Part 2 of our Plant-Based Spring Meal Plan focuses on light but nourishing dinner and dessert recipes for a week. There is cozy baked pasta, crispy loaded polenta fries, and a simple and elegant roasted pineapple and mango dessert. To see the prep, breakfast and lunch recipes, as well as the grocery shopping list for the entire meal plan, head to Part 1. We hope you find this helpful and/or inspiring :)
(Check out Part 1 for meal prep, breakfast and lunch recipes)
Creamy Millet Porridge with Stewed Rhubarb and Mango
Millet Kitchari with Spinach and Peas
New Potato Salad with Millet, Sugar Snaps, and Sauerkraut
Asparagus Chickpea Chowder with Polenta Croutons
Baked Gluten-Free Pasta in Creamy Leek Sauce
Loaded Polenta Fries
Roasted Pineapple and Fresh Mango Bowl
*all recipes are vegan and gluten-free and will make enough for a work week (5 days), for 2 people
Day by Day Prep List
In the evening, make the Baked Gluten-Free Pasta in Creamy Leek Sauce to have for dinner on Monday, Tuesday, and possibly Wednesday nights. This will be fairly quick, since you’ve already made the Creamy Leek and the Bechamel sauces for the pasta during prep day. Roast the pineapple and slice the mango for dessert, it’s quick and you will have enough for dessert for the rest of the week. The recipes for the Baked Gluten-Free Pasta in Creamy Leek Sauce and Roasted Pineapple and Fresh Mango Bowl will be in Part 2.
- Make the Baked Gluten-Free Pasta in Creamy Leek Sauce for dinner for the first part of the week.
- Roast the pineapple for the Roasted Pineapple and Fresh Mango Bowl for dessert for the week.
Once you’ve finished eating your first breakfast option, make the second breakfast option (either the Creamy Millet Porridge with Stewed Rhubarb and Mango or the Millet Kitchari with Spinach and Peas, recipes in Part 1) to have in the morning for the rest of the week. Once you’re done with the New Potato Salad with Millet, Sugar Snaps, and Sauerkraut, prepare the Asparagus Chickpea Chowder with Polenta Croutons (recipe in Part 1) to have for lunch for the rest of the week. Prepare the Loaded Polenta Fries for dinner for the rest of the week, once you’re done with the Baked Gluten-Free Pasta in Creamy Leek Sauce. The recipe for the Loaded Polenta Fries will be in Part 2.
- Prepare the Creamy Millet Porridge with Stewed Rhubarb and Mango or the Millet Kitchari with Spinach and Peas for breakfast for the rest of the week (recipe in Part 1).
- Make the Asparagus Chickpea Chowder with Polenta Croutons (recipe in Part 1) to have for lunch for the rest of the week.
- Make the Loaded Polenta Fries to have for dinner for the rest of the week.
This comforting Baked Pasta will be a breeze to put together, since you’ve already prepared the Creamy Leek Sauce and the Bechamel for it during prep day. All you need to do now is cook the pasta, mix all the ingredients, and give them some time to get cozy in the oven. You’ll have plenty of leftovers for the rest of the week, too. If you are ok with gluten, feel free to use wheat pasta here!
- 1 tablespoon neutral coconut or olive oil
- 2 large leeks, white and pale green parts only - sliced
- sea salt
- 3 garlic cloves - sliced
- 2 cups cooked millet
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1½ cups chickpea broth (from above)
- 1½ tablespoons tamari
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder, or more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon each dried marjoram and thyme (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric - for color (optional)
- 1 cup cooked millet
- ½ cup almond milk
- 1 heaping tablespoon flax meal
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- sea salt
- 8-12 oz gluten-free pasta - cooked very al dente
- 4 cups spinach leaves - chopped
- 1½ cups fresh or frozen and thawed green peas
- Creamy Leek Sauce (from above)
- bechamel sauce (from above)
- nutritional yeast mixed with any chopped nuts/seeds of choice - for garnish (optional)
- Warm the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt and sauté for about 8 minutes, until the leeks are soft and begin to caramelize. Add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Combine the sautéed leeks and the rest of the ingredients in an upright blender and blend until smooth. Taste for salt and spices and adjust if needed. Use right away or refrigerate in an air-tight container. Don't rinse the blender.
- Combine all of the ingredients in an upright blender and blend until smooth. Use right away or refrigerate in an air-tight container.
- Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C).
- Combine the cooked pasta, spinach and peas in a 9" x 9" baking dish (or a dish of similar size) and pour the Creamy Millet Sauce over the pasta. Stir to coat and even the mixture out with a spoon. Pour the bechamel sauce over the top and spread it out lightly with a spoon to cover the pasta evenly.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the bechamel sauce on top is dry to the touch and golden in places. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast sprinkle over top, if using, and serve warm. Reheat portion by portion, in the oven or in an oiled, covered pan on the stovetop.
We dream about these fries on a regular basis. If you’ve never tried polenta fries or crispy polenta of any kind before, you are in for a real treat. Polenta gets so satisfyingly crispy after some time in the hot oven, that any chip cravings or cravings for anything addictively salty are usually completely taken care of for us after a nice helping of these golden wedges of goodness (or the polenta croutons from Part 1). Here, they are served with plenty of vegetables, crispy chickpeas, and a tasty sauce (also prepped in Part 1), to balance everything out. You can switch up how you assemble and eat this dish from day to day. Put the vegetables and chickpeas on top of the fries, and pour the sauce over everything, for a messy, knife and fork type of deal. Or mix the vegetables, chickpeas, and sauce into a salad and serve it on the side of the fries, with more sauce for dipping, etc.
- 1 8" x 8" dish of cooked, evenly spread and set polenta (from Part 1)
- 2 tablespoons neutral coconut oil or other heat tolerant oil of choice
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- sea salt - to taste
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas, or all the remaining chickpeas from Part 1
- 1½ teaspoons neutral coconut oil or other heat tolerant oil
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 heaping teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- florets from 1 head of broccoli - sliced in half vertically
- 2 medium zucchini - sliced into sticks
- about 8 oz asparagus - tough ends trimmed
- 2 tablespoons neutral coconut oil or other oil of choice
- 4 garlic cloves - minced
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450° F (230° C).
- Lift the set polenta (from Part 1) out of the dish onto a cutting board by using the extended parchment paper edges. Slice it in half, then slice each half into 9 long pieces (you should have 18 pieces total). Keep the fries thick or keep slicing them into thinner pieces, depending on the shape you prefer.
- Arrange all the polenta pieces on a parchment paper-covered baking tray in one layer. Brush with the oil, sprinkle with smoked paprika and salt. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip each polenta piece, rotate the tray, and bake for another 15 minutes, until quite crispy and golden brown at the edges.
- Dry the chickpeas with a clean kitchen towel and remove any loose skins. Place the chickpeas on another parchment paper-covered baking tray, drizzle with the oil, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt, paprika and garlic powder, and toss to coat once more.
- Place the tray in the oven. Roast the chickpeas at the same time as the polenta fries, for 15 minutes, then stir and roast for another 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Reduce the oven temperature at 425° F (215° C).
- Combine all the vegetables on a parchment paper covered baking tray. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with the minced garlic, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on a parchment paper-covered baking tray (you may need 2 trays).
- Roast 30 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and golden brown at the edges, tossing the vegetables and rotating the trays at half time.
- Distribute the polenta fries between plates, top with the chickpeas and roasted vegetables, and drizzle with the Spicy Tahini Sauce (from Part 1). Optionally, garnish with fresh herbs.
Roasted pineapple is so good. I love fresh pineapple, but when it comes to combining it with ice cream or any other dessert-like ingredients, I definitely prefer to roast it. It becomes a more intense, caramelized, and hopefully slightly charred version of itself, and just begs to be eaten on top of something lush and cool like ice cream or coconut yogurt. In this bowl, the roasted pineapple is combined with fresh mango slices, a squeeze of lime juice, and a sprinkling of lime zest for an easy, elegant sweet ending to a meal.
- 1 ripe pineapple, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2-3 teaspoons coconut sugar
- 2 ripe mangoes - peeled, cubed
- dairy-free ice cream or coconut yogurt
- 1 lime - juice and zest
- Preheat oven to 450° F (230° C). Arrange the pineapple pieces on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with half of the coconut sugar. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Flip the pieces, sprinkle with the rest of the coconut sugar, and roast for another 10 minutes, until the pineapple is golden and caramelized in parts.
- Serve the pineapple together with the cubed mango, over dairy-free ice cream or coconut yogurt, with a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkling of lime zest.