midwinter meal plan


zero Waste groceries

Hello everyone!  Another week, another meal plan- this week is going to be pretty simple.  Basically make a big pot of chili Sunday and a vibrant miso herb paste, then use them for 4 meals during the week.  You don’t have to prep them ahead though if you don’t want to, or if you have plenty of time on weeknights.  On Friday, we’ll make an easy winter salad and top with roasted potatoes to give it that warmth and coziness.

Next week I’m not sure if I’ll have time to create a meal plan so I may post a simpler one with links to others recipes and a shopping list.  Hope you guys have a lovely weekend, make sure to get out and stock up on veggies for the week xx

notes: if using dried chickpeas, make sure to soak and cook them ahead of time.  On wednesday, you will need about 1 hour or more to roast the whole sweet potatoes.  If you don’t have time for that, bake the sweet potatoes before bed on tuesday night and reheat wednesday.  I’m assuming you have basics like olive oil, salt, pepper, chili flakes, sweetener.

weekend prep:

black bean and mushroom chili (adapted from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook)

1 pound cremini mushrooms, broken into rough pieces

1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds

1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds

2 tablespoons oil (or water saute instead)

1 yellow onion, chopped fine

10 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons canned chipotle en adobo, minced

3 tablespoons chili powder

2.5 cups veggie broth

2.5 cups water

1 pound (2.5 cups) dried black beans

1/3 cup coffee liqueur like Kahlua, Patron XO, or sub regular coffee or a tablespoon of cocoa powder + 2 teaspoons brown sugar OR just omit

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

2 bay leaves

28 ounces of canned tomatoes

2 bell peppers (1 red 1 green), stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

salt to taste

  1.  Preheat oven to 325.  Pulse mushrooms in food processor until finely chopped and uniform in size.  Or chop with a knife if you don’t have a processor.
  2. In a large dutch oven or soup pot, toast mustard seeds and cumin seeds over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 1 minute or until they become fragrant.  Stir in the oil, mushrooms, and onion, and cover, letting cook for 5 minutes.  Uncover and keep cooking, stirring occasionally, until veggies start to brown and liquid reduces, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and chipotle and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in chili powder and cook another minute.  Stir in the north, water, beans, coffee liquer, baking soda, an day leaves and bring to a boil.  Cover, transfer pot to oven, and cook for 1 hour.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and bell peppers, replace lid, and return pot to oven.  Cook for 1 hour or until beans are fully tender.
  5. Remove pot from oven and let cool before storing in the fridge.

toasted pumpkin seeds:

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds toasted in a hot dry skillet over medium high heat, stirring/tossing so they don’t burn, until the color starts to brown a bit and they pop.  Let cool before storing in a airtight container like a mason jar.

winter green miso paste: 

this paste.  I left out the rosemary and subbed 3 tablespoons sesame oil + 2 tablespoons tamari for the olive oil, but feel free to make it as written or adapt as you like.  Make sure to either put in in a jar where the paste fills all the way to the top to seal it, or float some oil on the top to prevent oxidation in the week.

green Miso paste cilantro Heidi swanson

the meals:

monday:  chili bowls with chipotle crema and all the fixings

Start the week off slow and easy enjoying the fruits of your labor from yesterday.  Measure out 1 cup of cashews into your blender and pour in 1 cup of hot water on top of them.  Let that sit while you warm up the chili and chop up a tablespoon or two of the chipotles en adobo (depending on how spicy you like it) and add the chiles to the blender.  Zest and juice 1 lime and add that too, along with 1 garlic clove and some salt.  Chop up your toppings now: cilantro, avocado, lime wedges.  Now blend the chipotle crema until very smooth and creamy.  Serve the chili in bowls and drizzle with the crema, then add all the toppings.  Sprinkle some of the toasted pumpkin seeds on top too for crunch.

Black bean vegan chili kahlua lime mushroom chipotle

tuesday: herby green miso chickpea noodle soup

Start a pot of water boiling for your noodles.  In another pot, saute 1 leek and 1/2 an onion with a bit of coconut oil for 5 minutes.  Add in 1 large sliced carrot and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add in the 1.5 cups leftover broth, 2.5 cups water, and 1 can of coconut milk.  Bring to a low simmer, then remove from heat and whisk in 3/4 cup of the miso paste, then add in 2 cups or 1 can of cooked chickpeas.  Taste and add more paste or salt to taste; this will vary wildly depending on the miso you used and the veggie broth you used.  I used a light miso and found I needed about 1/2 tsp salt.

Meanwhile, when the water boils, add the noodles and cook until tender, setting a timer for 2 minutes left so you can dump in 8 baby bok hoy (halved or quartered lengthwise).  Drain the noodles and greens.

Ladle soup into bowls,  divide between them the noodles and greens, then sprinkle on chili flakes, sesame oil, chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds to taste.  Serve with lime wedges.

green Miso chickpea herb noodle soup

wednesday: loaded chili sweet potatoes

Preheat oven to 400 and piece 4 sweet potatoes all over.  Place in oven in a baking sheet or dish and let cook about 1 hour or until very soft.  Time depends on how big your sweets are.  Meanwhile, heat up leftover chili and gather your toppings: avocado, the leftover crema, chopped cilantro, green onions, lime wedges, toasted pumpkin seeds.

Split open the roasted sweet potatoes lengthwise and pile on the chili.  Add all the toppings and serve!

sweet Potato stuffed chili vegan cashew cream

thursday:  miso roasted tofu and broccoli bowls

Preheat oven to 375.  Start a pot of rice going (1.5 cups rice to 2.25 cups water).  Cube up a large block of tofu.  Wash and cut up a bunch of broccoli.

Toss the tofu in a large scoop of the leftover winter green miso paste and a tablespoon or two of the leftover sesame seeds.

Cilantro green onion ginger roasted tofu

Place on a lined baking sheet.  In the same bowl, toss the broccoli with another dollop of the sauce and place on another baking sheet.  Pop them both into the oven and set a timer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, julienne or shred a large carrot, and chop up any leftover cilantro or green onion.

To assemble: place rice in bowls, the roasted tofu and broccoli.  Add a big scoop of kimchi.  Sprinkle over the carrots, chopped herbs, and any leftover sesame seeds.  Drizzle a little more of the miso sauce over and sprinkle with chili flakes.  Add sliced avocado.

vegan kimchi tofu rice bowl

friday:  bitter greens with warm roasted potatoes, apples, and hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 400.  Start a pot going with a small amount of water in the bottom and a steamer basket.

Chop up 2 pounds of yukon gold or red potatoes into largish chunks.  Place in steamer, cover, and steam until tender but still a bit firm.  Drain and dump into a bowl.  Add a scoop of whole grain mustard, a tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Toss to coat and spread out on a lined baking sheet.  Place in oven and set timer for 20 minutes.

Wash 1 head of escarole or endive or any other bitter green you like and rip into bite size pieces.


Mix together the juice and zest of 1 lemon, salt, pepper, drizzle of olive oil, drizzle of agave syrup or honey, 1 clove crushed garlic, and toss with the greens to combine.  Slice up 1 sweet apple and add it to the greens.  Pick leaves off parsley (about 1/4 cup packed) and set aside for garnish.

When the timer goes off, pop in a baking sheet with 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts on it and roast, with the potatoes still in too, another 10-15 minutes (careful not to burn them).  Remove both sheets from the oven.  Chop hazelnuts roughly.

Plate the salad first, them scoop the hot potatoes on top, sprinkle with hazelnuts and parsley, and serve.

roasted Potato salad hazelnut escarole apple

shopping list:

cremini mushrooms x 1 pound

yellow onion x 2

red onion x 1

leek x 1 small-medium

garlic x  2 heads

ginger x a big 2 inch knob

carrot x 2 large or 4 medium

bell peppers x 1 red and 1 green

potatoes x 2 pounds (red or yukon gold)

lime x 3

lemon x 1

avocado x 3

apple x 1 (sweet variety like Fuji, pink Lady etc)

baby bok choy x 8 small or 4 larger

broccoli x 1 bunch

escarole/frisee x 1 large head (sub any other green, arugula, spinach etc if you can’t find escarole)

cilantro x 3 bunch

parsley x 1 bunch

green onions x 3 bunches

dried black beans x 1 pound

cashews x 1 cup

raw pumpkin seeds x 1 cup

sesame seeds (toasted) x 1/3 cup

raw hazelnuts x 1/2 cup

coffee liqueur (if using)

can of chipotle en adobo

chickpeas x 1 cups dry or 1 can

rice x 1.5 cups or quinoa works well too

coconut milk x 1 can

crushed tomatoes x 28 ounce can

veggie broth x 4 cups

yellow whole mustard seeds

whole cumin seeds

chili powder

bay leaves x 2

noodles ( I used 4 blocks of GF ramen noodles, but you can use any noodle you want)

miso x 1/2 cup

tofu x 1 large block


sesame oil


whole grain mustard

2 thoughts on “midwinter meal plan

  1. Just came home from shopping. Best feeling to have a fridge full of vitamins. I’m doing the whole week! We’re only two, but I’m planning to eat leftovers for lunch the following day. It’s my first try and I’m totally excited! 🙂
    Thank you so much for sharing!

    All the best from Germany

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