family meal planning

5 Meal Planning Tips for NEW Vegan Families (VIDEO)

Adjusting to a vegan lifestyle can be overwhelming enough, but adding a family to the mix can sometimes make you want to pull your hair out. I remember those days!

Hell, sometimes I still have those days with the fam. The struggle is real!

I remember when meal planning was difficult because I couldn't figure out how to put meals together. It was hard not seeing meat as the center of a meal!

To complicate things more, I thought vegans only ate salads and smoothies. Quiet as it's kept, I wouldn't have lasted this long if we were limited to just salads and smoothies. We love variety!

I put together a vlog with 5 tips on saving a little time (and money) with meal planning for a family.


Check out the tips:

Put breakfast & snacks on autopilot-The less thinking you have to do the better! We usually have oatmeal or grits for breakfast and fruit for snacks, but there are limitless options out there for quick vegan meals and snacks. Other breakfast suggestions: pancakes, smoothies (using plant-based milk like almond or soy instead of dairy), roasted potatoes with a side of fruit, soy or coconut yogurt with fruit and waffles, & bacon and sausage alternatives. For snacks: crackers, trail mix, smoothies, pre-packaged vegan junk food (Oreos are vegan-just saying) & fresh fruit

Keep a food journal-This is a great way to keep track of the meals your family enjoys. You can refer back to the journal when you need quick meals ideas

Take one main ingredient and make several meals out of it-As a kid, I hated leftovers, so this is a great way to jazz up meals for your family. For example, make a pot of lentils and make 3 meals out of it. On day one you can make lentils and rice, the next day make lentil soup and the third day make tacos or burritos. Of course you can also make a big batch of one of those recipes to eat over a few days.

Get your family's input-In my experience, my family became more open to this lifestyle change when I asked for their input. Find out some of their favorite recipes that you can veganize (make a vegan version of) them. People are more likely to eat what they recommend.

Be open with experimenting with new recipes-use vegan cookbooks and blogs to veganize some of your favorite recipes and to find new ones to experiment with. I tried about 4 vegan macaroni and cheese recipes before I found our favorite one. Be open to experimenting with several recipes until to find one that the majority of your family loves.

Be gentle with yourself and your family in this journey and I promise that meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking will get easier.

Here's the video....

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What We Ate Today #3 | Vegan Family Meals

Hey! I hope your week is going well! 

I'm working on unplugging from the Internet to focus on living more in the moment.  It's a challenge since I always feel like I'm "missing something" when I unplug, but I know it will improve my productivity and connection with the ones I love. :-)

Anywho, last week I did another video for What We Ate Today. I recorded what we ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack over the course of one day.  I hope you enjoy the video and recipes.

If you try any of these recipes, please let me know what you think. :-)

Also, don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more recipes and vlogs.  


Breakfast Cookies & Strawberries


*I skipped the ground almond and used all oat flour instead
*I also skipped the chocolate chips

Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker


French Bread Pizza


*I used Italian bread since my bakery was out of French
*I veganized this recipe by using Daiya vegan cheese and Earth Balance vegan margarine.

Recipe adapted from Divas Can Cook


Avocado, Tomato & Black Bean Dip


Avocado, Tomato & Black Bean Dip

by Brown Vegan & "Clean Eating for Busy Families"


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large tomato, chopped small
  • 1 (15 oz) can of black beans, rinsed & drained
  • ¼ cup salsa
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • Bag of tortilla chips


Heat a large skillet on medium heat and cook garlic and onion for 5 minutes with oil. Add tomato and cook for about 5 more minutes. Add in black beans, salsa, lime juice, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a blender (allow it to cool if you don't have a blender with a vent on top). Add in vegetable broth and avocado and blend until smooth. Serve with chips.

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Black Bean Burgers with Mango-Avocado Salsa on Pita


I veganized this recipe from "The Yummy Mummy Kitchen" cookbook

Black Bean Burgers with Mango-Avocado Salsa on Pita

by Brown Vegan

Keywords: bake bread side entree sandwich vegan vegetarian

Ingredients (Makes 6 burgers)

  • 1 medium mango, peeled & diced
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted & diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 vegan egg (1 tablespoon ground flax seed & 3 tablespoons of water)
  • 6 pita pockets
  • 6 green leaf lettuce leaves


Mix flaxseed and water in a tiny bowl with a fork. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes.

Preheat oven at 400º

For the burgers, in a medium bowl mash the beans with the back of a fork until all beans are broken and able to stick together, but still chunky. Stir in ½ cup cilantro, breadcrumbs, cumin, oregano, salt and flaxseed mixture. Form into 6 patties and back for 15 minutes, turning over after 10 minutes.

While the burgers are cooking, mix together the ingredients for the salsa.

In a bowl, combine mango, shallot, lime, avocado, garlic & ¼ cup cilantro.

Place lettuce in the pita pocket, then burger and finally top with avocado-mango salsa.

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Check out all the previous "What We Ate Today" posts here

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Come Grocery Shopping with Me! #1 (Video)


Hey! I hope you're having a great weekend. :-)

When I went grocery shopping the other day, I decided to take the camera along to talk about organic food, my love of Wegmans (and grits lol) , the numerous emails I get telling me to stop eating tofu, and also do a mini-haul of some of the items I picked up.


Check out the video below and be sure to subscribe to my channel for more vlogs and recipe videos.  Thanks for reading & watching!

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Grocery Haul


I always get excited when I'm up and at the grocery store before the crowd.

Since we're not completely out of food at home, I was determined to spend no more than $100 on this trip.

What I picked up...


Black rice (1st time trying it), kale, tomatoes, garlic, lemon, onion, peanut butter, bread, rice flour, boxed waffle, slider buns, TVP, Vegenaise, Earth Balance vegan margarine, avocado, soy yogurt, apples, tamari soy sauce, canned kidney, garbanzo & pinto beans & tomatoes, salt, 6 red bell peppers, frozen corn, fresh basil, cilantro & parsley,  bananas, chick'n flavored bouillon cubes, rice flour, grits, sun-dried tomatoes and lettuce.


My total was $106. I'll take it!


I could've easily maintained my $100 goal, if I didn't throw in that last minute bag of fries (#thesekids love them), vegetable broth, peanut butter and Thai Kitchen's instant rice noodle soup.  When I wander away from the grocery list, it never fails that the bills goes higher. Duh! lol

This grocery haul should last us about 5 days.

What's on the menu?

I'm making buffalo chickpea nuggets (will actually make a BBQ version for the kids), veggie burgers, bean chili, falafel sliders, polenta squares, green juice, pancakes and tacos.

What's on your menu?

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