One of the biggest myths challenging those seeking a healthier lifestyle is the misconception that eating will break the bank or the clock. It’s too expensive and time consuming.

Neither could be further from the truth. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. When you begin to put plants together, simplicity rules the day. What’s more, when your body receives highly nourishing foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and enzymes but lesser in calories, you feel satiated and cravings dissipate.

We have it all backwards. Think about the last time you ate a bag of Doritos. Did you feel full and satisfied or did you crave more? How about the last apple with nut butter? I’m guessing it’s the latter that kicked the cravings to the curb and left you feeling energized and satisfied.

Eating plant-based is fun, fast, flavorful, energizing, and totally satisfying. Putting meals together has never been easier, truly requiring no exacting recipes. Today, I’m sharing 5 ingredient recipes to carry you throughout the day.

Please note, I’ve provided basic templates for a single serving (links are to my more detailed recipes), and spice suggestions, but additional spices or seasonings are not included in my 5 ingredients. Feel free to add them as recommended or according to your personal preferences and be sure to multiply the quantities for the number of eaters!

STOCK YOUR KITCHEN FIRST

If you stock your pantry, freezer, and fridge with a few basics each week, you will always be 5 ingredients away from a great meal.

PANTRY: Cans of beans (BPA free cans…Amy’s black beans, black bean chili, refried beans, white northern beans, chickpeas) whole grains (oatmeal, brown rice, buckwheat), seeds (quinoa, flax, chia, hemp/Hemp Heart Toppers, pumpkin, sunflower), nuts (raw: almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans), oils (olive, avocado, and coconut), vinegars (red and white wine, rice, balsamic, apple cider), nut butter (sunflower, cashew, peanut or almond), wraps (whole grain tortilla, coconut wraps), salsa, nutritional yeast, honey or maple syrup, stir fry sauce, and spices (chili powder, garlic powder, pink salt, black pepper, cinnamon, curry powder, red pepper flakes, cumin, Italian seasonings, lemon pepper)

REFRIGERATOR: Hummus (any flavor) Unsweetened almond milk (Califia is my favorite), berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries), pastured organic eggs, veggies (red bell pepper, onion, zucchini/spaghetti and yellow squash, carrots, radishes, cucumber, garlic, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potatoes) , leafy greens (kale, arugula, spinach, romaine), fruits (avocado, tomato, apples, cherries banana), mushrooms (portobello), lemon juice (fresh lemons or organic bottled), Organic soy (tofu, tempeh), aromatic herbs (basil, cilantro)

FREEZER: Peas, Ezekial bread and buns, stir fry veggies, Path of Life (quinoa/brown rice mixes)

BREAKFAST

Nut Butter Toast: Ezekial Bread + Nut Butter + 1/2 Banana + Cinnamon sprinkles + ground flax seed.

**Toast bread, top with your favorite nut butter (mine is Yumbutter), banana slices, cinnamon, and flax seed. Eat while warm.

Cinnamon Walnut Oatmeal: 1/3 cup Oatmeal +  2/3 cup water + Cinnamon sprinkles + 2 tbsp Walnuts + 1/2 banana.

**Mix oatmeal and water in large soup bowl. Using 30 second intervals, cook in microwave until oatmeal is softened. Add bananas, cinnamon, and walnuts before serving.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie: 1/2 Frozen Banana + 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk + 1/2 to 1 cup Blueberries + splash of Honey.

**Blend all ingredients until smooth. Add more milk to thin or add ice to thicken.

Warm Buckwheat and Berries 1/2 cup buckwheat + 1 cup water + berries + cinnamon + splash unsweetened almond milk.

**Mix buckwheat and water in large soup bowl. Using 30 second intervals, cook in microwave until buckwheat is softened.. Add almond milk, cinnamon, and berries before serving.

Chocolate Protein Pancakes 1 banana + 2 eggs + 1 tbsp (rounded) Purium Organic MVP Chocolate protein powder + 1/8 tsp baking powder + chopped pecans.

**Mix all ingredients together and drop in round spoonfuls onto a medium warm griddle, cooking 1-2 minutes on each side.

Brown Rice Cereal Bowl: 1 cup Brown basmati rice + 1/2 banana +drizzle of almond butter + cinnamon sprinkles + splash of unsweetened almond milk.

**Warm leftover brown rice in microwave safe bowl, top with banana slices, a generous drizzle of almond butter, sprinkle with cinnamon, and top with a splash of unsweetened almond milk. 

LUNCH

Avocado Radish Toast: Ezekial Bread + 1/2 mashed Avocado + 1 Sliced radish + 1/2 cup chopped Supergreens + Manitoba Harvest Chipotle Hemp Heart Toppers.

**Top toasted bread with mashed avocado, sliced radishes, greens, and hemp seeds. Optional: season smashed avocado with lemon juice, pink salt, garlic powder. 

Coconut Veggie Wrap: Coconut wrap + 2 tbsp hummus + 1 cup veggies ( spinach, bell pepper, carrots) + cilantro + avocado.

**Layer each ingredient into the wrap, roll up, and slice into halves. Optional: season with pink salt, pepper, garlic powder, and splash with red wine vinegar or your favorite seasoned vinegar.

Strawberry Avocado Kale Salad: 2 cups kale + 1 cup strawberries + 2 tbsp sliced almonds + 1/2 diced avocado + splash coconut oil.

**Place chopped kale in a bowl, rub with coconut oil, and toss with sliced strawberries, almonds, and avocado. Optional: Splash with apple cider or strawberry vinegar and season with pink salt, garlic powder, and a squeeze of honey or maple syrup.

Caprese Salad: 1 tomato (sliced) + 1/2 English cucumber (sliced) + 1/4 small onion (sliced) + splash of vinegar (balsamic and/or red wine vinegar) +olive oil

**Place all ingredients in a bowl and chill for 15-60 minutes. Optional: season with pink salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chopped fresh basil or italian seasonings and toasted pine nuts. 

Mexican Quinoa Wrap: 1 large leaf lettuce (romaine) + 1/2 cup quinoa (Path of Life frozen quinoa/brown rice mixture, warmed) + 1/4 cup beans (rinsed black or Amy’s refried) + salsa + 1/4 avocado (diced)

**Warm leftover grains or Path of Life quinoa/brown rice and beans in small microwave-safe dishes. Place these mixtures into lettuce leaf and top with salsa and avocado. Optional: Season beans and quinoa mixtures with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, pink salt, and lime juice. Top lettuce wrap with Siete Cashew white queso, available in health food stores.  

DINNER

Stuffed Sweet Potato: 1 white or orange sweet potato + 1/2 cup quinoa (Path of Life frozen quinoa/brown rice mixture, warmed) + 1/2 cup Amy’s black bean chili (warmed) + 1/4 cup guacamole + 2 tbsp salsa

**Poke holes in potato and place in microwave safe dish with cover. Bake until potato is soft enough to easily slice in half. Meanwhile, warm chili or seasoned beans. To serve, slice potato in half, top with chili mixture, guacamole, salsa, and Siete Cashew queso if desired. Season with pink salt, and Mexican seasonings (chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, pink salt) if desired. 

Veggie Stir Fry: coconut oil + 1 package extra firm tofu + 14 oz veggies (fresh or frozen) + organic stir fry sauce (to taste) + brown rice (Path of Life quinoa/brown rice, warmed, may be used for fast work)

**Warm oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Drain and press moisture from tofu and cube. Once hot, add tofu and stir fry approximately 2 minutes. Add veggies and sauce, adding water to thin if necessary. Meanwhile, warm Path of Life quinoa or prepare brown rice according to package directions. Place rice in dish, top with veggie mixture, and add  toasted almond slices and sesame seeds if desired. 

Apple Spinach Cauliflower Steaks: 1 large slice Cauliflower (cut vertically from top to stem) + 1/2 small Apple + 2 cups Spinach + clove garlic + Coconut oil

**Brush coconut oil on steaks. If desired, season steaks with curry powder, cumin powder, honey, paprika, pink salt, and  pepper. Broil in oven 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, add coconut oil to a small skillet. Once warm, add apple slices, and saute until slightly softened. Add spinach and minced garlic. Saute until spinach is slightly wilted and garlic is fragrant. To plate, place cauliflower steak on plate, top with apples and spinach mixture. Sprinkle with Sriracha if desired.

Portobello Burgers: 1 Portobello mushroom + 1/2 Red bell pepper + sliced Onion + Ezekial bun + 1/2 Avocado

**Heat grill to medium. Meanwhile, clean and brush mushroom, red bell pepper, and onion with oil. If desired, season with pink salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasonings. Grill veggies until tender but not overcooked and mash avocado with lemon juice, pink salt, and garlic powder. Place bun alongside veggies in the last minute to warm slightly. To assemble, place mushroom on one bun, top with grilled veggies, and the smashed avocado mixture. 

Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash: 1/2 small Spaghetti Squash + Olive oil + 1-2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast + 1-2 cloves minced  Garlic + 1/2 cup frozen Peas

**Cut squash in half and place flesh side down on a microwave safe dish with a small amount of water to steam the squash. Cover and cook in 1-2 minute increments until the squash is soft to the touch. Once cooler, use a fork to scrape squash into long “noodles” and return to dish. Cover to keep warm while frozen peas are warmed. To assemble, mix squash with peas, and seasonings including pink salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and nutritional yeast. Gently mix until evenly distributed but do not over mix or the squash mixture will become mushy. Top with additional nutritional yeast, pepper flakes, and ground black pepper.

Keep this simple, friend! You run the world; please don’t let food run you crazy! Food and eating should be a fun, fast, easy, and respectful experience. So light a candle and get cooking. Please also remember to post and tag me @pacerkristen/#pacerkristen with your personal, favorite 5 Ingredient meal creations!