Planning your meals in advance is a great way to save time throughout the week. Plus, it can ensure you have quick access to vegan-friendly, nourishing meals your body will thank you for.
Below, we give you the tips and tricks you need to simplify vegan meal planning. Plus, we share some of our favorite vegan recipes that you can easily whip up and enjoy.
Meal planning involves scheduling your meals in advance based on your preferences and lifestyle. For example, you may plan meals for a few days, a week or even a month. For vegan meal planning, you must choose recipes that are entirely plant-based without animal products such as dairy or eggs.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re building balanced meals that include plant-based protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and plenty of vitamins and minerals. Of course, your meals should also be appetizing and feature a variety of ingredients, from non-dairy alternatives to whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
To get started with meal planning, you’ll want to create your meal plan, learn how to shop efficiently and adapt your favorite recipes to fit your preferences.
Creating a meal plan is as easy as sitting down, picking some great recipes and deciding which meal you’ll make for each day. A planner or calendar makes this super simple!
While you can prepare each meal the day you planned it for, you can also prep your meals in advance. You could spend a couple of hours in the kitchen on Sunday and prepare your meals for the work week ahead. Simply place your meals in easy, grab-and-go containers and you’ll be set.
For example, prepare a batch of protein shakes to enjoy for breakfast during the week. Or prepare the ingredients for this delicious Couscous and Chickpea Salad to munch on at lunch.
Once you have your meal plan, you can easily create a list of ingredients you’ll need for each meal. If you want to go the extra mile, try organizing your list by grocery department. This will simplify your shopping trip, as you’ll know exactly what you need and where to find it.
With your grocery list in hand, you can visit your favorite vegan-friendly grocery store or market. If you’re not sure where to find one, do a quick online search for stores in your area. You can also visit local farmers’ markets to buy your produce.
While shopping, be sure to grab some vegan pantry (and fridge) staples you’re sure to use throughout the week, such as non-dairy milk alternatives, fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and tofu.
You don’t have to stick with strictly vegan cookbooks to make great meals. In fact, you can easily convert many non-vegan recipes by swapping out some ingredients.
For example, applesauce can easily be substituted for eggs in some recipes. And if a recipe calls for butter, margarine is a great dairy-free alternative (just make sure it doesn’t contain milk or whey).
Whenever you’re shopping, always keep in mind the importance of reading labels and identifying vegan-friendly products. Be sure to look for terms such as “vegan,” “dairy-free” and “plant-based,” and always check the nutrition label for ingredients.
With your plan complete and your pantry full of ingredients, it’s time to whip up some meals for the week. Here are a few of our favorite vegan recipes.
Decadent and filling, it’s hard to go wrong with a good alfredo pasta. The creamy sauce in this dish is made from Pacific Foods Organic Cashew Milk, cauliflower and a bunch of other satisfying ingredients.
The recipe takes around a half hour to make and equals four servings. This is perfect for making ahead of time and splitting into storage containers to enjoy throughout the week.
View the full recipe: Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo
Want something light and delicious? This kale salad will do the trick. It features an array of nourishing vegetables, including kale, carrots and cabbage. Plus, the dressing features tangy lemon juice and tahini paste for an earthy freshness.
View the full recipe: Lemon Tahini Dressing on a Kale Salad
Want something warm and comforting? Looking for a little extra zing? This tortilla soup is satisfying and wholesome, but will also give you a little kick.
With Pacific Foods Organic Vegetable Broth, beans, tomato soup, lime juice and taco seasoning, you’ll have plenty of variety in flavor with this exciting meal. The recipe makes four servings for you to put into rotation.
View the full recipe: Weeknight Tortilla Soup
Everyone has their own version of comfort food. However, it’s a safe bet that a common meal in this category for many is macaroni and cheese. This recipe features a hearty, creamy and cheese-like sauce made from ingredients such as butternut squash, coconut oil and nutritional yeast.
View the full recipe: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Planning vegan meals doesn’t have to be complicated. Using our plant-based ingredients and pantry staples, you can simplify meal planning and spend more time doing what you enjoy. From broths and stocks to creamy milk alternatives, we have the ingredients you need to prepare any meal. Check out our plant-based products today!