Here is an example of my vegan meal prep for the week:
If you ever find yourself throwing away lots of produce, and eating processed foods that you’re craving instead, it’s probably because you have not found the magic of meal prep!
Vegan meal prep is the key to eating a healthy, whole food plant based diet. It has changed my life because it has allowed me to be able to throw together vegan meals in minutes during the week, without having to start from scratch, and I know it’ll do the same for you!
If you’re a busy professional or busy mama, you’re about to fall in love with how easy plant based eating becomes when you utilize the power of meal prep.
Today’s easy vegan meal prep for the week lays out my simple meal prep method: instead of preparing entire meals and then having the same one every day, you’ll be preparing parts of meals that you can then put together in creative ways throughout the week.
So if you’re ready, put away a couple of hours on a Sunday, and let’s get to prepping! In this blog post, you’ll learn an example of vegan meal prep, plus ideas for how to then utilize your meal prep items in delicious, healthy vegan meals throughout the week.
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Vegan Meal Prep: What is It and Why Do It?
Meal prep means preparing batches of food ahead of time to use throughout the week. This helps you keep healthy food on hand at all times, prevents you from giving in to cravings, and allows you to put together healthy, whole food plant based meals in minutes. If you want to learn more about the benefits of meal prep and the reasons why you should do it, check out this post.
The main obstacle to meal prep is actually making yourself do it. While it takes some time to get used to a schedule of meal prep, I promise you that if you only get started, you will keep at it for life and become a meal prep addict!
Here is a tip I learned recently that helps with procrastination or doing any tasks that you really don’t want to do: set a timer for 3 minutes, and start working on your task. If you don’t want to continue after the 3 minutes, you don’t have to. But because the human brain is so afraid of starting something and makes it sound way more intimidating in the mind than it actually is in reality, once you start, you most likely won’t stop.
What do I recommend you do for three minutes in this case? Plan your vegan meal prep! Sit down with paper and pen, and start to map out what meal prep you’ll be doing for the week. Now, if you have no clue how to do this, I highly recommend you check out my course, Vegan Meal Prep for Wellness, which will teach you all about meal prep and meal planning and take all the guesswork out of it!
Vegan Meal Prep for Wellness
This online course will teach you everything you need to learn about vegan meal prep, meal planning, and setting up your kitchen and fridge for making delicious and healthy plant based meals.
A note on nutrient loss.
If you’re here, reading this, you must care about nutrition very much. And maybe you’re thinking, “don’t I lose nutrients when I make these meals ahead of time?”
Great question. The three factors that can impact vitamin and mineral loss are heat, light, and oxygen. When you cook food, you sometimes lose a bit of some nutrients, but you gain others. The meal prep tips in Vegan Meal Prep for Wellness take this into account. For example, you’ll never roast nuts, but cooking tomatoes is a-ok because it actually increases the antioxidants in them.
When it comes to light and oxygen, we do our best! For example, I highly recommend storing your meal prep items in air-tight glass containers. In addition, the meal prep items will be in the fridge or freezer, where it’s dark most of the time, so nutrient loss will only be very minimal.
That being said, the fact that you prep all this food ahead of time means you’ll actually eat it! And that’s so much better than not eating it. So focus on the fact that you’re getting all these nutrient-dense foods into your diet, even if they are minutely less nutrient dense when prepared ahead of time.
Vegan Meal Prep: An Example with Recipes
Let’s get started with an example of vegan meal prep for the week, including what meals to make with each item we prep:
1. Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are a great, concentrated source of selenium, which is very necessary in our diet.
Begin by soaking the Brazil nuts overnight by covering them with filtered water, and aim for about 1 Brazil nut per day per person.
Then, in the morning, simply drain the water and rinse well. Store them in an air-tight container, and enjoy one every day for your dose of selenium.
While you shouldn’t chop most vegetables ahead of time because a lot of nutrient losses happen there, chopping purple cabbage is great because it’s a very hearty vegetable and if you store it in an air-tight container, it won’t lose its color (meaning, it won’t oxidize).
Purple cabbage is also the best nutritional bang for your buck: it’s super cheap and super healthy!
Use a food processor to thinly slice a head of cabbage to enjoy throughout the week. I like to do this on a very thin setting (about a 3 on my food processor). Be sure to remove the core before you chop it.
An amazing way to enjoy purple cabbage is to make sauerkraut out of it, which you can get the recipe for here.
Cashews are perfect for using in sauces thorughout the week! Begin by soaking the cashews overnight in filtered water. Then, get rid of the water and rinse well. At this point, they are ready ot use in sauces.
Here is a great cashew chive sour cream you can use in any buddha bowl (for specific recipe ideas, check out my instagram where I post lots of buddha bowls):
Place all ingredients aside from the chives in a high speed blender, and blend until very smooth. Then, place in a glass container and mix in chives.
Makes: a little over 2 cups
4. Sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts
Making a batch of cooked vegetables will save you time, and will be a great addition to your meals.
To make the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts, chop them up first. I chopped the Brussels sprouts in halves, and sweet potatoes into rounds.
Pre-heat the oven to 375F. Place a silicone mat on a stove-safe tray, and place the veggies on it. I sprinkled them with liquid aminos and date sugar (my favorite whole food sweetener), but you can use any spices and seasonings you like!
Incorporate these vegetables into any buddha bowl! You can add them to this delicious bowl.
Soak the quinoa in filtered water overnight. Then, rinse and drain and place in a pot and just barely cover with water. Cook on high heat, covered, until the water boils, then cook uncovered until all the water is evaporated, about 5-10 minutes. Soaked quinoa cooks very quickly!
You can use the cooked quinoa in this delicious Ethiopian pumpkin stew.
6. White beans
Stove top option: cover the white beans with filtered water in a large pot, and simmer for about 45 to 60 minutes, until they are completely soft.
Instant pot option: place white beans in the instant pot, and cover with filtered water. Set to “pressure cook” for 20 minutes, and turn off the “keep warm” function (unless you want to keep the beans warm until you eat them). Don’t forget to set the knob on the sealing position. Allow pressure to naturally release.
A note on portion sizes and proper food storage.
When it comes to figuring out how much of each batch cooking item you’re going to make, refer to the Daily Dozen guide, which I discuss more about here.
Lastly, a little tip on food storage: make sure to store your meal prep items after they have cooled, in air-tight containers to avoid bad bacteria (which thrives in heat and moisture).
What is one thing you are taking away from this post that you will implement asap?