Black bean burgers, Mojo chicken and more

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You asked, we answered! Hundreds of Start TODAY members told us they wanted more healthy, balanced meal ideas to help them reach their health goals. This dietitian-designed meal plan gives you the flexibility to ease into healthy eating.

All of the world’s healthiest diets have a plant slant, and studies show you don’t have to give up animal products completely to reap the benefits of eating more plants.

So this week, we’re showing you how to create plant-forward menus without giving up animal foods, like dairy, eggs, chicken, seafood and meat. We accomplished this goal by packing the menu with nuts, seeds, beans, fruits, vegetables and whole grains — delivering the goodness of plant foods in everything from a chicken burrito bowl to pesto spaghetti. Plus, we’ve included some meatless meals that are hearty, filling and full of protein.

What to Eat This Week: October 30, 2023

Start TODAY meal plan October 30, 2023

Start TODAY meal plan October 30, 2023

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  • Breakfast: Whole Grain Toaster Waffle with Greek Yogurt, Berries and Chia Seeds

  • Lunch: Veggie Stuffed Pita

  • Dinner: Mojo Chicken with Avocado Salad

  • Snack of choice





Mornings are hard enough, so keep your breakfast routine simple. Make a batch of the frittata muffins in advance for a grab-and-go option or throw together an easy meal with staple ingredients.

Vegetable Frittata Muffins by Joy Bauer

Serve with 1 cup or 1 piece of fruit.

Whole Grain Toaster Waffle with Yogurt and Berries

Spread toasted waffle with Greek yogurt or cottage cheese and topped with berries and chia seeds.


Continuing with the plant-slant theme, we’ve got some plant-forward ideas for you that are easy to assemble the day of or just before your meal.

Green Lentil Soup by Meki Adefris

Make your own soup with this simple recipe from Sheinelle Jones or make it even easier by simply going with a boxed or canned lentil soup. Add a handful or two of baby spinach while the soup is cooking and garnish with feta cheese.

Veggie Stuffed Pita

Cottage cheese packs 25 grams of protein in a cup, while the whole wheat pita and veggies bring fiber to your meal. This protein-fiber combo is a winning formula for staying full all afternoon. If you’re gluten free, you can substitute a whole grain, gluten-free wrap for the pita or toss the mixture and serve it as a salad. To make it, mix ¼ cup cottage cheese with 1 tablespoon feta cheese. Line the inside of a whole wheat pita with thinly sliced cucumbers and bell peppers and add cottage cheese mixture.


We’ve rounded up five dinners that feature plants in a variety of ways. For instance, the spaghetti includes a mix of vegetable and traditional noodles, plus zucchini in the pesto. These are strategies you can apply to your family favorites, too.

Joy Bauer’s Burrito Bowls by Joy Bauer

This hearty bowl is basically a blueprint for balanced eating. Carbs come from quinoa and beans (which also supply some protein), healthy fats come from seeds and avocado, and protein comes from rotisserie chicken. It’s also loaded with spinach and topped with salsa to meet your veggie requirements.

Mojo Chicken with Avocado Salad by Alejandra Ramos

Protein and healthy fat are the secret to a satiating salad. Traditionally, Mojo chicken is served with black beans and rice, but we think it would also pair well with a mix of black beans and diced red peppers served in the remaining dressing. Black beans contain carbohydrates, protein and fiber, so they’re a very versatile ingredient.

Super Green Spaghetti with Zucchini Pesto by Mia Rigden

This recipe offers the best of both worlds: A combination of spaghetti and zucchini noodles means you’ll get the benefits of veggies and the satisfaction of pasta. To balance out your meal with some protein, use chickpea or lentil pasta, or serve it with some chicken or shrimp.

Valerie Bertinelli’s Sheet-Pan Baked Salmon by Valerie Bertinelli

This dinner is a rarity — it’s just as quick to make as it is impressive. Serve it with roasted baby potatoes and a simple side salad. Roasted potatoes are one of the easiest side dishes ever — just clean them (or buy them pre-washed), toss them in oil and seasonings, and roast them on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Put them in the oven ahead of the salmon since they take slightly longer — about 25 minutes — to cook.

Sunny’s Black Bean Burgers by Sunny Anderson

Carrot Fries by Joy Bauer

These burgers come together in minutes thanks to hassle-free ingredients like canned beans and frozen corn. When they’re cooked, load on the fixings and serve them with Baked Carrot Fries.


Snacks that contain whole food sources of protein and fiber offer a winning formula that keeps you full for hours. Here are a few ideas:

  • Clementine and nuts

  • Pear and prosciutto

  • Pineapple and cottage cheese

  • Red peppers with goat cheese-pesto dip. To make dip: Mix store-bought pesto with goat cheese. Thin with olive oil if needed.

  • Snap peas and hummus

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