Add more veg into your day with this diabetes-friendly meal plan that puts plants at the center.

Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDCES
August 12, 2020
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Trying to eat more plant-based? Start with a solid foundation. This meal plan prioritizes fruits, veggies, and whole grains, with just enough meat and dairy for balance. This way of eating is what we like to refer to as a "flexitarian diet", which research shows is one of the healthiest ways to eat!

How to Prep Your Meals:

Prepare these ingredients before Day 1 to save time at mealtimes.

1. Cook farro for the week. Rinse ¾ cup farro and combine with 2½ cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Let cool, then refrigerate. Makes 2¼ cups cooked farro. You'll use 1½ cups in dinner on Day 1, and ¾ cup in lunch on Day 2.

2. Roast veggies. Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss 3 cups small cauliflower florets (11 oz.) with 2 tsp. olive oil. Cut 3 large red bell peppers into 1-inch pieces; toss with 1½ tsp. olive oil. Cut 2 large green bell peppers into 1-inch pieces; toss with 1 tsp. olive oil. Spread the vegetables in a single layer on 2 baking sheets (line sheets with parchment paper, if desired). Roast until browned, about 35 minutes. Let cool, then transfer each vegetable to a separate airtight container and refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups roasted cauliflower, 2 cups roasted red bell peppers, and 11/3 cups roasted green bell peppers. You'll use these vegetables throughout this meal plan.

Shopping List

Below are lists of the food you'll need to follow this plan, split up by section of the grocery store.

Produce

  • 2¼ cups grape tomatoes
  • 4 oz. packed mesclun
  • 6 oz. baby spinach
  • 2 oz. baby arugula
  • 2/3 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup 2 Tbsp. Basil
  • ¼ cup 2 Tbsp. cilantro
  • ½ cup mint
  • ½ cup thinly sliced or shredded carrot
  • ½ cup thinly sliced or shredded cucumber
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets (11 oz.)
  • 2 large green bell peppers
  • 3 large red bell peppers
  • 1 large eggplant (1 lb.)
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 avocado
  • 1½ Tbsp. pomegranate seeds (arils)
  • 3 lemons
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods

  • 1 large egg
  • 6 oz. cooked sweet Italian chicken sausage links (2 links)
  • 1½ oz. soft goat cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 10 oz. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 3)
  • 10 large (16-20 count) cooked peeled and deveined shrimp
  • ½ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

Dry Goods

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ¾ cup farro
  • 1 canned whole artichoke heart (or 4 quarters)
  • ¼ cup long-grain brown rice
  • 1 cup canned red kidney beans
  • 8 blue corn tortilla chips
  • 2 oz. red lentil or chickpea pasta, such as rotini or penne
  • 1 large slice whole-wheat bread
  • 6 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup 2 Tbsp. shelled salted roasted pistachios
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted roasted peanuts

Pantry & Fridge Items

  • Low-sodium vegetable broth
  • Peanut butter
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Salsa verde
  • Reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • Sunflower or canola oil
  • Olive oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Rice vinegar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • No-salt-added Cajun seasoning
  • Salt & pepper

Day 1

Breakfast (391 calories, 36 g carbs)

Lunch (424 calories, 33 g carbs)

Afternoon Snack (129 calories, 16 g carbs)

Strawberries & Yogurt

  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

Top yogurt with strawberries.

Dinner (543 calories, 45 g carbs)

Daily Totals: 1,487 calories, 130g carbs, 28g fiber, 15g sat fat, 1,900mg sodium

Day 2

Breakfast (527 calories, 37 g carbs)

Lunch (503 calories, 46 g carbs)

Dinner (476 calories, 46 g carbs)

Daily Totals: 1,506 calories, 129g carbs, 34g fiber, 16g sat fat, 2,001mg sodium

Day 3

Breakfast (391 calories, 36 g carbs)

Lunch (599 calories, 19 g carbs)

Dinner (472 calories, 38 g carbs)

Daily Totals: 1,462 calories, 93g carbs, 25g fiber, 13g sat fat, 2,132g sodium