By Lyndsey Hafer-Williams
Twelve years ago, I remember purchasing my first vegan cookbook, and I was so very excited. I really wanted to eliminate meat and dairy from my diet, and I was on a mission with this new purchase to do just that!
I’ll never forget spending an enormous amount of time and energy those first few months, trying out different recipes and failing miserably. The food was boring, bland, and uninspiring.
Over the years, my cookbook and recipe collection grew in direct proportion to my continuing desire to change my way of eating. My eyes were opened, especially as I learned more and more about the beautiful health benefits of eating the rainbow of glorious plants!
In 2016, I joined the CFDG private Facebook community and started scrolling through the free blog recipes, I was immediately impressed at the variety of choices and thoroughly intrigued at how easy the instructions were.
My kitchen experience was pretty limited, but maybe, just maybe, I could try this cooking thing one more time…
I was absolutely hooked after the first recipe I tried! It was insanely delicious and so easy-peasy to make that it blew the top of my head off! The Almond Ginger Pad Thai had me groaning out loud. It was that amazing. I was positively floored that I had made something so awesome.
Three years later, I have fully transitioned away from a standard American diet (SAD) of fast-food, junk food, and processed food, to a Whole Food Plant Based No Oil (WFPBNO) way of life. I did it by batching the Clean Food Dirty Girl (CFDG) Plant Fueled Meal Plans, and it’s been nothing but sheer ecstasy and a sensational journey of marvelous mouthgasms ever since!
I am just going to say it…
I absolutely adore batching.
I really do!
Getting in my kitchen, every Sunday morning, and taking beautiful, fresh, ingredients and magically turning them into delicious, healthy meals for myself and my loved ones is sensationally satisfying and tremendously therapeutic.
The process of batching, or meal-prepping, is where you batch-cook most of your food for the week, so there is minimal effort on weekdays. This allows you to have a fridge full of bodacious plants, ready and waiting, so you can nourish your body (and your soul!) with the rainbow of fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans / legumes, nuts, seeds, and spices.
Batching the Plant Fueled Meal Plans, on a regular basis, ultimately saves you time and energy throughout the week. By having everything in the fridge waiting for you, there is no effort wasted on thinking about what to do for dinner and then having to go home and spend hours cooking and putting it all together.
Also, once you have a well-stocked pantry with meal plan recipe staples, your grocery bill should plummet and you will see extraordinary savings. Not to mention, the money you will save from eating at home, rather than going out to restaurants.
I have been faithfully batching, every week, for over two years, and I have seen firsthand exactly what can happen when you give your body what it needs to not only survive, but to thrive! I am currently experiencing the best physical and mental health of my life. In fact, I never imagined that I could feel so fabulous or see such amazing results just by changing what I eat.
The power of food, to heal and restore, is astonishing and I encourage you to get started and make the commitment to batch weekly. It is not an understatement to say that it can change your entire life if you let it!
All that said, there might be a week where you just can’t batch:
Maybe there’s an illness, or you encounter other unexpected emergencies.
Maybe you have travel plans and won’t be home.
Maybe there’s a unicorn convention that you CANNOT miss.
Whatever the reason, if you ever find yourself without a bunch of already made delicious plant food in your fridge and you need a super-fast, super-simple, and super-delicious meal or snack, we’ve got you covered!
Molly has put together a list of her favorite, super fast Whole Food Plant Based recipes that will have you melting from sweet anticipation and that are guaranteed to have you dancing in delirious delight!
The next time you’re short on time, or you skip batching, this list will save you from eating pre-packaged convenience foods or ordering greasy take-out.
These quesadillas are total comfort food and lickety-split to make! The creamy white beans are seasoned to perfection and sautéed with garlic, onions, and spinach. When you add some spinach, spread it on tortillas, and brown it all up to toasty goodness, it’s a total plant-party in your mouth!
Before CFDG, I never would have tried this recipe. I mean, it just sounds strange, like something you would get in a fancy-schmancy cafe somewhere. But, let me tell you something! It is so dazzlingly delicious that once you have it, you’ll start craving it on the regular!
This is an incredible way to get fresh green beans into your pie-hole. The hit of tangy dill along with Dijon mustard and red wine vinegar combines masterfully to create insane flavor that will have your tastebuds singing! Add in the red onions and you’ve got a side dish that is unbelievably unforgettable!
This recipe completely blows my mind! It tastes like taco meat, and it will give you that chewy, satisfying texture that taco-lovers crave. I’ve faked out many non-plant-eaters with this fabulous concoction. Your kiddos will love it too!
I could jump into a big vat of this stuff and swim around in it all day long! I am not a recipe creator, and I never would’ve known to use this wide assortment of interesting spices. They lovingly meld together so well, and the minute it all gets cooking, the aroma is absolutely intoxicating! The smell will waft from your windows, making neighbors wonder what deliciousness is going on in your kitchen.
This is my favorite recipe from the blog, hands down, no question. I have made it so many times that I know the ingredients by heart. The addition of tomatoes and broccoli takes it over the top! It is nothing but a big pile of creamy-dreamy love in a bowl. This is better than any fettuccine Alfredo that I’ve ever had from anyone anywhere!
This is the quickest, easiest, and most scrumptious way to get a huge shot of vitamins and minerals into that beautiful bod of yours! Bok choy is a cruciferous, leafy green veggie that, when prepared the CFDG way, will knock your bloomers off!
Ok. Again, this just sounds weird, but it’s outrageously delicious and seriously addictive. The creamy avocado with tangy sauerkraut will cause you to holler HALLELUJAH and stomp your feet!
I used to be a huge scrambled egg fan, and I miss eggs. This recipe is the only tofu scramble that totally hits all the spots for me. The texture and flavor of this dish are positively spot-on!
There’s absolutely no reason for anyone to go hungry with this super-simple and delicious recipe. We all have the time to make this sensational dish! It’s the combination of all the smoky spices that turn plain, canned beans into a meal full of zippy zest and potent pizazz. I love to take this to picnics, potlucks, and family dinners.
This classic meal will knock you flat out and also please the entire family, especially the kiddos! When you drizzle cheddary sauce all over those soft, pillowy potatoes, it will cause time to stand still. It’s that good.
This used to be one of my favorite soups when I went out to eat at my local Asian restaurant. The umami taste of this recipe satisfies you to your core. And, to be able to make it at home, quickly and deliciously, makes my heart smile and fills my soul with joy!
Never again will you want or need to purchase processed grocery store hummus once you’ve tried this recipe. So simple, so quick, so delicious! I’ve found that it’s perfect as a dip for veggies, tortilla chips, and to spread on my favorite bread for sandwiches. It also makes an excellent salad topper.
Ok. I used to eat tuna salad at least once or twice a week. It was a staple in my house, and I never thought I’d ever be able to have that flavor again. I was so wrong. This chickpea tuna salad is so good that I’ve been known to take the whole bowl and a spoon to the hall closet, where I hide quietly, eating the daylights out of this deliciousness!
This is one of the easiest recipes that I’ve ever made in my entire life, not to mention one of the best! Simple ingredients turned into a scrumptious meal is what CFDG is all about. I could eat this morning, noon, and night!
As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been batching the CFDG Plant Fueled Meal Plans for over two years now, and while I absolutely adore the weekly menus, I love having this list of tried and true, fast Clean Food Dirty Girl recipes at my fingertips when I need a quick dish during the week, or if I can’t batch for whatever reason.
This is also a fabulous resource to share with your friends and family, especially those who want to eat more plants, and aren’t sure where to begin.
My wish for you is to experience the ecstasy that I have every time I chow down on these simple, yet exquisite CFDG classics!
Have you tried any of these recipes? Tell us which one is your fave in the comments below.
Sweet Potatoes With Creamed Spinach (Plant Based Oil Free)
(super fast and easy!)
Sweet Potatoes With Creamed Spinach (Plant Based Oil Free)
- 4 good sized sweet potatoes
Creamed Spinach Ingredients
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed (130 g)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened, non-dairy milk (180 ml)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- A few hefty turns of black pepper
- 1 5 oz box of baby spinach
First, cook 4 good sized sweet potatoes. Instant Pot is my favorite method, but choose whichever way works best for you.
Instant Pot Directions
Add 1 1/2 cups of water into the inner pot of your Instant Pot (IP) and place the trivet on the bottom.
Wash your sweet potatoes, leave the skin on (it is the most nutritious part) and make a slit, lengthwise in each one, about 2/3 of the way into the potato (you don't have to be precise about this, just don't cut the potatoes totally in half).
Place them on the trivet and lock the IP lid into place. Use the Manual (or Pressure Cooking) Mode and set the timer for 18 minutes. Use the natural release method when the timer is up.
Stove Top Directions
Wash the sweet potatoes, leave the skin on (it is the most nutritious part) and cut them into quarters. If your sweet potatoes are really big, cut each quarter into half (don’t overthink this - either way works).
Place the sweet potatoes into a pot and add enough water to cover them by a couple of inches.
Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat slightly and cover the pot with a lid at an angle.
Simmer for about 15 minutes, until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork, but not until they are falling apart.
Preheat oven to 400 °F (205 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Wash your sweet potatoes, leave the skin on (it is the most nutritious part) and make a slit, lengthwise in each one, about 2/3 of the way into the potato (you don’t have to be precise about this, just don’t cut the potatoes totally in half). Place them cut-side up on the baking sheet.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until tender and the edges are browned and caramelized.
When your sweet potatoes are cooking, make your creamed spinach.
Creamed Spinach Instructions
Place the thawed corn, non-dairy milk, lemon juice, garlic powder and salt into your blender, and blend until completely smooth.
Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often, until slightly thickened.
Add black pepper and spinach and stir until the spinach is wilted. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and wait until your potatoes are ready.
Place a cooked sweetie on your plate and cover with Creamed Spinach.
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with eating plants, even when your to-do list has 10 gazillion billion things on it.