This week I tried meal prepping everything I ate. I have been a vegan for almost four years now and I have attempted meal prep for a few days or a few meals throughout the week but I have never tried vegan meal prep for a whole week before.
Here is what I ate, how much it cost, some tips and tricks about vegan meal prepping, and a few of my favorite recipes from the week. For the shopping list I didn’t include things I already had like oats, sugar, spices, and frozen fruit. Here’s what I ate.
Chia Seeds $6.19
5 Bananas $1.18
2 Sweet Potatoes $1.71
Frozen Spinach $1.49
Mixed Greens $2.50
3 Onions $2.57
2 Tomatoes $0.79
Carrots and Celery $3.79
3 Boolean Cubes $1.29
Vegan Cheese $5.19
Refried Beans $1.35
Vegan Meal Prep Hacks & Tips
1. Do Your Research
A vegan diet has to be properly planned out otherwise you may not be getting all of the vitamins that you need in your diet. Be sure to consult other meal plans before you start planning yours. Check out what the dietary value of your favorite recipes are before you add them to your meal plan and understand what a balanced meal should look like. I always try to stick to the basics; spinach has a lot of Vitamin A, Sweet potatos have a ton of protein, and fortified tofu is a great source of vitamin B12. I also try to look for a grain, a protein, and a vegetable in all of my meals.
2. Be Realistic
It’s important to remember that you will be eating this food for the whole week so be sure that you like it! You will be much less tempted to order a pizza if you are excited about your meals every day. That is why I added in burritos, noodle soup, and used veggies that I really love. They may not be the most healthy thing but I am much more likely to eat them than kale and quinoa.
3. Plan It Out
Planning is really key in vegan meal prep because you have to know exactly what to get from the store for the whole week. I started with a list of meals and then migrated them into a chart for breakfast lunch and dinner. Then I made a shopping list based on what I already had in the kitchen. Make sure to include snacks and desserts that you like otherwise you might get a little hungry. It is also good to know how long you are really awake during the day because the longer you are awake the more meals you are likely to eat.
4. Shop Smart
There are a few tips a tricks to save a little extra cash at the grocery store when meal prepping. The first is not to be afraid of changing the plan on the fly. If there is a sale on black beans or rice maybe change your plan. Another is to check the coupon book before you go in case any coupons will work with your meal. Buying the store brand is also a great way to save a little money. This is especially true for canned beans and salad mixes. It is basically the same product but usually over a dollar cheaper. Last is to not shop hungry. I always buy a frozen pizza or an extra chocolate bar if I shop while I’m hungry so eat before you shop!
5. Cook All Day
I made the mistake of beginning my cooking at 4pm so I had to cook really fast before going to bed. If you shop on Saturday and then wake up on Sunday and start cooking it will definitely work out better. Because you will probably be cooking at least 8 different meals you should try to spread it out throughout the day to avoid getting tired or giving up. I ended up cooking for 3 hours and then taking a nap and finishing up later that night. Try to space it out and take it slow.
6. Don’t Hold Back
When you are eating your meal prep throughout the week don’t forget that you are human. You are allowed to go out with friends to dinner or have a cheat day. The meal plan is not set in stone and you can always have leftovers.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
You will need 2 Sweet Potatoes, Olive Oil, and Salt
- Rinse and slice sweet potatoes into thin rounds
- Place on cookie sheet and drizzle oil and add salt
- Bake in oven at 375F for 30 minutes turning once
Overnight Oats with Peanut Butter, Bananas, and Chia Seeds
You will need Oats, Peanut Butter, Chia Seeds, 2 Bananas, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, and 4 Jars
- Add ¼ cup of oats, 1tbsp of peanut butter, 1tsp of chia seeds, 1tsp of sugar, and a dash of cinnamon to each jar.
- Add water to cover the oats
- Close the lids and place in fridge for up to 1 week.
- When ready to eat add a dash more water, microwave for 1-2 minutes, and stir.
Easy Black Beans
You will need 1 chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 can black beans, and Olive oil
- Add olive oil, garlic, and onion to large pot. Saute until onions are just clear
- Add beans, stir, and simmer for 5-10 minutes.