Each day during the Kickstart, we provide recipes and suggestions for every meal. Don’t let this overwhelm you. We want you to know there are tons of options, but you get to pick and choose how many recipes you make each day or week—and how much of each recipe you make. For those of you cooking for four to six people, the serving size of the provided recipes will be spot-on. But if you are cooking for just yourself or one other person, you may consider cutting the recipe in half or making the full amount and freezing it. We recommend trying to cook a big batch and eating off of it for a few days. This will save you time and keep you eating healthy meals. And for those of you cooking for one, check out the book Vegan Cooking for One by Leah Leneman. We've also added a list of vegan convenience foods.
Breakfast: Apricot Oatmeal
Lunch: Bacon, Sprout, and Tomato Sandwich (Use whole-grain bread or pita bread.) and baby carrots
Snack: Frozen mango chunks (Buy a bag of frozen mango or eat fresh ones if available.)
Dinner: Cuban Black Bean and Potato Soup with steamed or fresh spinach
Breakfast: Cereal, plant milk, and sliced strawberries on top
Lunch: Kickstart Dining Out: Salad bar gone wild! Here's a suggestion for making salad at salad bar: Choose a green, top with a bean, add a grain and tons of veggies, and choose a low-fat vegan dressing or keep it simple with balsamic vinegar. (Or make your own salad at home with romaine lettuce, garbanzo beans, cucumber, tomato, and balsamic vinegar.)
Snack: Oranges and raisins
Dinner: Pita Pizzas (Save some for tomorrow’s lunch.) with mixed green salad (If you are making your own side salad, think greens, such as romaine or red leaf lettuce topped with tomato, cucumber, onion, broccoli, and your favorite low-fat vegan dressing; an easy pick is balsamic vinegar, which is very easy and a little goes a long way.)
Dessert: Gingered Melon
Breakfast: Fruit Salad and whole-grain toast with apple butter
Lunch: Leftover Pita Pizzas or DIY veggie burger
Snack: Carrot and apple
Dinner: Penne al Forno and Collards with Almonds
Breakfast: Cereal with plant milk and a banana
Lunch: Leftover Penne al Forno or a mixed green salad with a 1/4 cup beans on top
Snack: Fresh grapes
Dinner: Sweet Potato Lentil Chili
Indian Day from Kickstart India Menu
Breakfast: Smoothie Day! Mango Sassy or Sheera
Lunch: Tofu Palak “Paneer” with Herb Roti
Snack/Dessert: Carrot Halwa
Dinner: Aloo Gobi (Potato and Cauliflower Curry) over Basmati Brown Rice
Breakfast: Vanilla French Toast and Kickstart DIY Smoothie (Use plant milk, banana, and any fruit you have around; see Kickstart DIY tips.)
Lunch: Spinach, Beet, and Orange Salad with whole-grain bread or pita
Dinner: Jamaican Stir-Fry (Recipes calls for serving over long-grain brown rice.)
Breakfast: Huevos Rancheros and Garlic Hashbrowns with Kale
Lunch: Chickpea Salad Rolls (Make leftovers for tomorrow's lunch.)
Snack: Apple or other fruit
Dinner: Kickstart DIY: Beans, greens, and grains (Consider using barley, lentils, and any leftover kale or bok choy.)
Kickstart DIY: DIY is short for a do-it-yourself recipe. We want you to get into the habit of going out on your own and making meals without a recipe. If you are not feeling ready for a DIY meal, stick to a recipe. But if you are, grab that can of beans, cook up some brown rice, and top with cooked greens or some frozen mixed vegetables. Or mix your favorite fruits together and toss with soy yogurt. Let your imagination run wild with Kickstart DIY meals.
Serving Sizes: Don’t worry too much about the serving sizes of beans, grains, fruits, and vegetables. Thanks to the fiber and low-fat content, you would be hard-pressed to consume more calories than you need from these four food groups. (Exceptions include avocados, olives, etc.)
Cereal: Look for around 5 grams of fiber per serving. Avoid those that add chemical preservatives, sugar, corn syrup, and/or cane juice.
Bread: Look for around 4 grams of fiber per slice/serving. Avoid additives such as whey, sugar, corn syrup, caramel colorings, etc.
Jam: Choose all-fruit jams. These are usually not sweetened with sugar.
Beans: All beans are great. Buying them dried may be more economical, but you have to plan for the rinsing, soaking, and draining process. Canned and frozen are every bit as good.
Grains: Whole grains are preferred, but as long as the ones you choose have some fiber you are fine.
Fruits: All fruits are good: whole fresh, frozen, or dried. Avoid those with added sugar and those that have the fiber removed, e.g., juiced.
Vegetables: All vegetables are good: whole fresh, frozen, or canned.
Food Allergies or Intolerance: Navigating the New Four Food Groups
Check out the menu planner on NutritionMD.org for a lot of other ideas, including breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner ideas.