If you think you can't eat healthy when you're short on time, meal prepping a week of vegan lunches can help! Meal prepping is budget-friendly, helps you stick to your diet and saves time during the busy week. Eating a vegan diet (or simply eating more plant-based foods) can decrease your risk for heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. Plus, thanks to all the filling high-fiber food (think veggies, fruit, whole grains and beans), you'll be more satisfied and are more likely to lose or maintain your weight. In this easy meal-prep plan, we walk you through five super-simple base recipes that come together to create delicious vegan lunches for the week. We already mapped out the prep plan for you (shopping list included!) and came up with some simple recipe ideas to create for the week (scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the ideas).
Make these ahead on Sunday:
Other shopping-list essentials:
We added a few extra shopping-list items, like sunflower seeds and mixed greens, which we use in the meal ideas at the bottom of the page. Depending on how many people you are meal prepping for, you may need to adjust the recipes to account for more or fewer servings. If you end up making more than you need, use the leftovers for dinner this week.
Our step-by-step plan has you starting with the recipe that takes the longest to prepare. While things are cooking, you'll prep the other menu items.
The savory citrus marinade soaks in and adds lots of delicious flavor to this roasted tofu recipe. Let the tofu marinate, and once it's in the oven roasting, move on to Step 2 and cook the rice.
Superfast Meal-Prep Tip: Low-sodium canned beans and chickpeas are a fast and easy protein-rich alternative.
This foolproof recipe yields perfect brown rice every time. Make a double batch and freeze what you don't use—having precooked rice on hand will save you 45 minutes of cook time the next time you need it. As the rice simmers, chop the veggies and get them in the oven for Step 3.
Superfast Meal-Prep Tip: Use precooked brown rice from the grocery store for even faster meal prep.
This formula for colorful roasted vegetables makes it easy to meet your veggie quota. Use this formula each week to make a big batch of your favorite veggies. As the tofu and veggies roast and the brown rice simmers, make the Creamy Vegan Cashew Sauce and the Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette.
Superfast Meal-Prep Tip: Buy prechopped veggies from the produce section of your grocery store to cut down on prep time, or check the buffet section or deli counter for already-roasted veggies.
This creamy sauce goes well on top of just about anything. Swap in cilantro and lime juice for a different flavor combination.
Superfast Meal Prep Tip: Mix flavored prepared hummus with a little warm water to thin it out into a sauce-like consistency.
Tangy and spicy, this citrus-lime vinaigrette is great poured over a salad, or mixed into a grain bowl.
Superfast Meal Prep Tip: Opt for a premade salad dressing made with a healthy fat, like olive oil or canola oil.
You can either build all five of your lunches now and place them in separate storage containers, or store the five base recipes separately and build your lunches as you need them. For the salad recipes, wait until the night before to add the greens so they don't wilt, and add the sauce or vinaigrette right before eating. Or, try packing your salads in a mason jar following this formula.
1/2 cup Easy Brown Rice + 1 cup Colorful Roasted Sheet-Pan Veggies + 1 cup Soy-Lime Roasted Tofu + 2 Tbsp. Creamy Vegan Cashew Sauce + 2 Tbsp. each sliced scallions and chopped cilantro
2 cups mixed greens + 1 cup Colorful Roasted Sheet-Pan Veggies, chopped if desired + 1 cup Soy-Lime Roasted Tofu + 1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds + 2 Tbsp. Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette
1 6-inch whole-wheat tortilla + 1/4 cup Easy Brown Rice + 1/2 cup Colorful Roasted Sheet-Pan Veggies + 1/4 avocado, diced + 2 Tbsp. Creamy Vegan Cashew Sauce + 2 Tbsp. each sliced scallions and chopped cilantro
1/2 cup Easy Brown Rice + 1 cup Colorful Roasted Sheet-Pan Veggies + 1/4 cup edamame + 1/4 avocado, diced + 2 Tbsp. each sliced scallions and chopped cilantro + 2 Tbsp. Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette
2 Tbsp. Creamy Vegan Cashew sauce + 1 cup Soy-Lime Roasted Tofu + 1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds + 1 cup Colorful Roasted Sheet-Pan Veggies + 2 cups mixed greens
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