As many of you know, my husband adopted a plant-based diet a year ago.  He was the biggest carnivore, cheese and ice cream eater who I never thought in a MILLION years would give up animal products.  He happened to watch a documentary about people going plant-based and weaning off their medications, reducing inflammation, and reversing certain chronic diseases and decided he had nothing to lose (except weight, inflammation, and cholesterol) by going plant-based for a month.  To be clear, vegan and the new term, whole food-plant-based (sometimes referred to as WFPB), are different.  Vegan just means the food or product (shoes or clothing) contains no animal products – no beef, pork, poultry, fish, etc.; no dairy; no eggs; no honey.  A vegan diet could be potato chips, processed soy hot dogs, Oreos, Coca-Cola, you get the idea.  Whole food-plant-based means minimizing or eliminating animal-based products, including meat, dairy, and eggs. But unlike the vegan diet, processed foods, including refined oil, white flour, and refined sugar are minimized or avoided. The diet focuses on unprocessed or minimally processed fruit and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

I have updated my students and social media followers on his progress and I am happy to say he is still committed to this way of eating.  He has significantly reduced his inflammation, aches and pains, lowered his cholesterol by 150 points, and lost 20 pounds.  Plus, he seems lighter on his feet and generally happier.  I am personally not vegan since I do eat a little fish, and the occasional egg or dairy.  And I am not trying to convert anyone to this way of eating.  BUT, I do not think factory-farmed animals are healthful for us or worth eating, and I can make an argument that speaks to factory-farmed animals having a negative impact on the environment as well.  I also do not think non-organic dairy is good for our bodies.  I am going to do an Instagram Live on Monday, October 15th at 5:00 pm PST/8:00 pm EST to discuss the pros and cons of a plant-based diet and how to change recipes which include animal products to be plant-based. You should absolutely join the discussion and bring your questions or just listen while I chat and answer what other people bring up.  

This week I am proposing a plant-based dinner planner if you’re interested in trying a few non-animal protein meals on your family.  Hit me with any questions below and I will happily answer as soon as I can!

Monday: Immune-Boosting Soup using mushroom stock, green peas and tofu. For more greens add in some fresh organic kale or spinach.  If my husband and son are very hungry, I’ll make some veggie fried cauliflower rice (all veggies.)  I use the veggie fried rice recipe as a template to follow.

Tuesday:  Baked Beetroot Falafels from Deliciously Ella on top of your favorite fresh steamed greens. Can serve with organic avocado slices, quinoa and pickled onions in a lettuce wrap or lavash. Top with this Lemon Tahini Dressing. If beetroot falafel sound scary, try my baked falafel here.  That’s my son’s #1 favorite recipe!

Wednesday:  Pea Pesto or Kale Pesto with gluten-free pasta, spaghetti squash or sweet potato noodles + roasted broccoli.  I am going to try the cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe’s!  To make vegan pesto, omit the salt and cheese and swap in a dark miso.  

Thursday:  Harira, swapping in extra chickpeas for the chicken.

Friday: Portobello and Poblano Tacos w/ Charred Corn from my book, cilantro-lime slaw.  I’m going to use organic, frozen, fire-roasted corn.  

Saturday Brunch/Lunch: Leftover portobello on top of your favorite organic grains w/ roasted zucchini and lentils or your favorite cooked beans. Top with warmed leftover Pea Pesto or your favorite tomato sauce. Add a fresh squeeze of lemon.

Sunday: Slow Cooker Chili with Sweet Potatoes and top with a dollop of almond milk-based yogurt.  I like Kite Hill.


Here’s what you can do ahead if you need to:


Make mushroom stock

Make beetroot falafels

Make all dressings, marinades, sauces

Wash and prep all veggies

Make pesto



Make harira

Prep veggies for tacos

Cook saturday’s grains


Here’s a link to my previous dinner planners.

I have LOVED seeing all your creations of my recipes on Instagram.  If you make any of my recipes, please tag me @pamelasalzman #pamelasalzman so I can check them out!

Click here to learn more about my online cooking classes!

If you like my recipes, you’ll LOVE my cookbook!

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  1. Would you please consider doing a “day in the life” post of what your husband eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner? I love eating plant-based and am thinking of going vegan. But I find it challenging to keep full and satiated — and it’s even harder to fill up my husband without meat! I love your vegan recipes and adaptations but I’m curious what he eats throughout the day.

    • Yes! I can tell you that for breakfasts on the weekdays he alternates between smoothies and oatmeal. On the weekends he usually makes some sort of tofu scramble or avocado toast. Lunch he eats out because he’s working. Dinner I usually make a vegan version of whatever we’re eating if I am making animal protein 🙂

  2. Hi, for the beet falafels could the beets just be roasted whole since going into the food processor? And what is gram flour? And could almond meal or gf be subbed?

    • Yes I don’t see why not! Though keep in mind the cooking time may differ. If you’re pressed for time you can also buy organic pre-roasted beets.

      Gram flour is chickpea flour. I have yet to try this recipe with almond meal or GF flour but If you end up trying it let me know how it goes!

  3. Will your Instagram live be saved to your stories? I don’t want to miss this!

    • There’s no way to save them unless I somehow can cut it up and put it into stories to save onto highlights.

  4. Like others, I’m curious to hear what documentary it was. Also: do you not eat chicken or poultry at all any more? I only ask because I see you include chicken in a lot of your classes, and I love the chicken recipes in your book.

    • It was “What the Health,” which I didn’t mention initially because I think the documentary is somewhat flawed and I didn’t necessarily want to endorse it. I eat poultry very sparingly, an ounce or two at one sitting. But most of my students beg for poultry recipes, so I keep churning them out!

      • I came to the same conclusion, that “What the Health” was flawed, but I did pick up something useful from the documentary, which was to focus more on the fiber versus protein grams.

        • Yes, there were some good messages in the film for sure!

  5. My husband and I started eating a whole plant based diet after watching What the Health & Fork it Over documentary on Netflex. We also read the Blue Zone diet to learn what people eat that live to be over 100. We do eat very small amounts of pasture raised meats and dairy. Since eating less meat and processed foods, we both lost weight and feel better. He lost 10 lbs over about 7 months without trying.
    FYI-loved your Quinoa Salad with cherries, almonds, celery, and Percoino from your cookbook. I’m making it for our holiday party with dried cherries and apricots. Not as good with dried cherries but still delicious.

    • Documentary Fork over Knives not Fork it over!

    • I knew what you meant! My husband watched “What the Health” as well. I love that salad. You can also try raw pears instead of the cherries 🙂

  6. What documentary was it?

    • “What the Health”

  7. Thank you so much for this! I eat like you – WFPB with a little dairy and egg on rare occasions. I hope that folks come away with an appreciation of how easy and delicious it is to eat this way and what a huge impact it has on health and our environment.

    • Many people don’t realize the environmental impact, so I will cover that as well in the Instagram Live.

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