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There’s a common misconception that all vegans are healthy when this is actually not the case. Vegans often get put into this strange stereotype that all they eat is lettuce and vegetables. While yes, there is a lot of healthy vegan recipes and meals out there, it is still very easy to be vegan and be unhealthy. Oreos are vegan, but does that make them healthy? Definitely no.
Meal prepping is one of the best ways to stay on track with a diet, especially if plant-based is something new to you. Planning out what you eat and setting yourself up for success leaves little room for error when trying to stay on the path of healthy eating. To help with this, we have compiled 15 ideas and recipes to help you stay on track with healthy meal prepping while providing you with some delicious and inspirational recipes. As an added bonus all the suggested recipes are vegan too so more of you can join in on the fun.
The first step to success when it comes to healthy meal planning is simply, planning! Whatever works for you, whether that is using a planner, writing on a calendar or using an app on your phone. When you plan it out your meals there will be no surprises. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there when we get home from work or wherever we were and have next to no brain power to think about dinner. Those are the times that we usually indulge in bad foods.
Meal planning not only helps you but also can inform your whole household about what is on the menu for dinner. It is a simple as well as an easy way to stay on track and hold yourself accountable. This would also be really helpful for someone who is new to the plant-based diet. This whole new world can feel very foreign to you and by planning your meals helps make it a lot easier.
After you planned out your week and your meals, now it is time to make the list. Making a grocery list is vital to staying on track while you’re at the grocery store. When you make your list whether you like good ol’ pen and paper or write notes on your phone it helps you know exactly what you need. This will leave less room for error and missing ingredients within your recipes.
Making a grocery list also helps you not to wander off and may just help you to be more self-disciplined when it comes to passing the treat aisles. To read more about how to keep a healthy grocery cart read HERE.
This tip is so easy and so simple but yet so neglected. If you don’t buy the food, it isn’t there for you to be tempted by. While adulting is exhausting we do have the freedom to drive ourselves to the corner store to get a candy bar, but don’t do that either.
Teach yourself to have the willpower to say no. It may just have to start with no unhealthy foods or snacks in the house. You’ll be surprised what you can overcome once you learn to say no. Over time you’ll stop craving those bad foods. After all, sugar is addictive!
If you don’t like the idea of dedicating one day of the week to prep your meals for the rest of the week that is okay too, some of us just don’t have the time. If this is the case for you it would still be wise to plan out your meals so you have a good sense of direction throughout your week as well as to stay on track.
Instead of making everything in one day make extra portions at dinner time. This will allow you to eat a fulfilling dinner and then have leftovers for lunch the next day. That means less reason to cheat on your healthy eating and eat out at a fast food restaurant.
When it comes to meal prep having reusable containers is very important. Not only is good for the environment to use reusable containers but it’ll be easier on your budget too. There are so many different kinds of containers out there from plastic to glass and from round to square shapes.
I personally recommend glass containers because they keep your food nice and fresh. If you prefer plastic containers make sure to be aware of the number on the bottom. Plastic will be labeled with numbers from 1 to 7. Generally, the food safe numbers are 1,2,4 and 5 however, numbers 3 and 7 may contain BPA (Bisphenol-A). While it’s common to hear the term BPA-free not everyone knows why it is so important. In short, BPA is a chemical used in some plastics and it can leach from the plastic containers into foods and beverages especially so when the containers are heated. A good rule of thumb is to never microwave food in takeaway containers from restaurants, margarine tubs and a microwavable dinner container should never be used more than once (they’re designed for a one-time use only). When in doubt use microwave safe glass containers to keep your food fresh and you safe.
When you’re looking for foods to meal prep a salad can get boring so it’s good to mix in meals that have a little bit more substance. These spicy chickpea quinoa bowls are not only flavorful but loaded with protein-rich foods. You’ll get a good dose of protein from the chickpeas and the quinoa in this recipe!
Not only can plant-based recipes be fun but they’re also budget friendly too. You can purchase a can of chickpeas for around one dollar and a bag of quinoa will last you a while. A great investment for your wallet and your waistline will thank you too.
http://www.eatyourselfskinny.com/spicy-chickpea-quinoa-bowl/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: EAT YOURSELF SKINNY
If you haven’t already jumped on this popular idea then sheet pan meals will be your new best friend when it comes to meal prepping. It’s a great way to get almost an entire meal cooked in one pan, this means convenience as well as minimal clean up afterward.
If you’re not a huge tofu lover, I am not going to lie it took me a long while to like tofu, but I figured out the trick is to change up the way you’re cooking it. If tofu turns you off because of its texture then you should give this recipe a try. These tofu bites are lightly battered in cornstarch, ground chili and sea salt which gives them a nice and crispy outer texture. The flavoring is also very on-point that it will satisfy your mouth and your belly. You could divvy this sheet pan into meals for the week on its own or serve it with some whole grain brown rice if you need some extra calories.
https://fullofplants.com/crispy-tofu-veggie-sheet-pan-thai-hummus/#_a5y_p=6629498 PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: FULL OF PLANTS
Sometimes your body just craves a carby meal like pasta, and that is okay too. How you prepare the pasta and what you have with it will either make it healthy or not so healthy. This pasta dish is both delicious and healthy.
This recipe requires minimal ingredients and is very customizable to your liking. You can use you your favorite pasta, however, it is recommended choose something more nutritious like on the whole grain or gluten-free kind. Then pick the veggies you love, there’s nothing worse than indulging in a meal full of vegetables that turn you off. The seasonings in this dish are very simplistic yet still powerful enough to satisfy you.
https://www.veggiesdontbite.com/roasted-veggies-and-pasta/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: VEGGIES DON’T BITE
Making your meals healthy is always a great idea but it can be a little bit more fun when you can make them budget-friendly too. This recipe is very simple yet nutritious and even offers a break down of each ingredient’s expense. This entire recipe only costs $5.72 and $1.43 per serving. Now it is obvious that that cost will vary depending on where you live and how much food cost in your area but in general it is very inexpensive. If that isn’t an excellent alternative to spending $15 plus dollars on a meal by eating out then I don’t know what is.
These tofu chunks have a savory chili flavor and are complemented by a nutritional food like brown rice and garlic flavored kale. This recipe is very easy and only requires an hour of your time. You’ll have these delicious meals whipped up in no time to enjoy all week.
https://www.budgetbytes.com/2016/09/chili-garlic-tofu-bowls/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: BUDGET BY TES
If you prefer savory and hearty meals then you’ll like a dish like this creamy coconut lentil curry. It takes less than an hour to make and makes six servings. If you choose to make this for your meals throughout the week you’ll have enough lunches to last the whole week.
Cooking with lentils for a healthy meal is a great choice because they offer a great source of protein, 15 grams per half a cup to be exact. They also are a great source of dietary fiber, iron, zinc, potassium and many other great nutrients. Make sure to use a good quality rice (not instant or 1-minute white rice) for best nutritional value.
https://www.theendlessmeal.com/creamy-coconut-lentil-curry/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: THE ENDLESS MEAL
This recipe is full of nutrition and is only 340 calories per serving if you’re trying to watch your waistline this is an excellent healthy meal for you. It also has roughly 29% of your daily protein, a great source of dietary fiber, as well as loads of other vitamins.
It is delicious and filling, and sometimes we just need fulfilling meals like hearty chili. Like some other meals, chili makes great leftovers and better yet, for meal prepping. The flavors get bolder and bolder the longer it sits. Enjoy this chili with some of your favorite fresh toppings like cubed creamy avocado and vegan cheese.
https://eathealthyeathappy.com/killer-vegan-chili/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: EAT HEALTHY EAT HAPPY
Eating plant-based can be as simple or as interesting as you want it to be. If you’re a little more adventurous and love trying something new then you’ll definitely want to give this recipe a try. This dish is loaded with flavor from spices, has a bit of a kick from jalapenos, and has a good dose of protein from black beans and brown rice.
To keep things interesting this recipe is nicely complemented by roasted plantains. Although they look similar to a banana they are not as sweet and that is why they work so well in cooked dishes. Make your meal prepping fun and try a unique meal like this.
https://www.wellplated.com/cuban-black-beans-and-rice/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: WELL PLATED
Here is another unique recipe that can keep your meal prepping fun and new. If you love Thai cuisine you can bring it home to your kitchen with this recipe. The secret to this recipe is to marinate the tofu for at least 30 minutes but up to overnight if you can. It helps the tofu absorb and soak in all the flavor prior to cooking. Then the tofu is baked, not fried, making it a healthier option.
This dish is served with a creamy and savory peanut sauce which provides you with authentic Thai flavors you love. The crispy tofu bites are served with brown rice, spiralized carrot and steamed bok choy. All your coworkers will definitely want in on your meal prepping secrets.
http://eat-spin-run-repeat.com/2016/08/17/thai-peanut-tofu-buddha-bowl/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: EAT SPIN RUN REPEAT
If you haven’t heard of or haven’t had zoodles before you have got to try it. Zoodles typically means zucchini noodles but you can turn many vegetables into noodles with a spiralizer. Spiralizers come in many sizes, you can get a stand up one that comes with multiple blades for different noodle shapes or sizes or you can even get a handheld one that is more simple but does a great job too.
Eating spiralized vegetables is a great way to get more vegetables in your diet, keeps your meal low carb and offers an awesome pasta substitute. This recipe combines zoodles with crispy sesame flavored tofu making it flavorful yet still filling. It only takes 30 minutes and requires minimal ingredients, so if you like easy this is the meal prep recipe you’ll want to get in on.
https://myfoodstory.com/crispy-sesame-tofu-zucchini-noodle-meal-prep-recipe/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: MY FOOD STORY
Sometimes vegan or plant-based lifestyles and diets get a bad rap for being expensive. There’s is a misconception that it cost a lot of money because it requires a lot of vegetables and fruit eating. What some people tend to forget is that when you choose to go plant-based you completely cut out all animal products, so that means no more expensive meat or cheese. In conclusion, eating plant-based will either balance out or in some cases is actually even cheaper than eating a traditional American diet.
This recipe is another great example of how you can eat at low cost on a vegan diet. This recipe is about $1.80 a serving, so considering that’s cheaper than your average Starbucks order I think that is a serious win. This recipe is nothing but flavorful and fulfilling. The Mexican rice is stellar on its own but adds in grilled veggies and some mashed avocado and you’ll have an easy meal prepped for the week. Make sure to save the avocado until you’re ready to eat as they turn quickly.
https://thestingyvegan.com/vegan-mexican-rice-fajita-bowl/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: THE STINGY VEGAN