How to Follow a Low-Carb Vegan Meal Plan: 1,200 Calories

By: Alexandra Caspero, M.A., R.D.

This vegan take on a low-carb diet can help you meet your health and weight-loss goals in a healthy way, without missing out on important nutrients.

With the explosion in popularity of low-carb diets for weight loss, like the ketogenic diet and Atkins diet, you may be thinking that no-carb is better than low-carb. However, research suggests that a moderate carbohydrate intake is more effective in helping you meet your weight-loss goals. In fact, eating too few carbohydrates can actually make weight loss harder because you miss out on key nutrients, like fiber from whole grains and legumes, that help you to feel full and satisfied on fewer calories. If you already follow a vegan diet, going low-carb means you'll be reducing the good-for-you carbs—like whole grains, beans, starchy vegetables and fruits—that provide important nutrients in place of animal products (namely protein). To make sure you get the nutrients you need, we tailored this low-carb vegan meal plan to be lower in carbs (around 100 to 125 grams per day) but not as low as very-low-carb diets, which recommend you stay below 100 grams of carbs per day. Each day is fueled by healthy whole foods, including moderate amounts of complex carbs (like whole-grain muesli, sweet potatoes and berries), with daily protein and fiber totals ringing in at 50 grams and 30 grams per day, to help you feel satisfied while cutting carbs and calories.

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Low-Carb Vegan Meals:

1. Make the Smoothie Freezer Packs ahead of time and stash them in your freezer until ready to use on Days 1, 2 and 7. The recipe makes 5 servings total, so save the remaining two smoothie packs for another week.

2. Make the Beefless Ground Beef and Citrus Vinaigrette for meal prep on Sunday to use throughout the week in different meals.

3. Cook the Mexican Cabbage Soup so it's ready to have for lunch on Day 2. Save extra servings to have on Days 3 and 4.

Day 1

Raw Vegan Zoodles with Romesco

Breakfast (222 calories, 35g carbohydrates)

• 1 serving Make-Ahead Smoothie Freezer Pack
• 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or soymilk
• ½ scoop low-carb plant-based protein powder (try Vega Sport, Sunwarrior or 22 Days Nutrition)

Place everything in a blender and puree until creamy.

Snack (64 calories, 15g carbohydrates)

•1 cup raspberries

Lunch (336 calories, 18g carbohydrates)

Vegan "Tex-Mex" Salad
• 2 cups mixed salad greens
• ½ cup Beefless Ground Beef
• ¼ cup pico de gallo
• ¼ avocado
• 1 Tbsp. Citrus Vinaigrette

Top salad greens with the Beefless Ground Beef, pico de gallo and avocado; dress with vinaigrette.

Snack (101 calories, 9g carbohydrates)

• 1 serving Edamame with Aleppo Pepper

Dinner (493 calories, 30g carbohydrates)

• 2 servings Raw Vegan Zoodles with Romesco
• 2 cups mixed salad greens
• ½ cup sliced cucumber
• 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
• 2 Tbsp. Citrus Vinaigrette

Toss salad greens, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes together with vinaigrette.

Daily Totals: 1,216 calories, 50 g protein, 107 g carbohydrates, 35 g fiber, 72 g fat, 2,036 mg sodium.

 

Day 2

Tofu Poke

Breakfast (222 calories, 35g carbohydrates)

• 1 serving Make-Ahead Smoothie Freezer Pack
• 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or soymilk
• ½ scoop low-carb plant-based protein powder (try Vega Sport, Sunwarrior or 22 Days Nutrition)

Place everything in a blender and puree until creamy.

Snack (115 calories, 12g carbohydrates)

• 1 brown rice cake
• ¼ cup avocado, mashed

Top rice cake with mashed avocado and season with a pinch each of salt and crushed red pepper.

Lunch (328 calories, 36g carbohydrates)

• 1½ cups Mexican Cabbage Soup
• ½ avocado, diced

Top soup with diced avocado just before serving.

Snack (151 calories, 14g carbohydrates)

• 1½ servings Edamame with Aleppo Pepper

Dinner (393 calories, 29g carbohydrates)

• 1 serving Tofu Poke

Daily Totals: 1,210 calories, 59 g protein, 125 g carbohydrates, 38 g fiber, 58 g fat, 2,120 mg sodium.

 

Day 3

Mexican Cabbage Soup

Breakfast (227 calories, 34g carbohydrates)

• ¼ cup uncooked muesli cereal, such as Bob's Red Mill Old Country Style
• 1 cup unsweetened soymilk
• ½ cup frozen berries
• 1 pinch ground cinnamon

Combine muesli, soymilk and frozen berries in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High for 5 minutes, stirring once. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve warm.

Snack (64 calories, 15g carbohydrates)

• 1 cup raspberries

Lunch (336 calories, 18g carbohydrates)

Vegan "Tex-Mex" Salad
• 2 cups mixed salad greens
• ½ cup Beefless Ground Beef
• ¼ cup pico de gallo
• ¼ avocado • 1 Tbsp. Citrus Vinaigrette

Top salad greens with the Beefless Ground Beef, pico de gallo and avocado; dress with vinaigrette.

Snack (151 calories, 14g carbohydrates)

• 1½ servings Edamame with Aleppo Pepper

Dinner (407 calories, 44g carbohydrates)

• 2 cups Mexican Cabbage Soup
• 2 cups mixed salad greens
• 2 tsp. olive oil
• 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
• ¼ avocado, diced

Toss salad greens with olive oil and lemon juice and top with avocado. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired.

Meal-Prep Tip: Pack up 2¼ cups of the Mexican Cabbage Soup to have for lunch on Day 4.

Daily Totals: 1,186 calories, 52 g protein, 124 g carbohydrates, 49 g fiber, 59 g fat, 1,619 mg sodium.

 

Day 4

Green Salad with Edamame & Beets

Breakfast (227 calories, 34g carbohydrates)

• ¼ cup uncooked muesli cereal, such as Bob's Red Mill Old Country Style
• 1 cup unsweetened soymilk
• 1 pinch ground cinnamon
• ½ cup frozen mixed berries

Combine muesli, soymilk and frozen berries in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High for 5 minutes, stirring once. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve warm.

Snack (101 calories, 9g carbohydrates)

• ½ cup Edamame with Aleppo Pepper

Lunch (331 calories, 45g carbohydrates)

• 2¼ cups Mexican Cabbage Soup
• ¼ avocado, diced

Top soup with diced avocado just before serving.

Snack (140 calories, 10g carbohydrates)

• 1 brown rice cake
• 1 Tbsp. peanut butter

Spread peanut butter over rice cake.

Dinner (405 calories, 30g carbohydrates)

• 1 serving Green Salad with Edamame & Beets
• ¼ avocado, diced

Top salad with avocado.

Daily Totals: 1,205 calories, 54 g protein, 128 g carbohydrates, 47 g fiber, 55 g fat, 1,499 mg sodium.

 

Day 5

Tofu Cucumber Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

Breakfast (263 calories, 34g carbohydrates)

• 1 slice West Coast Avocado Toast
• ¾ cup raspberries

Lunch (420 calories, 20g carbohydrates)

Vegan Lettuce Wraps & Cucumber Salad
• 1 cup Beefless Ground Beef
• ¼ cup shredded carrot
• ¼ cup sliced scallion
• 4 leaves Bibb lettuce

Combine Beefless Ground Beef with carrot and scallion. Divide among 4 lettuce leaves. Top with hot sauce if desired.

• 1½ cups chopped cucumber
• 1 Tbsp. Citrus Vinaigrette

Toss cucumber with vinaigrette; top with chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.

Snack (95 calories, 25g carbohydrates)

• 1 medium apple

Dinner: (435 calories, 26g carbohydrates)

• 2 servings Tofu Cucumber Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
• 1 1/3 cup Pea Pod & Stir-Fry

Meal-Prep Tip: Save the remaining 2 servings of the Tofu Cucumber Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing to have for lunch tomorrow. Keep the dressing separate and bring to room temperature and whisk before serving

Daily Totals: 1,212 calories, 62 g protein, 106 g carbohydrates, 33 g fiber, 66 g fat, 2,239 mg sodium.

 

Day 6

Sweet Potato Hash Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Breakfast (227 calories, 34g carbohydrates)

• ¼ cup uncooked muesli cereal, such as Bob's Red Mill Old Country Style
• 1 cup unsweetened soymilk
• 1 pinch ground cinnamon
• ½ cup frozen mixed berries

Combine muesli, soymilk, berries and water in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High for 5 minutes, stirring once. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve warm.

Snack (92 calories, 9g carbohydrates)

• 3 Tbsp. hummus
• ½ cup sliced red bell pepper

Lunch (334 calories, 14g carbohydrates)

• 2 servings leftover Tofu Cucumber Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

Snack (201 calories, 18g carbohydrates)

• 1 servings Edamame with Aleppo Pepper

Dinner (356 calories, 37g carbohydrates)

• 1 serving Sweet Potato Hash Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
• 1 cup steamed broccoli

Daily Totals: 1,211 calories, 63g protein, 113 g carbohydrates, 37 g fiber, 63 g fat, 1,462 mg sodium.

 

Day 7

Beefless Ground Beef

Breakfast (222 calories, 35g carbohydrates)

• 1 serving Make-Ahead Smoothie Freezer Pack
• 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or soymilk
• ½ scoop low-carb plant-based protein powder (try Vega Sport, Sunwarrior or 22 Days Nutrition)

Place everything in a blender and puree until creamy.

Snack (64 calories, 15g carbohydrates)

• 1 cup raspberries

Lunch (420 calories, 20g carbohydrates)

Vegan Lettuce Wraps & Cucumber Salad
• 2 servings Beefless Ground Beef
• ¼ cup shredded carrot
• ¼ cup sliced scallion
• 4 leaves Bibb lettuce

Combine Beefless Ground Beef with carrot and scallion. Divide among 4 lettuce leaves. Top with hot sauce, if desired.

• 1½ cups chopped cucumber
• 1 Tbsp. Citrus Vinaigrette

Toss cucumber with vinaigrette. Top with chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.

Snack (115 calories, 12g carbohydrates)

• 1 brown rice cake
• ¼ cup avocado, mashed

Top rice cake with avocado and season with a pinch each of salt and crushed red pepper.

Dinner (356 calories, 37g carbohydrates)

• 1 serving Sweet Potato Hash Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
• 1 cup steamed broccoli

Daily Totals: 1,178 calories, 55 g protein, 119 g carbohydrates, 33 g fiber, 60 g fat, 2,075 mg sodium.

 

WATCH: How to Make Sweet Potato Hash Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

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