Hop on the express train to a vegan, gluten-free Menu Plan Monday

Last week I sent out a call for advice on making my meal plans simpler, faster, and easier, and that call was answered with everything from tips to techniques to recipes to cookbooks. A visiting friend came over and while we made Gluten-Free Goddess’s yummy, elaborate Best Vegan Mac and Cheese I made her tell me in detail about the not-elaborate meals she makes. (My favorite, utterly doable one was steam rice in the rice cooker, throw in some broccoli towards the end, then top with Annie’s Green Goddess dressing. I immediately bought myself some Goddess dressing – the vegan version of Green Goddess – at Rainbow. That’s the kind of simplicity + yumminess I’m looking for!)

Christiana from The Harmonious Kitchen, another great CSA blog, recommended Jack Bishop’s A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen. I went to check it out on Amazon, which of course then led me down a merry path to other cookbooks that “people also viewed/bought/sighed over/etc.” When I came across a cookbook called Vegan Express, by Nava Atlas, I had to order it from the library immediately. I picked it up earlier this week and it did not disappoint! I already have a billion little paper scraps marking most of the pages. So this week’s menu is almost entirely express-lane recipes from Vegan Express, and I’m pretty excited about maybe having a more low-key week of cooking!

I’ll get my CSA box on Wednesday which is timely because I’m nearly out of fresh produce. Tuesday’s meal is going to be all pantry and freezer ingredients because, except for onions and garlic (and the stockpile of celery I’ve amassed from my box), I’m going to be completely out. Getting to peek ahead to what will arrive on Wednesday is such a boon – I have my Vegan Express meals all planned out to match what will be coming. Later in the week I’ll also be making a definitely not-express batch of GF Goddess sweet potato and black bean enchiladas because they are so good that I must have them again immediately!

Sweet potato and black bean enchiladas with adobo sauce

This week Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness, who organizes the GF Menu Swap, is also hosting, with the theme of kale. If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time you know how passionate I am about kale. Before I went back to getting my CSA box I had kale several times a week, and I do miss it now that I am trying to stick to what comes in my box and is at the farmer’s market. I bought some gorgeous Russian kale at Rainbow, however, and will be making a very yummy sounding skillet meal from Vegan Express. For a simple and delicious kale preparation, I recommend Kale with Kale Sauce, which Duck invented and which will be the gold-standard go-to kale recipe forever and ever.

More vegan menu plans can often be found at Your Vegan Mom, Musings from the Fishbowl, and Two Vegan Boys and Beyond Rice and Tofu plans her menus vegetarian and gluten-free. And as always you can find a heaping serving of menu plans (mostly not vegan and GF) over at OrgJunkie‘s Menu Plan Monday compendium!

Tempeh, kale, and sweet potato skillet with cashews (Vegan Express p 74)

Baked beans and white beans with tempeh bacon and spinach (a riff on Vegan Express p 103, using frozen spinach)
GF Cornbread (from Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook? haven’t decided yet which recipe to use)

Wednesday (defrost coconut milk)
Aloo Gobhi with Klamath pearl potatoes, cauliflower and tofu (Vegan Express 61)
Basmati coconut rice

Sweet potato and black bean enchiladas (put a bit of soy cream cheese in each enchilada)
Green salad with butter lettuce and vinaigrette (Vegan Express p 221)

Bok choy, edamame, cashew and orange rice (Vegan Express p 83, use mandarin oranges)
Sauteed tofu (Vegan Express p 62)

Pasta “Carbonara” with broccoli (Vegan Express p 132)
Green salad with butter lettuce and vinaigrette (Vegan Express p 221)