Plant-Based Meals *Updated with Recipe and Review*

We have this friend, The Happy Medic. He has the uncanny ability to make the Hubby do things he wouldn’t normally do (like meet someone he’s never met in person at a bar… alone. Or wear a kilt for 30 days straight). He’s also put a little bug in the Hubby’s ear about plant-based eating.

The Hubby was directed to a documentary on Netflix called “Forks over Knives”, and for the first time in a decade, he said to me “I can’t believe I’m thinking about cutting meat and dairy”. This, from a guy who won’t touch a melon (of any kind), a squash (of any kind), nor a piece of whole wheat bread (affectionately called a “bread racist”. Only the white stuff for him).

I do what I can to put good foods in all of our bellies while staying in budget and not STARVING mid-day. But it’s really hard, when I come across resistance to anything other than instant oatmeal! But that’s not to say I haven’t tried! It just hasn’t been successful, I think, mainly because The Hubby wasn’t ready for the change.

The Hubby is a creature of habit. He knows what he likes and, since it’s kept him alive for the past 40 years, he’s been happy with the status quo. However, when anyone asks either of us “how are you today?”, the answer is usually “TIRED”.

And I’m tired of being tired.

So, we’re going to start by finding something besides Cheerios, milk, and sugar for breakfast. Tonight, I’m making Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars. We’ll experiment with quinoa as cereal and smoothies (once I buy some sort of blending device) as well, but we’re taking baby steps here. (And yes, I realize these bars have milk in them, but if the fam likes them enough, I’ll buy coconut milk to use instead.)


Recipe adapted from and Amy Vowels

Makes 16 bars


  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, stir together the mashed bananas, milk, peanut butter, maple syrup and egg.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a greased 8 x 8-inch baking dish.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the dish begins to brown.


These bars came out moist and delish! They had a nice banana flavor, though Big isn’t a banana fan, so she just picked at hers. I might try making them with applesauce next time, but I’m pretty sure they’d be bland. Besides, if we are going to change how we are eating, Big is going to have to learn to like some things that she didn’t before.

The Hubby, my harshest critic (in a good way), said “They were ok, but I’ll get used to them. I was definitely satisfied!”

I’m going to cut a chunk off and freeze it to see how they defrost, because, though I’m trying to make more whole foods, I don’t have a whole lots of extra time, so I’ll be looking for freezable solutions, as always!




6 thoughts on “Plant-Based Meals *Updated with Recipe and Review*

  1. Watching Forks over Knives right now. You sparked some thing in me. I made this tonight for my own creation. My family loved it which is big for them!

    Unstuffed stuffed zucchini with quinoa. 
    1 large onion diced
    5 cloves of garlic chopped
    5 large tomatoes diced 
    1 tsp dried basil
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp thyme
    2 tsp garlic salt divided
    1/2 tsp ground pepper. 
    1.5 cups quinoa cooked in 3 cups water or 3 cups vegetable broth. 
    5 cups shredded zucchini, yellow squash, or patty pan squash or a mix.

    Satue onion and garlic for 5 minutes, add in tomatoes, Add in spices and 1/2 of garlic salt and simmer for 15 minutes. Salt shredded zucchini mix and allow to sit 10 minutes. Drain and press out moister. Pour zucchini in to tomato mixture as well as quinoa. Poor mixture in a casserole dish sprinkle with 1 tsp of garlic salt. Bake for 30 minutes @ 400 degrees uncovered.

  2. Please post a recipe for the bars….. 🙂

    Sweet Potato Chili:
    This is SUPER easy, freezes well and can be vegan if you use vegetable broth in lieu of the chx broth. I think it would also be good if you wanted to add some shredded chx 🙂
    Very filling, lots of flavor!

    2 Large Sweet Potatoes (pealed & cut into bite-sized pieces)
    1 Large Yellow Onion (diced)
    3 Tbsp Olive Oil
    3 Tsp Kosher Salt
    1 Tsp Cumin
    1 Tsp Chili Powder
    2 Cans (15oz) of Chicken Broth
    1 Can (15oz) Black Beans (You can use 2 cans if you like more beans)
    1 Can (28oz) Diced Tomatoes (with juice)
    1 Cup Frozen Corn

    Heat Olive Oil in a stock pot.
    Add onion, salt, cumin and chili powder – Saute for 5min on Medium heat.
    Add Sweet Potatoes, broth and tomatoes – Let simmer for 45min to an hour. Or until potatoes are cooked
    10minutes before serving add corn and black beans – heat

    *If you want additional “heat” I would add a diced jalapeno with the onions or maybe 1/4tsp of cayenne pepper*

    Goes great w/ cornbread.
    Top with sour cream and chopped cilantro (if you’ve got it/want it).

    Bon Appetite!

  3. Does your family like sweet potatoes? They’re REALLY REALLY good for you & I have an amazing recipe for Sweet Potato Chili that’s vegan. My hubs ate 3 bowls before asking “Does this have meat in it?” I can message you the recipe if you’d like 🙂

  4. I honestly function a lot better when I eat fruit and veggies daily and I miss the color on my plate when I don’t. Good for you guys to try something new- after all “you’ll never know until you try. “

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