green Goddess Zucchini Noodle Bowl is light, fresh, and ready in just 10 minutes with 4 ingredients! #dairyfree #veganbowl #greengoddess

I chose spiralized zucchini noodles for the base of this bowl and topped them with sliced radishes, chopped chives and tomatoes (I was out of cherry, so I used roma instead). That’s it! Super easy. Super healthy. Super delicious! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

This Green Goddess Zucchini Noodle Bowl is light, fresh, and ready in just 10 minutes with 4 ingredients! #dairyfree #veganbowl #greengoddess
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Green Goddess Zucchini Noodle Bowl

This Green Goddess Zucchini Noodle Bowls is light, fresh, and ready in just 10 minutes with 4 ingredients! 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini, spiralized
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 radish, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp chives, snipped
  • 2 tbsp Trader Joe's Green Goddess salad dressing

Instructions

  1. 1. Layer all ingredients into a bowl, starting with the zucchini and adding the other vegetables and herbs on top.

  2. 2. Drizzle dressing on top.

This Green Goddess Zucchini Noodle Bowl is light, fresh, and ready in just 10 minutes with 4 ingredients! #dairyfree #veganbowl #greengoddess


November 1, 2017
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Fall is here and I am loving the varieties of squash that greet me at my local Trader Joe’s. Just seeing those unique shaped beauties puts me in a fall state of mind. I didn’t particularly like squash when I was kid. I mean, it’s scary looking, and the texture can be off-putting to picky palates. As an adult, however, I crave the comforting taste of a sweet and savory stuffed delicata squash or the fun “pasta” dinner made with spaghetti squash.

This plant-based Taco Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is reminiscent of the flavors of Fall with the spicy taste of Taco Tuesday! #vegan #dairyfree #meatless

Acorn squash is one of my favorites. It is the perfect vessel for stuffing or turning into a “bowl” of some kind. It’s subtle sweet flavor combines well with savory flavors, and is the star ingredient in a happy experiment that came to be this Taco Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe.

I was making myself lunch last Wednesday and opened the fridge to find some baked squash that I had batch cooked over the weekend. Sitting next to it was some leftover taco filling from the night before. I added my homemade pico de gallo, and came up with a quick and easy smoky, chipotle avocado sauce…and lunch was served!

This plant-based Taco Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is reminiscent of the flavors of Fall with the spicy taste of Taco Tuesday! #vegan #dairyfree #meatless

This meal is very satisfying, but doesn’t leave you filling heavy. It is reminiscent of the flavors of Fall with the spicy taste of Taco Tuesday! I hope you’ll try it and let me know what you think.

This plant-based Taco Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is reminiscent of the flavors of Fall with the spicy taste of Taco Tuesday! #vegan #dairyfree #meatless
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Taco Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients

  • 2 acorn squashes skin washed, cut in half lengthwise, and seeds and string removed

For the filling:

  • 1 package of meatless ground “beef”
  • 1 can black beans drain and reserve half the liquid
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons taco seasoning or more, if desired
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ cup water

For the pico de gallo:

  • 2 Roma tomatoes finely chopped
  • ½ yellow onion finely chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
  • ½ the juice of 1 lime or more if desired
  • Salt to taste

For the Smoky Avocado Sauce:

  • ½ -1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cup water
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle each squash half with ¼ teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side up on a baking pan and roast 25-30 minutes, until tender. Set aside.
  2. While the squash roasts, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion. Saute for five minutes, until translucent.
  3. Add in the meatless ground “beef” and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the beans with the liquid
  4. Add in the taco seasoning and water. Stir well to combine. Reduce to simmer and allow to simmer 10-15 minutes until the filling becomes thick and the water is cooked through.
  5. While the meat is cooking, prepare the pico de gallo. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  6. Place all of the ingredients for the Smoky Avocado Sauce in a food processor. Pulse on low until combined and creamy. Add salt to taste.
  7. To assemble, scoop a generous amount of filling into the middle of each squash half. Top with the pico de gallo and a dollop or more of Smoky Avocado Sauce.

This meal is very satisfying, but doesn't leave you filling heavy. It is reminiscent of the flavors of Fall with the spicy taste of Taco Tuesday! I hope you'll try it and let me know what you think.

 

 


September 6, 2017
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We’ve had a few cooler days the last week or so and although, I am not quite ready to give up summer, my body has been craving heartier salads than the usual bowls I tend to throw together. The Harvest Grains blend from Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite side dishes, but I was inspired to turn it into a salad for a beach outing last weekend. The grain medley includes Israeli couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa. It’s all kinds of awesome and makes a great alternative to pasta in a traditional pasta salad, which is what I was craving when I created this Kale Harvest Grains Salad recipe.

The grains blend is tasty on its own but I added more flavor with some cubed dairy-free mozzarella, sliced baby tomatoes and chopped basil. When it comes to dressing, any vinaigrette will do. I made a homemade Greek style dressing with Penzey’s Spices Greek seasoning blend. It wouldn’t be a salad without some greens! I started with the Power to the Greens blend from Trader Joe’s (kale, chard, and spinach) and topped it with the grains salad mixture and drizzled it all with my dressing. It’s a simple yet satisfying recipe that I have been enjoying all week. I hope you do too!

If you try my Kale Harvest Grains Salad, please be sure to tag me. I love to see your creations with my recipes!

Kale Harvest Grains Salad

The grains mixture stores well for about 3 days. Store your greens and dressing separately until you are ready to eat it. It also makes a great lunch to pack for work.

 

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Kale Harvest Grains Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 package Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Medley
  • 2 cups Imagine No-Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 ounces dairy-free mozzarella, diced
  • 2 cups mixed greens (such as kale, chard and spinach)
  • Greek or Italian Salad dressing vinaigrette (such as red wine or balsamic)

Instructions

  1. Prepare grains medley according to package directions, using the broth. Set aside to cool.

  2. While the grains cook, chop the basil, slice the tomatoes and dice the cheese. Prepare the salad dressing if not using store-bought.

  3. Fluff the grains medley with a fork and add the basil, tomatoes and cheese.

  4. Place two cups of greens on a plate, along with a 1/2 cup of the grains salad mixture. Toss with 1-2 tablespoons of dressing.

  5. Store leftover greens, dressing, and grains salad separately for additional servings.

Kale Harvest Grains Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 


August 16, 2017
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I created this vegan caprese sandwich for my eldest daughter, Gaby, who loves everything Caprese! It’s her favorite and her go-to whenever we are anywhere that offers one on the menu. I went straight to Miyoko’s Kitchen’ VeganMozz for the perfect vegan mozzarella. It’s soft, salty, and creamy – everything a mozzarella should be! They now offer a Smoked VeganMozz! Dairy-free cheese dreams do come true!!

Vegan Caprese Sandwich

This vegan caprese sandwich is perfect for summer with bright juicy tomatoes, fresh fragrant tomatoes, and creamy dairy-free mozzarella cheese. My family is big on its bread, so don’t under think this ingredient. I chose a Ciabatta roll and toasted it before I layered it with the VeganMozz, basil leaves and fresh tomato slices. Heirloom tomatoes are gorgeous this time of year, so if you have those available, I highly recommend using those. I added a little something extra by spreading some vegan pesto on each slice of toasted bread. I make mine with basil leaves, garlic, walnuts, olive oil, and some nutritional yeast.

Vegan Caprese Sandwich

To kick this Vegan Caprese sandwich up further, don’t toast the bread, but layer everything onto the bread slices and press on a panini maker for a gourmet sammie! If you go the panini route, try swapping sun-dried tomatoes for fresh for a whole other flavor kick. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Vegan Caprese Sandwich
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Vegan Caprese Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 Ciabatta roll , sliced
  • 4 slices plum tomato (or sun-dried tomatoes)
  • 3 slices Miyoko's Kitchen VeganMozz
  • 4 basil leaves , rinsed and dried
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegan pesto (purchased or homemade)

Instructions

  1. Toast the bread.
  2. Spread each slice with the pesto.
  3. Layer the bottom slice of bread first with the VeganMozz, then the tomato, and last with the basil.
  4. Place other slice on top.

Recipe Notes

* For a variation, don't toast the bread at the beginning, but compile the sandwich and press in a panini maker.

Vegan Caprese Sandwich

 

 


May 31, 2017
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I recently discovered Gardein’s Golden Fishless Fillet and can’t believe how much it tastes like the real thing.  Well done, Gardein, although I am not surprised as every product they put out is high quality and tastes delicious.  I typically don’t eat these faux meat products often, but I will make an exception for these fillets!  Not only are they eerily tasty, but they are also flaky and consistent from a texture perspective too.  They’d make a great “fish and chips” dinner, but I decided to have some fun and turn them into tacos!

Upon my discovery of these fishless fillets, I also discovered Follow Your Heart’s Tartar Sauce.  Truth be told, I have been eyeing the jars of this sauce in my Whole Foods for months now, but didn’t have anywhere to use them…until now.  The creamy topping on these tacos is indeed, this tartar sauce.

This recipe is so simple that I am not sure I can even call it a recipe.  It’s really just opening a bunch of packages and jars, chopping, and then tossing them with a few things.  It’s a great meal solution for a busy weeknight after sports or activities and you only have about 30 minutes to get dinner on the table with no time to prep.  Try this recipe!

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Vegan Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw & Tartar Sauce

Ingredients

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 package Gardein Golden Fishless Fillets
  • 1 jar Follow Your Heart Tartar Sauce
  • 1 package shredded cabbage
  • 1 tomato , chopped
  • 2 green onions , thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • Juice of 1-2 limes
  • 2 avocados , sliced
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Prepare Fishless Fillets according to package directions (bake 10-12 minutes at 425 degrees).


  2. While fillets bake, prepare the slaw: Toss the cabbage, carrots, green onions, tomato and the juice of 1 lime in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and taste for seasonings.


  3. When fillets are ready, heat one tortilla at a time on a stove burner, until the tortilla becomes pliable. Chop the fillets into small pieces. Spoon some of the slaw into each tortilla with about half of one fillet. Add in a few avocado slices, and top with a dollop of the tartar sauce.


May 10, 2017
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I have worked and worked to create the perfect lentil burger. I have tasted and tried dozens of other people’s lentil burgers, studying their methods and scrutinizing their ingredients list. I started experimenting with my own recipe creations for the perfect lentil burger over a year ago. I have had many fails. They were flavorless, or fell apart too easily. They were too fussy to make. I couldn’t get the seasoning blend right. Finally, I think I did it. To me, this lentil burger is perfect.


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