Need vegan meal prep ideas? I have 6 for you! They're simple, inexpensive, and so delicious! --www.LivinglikeLeila.com--
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For the past few months, my vegan meal prep post from March has brought thousands of page views. Which is really exciting because that means more and more people are either becoming vegan or at least interested in it. That post I wrote was my very first week going vegan. Honestly, it wasn’t that difficult and I’ve meal prepped every week since then.

My Vegan Journey

I will never go back to eating animal products. Probably the best decision I’ve ever made. I have had a couple of slip ups only on accident. I used a basil paste that had whey in it, I ate gummy bears that appeared vegan (they said no dairy, no eggs, etc…very deceiving), and more recently I was craving something sweet and got Cinnamon Roll Pop-Tarts. They didn’t have milk in them but they had gelatin! So I would never intentionally eat animal products, but sometimes you really got to check the labels. I’ve gotten good at reading the ingredient list, but your best bet is to purchase food that says vegan on it! I’m physically the strongest I’ve ever been, my body looks the best I’ve ever looked, and my digestion is better than ever. For me, switching to a vegan diet didn’t change anything about me significantly. I was vegetarian for 12 years and ate good in general, so I didn’t experience any energy changes, skin clarity changes, etc. However, many people do.

Why meal prep?

Meal prepping is so convenient. I didn’t think I would stick to it this long, but it’s honestly so much easier. It saves time and money. I go grocery shopping once per week at Sprouts Farmers Market (I spend a lot of money on groceries, but that is not necessary to go vegan). I also meal prep once per week and it takes me 2 to 3 hours (including dishes/clean-up). Everything is good to go! I just microwave my meal and I don’t have to worry about any more cooking time! I also used to eat 7 different meals each day of the week, but it would take me hours alone just to think of enough ideas for those days. A lot of people think they’ll get tired of eating the same meal each day, trust me it’s really not that bad!

If you read my original meal prep post, you can see I used recipes that called for a lot of ingredients and time. I don’t recommend you do that. The more simple, the better, which is how I meal prep these days!

First thing you’ll need??

Meal prep containers! I still use these that I bought back in March! I 100% recommend them, I’ve used them every single week and I still haven’t had to replace them!

The Meals

In this post I am only going to share the main meals I made. This will not include my breakfast or snack…would you like a separate post on that??

I prep the same meal, enough for lunch and dinner for 5 to 7 days depending on the day I prep. What you see in the photos is about what all my other containers look like. These portion sizes work for me, but be sure to read labels, experiment, and find portions that work best for you!

Meal #1 – Wild rice, “Chik’n” strips, and sautéed greens

What you’ll need:

I buy my rice from the dry bulk section and cook it myself. I always, always cook rice in low sodium vegetable broth because it adds more flavor. Feel free to use water, it’s a 1:2 ratio of rice to liquid! Gardein is definitely my favorite vegan meat brands and these tenders are delicious! I bake them in the oven. For this week I used an organic spring mix cooked in a little bit of olive oil. Remember that leafy greens will shrink in size drastically when sautéed, just don’t cook them too long!

Meal #2 – Tri-colored quinoa, sweet potato, and broccoli

What you’ll need:

  • Quinoa (my favorite is tri-color)
  • Low sodium vegetable broth (optional)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Fresh or frozen broccoli
  • Salsa (optional)

I also get my quinoa from the dry bulk section and I also always cook it in vegetable broth! When cooking quinoa it’s also a 1:2 quinoa to liquid ratio. I bake/steam my sweet potatoes in the oven. I scrub them a bit, but I don’t put anything on them, I don’t even stab them with a fork! For this I used frozen broccoli that was in a microwave steam bag (I know the lazy route). Feel free to use fresh broccoli and boil or steam it, it just saves a ton of time to do what I did! I would also add a couple of tablespoons of salsa on top of my quinoa for extra flavor, it’s not the most savory taste ya know!

To be honest this was WAY too much food for one meal for me. All of these food items are nutrient dense so you definitely don’t need a whole bunch.

Meal #3 – Beyond Meat beast burger, roasted red potatoes and carrots

What you’ll need:

  • Beyond Meat Beast burger
  • Red potatoes
  • Baby carrots
  • Olive oil
  • Seasonings of choice (pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, etc.)

Beyond Meat is definitely one of the biggest game changers when it comes to vegan meat. You can find these burgers in the frozen section. They’re made with pea protein and NO soy, something I wish more companies would pick up on. I use The Little Potato Company Oven ready red potatoes for convenience. They’re already washed, you just add olive oil, and shake them around in the AMAZING seasoning that comes with it! I also drizzle the baby carrots with olive oil, add whatever seasonings I feel like adding, shake it up, and pop them in the oven for about 20 minutes (at 450 degrees).

Meal #4 – Tri-colored pearl cous cous salad with kalamata olive bread slices

What you’ll need:

  • Tri-Color pearl couscous
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon (juice)
  • Bread of choice (I used Kalamata olive bread)

This is definitely my favorite meal of them all! I looked forward to it every night!! This type of cous cous is so tasty and I LOVE the texture of it, however, some people may not. It’s high in protein and cooks in about 10 minutes! I used water to cook this. This is basically like tabouleh, so throw in some chopped tomatoes (I prefer grape and campari tomatoes), cucumbers, and parsley, then just add a little bit of olive oil, and lots of fresh lemon juice. I was gifted this awesome lemon juicer that catches all the seeds and collects all the juice, it’s one of the best kitchen tools. I love lemon juice, so I believe I used 2 full lemons for my entire week prep. It tastes even better once it sits in the fridge and marinates!

This bread is from the bakery section at Sprouts. It’s Kalamata Olive bread and I’m obsessed, it was the perfect combo with this. I toasted mine for a couple of minutes!

Meal #5 – Chick pea pasta salad

What you’ll need:

  • Banza Chick pea pasta
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell Peppers
  • Parsley
  • Sliced black olives
  • Red Onion (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • White balsamic vinegar
  • Seasonings (salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder)

There are no chick peas in this, the noodles are just made from chick peas. The brand is Banza and it’s high in protein! If you’re looking for something similar, Tolerant sells lentil pasta and black bean pasta. The texture is a little bit different, so if you want usual pasta I like tri-color rotini from Barilla. This meal is super easy, however, I do not recommend eating pasta for weeks in a row. Many ingredients can be added to this based on personal preference. Red onions add a lot more flavor, but I didn’t add them in this batch because I didn’t want onion breath all day!

Meal #6 – Rice topped with zucchini mash and veggie chick’n

What you’ll need:

  • Rice (I used Jasmine)
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots
  • Low sodium vegetable broth
  • Veggie chick’n strips (chopped up-I used Beyond Meat)
  • Lime (optional)

I actually got this recipe from Josh Troy on YouTube (SwoleFood)! Go check out the video to see how he makes it, I just doubled the recipe. Josh is not vegan though so he uses chicken broth and real meat of course. Again, I cook my rice in vegetable broth. This time I used Jasmine rice just because I like the taste and to switch it up every so often. I used a food processor to blend the veggies, I suggest blending only the cooked veggies and not to include the broth with that. This actually tastes really good, I squeeze some fresh lime juice on top and it pulls it all together!

Tell me those aren’t simple?!

Going vegan doesn’t mean you eat bland foods and spend hours upon hours in the kitchen. Everyone has their opinions on veggie meat, but I think it’s a great alternative, especially if you’re just starting out. Veggie meat is high in protein (usually) and adds a lot more volume to your plate. Switch up your diet every so often though and try to go a week or two without processed meat substitutes.

Let me know if you try any of these meals out! Post a picture and be sure to tag me in it! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

Happy meal prepping!

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