I've been trying to transition to a plant-based diet for a long time and the meal-planning has been a bit of a struggle for me. I dove into all the popular websites and bookmarked a boatload of recipes and I stressed over keeping up with them all.
I was often put off with the ingredients I was unfamiliar with and the lengthy time it would take to prepare many of the recipes. I just wanted to be able to cook simple food that my family would actually eat and be able to get it on the table in the least amount possible. There's nothing wrong with more complicated recipes but my lifestyle doesn't allow for it.
Now here is where I break into a Happy Herbivore commercial! I found what I needed in her low-fat, vegan, quick and simple recipes (not to mention her 7 week meal plans). It is what works for my family and I prepare her food on a regular basis. I find that I do not spend large amounts of time looking for new recipes to prepare. I bought all four of her books and several of her meal plans and when it is time for me to make my own menu, they're my go-to sources.
My point is this: if you are new to plant-based eating and are overwhelmed with all the options, try zeroing in on one source that interests you and get familiar with their methods, ingredients and style. See if you can see yourself adopting this for your own lifestyle. If you can, drop the big recipe search for awhile. I became more confident in my skills and the things I had learned - such as, nutritional yeast wasn't a weird ingredient after all and my family enjoyed the food I prepared with it and cookies made with beans were actually good! Now I occasionally come across a recipe that looks interesting and I will give it a try to see if I want to add it to my rotation - otherwise, I stick with a combination of Happy Herbivore recipes and a list of other family favorites I have accumulated over the years.
What's your plant-based style?