a week of meals: time crunch edition

greens kale cabbage avocado vegan farmers market zero waste

This week has been INSANE.  I’ve been working 6 + hours a day without a break harvesting rosemary, molding it into wreaths, and tying them off with raffia for a school fundraiser for the garden program I teach at my daughters school.  Along with all my other mom responsibilities and my regular job.  Not complaining at all, it’s been super fun, but its hard work.

I’ve been so tired that we’ve been making super fast meals, as I just can’t face cooking anything complicated.  It got me thinking about how what you cook varies a lot based on the time you have available and what you’ve already done that day.

Even though I’ve been busy, I still make healthy food a priority.  Some of the parents I was working with this week expressed to me how they would like to cook + eat healthier for themselves and their children, but they are just too exhausted and/or they don’t have the time.

That’s why this weeks meal plan is focused on fast and easy meals that don’t require a lot of dishes, time, or patience.  I think the key here is to be able to devote an hour or two Saturday or Sunday to get a few foundational components in- hummus, a big batch of a grain, roasted veggies, and cutting up/cleaning veggies.

Also, make sure you get to the farmers market/grocery store to stock up on veggies, fruits etc so you have lots of healthy options.  Investing that time now is so worth it, so that during the week everything is ready to go already with minimal effort from you!

weekend prep:

hummus-  i like to make an interesting one, like beet, sweet potato, or avocado

big batch of quinoa (boil 2 cups quinoa in a large pot of salted water until tender, about 8-10 minutes, then pour through a large fine mesh strainer to drain it)

big batch baked sweet potatoes (pierce sweet potatoes all over and roast at 400 for an hour or more until very soft)

trim stems from a bunch of large collard leaves (cut stem off and shave down the center rib so its about the same thickness as the leaf)

quick pickled red onions

cut up brussels and butternut squash and store raw in a container in the fridge

toast pumpkin seeds (1 cup in a hot dry pan, cook till they start popping)

vegan avocado hummus cilantro gluten free plant based


monday:  collard wraps.  Spread trimmed collard leaf with hummus, and top with quinoa, pumpkin seeds, shredded veggies + avocado.  Roll them up like a burrito and eat!  After dinner while you’re cleaning up, toss the chopped brussels and squash with some oil, garlic, and herbs, and roast at 400.  Store in a container in the fridge.

vegan hummus collard wrap gluten free

tuesday: buddha bowls.  Base of quinoa and a handful or two of baby spinach/greens.  Warm up some of the roasted veggies from last night in a pan and put those in.  Top with a big dollop of hummus, pumpkin seeds, some pickled onions, and avocado.  Squeeze plenty of lime/lemon over the top too.

Vegan Buddha bowl hummus avocado gluten free

wednesday:  loaded sweet potatoes.  Boil 2 cups of water and pour over 1 cup of cashews.  Set aside and let soak 10 minutes while you prepare the rest of your meal. Warm up a can of whole or refried black beans with some lime and cumin.  Warm up your roasted sweet potatoes and split them in half.  Top with black beans, avo, cilantro, pickled onion, pumpkin seeds.  Drain the cashews and blend with 1 cup water, lemon juice, garlic and salt.  Drizzle the cashew cream over the potatoes too.

Loaded sweet potatoes vegan beans gluten free

thursday:  boil some pasta (I use gf by Jovial), drain and toss with your leftover roasted veggies, leftover cashew cream, 2 cloves minced garlic, tablespoon of nutritional yeast, and chopped rosemary.  You can throw in a can of drained chickpeas too if you’d like to add more protein.

friday:  loaded curried sweet potato soup.  Saute an onion, 3 cloves garlic, a thumb of minced ginger, chili flakes, a teaspoon each of whole cumin and coriander seeds with some coconut oil until fragrant.  Add in your leftover baked sweet potatoes (chop them up first), a can of coconut milk, and enough veggie broth to thin it out.  Bring to a boil and add in a tablespoon of curry powder, salt and pepper, and a teaspoon of turmeric.  Let simmer 5-10 minutes- while its simmering, saute some kale and warm up the leftover quinoa.  Then blend your soup.  Pour into bowls and top each with a scoop of quinoa, some kale, toasted pumpkin seeds, and some chopped cilantro and chili flakes + squeeze of lime.

Do you guys like this easy, re-purposing style of meals? Let me know by commenting below or on Instagram @mamaeatsplants .  I post these meal plans hoping they’ll be useful for YOU guys so I’d love to know what your situation is with cooking, and what kind of recipes are most helpful for YOU.  If you struggle with cooking, what’s your biggest obstacle?

Enjoy your weekend!  xx Amanda

9 thoughts on “a week of meals: time crunch edition

  1. I am so grateful for this! I look forward to your meal plans every week (and also love that you usually put them up on Fridays, which gives me time for shopping), but this one is really useful because you cover meal prepping on the weekend. I’ve also been really busy with work, and feel that my family’s health has suffered a bit as a result because I haven’t had time to get enough veg in our meals–lots of pasta and bean burritos but low on the greens! And also I love that it’s not a TON of meal prep on the weekend, and fairly easy at that. This will help with lunches too now that my kids are home from school. I really appreciate all of the effort you put into this! I love your Instagram posts as well. keeps me on track in terms of reducing trash and getting more fruit and veg in!

  2. Variety of vegetarian meals so I’m not continually eating the same things your recipes are amazing. Thank you so much. Husbands still a meat eater so I’m cooking for him as well.

  3. Definitely helpful!

    I’ve been using this plan this week and it has been great. I love the variety in the dishes and that it took some prep, but only a little bit of cooking/assembling each day. I don’t like making a huge batch of one dish and reheating it over many days- it’s not as fresh and my stomach doesn’t appreciate it, so this is great!

    One thing that would be helpful to add is a quick ingredient list. I saw your post last minute when I was in the parking lot of the grocery store and had to read through it all and make a list.

    But, I really appreciate all the resources you provide! They are not only realistic and helpful, but also beautiful, colorful, delicious, and waste free. Amazing! Thank you 🙂

  4. Oh I’m so happy the posts have been helpful to you. I agree, a shopping list would make it easier. In the past I’ve hesitated because I know everyone’s household size is different- here, I cook for 4 or more servings at a time. I’ll experiment with including one. I appreciate the feedback and thanks for taking the time to comment! All my love xx

  5. Wow, thats a great one! Seriously, I am absolutely in love with your work here and IG! Haha its hasn’t been a day without not commenting or liking it here or there 🙂 I believe every household is different. I don’t live in US but in AU and we have prices so much upper than you and unfortunately don’t have anything super close by but I asked my partner and he is happy to drive me every now and then when he is free after work. Loving every recipes, getting a bit stressed with the prep ad I am not get at this and following each step (as I never do exact same) but yours I so healthy and I just need to follow some. Especially collard wraps are fabulous as I always wanted to try them. I thought we eat healthy but when I look at yours recipes I have tons of hours to learn. Thanks for so much effort and love you put into it. Also appreciate how frequently you always replay on msg or comments. It all makes it so real with amazing support. Your new fan B

    1. 🙂 thank you!! I agree every household is different- here in California we are lucky to have great access locally to bulk shopping and farmers market twice a week with local produce year round. I know not everyone has this kind of access and I am so grateful. I think you just have to find what works for you and what you can personally do to reduce waste- in a way thats sustainable for you so that you don’t get burned out. We LOVE collard wraps and you will too! Hope you enjoy and much love from California xx

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