Plant-based meal prep ideas for a busy week
With our busy schedules, it can be challenging to find time to cook healthy meals every day. That's where meal prepping comes in handy. By dedicating a few hours on the weekend to prepare and portion out meals for the week, you can save time, money, and ensure you're fueling your body with nutritious food. And if you're following a plant-based diet, meal prep can be a game-changer in helping you stay on track and avoid resorting to unhealthy options.
In this blog post, we will explore some delicious and easy plant-based meal prep ideas that you can incorporate into your busy week. We'll cover breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, providing you with a variety of options to choose from. Whether you're a seasoned meal prepper or new to the game, these ideas will inspire you to plan and prep your meals ahead of time, so you can enjoy healthy and satisfying plant-based meals throughout the week.
- Try tofu stir-fry with veggies
- Make a big batch of lentil soup
- Make a big batch of lentil soup.
- Roast a variety of vegetables
- Prepare overnight oats with fruits
- Make a quinoa salad bowl
- Bake sweet potato fries for snacking
- Whip up a chickpea curry
- Whip up a chickpea curry.
- Frequently Asked Questions
Try tofu stir-fry with veggies
One great plant-based meal prep idea for a busy week is to try tofu stir-fry with veggies. This dish is not only delicious, but also packed with nutrients and easy to prepare in advance.
- 1 block of firm tofu, pressed and cubed
- Assorted vegetables of your choice (e.g. broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, snap peas)
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon of minced ginger
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
- Add the minced garlic and ginger, and sauté for about 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add the cubed tofu to the skillet and cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides.
- Add the assorted vegetables to the skillet and cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until they reach your desired level of tenderness.
- Drizzle the soy sauce over the tofu and vegetables, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir everything together until well combined and heated through.
- Remove from heat and let cool before dividing into meal prep containers.
This tofu stir-fry with veggies is versatile and can be enjoyed on its own or served over rice, quinoa, or noodles. It's a great option for a quick and nutritious lunch or dinner throughout the week. Plus, it's customizable, so feel free to add your favorite sauces or spices to enhance the flavor.
Make a big batch of lentil soup
Make a big batch of lentil soup.
Lentil soup is a great plant-based meal prep option for a busy week. It's easy to make, packed with nutrients, and can be stored in the fridge or freezer for quick and convenient meals. Here's a simple recipe to get you started:
- 1 cup of dried lentils
- 4 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse the lentils under cold water and remove any debris.
- In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, carrots, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic, cumin, and paprika to the pot. Stir well to coat the vegetables with the spices.
- Add the lentils and vegetable broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Allow the soup to cool before transferring it to airtight containers for storage in the fridge or freezer.
This lentil soup is not only delicious, but it's also versatile. You can enjoy it as is, or add some extra vegetables, such as spinach or kale, to boost the nutritional content. It can be served as a main dish with some crusty bread or as a side dish alongside a salad.
By making a big batch of lentil soup at the beginning of the week, you'll have a wholesome and satisfying meal ready to go whenever you need it. It's a great way to stay nourished and save time during busy weekdays.
Roast a variety of vegetables
Roasting vegetables is a great way to add flavor and variety to your plant-based meals. Here are some ideas for roasted vegetables:
1. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
2. Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Peel and dice sweet potatoes into bite-sized cubes. Toss with olive oil, paprika, salt, and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender and slightly caramelized.
3. Roasted Cauliflower
Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Cut cauliflower into florets and toss with olive oil, turmeric, cumin, salt, and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy.
4. Roasted Bell Peppers
Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Slice bell peppers into thick strips or quarters. Toss with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until soft and slightly charred.
5. Roasted Zucchini and Eggplant
Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Slice zucchini and eggplant into thick rounds or strips. Toss with olive oil, dried herbs (such as oregano or thyme), salt, and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until tender and golden.
These roasted vegetables can be enjoyed on their own as a side dish, added to salads, or incorporated into various plant-based recipes throughout the week. They are packed with nutrients, delicious, and perfect for meal prep.
Prepare overnight oats with fruits
One of the easiest and most nutritious plant-based meal prep ideas is to prepare overnight oats with fruits. This simple and versatile recipe can be customized to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs.
To make overnight oats, start by combining rolled oats and your choice of plant-based milk in a jar or container. Add a sweetener like maple syrup or agave if desired, and mix well. Next, add your favorite fruits such as sliced bananas, berries, or diced apples. You can also add nuts, seeds, or spices like cinnamon or nutmeg for added flavor.
Once all the ingredients are combined, cover the jar or container and refrigerate overnight. The oats will absorb the liquid and soften, creating a creamy and delicious breakfast option for the next day.
In the morning, simply give the oats a stir, and they're ready to enjoy. You can eat the overnight oats cold or warm them up in the microwave or on the stovetop if you prefer a warm breakfast.
Overnight oats are not only convenient but also packed with nutrients. They provide a good source of fiber, complex carbohydrates, and plant-based protein, making them a filling and satisfying meal to start your day.
Experiment with different combinations of fruits, nuts, and spices to create new flavors and keep your breakfasts interesting. You can also prepare multiple jars of overnight oats at once to have a ready-to-eat breakfast option for the entire week.
So, if you're looking for a quick and nutritious plant-based meal prep idea for a busy week, try preparing overnight oats with fruits. It's a delicious and satisfying way to start your day on a healthy note.
Make a quinoa salad bowl
A quinoa salad bowl is a great plant-based meal prep idea for a busy week. Quinoa is a versatile and nutritious grain that can be easily cooked and used as a base for a variety of salads.
To make a quinoa salad bowl, start by cooking the quinoa according to package instructions. Once cooked, let it cool completely.
Next, choose your favorite vegetables and toppings to add to the salad. You can use a mix of fresh and roasted vegetables for added flavor and texture. Some popular options include cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, roasted sweet potatoes, and avocado.
In addition to the vegetables, you can also add protein-rich ingredients such as chickpeas, black beans, or tofu to make the salad more filling and nutritious.
To assemble the quinoa salad bowl, start by layering a bed of cooked quinoa at the bottom of a container. Then, add your vegetables and toppings on top. You can also drizzle some dressing or add a squeeze of lemon juice for extra flavor.
Once the salad bowl is assembled, you can divide it into individual meal prep containers for easy grab-and-go meals throughout the week. Make sure to store the dressing separately to keep the salad fresh.
Having a quinoa salad bowl prepared in advance will save you time during busy weekdays and ensure that you have a healthy and satisfying meal ready to enjoy.
Bake sweet potato fries for snacking
One of my favorite plant-based meal prep ideas for a busy week is to bake sweet potato fries for snacking. Not only are sweet potatoes delicious, but they are also packed with nutrients and are a great source of fiber.
To make the sweet potato fries, start by preheating your oven to 425°F (218°C). Wash and peel the sweet potatoes, then cut them into thin, even strips. Place the sweet potato strips in a large bowl and drizzle them with a little bit of olive oil. Toss them gently to coat all the fries with the oil.
Next, season the sweet potato fries with your favorite spices. I like to use a combination of paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. You can also add some dried herbs like rosemary or thyme for extra flavor.
Spread the seasoned sweet potato fries in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure they are not crowded, as this will help them get crispy. Bake the sweet potato fries in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy.
Once the sweet potato fries are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving. They are delicious on their own, but you can also pair them with a dipping sauce like vegan aioli or spicy ketchup.
Sweet potato fries are a versatile snack that you can enjoy throughout the week. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Simply reheat them in the oven or toaster oven for a few minutes to regain their crispiness.
So next time you're looking for a healthy and satisfying snack during a busy week, give these homemade sweet potato fries a try!
Whip up a chickpea curry
Whip up a chickpea curry.
Chickpea curry is a delicious and nutritious plant-based meal prep option that is perfect for a busy week. Not only is it easy to make, but it is also packed with protein and fiber, making it a filling and satisfying dish.
- 2 cans of chickpeas
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon of curry powder
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 1 can of coconut milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
- Heat some oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and minced garlic and cook until the onion is translucent.
- Add the curry powder, turmeric, and cumin to the pot and cook for another minute to release their flavors.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then add them to the pot along with the diced tomatoes and coconut milk. Stir well to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and let it cook for about 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Serve the chickpea curry over cooked rice or quinoa and garnish with fresh cilantro.
This chickpea curry can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It can easily be reheated for a quick and convenient meal during a busy week.
- Feel free to add other vegetables like spinach, bell peppers, or carrots to the curry for added nutrients and flavors.
- You can adjust the spiciness of the curry by adding more or less curry powder or adding some chili flakes.
- If you prefer a creamier curry, you can use full-fat coconut milk instead of light coconut milk.
Enjoy this tasty and nutritious chickpea curry as part of your plant-based meal prep for a busy week. It's a flavorful dish that will keep you satisfied and energized!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are plant-based meal prep ideas?
Plant-based meal prep ideas are meal options that are centered around whole plant foods and exclude animal products.
2. Why should I consider plant-based meal prep?
Plant-based meal prep can help improve overall health, increase nutrient intake, and support sustainable food choices.
3. How can I incorporate variety into plant-based meal prep?
Incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds into your meal prep to ensure a diverse and balanced diet.
4. Can I save money by doing plant-based meal prep?
Yes, plant-based meal prep can be cost-effective as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are typically less expensive than meat and dairy products.