One Week

Zero Waste Meal Plan

This 7 Day meal plan should help you find some ideas for zero waste meals. Any of these menus can be swapped, many can be doubled and frozen.

Day 1

Sunday

Breakfast

Pancakes with fruit sauce

Make your favorite pancake recipe with oat milk or water if you can’t find zero waste milk. Chop up some apple or pear and cook down on medium-low heat with some lemon juice until it’s soft and saucy.

Lunch

Green Salad and an avocado sandwich

Use this as a chance to prep some salad mix to make your meals during the week a breeze. Prep a few heads of lettuce, thin sliced cabbage, and any other greens or hard vegetables you’d like (fennel is a nice addition). To a portion of your salad mix add some thin slices of green apple and some walnuts and cranberries and dress with oil, vinegar, and herbs and seasoning. Toast a slice of bread and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Thinly slice half an avocado and lay across the bread. Top with greens, pesto, or salsa/tomatoes and add salt, pepper, chili flakes or hot sauce. Black sesame if you’re feeling fancy.

Dinner

Rice and Daal

Put a pot of rice on 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice (really nice if you soak the night before with a bay leaf).  In another pan lightly fry some cumin seeds if you have them and add tumeric and coriander after about a minute and fry on medium very briefly. Add half an onion and some garlic and sautee.  Add a 1/2 cup lentils to the spices and fry for another minute. Add 2 cups water and season with salt and chili powder. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until the lentils have absorbed the water.

Serve lentils over rice and garnish with cilantro or parsley.

Day 2

Monday

Breakfast

Oatmeal & Fruit

Put 1/3 cup of oats per person in a pan with plenty of boiling water. Season with cinnamon, cardamom and a pinch of salt. Add chopped fruit and cook until fruit is soft and water is absorbed. Add water as necessary. Serve with brown sugar, sucanat, or maple syrup.

Lunch

Roasted Veggie Grain Bowl

Cook farro or millet or quinoa. Farro is best soaked overnight, drained and cooked. It takes less time to cook when it is soaked overnight. Less time=less fuel!
Prepare vegetables in cubes, sweet potatoes, onion chunks, celery pieces, regular potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, whatever is at the Farmer’s market. Mix with 1 T of olive oil in a bowl plus 1 tsp salt, oregano, dash of cayenne. Spread on tray in 425 degree oven and roast until soft, stirring and turning as needed.
Serve on bed of grains with cilantro garnish or nutritional yeast on top. If you want you can add 1 fried egg per bowl.

Dinner

Grain Burgers and Salad

Put any leftovers from your grain bowls in a food processor and process until smooth, or finely chop veggies and mix by hand. Add egg or mashed black beans to hold the mass together and add some chopped walnuts (optional). Form into patties and bake on a well-oiled cookie sheet with sesame seeds on top at 350 degrees about 20 minutes or until firm. Serve with mashed avocado sauce or tahini sauce.

Add grated carrots or beets to your salad mix, and dress with balsamic and olive oil.

Day 3

Tuesday

Breakfast

Chia Pudding

Soak 1/4 cup chia seeds in 2/3 cup water or oat milk (overnight in the fridge or for at least 10 min). Customize by adding fruit, nuts seeds and maple syrup or honey.

Lunch

Hummus & Veggies with Salad mix

The night before, cover one cup of dry chick peas with water and bring to a boil. Let them soak in the warm water over night (this will help them cook faster the next day). When you’re ready to make the hummus, drain the soaking water and cook them in fresh water (a pressure cooker works best, but if you need to use your stove top we recommend doing this step ahead of time and freezing the chickpeas until you’re ready to use them. They can take quite a while to cook). Once the chickpeas are soft, drain the water and add them to a food processor (save a bit of the water you drained in case you need to thin out the hummus). Blend the chickpeas +  2-4 tbsp water +2 tbsp olive oil +1 tbsp lemon juice +1 clove garlic +1/4-1/2 tsp salt. Optional: 3/4 tsp cumin. This recipe is highly customizable, taste and adjust to your liking! PS Most hummus contains tahini, but that can be tricky to find zero waste. We found it’s delicious even without!

Chop up some carrots, celery, cauliflower and anything else you want to dip in the hummus. Take some of your salad mix from Sunday and tomato and cucumber and dress with lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper. Serve with bread.

Dinner

Stir Fry & Rice

Put 1 part rice to 2 parts water in a pot and simmer covered until rice is tender and water is absorbed.

In another pan sautee an onion, carrots, and celery until the onions are translucent. Add some broccoli, kale, zucchini, squash, any produce you’ve got and sautee until tender. Add any delicate greens like spinach at the end just to wilt. and throw in some whole almonds to add texture. Season with salt, pepper, grated ginger, soy sauce, chili oil, sesame oil or any combination of spices you enjoy. This is incredibly flexible and very forgiving.

Serve over rice.

Day 4

Wednesday

Breakfast

Granola & Oat Milk

You can get granola at most bulk stores or make your own by simply mixing a few cups of oats with sugar, cinnamon, a pinch or two of salt, a few glugs of oil,  and honey or maple syrup. Bake at 300 for 10 minutes then mix it up and add nuts. Continue baking for 20 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Oat milk is a zero waste essential. make it by blending 1 part oats to 3 parts water, a pinch of salt and a spoonful of sugar for 30 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh tea strainer or cloth.

Lunch

Quinoa Salad

Boil 1 cup quinoa in  2 cups water and let cool (this can be done ahead of time). Chop up some cucumber and tomato and add to the quinoa (optional: avocado). Sprinkle in some sunflower seeds or pepitas. Add some dressing (mix 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup oil, save extra dressing for later use).

Dinner

Potato, Eggs, and Red Cabbage Slaw

Bring a pot of whole potatoes to a boil and simmer until soft. Remove them from the water and add whole eggs and boil for 6-9 minutes depending on how hard you like them.

To make the slaw thinly slice half a head of red cabbage and half a fennel. Salt generously and pound for a few minutes to tenderize the cabbage and release the juices. Add grated carrots, green onions, olive oil, vinegar, some sugar, and pepper along with any other spices that you like (caraway is great). Garnish with fennel fronds.

Day 5

Thursday

Breakfast

Fried Egg Sandwiches

Fry eggs in olive oil, place on freshly toasted bread with sliced avocado, greens or sprouts, and a sprinkle of chili powder or paprika.

Lunch

Mashed Potato with green beans

Mash boiled potatoes with oat milk, salt, and some olive oil. In a separate pan, sautee some garlic, add green beans and season with salt, black pepper and chilli powder. Optional: Serve with a side of grated beet and apple salad seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and salt.  

Dinner

Carrot Cashew Loaf with Salad

Prepare 4 carrots, 2 ribs of celery and 1/2 onion for chopping into 1/4 tp 1/2 inch pieces. Saute all together in coconut or olive oil over medium heat until cooked. Chop 1/2 cup raw cashews and beat two eggs. Chop 2 tablespoons of parsley, add all ingredients in a bowl including 1 tsp salt. Pat into well greased 8×8 inch pan. Top with sunflower seeds or pepitas. Bake 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until set. Let cool 5 minutes then cut into squares.
For egg substitute use 1 T ground flax seeds plus 3 T water whisked together and allow to sit for a few minutes = 1 egg in any baked recipe.

Use a portion of your salad mix and add cucumbers, tomatoes, and thinly sliced red onions. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil, herbs, and salt.

Day 6

Friday

Breakfast

Buckwheat with Shredded Apple

Soak 1 cup of buckwheat in 2 cups of water overnight. Rinse and add a handful of chopped walnuts, currants or dried blueberries, some oat milk, cinnamon and honey. Enjoy! You can add really any berries in season or dried, other fruit and other nuts or seeds.

Lunch

Pilaf and Pan Seared Brussels Sprouts

Start by making a vegetable stock from onion skins, vegetable peels and ends, and herb stalks. Keep these scraps in the freezer throughout the week. Fill a pot with vegetable scraps and cover with water and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and herbs.

In another pan sautee onions, carrots, and celery. When the onions are translucent add sliced mushrooms and shortly thereafter a cup of uncooked rice. Brown the rice for a few minutes and then cover generously with stock. Cook until the rice is tender, adding stock as needed.

In a frying pan heat some vegetable oil on high heat. Add halved Brussels sprouts and sear them, stirring occasionally but letting them sit long enough to brown and caramelize. When the sprouts are tender add some balsamic vinegar and drizzle with honey. Season with salt and pepper, mix and remove from heat.

Dinner

Polenta with Ratatouille

In a large pan sautee half an onion, carrots, and celery. When onions are translucent add sliced zucchini and mushrooms. When vegetables are just tender add at least 5 roughly chopped tomatoes to the pan and let the ensemble simmer while you make your polenta.

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and salt generously. Add a cup of polenta and stir continuously for at least 15 minutes, the longer the better, adding water if needed. Add some olive oil and cheese (if you can find it zero waste) before serving.

Day 7

Saturday

Breakfast

Veggie Fritatta with Toast, and Fresh Orange Juice

Sautee half an onion, stir fry some vegetables and greens you picked up zero waste. Spice gently. When it’s looking fairly cooked, crack a generous amount of eggs into your pan and give them a light scramble before putting a lid on the pan and letting cook on low-medium heat until top is firm (~20 Minutes). Serve with toast and squeeze an orange into a glass for yourself as a treat.

Lunch

Leftover Soup

Start by making a vegetable stock from onion skins, vegetable peels and ends, and herb stalks. Keep these scraps in the freezer throughout the week. Fill a pot with vegetable scraps and cover with water and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and herbs.

In a large soup pan sautee half an onion, carrots, and celery. Then add any fresh veggies you need to use up, and once they’re cooked add any leftover grains and vegetables from the week. Season with salt and herbs and add a dash of vinegar. Cover with stock and simmer for 20 minutes. You can eat this right away but the longer it sits the better the flavors.

Dinner

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Grate 1 sweet potato and 1 white potato into a colander. Salt lightly and allow to sit while dicing 1/2 onion and chopping 1 T of parsley. Squeeze any juices out of the potatoes (can be used for soup). Beat two eggs, add other ingredients plus 1/2 tsp salt and 1 T flour. Drop by spoonful into a hot skillet that is well greased and turn once brown. If you don’t have sweet potatoes, you can use carrot or even just potatoes for potato pancakes.

While you’re prepping your pancakes cook down some cubed apples until they’re saucy.

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