World's Simplest Vegetarian Meal Plan

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Eat healthy even when you're busy and poor

It’s not that I hate cooking. I actually enjoy preparing an elaborate meal every now and then. But most of the time, I prefer to be doing something else. Maybe you are a struggling writer or artist who cannot afford to quit your day job and want to spend most of your free time working on your writing or art. Maybe you are a working student who does not have a lot of extra time or money. During the various periods of my life that I fit into one or the other of these categories, I developed a super simple meal plan that is healthy, low in calories, and inexpensive. This meal plan has seen me through many a busy day. It is flexible enough to adapt to your particular tastes and circumstances.

These meals require a maximum of five minutes prep time and minimal cooking. If you are a meat eater, you could add some meat topping to the pizza tortillas.

Breakfast:

Baked apple with sunflower seeds.

Slice the apple, sprinkle with a half teaspoon of ground cinnamon and bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. When done baking, add 1/8 cup unsalted sunflower seeds. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea.

Approximate calories: 144

Mid-morning (or mid-afternoon) snack:

½ cup dry-roasted unsalted peanuts

1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries

Approximate calories: 308

Lunch:

Hummus on flat bread.

Spread 4 tablespoons hummus (I use Cedar Roasted Red Pepper) on a piece of flat bread (I use Flatout Light Original). Fold and cut in half.

Optional: Two celery sticks.

Approximate calories: 200

Dinner:

Two pizza tortillas with small garden salad.

Spread two tablespoons of Pizza Quick sauce over two whole-wheat tortillas. Sprinkle ¼ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese on each. Bake on cookie sheet in preheated oven at 325 degrees for 10 or 15 minutes – until cheese is melted and slightly bubbly or microwave for about 90 seconds. Toss some dark lettuce, sliced tomato, and cucumbers with two tablespoon of raspberry vinaigrette or other low-calorie dressing.

Approximate calories: 654

This menu adds up to about 1465 calories. If you need more calories, simply double up on one or more meal servings, or add another healthy snack such as a piece of fruit or a cheese stick. If you want fewer calories, replace the peanut and cranberry snack with a piece of sliced fruit or a cup of yogurt. You can also eat one pizza tortilla for dinner instead of two. Each pizza tortilla is about 287 calories.

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