How to Prep a Week of Vegan Meals
Have you ever come home after a long day of work or school and wondered what to make for dinner? You spend at least 15 minutes opening and closing the refrigerator door trying to pull together something to stop the hunger pangs, but you give up and order in instead. This routine can become all the more tiresome if you follow a vegan diet.
Not to worry: there are a few simple ways you can have healthy vegan meals ready throughout the week, saving you money and ensuring you get the right calories in your diet.
Plant-Based Vegan Diet
Research has shown that adopting a plant-based diet reduces your risk of diseases such as obesity or diabetes. Plus, cutting down on animal-based products can help reduce your ecological footprint. Eating more plant-based foods means you're helping both your body and the environment.
But one question often pops up: "how do you get enough protein?" There are many plant-based sources of protein out there, such as hemp seeds, quinoa, and lentils. Including these foods in your vegan meal plan will ensure you get an appropriate amount of protein to keep you energized and feeling full.
Prepping Vegan Meals
First, choose a time for you to prepare meals for the week—like the weekend, for example. Schedule the weekly date on your calendar so you'll be more likely to stick to it. This way, you'll know what ingredients to buy ahead of time, and whether or not you need to prep snacks or desserts.
There are a couple ways to prep. You can either mix and match (which involves planning your proteins, starches, and vegetables separately), cook big batches of food, or put together meals the day before.
Alternatively, you can create full meals, portion them out, and stack ready-to-go containers in the fridge. If this is your strategy, choose your recipes in advance. To reduce your costs and food waste, look for recipes that use similar ingredients. For example, if one recipe uses cilantro, find another that uses cilantro as a dressing. Consider which recipes call for the freshest ingredients (like a salad), and which recipes could use ingredients that are a day or two old (like a casserole), and plan accordingly.
Vegan Recipe Inspiration
Now that you have a few ideas for preparing your weekly vegan meals, check out these recipes to inspire your next meal plan.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so here are three vegan recipes to help you jump-start your morning.
- Bake these homemade granola bars ahead of time and grab a couple on your way out the door.
- For a simple and filling breakfast, make a few bowls of this moringa oatmeal so that when you're ready to eat, all you have to do is heat them up.
- If you like to prepare your oats the night before, try this strawberry and banana overnight oats recipe.
These vegan meals will keep you fueled for the rest of the day.
- Looking for healthier alternatives to convenient foods? Try these healthy quinoa fritters, which take little prep time and keep well in the fridge.
- If veggie burgers aren't your thing, enjoy this quinoa tabbouleh salad.
- Or you can make these delectable quinoa veggie wraps, which pack a nutrient-filled punch to keep you going.
Come home to one of these delicious vegan dishes, and unwind after a long day.
- Dishes like this veggie quinoa casserole are easy to prep and throw in the oven when you get home from work.
- Change up your dinner routine with a wholesome buckwheat salad that offers a filling green dish to cap off your night!
- Afterwards, you can detox with this refreshing vegan smoothie.
It may seem like a lot of work to prep meals, but planning and preparing ahead of time will help you stay on track to achieve your wellness goals. Remember, there's no right way to meal prep. Find whatever works for you, and stick to it. Good luck!
Photos: veganLazySmurf, Teri Virbickis / Shutterstock.com, merc67 / Shutterstock.com, Teri Virbickis / Shutterstock.com