So I’ve had multiple people ask me to come up with a meal plan in hopes of them being able to adapt to a vegan diet. So my answer? HELL YES. Whatever I can do to make transitioning easier!! The more vegans there are = the better off the planet is. So I’m ALL for it.
I’ve put descriptions, charts, and my commentary at the bottom to (hopefully) make it easier for everyone who’s going to be looking at this! Everything in blue has a comment at the bottom in the “Commentary” section, which is organized alphabetically.
7 Day Vegan Meal Plan
Breakfast: granola bar, apple
Snack: banana & PB
Lunch: huge Veggie Salad
Snack: Raw Veggies
Dinner: Veggie Burger with Homemade Fries
Breakfast: PB on whole grain toast, apple
Snack: banana, orange
Lunch: Avocado Hummus Sandwich with leftover Fries
Snack: mixed nuts, raw veggies
Dinner: Acorn Squash stuffed with quinoa and veggies of choice.
Desert: Ben & Jerry’s Dairy Free Ice Cream!!!
Breakfast: 12 oz Smoothie, apple, banana
Snack: Granola, snow peas
Lunch: Veggie Sandwich
Snack: Mixed nuts, carrots & Hummus
Dinner: Vegan Pot Pie
Breakfast: granola bar, 16 oz Smoothie
Snack: Celery & PB, Orange
Lunch: Leftovers (Pot Pie, Acorn Squash, Salad, Sandwich)
Snack: Whole Grain/GF Chips w/ guac or salsa
Dinner: Tofu Scramble
Desert: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Breakfast: mixed berries, banana, granola
Lunch: PB & Jelly on whole grain bread
Snack: Hummus & Carrots
Dinner: Veggie Stir-Fry
Breakfast: mixed berries, Pumpkin Muffin
Snack: apple, Hummus & Carrots
Lunch: Veggie Stir-fry
Snack: Mixed Nuts
Dinner: Buddha Bowl
Note: If you don’t have access to a microwave for lunch, switch out the stir-fry for a veggie salad or sandwich, or get take out like Sushi or Pizza with vegetable toppings and NO CHEESE! It’s still AMAZING.
Breakfast: PB on whole wheat toast, pear, apple
Snack: mixed berries, granola
Lunch: Buddha Bowl
Snack: Raw Veggies
Dinner: Vegan Alfredo w/ Veggies
Dessert: Apple Pie Blondies
I’ve taken each food option that’s in colored text and written my commentary to hopefully make it easier for everyone trying to adapt to this lifestyle! It’s organized alphabetically! Hopefully it helps 🙂 .
- It’s that funny green one that looks like an Acorn shape. Go figure. Roast it by cutting it in half, scooping out the seeds, and brushing it with olive oil and seasonings. Again, I use whatever seasonings I have available. Fresh is always best but dried seasonings work as well! Roast with the yummy part face down on a baking sheet at 375° for 35-60 minutes depending on how large the squash is, and how well done you want it.
- Quinoa is SUPER EASY to make, sort of like rice. Just read the directions. I sauté onions, garlic, spinach and mushrooms for inside my acorn squash, but you can use any veggies you’d like!
Avocado Hummus Sandwich
- Whole grain bread. Spread with as much hummus as the bread can handle. Layer spinach over the hummus. Avocado, cut in slices. Tomato, cut in slices. Bread (with even more hummus).
- If you don’t have access to a microwave or toaster-oven during lunch break, switch out the leftover Fries for carrot sticks, pretzels, or mixed nuts.
Ben & Jerry’s DF Ice Cream
- The creator’s at Ben & Jerry’s are GENIUSES. Just saying. They make 4 flavors of Dairy Free Ice Cream:
- I have tried all of them besides Chunky Monkey (because I don’t like nuts in my ice cream) and I literally can’t choose a favorite. When I buy one, I usually buy all three.
- I top my ice cream with banana and PB, and sometimes I’ll melt DF Chocolate Chips (found in the natural foods section of most grocery stores) and add it to the PB.
- Chocolate PB: I do this by putting PB into a microwave-safe bowl (usually a glass one with a lid so I can store it right in the same container) and pour in chocolate chips… use your own digression on the chocolate to PB ratio. Microwave for 30 sec. intervals and stir until the chocolate is melted!
- Sometimes I don’t melt the chocolate chips all the way and just eat this as a dessert…. sue me ^.^ .
- Buddha bowls are like salads but more exciting. They usually contain a grain, greens, beans, veggies, and sauce. Get creative! Here’s a few charts I stole from Pinterest (really folks, pinterest is awesome). Just choose the vegan options to keep the dish sustainable for the planet (: .
- Just because you’re a vegan and trying to be healthy doesn’t mean you can’t fix your sweet tooth cravings! There are SO MANY OPTIONS for vegan desserts.
- If you’re not into baking, you can simply sub almond/soy milk for the milk in any box recipe, and sub a banana or 1/3 c. apple sauce for the egg.
- If you’re into baking (and into being the healthiest you can be!) have fun with all these new ingredients! It’s exciting and satisfying to make something completely new and have it be delicious.
- These are a couple easy recipes for vegan dessert items. I love minimal ingredient recipes for my desserts because I put A LOT of effort into cooking each meal, and I generally don’t have the energy to put into complex desserts often. Desserts that are minimal effort make me enjoy them that much more!
→ Apple Pie Blondies
- find the original recipe here.
- find the original recipe here.
→ Chocolate Chip Cookies
- find the original recipe here.
- CHIA, Larabar, Annie’s, Cliff – found in the natural food’s section of grocery stores, usually in individual bars. Buying what’s on sale is always better!!!! Check ingredients: Milk, Honey, ext.
- Nature Valley, KIND – found with the regular granola bars. Make sure none have milk or honey (beware of the chocolate bars…)
- “Granola”: buy a bag of the KIND granola- it comes in many flavors and it has so many whole grains that will keep you feeling full and satisfied.
- Potatoes. Oil. Seasoning. Watch them fry. (Yes it’s that easy). I usually sauté chopped onions and garlic in a bit of vegetable oil over medium heat, then add more vegetable oil and seasonings- basil, parsley, rosemary, salt, pepper, oregano, whatever you’ve got! Cut the potatoes into wedge shapes and let cook for as long necessary.
Peanut Butter – I highly recommend making your own if your blender is powerful enough. I take a jar of lightly salted peanuts and press crush. It takes a while but be patient!!! It’s the best peanut butter you’ll ever eat. If not, buy organic!! Ingredients should just be Peanuts, maybe some added peanut oil. No sugar, no to nothing you can’t pronounce!!
- If you don’t like pumpkin, simply switch these out with a banana or berry muffin. Search “Vegan ________” Fill in the blank with literally WHATEVER you want. You’ll find a recipe.
- Here’s a simple recipe for homemade pumpkin muffins, found originally here.
- Pick the veggies you know you’ll eat! If you’re really not a veggie person, start with veggies & hummus or PB. But TRY to eat as many raw veggies as you can stand. Snow peas, sugar snap peas, broccoli, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, radishes, ext.
- The more veggies the better! Spinach, kale, tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, onions, shredded carrots, sprouts, arugula, beans (black, navy, kidney are fine right out of the can just make sure you rinse them!), seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, ext), nuts (walnuts, pecans, peanuts, ext). Seeds, nuts, and beans are a great way to add necessary nutrients to your salads and make them more flavorful, as well as being a way to fill you up for longer!!
- It’s always better to make your own dressings, but many vinaigrettes are naturally vegan. You can find so many recipes on Pinterest for vegan dressings! Just type in “vegan ranch” “vegan creamy garlic lemon dressing” “vegan Caesar” you get the point. Also, you can find vegan dressings in the vegan section of the grocery store where the Tofu is.
- It’s really hard to screw up smoothies. I usually base mine with water, add spinach, kale, celery, and then whatever fruits I have available. Hemp, Flax, or Chia seeds are a great way to add protein and make you fuller for longer! CHECK OUT THE CHART BELOW! I recommend you get a blender bottle with the oz on the side, and with a seal-proof lid!
Take Out/Restaurant Outings
- Getting food at restaurants is probably the worst thing for a vegan. Unless you live in a super progressive area, there aren’t going to be many vegan go-to places. But! Don’t lose hope. There’s always options.
- Salads: Yeah, even the word is boring. Unfortunately most places base their salads with lettuce and meat and cheese, and when you want a vegan salad it just won’t be as filling. If you can add extra veggies, nuts, or seeds you’ll be amazed about the variations you can accomplish!
- Sandwich shops: Veggie sandwiches! My first veggie sandwich was in a deli in VT and it was AMAZING. Luckily, they had hummus for a topping. Most places (like Subway/Quiznos) aren’t going to have any creamy toppings that are DF. You can always add oil & vinegar instead though, and choose toppings like avocado and tomato that won’t leave your sandwiches dry.
- Mexican: Tacos/burritos without meat and cheese. My favorite are rice&bean burritos loaded with veggie toppings and guac. Mmm!
- Asian: Chinese/Thai/Japanese inspired foods are SO MUCH HEALTHIER than the normal American diet. Most places even have tofu, but you can always just get stir-fries, veggie platters, or sushi.
- No options? Think again. Do they have rice? Vegetables? Beans? Usually the staff will be super accommodating and although it may be overwhelming to ask sometimes, you’ll feel better with a full belly!
- Try not to be terrified here. Tofu is an amazing source of protein and it’s virtually TASTELESS. Give it a try before you say ew!
- I saute onions and garlic and wait until the onions are almost carmalized, then I add the tofu. Open the tofu (carefully- there’s lots of water inside!) and drain. Press the tofu between paper towels until it is less moist. Don’t be too concerned about getting all the water out, just get most of it. Then, crumple it up with your hands and put it in the frying pan (or crumple it with a spatula once it’s in the pan). I add spinach and tomatoes as well but feel free to add whatever you want!
- Seasonings are a great add in here too!
- There are so many ways to make vegan sauces! Most of the Alfredo sauces use cauliflower as the base. Simply chop the cauliflower, boil it in water for about 10 minutes (depending on how small you chop it) and add it and other flavorful ingredients to a blender! I usually add garlic, caramelized onion, seasonings, and nutritional yeast (it’s a vegan thing- it adds a cheesy flavor to things and most brands are fortified with vitamin B12 which is something a vegan needs to supplement!
- Find a recipe you’d like to follow on Pinterest (or google if you’re really not convinced that Pinterest is the BEST THING EVER by now) and make it!!!
- If you don’t like the idea of vegan Alfredo, supplement with tomato sauce or a pesto. Or try all three!! Remember, the more vegan meals you like & the more variety in your diet, the more likely you are to stick to veganism. That is key.
- Veggies can be anything depending on the sauce! Some basic veggies good in any sauce are: onions, mushrooms, spinach, peas, eggplant, zucchini, squashes, tomatoes, peppers, ext.
Vegan Pot Pie
- I used the recipe found here: http://minimalistbaker.com/1-hour-vegan-pot-pies/
- I didn’t have ramekins so I just used a pie pan. I’m confident you could do this in an 8×8 baking dish as well.
- I didn’t make the biscuits this recipe calls for. Instead I used Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (yes they’re vegan!). I used two packages to make sure I had enough. I stretched each “crescent”, layered them on the bottom and draped them up the sides, then filled the pan with the insides and draped the dough back over the top!
- There are so many types of veggie burgers found in the grocery store, but beware not all of them are vegan! Amy’s, Beyond Meat, Boca, Dr. Praeger’s, and Gardien are all vegan brands. You can get them in a variety of flavors so experiment! Spicy black bean, kale, garlicy, more generic and meat-like, ext. EXPERIMENT!!!!
- I LOVE SANDWICHES. And going vegan doesn’t mean giving them up! I take a Kaiser roll, spread it with hummus on both sides, and add ALL THE VEGGIES. Spinach, onions, red cabbage, sprouts, avocado, tomato, ext.
- Reference this super helpful chart!!!!! I use only vegetables but you’re more than welcome to add some sort of protein source. This chart obviously isn’t vegan, but you get the point!
- Be careful when you add what to the pan- onions and garlic are always first, and the veggies you want more raw than cooked go in last (I add red cabbage and spinach to mine at the end).
- I make my own stir-fry sauce (PINTEREST) but you can find any stir-fry sauce in stores and they’re most likely vegan! Just make sure there’s no honey! There’s a few recipes for your own sauces in the chart as well.