International Flavor Tour
If your summer plans don’t include international travel then climb aboard the Veggie Express. These 14 meals will take you on a culinary tour that includes flavors from China, Japan, India, Italy, Mexico and America. This plant-based and gluten-free meal plan is new and available for all our app users to enjoy. To go along with our class we’ve called this meal plan the Natural Grocers Veggie Express. All the ingredients, needed for the week, can be found at Natural Grocers. However, if you don’t have a Natural Grocers near you don’t fret, because comparable ingredients can be found at other grocery stores.
It is the first plan in our new Express series where the Core Meal can be completed in under 40 minutes, and the Fresh Dinners provide options for 10, 15, and 20 minute meals. We can’t forget to mention the Carryouts that can be assembled in 5-8 minutes while you clean up from dinner. The Carryout is the perfect travel meal and makes a terrific lunch or dinner.
Don’t Miss the Connections
Speaking of Carryouts, make sure you schedule some into your itinerary this week. The Carryout is like a quick side trip that solves the unhealthy lunch problem. Every dinner destination has a connection to a Carryout that shouldn’t be missed. Here at TimeChop, we take our Carryout meals very seriously. Full of flavor, color, and packed with nutrient-dense veggies and powerful proteins, these meals make for great photo opportunities. Remember to share your favorites and tag them with @timechopapp and #mytimechop.
Veggie Express Travel Tips
Even if you aren’t living a vegan lifestyle this meal plan is worth trying. We don’t think you’ll miss the meat, and we’re convinced you’ll spend less time in the kitchen this week. You may even notice a difference in your grocery bill as eliminating animal products is often less expensive. There’s nothing to lose (maybe a pound or two) and so much to gain. How about vibrant health for starters. You’re welcome. We love you too!
Start Your Journey at Grand Central Station
The Core Meal is like Grand Central Station. It’s where your tour begins. Our new Veggie Express Meal Plan starts the week with an exceptional black bean and quinoa patty. The patty is used in the Core Meal in a classic American-style burger with a side of sweet potato fries. The connected Carryout is an added attraction in the form of a BBQ burrito as bold as Texas. It’ll take 5 minutes to put this grab-and-go lunch together using patties you made with the dinner, baby spinach, avocado, and a smoky ketchup to give it that barbecue vibe.
As mentioned above, the Veggie Express Meal Plan starts the week with a flavorful, versatile and easy to make veggie patty. The patty makes a terrific taco filling. We pair the tacos with an easy red cabbage slaw and some pico de gallo making it a 10 minute Fresh Dinner for your busiest night. It makes sense that we make a connection here with a Quinoa Taco Salad Carryout.
China & Japan
Continuing on the Veggie Express Culinary Tour, we make stops in China and Japan. We add some Asian flavors to the veggie patty and create vegan Chinese lettuce wraps, aka San Choy Bau. That’s four different meals from a delicious and nutritious homemade vegan patty! We aim to please and sometimes we even amaze ourselves.
But wait, we don’t stop there. As delicious as the black bean and quinoa patty is we like variety in our week as much as the next nutritionist. With that in mind, we tantalize your tastebuds while streamlining your time in the kitchen to give you more choices for the week. The Veggie Express Meal Plan offers four more Fresh Dinners and an awesome line-up of our signature Carryouts; Mason jar meals to go. Although, we describe these meals with adjectives like easy and express they are not plain.
The flavors from China and Japan can also be explored in the Tempeh Stir-Fry Fresh Dinner, and two Carry outs; Ginger-Miso Slaw and Shiitake Miso Soup.
As vibrant as the country itself, the flavors in the Turmeric Carrots & Chickpeas will eagerly greet your tastebuds. Roasting brings out the sweetness of the carrots, and the turmeric-tahini sauce and fresh basil bring the meal together like a well written travel guide. We packed in as many nutrients as we could into this light (but protein-filled) dish. The amazing sauce, made for the dinner, is repurposed in the Turmeric-Carrot Tahini Bowl Carryout. These two connected meals are plant-based perfection where turmeric reigns supreme. It’s a super hero spice with enormous anti-inflammatory properties.
For a dinner with fresh Italian flavor try the Balsamic-Tomato Rotini. A flash in the pan with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and garlic is all it takes to turn some cherry tomatoes and baby spinach into a delicious sauce. We add Natural Grocers‘ great northern beans to the tomatoes and top it all with fresh basil for a meal that has all the macros (protein, carbs, and healthy fats) and a lively dose of micro nutrients. We used Natural Grocers’ new gluten-free, brown rice rotini as the base under all that goodness. The connected Carryout extends your time in Italy with the Balsamic Bean & Spinach Salad.
Sometimes we enjoy the comfort of a familiar place. That’s what the Polenta with Black-Eyed Peas & Spinach is for us. We cut prep time by using pre-cooked polenta and we add some sweet potato fries and smoked paprika for the comforting familiarity they bring to this meal. The Sweet Salad Bowl is the connected Carryout you’ll want to be sure and visit.
A Return Trip to the Kitchen
As explained in our previous post, 4 Steps to Vibrant Health, we want to get people back into the kitchen. We believe that cooking at home is the ultimate in self-care. It gives you control over the ingredients you consume, and empowers you to have a positive impact on your health. This meal plan shows you how easy it is to create a versatile veggie patty using only 9 ingredients compared to the 29 ingredients in a popular frozen veggie burger. It’s a good place to start when you don’t want to spend time cooking, but you know it’s the healthier and cheaper option.
The veggie patty is also the star of the class we are teaching at Natural Grocers. Check our events calendar to see when we’ll be at a Natural Grocers near you. Our demo class, Simple Meal Planning for Vibrant Health, is free to the public. No reservations required and you’ll get to sample some sweet potato fries, a simple red cabbage slaw and the black bean and quinoa patty.
We carefully select our fresh and perishable ingredients for optimum use throughout the week in our connected meals. We don’t want you to buy a head of cabbage or a bunch of cilantro and only use it one. Our aim is to eliminate the frustration many solo/duo cooks have with tossing un-used produce that spoiled before they could eat it. That’s the beauty behind our connected meal system: minimal waste.
That being said, we don’t know how many meals or servings you will plan, and extra food at the end of the week could happen. Here are a few suggestion on how you can put them to good and tasty use at the end of the week.
- If you aren’t vegan you can use leftover black bean and veggie patties in an omelette or scramble with any combination of extra veggies. Or whisk them up with the eggs, some spinach, chopped bell pepper and smoked paprika. Then divide the mixture up between muffin cups and bake at 400°F for about 20 minutes.
- Extra corn tortillas? Everything tastes good inside a tortilla. Remember to use extra cilantro.
- If you have leftover tempeh you can create a hash by frying it up in a little coconut oil with any chopped carrots, celery, cabbage, or whatever you like. Top it with the smoky ketchup and sprinkle with pumpkin and/or sesame seeds.
- Make a super “Fridge Clean-Out” salad. You should know by now that anything can go into making an awesome and filling salad. Don’t forget the fresh herbs.
Suggestions and Comments Wanted
We want to offer meal plans that meet your needs, tastes, desires, dreams…. Seriously, we want to know what you want, so don’t be afraid leave a comment with a suggestion or two.
Just for fun what’s your go-to 10 minute meal? It might become part of our next Express Series connected meal plan.