Want to know how to vegan meal prep? In this handy guide, I'll cover my favourite tips for plant-based meal planning and show you how to do it with ease!
Today, I thought I'd talk about a subject I know well: vegan meal prep! It's a topic that strikes dread into the heart of anyone newly turning vegan, as well as long-standing vegans.
But fear not, help is at hand! Here, I'm going to give you my top vegan meal planning tips to have you making meals like a pro in no time!
New to Veganism?
First and foremost however, if you're new to the plant-based lifestyle - hello! I'm so glad you've joined. Welcome to a world of cooking that's full of flavour and deliciousness.
Also, welcome to making the world a kinder place through what you're eating. If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed by the sudden change in diet, I absolutely understand. I've been there.
When I first turned vegan I remember thinking I'd never be full or nourished again, but I'm happy to report that those feelings soon went away with a little exploration of new foods and cooking styles. I actually look back at my old habits now and realise my way of eating pre-vegan was a quite limited!
Still, going vegan can be daunting at first. If you're new to veganism and struggling, you might want to check out my guide on How to Go Vegan (10 Steps to Make it Stick). Otherwise, read on to find my top tips for vegan meal prepping. I'll have you organised in no time!
How to Vegan Meal Prep - My Top Tips
1) BATCH COOK
Without a doubt the most important tip of all, vegan batch cooking is THE way to take the stress out of meal prepping. Find a few simple dishes you love (meals like soups, curries and salads work best - or my Warming Bean Chili below) and make large batches once a week. This way you'll have plenty of food for the week ahead and won't be worrying about what to cook.
You can even make large batches of your favourite breakfasts like this Chocolatey Pecan Chia Cereal and store them in the fridge overnight, then grab and go in the morning!
2) PLAN YOUR FOOD
I know writing a meal plan sounds boring, but it saves so much time in the long run. If you plan out what you'll be eating in advance for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day at the beginning of the week, it takes a lot of stress out of cooking and means you'll never be hungry!
You'll also never get home and be faced with empty cupboards, as you'll have shopped according to your plan.
3) STICK TO YOUR SHOPPING LIST
Tempting as it is to shop without a list and think you'll remember everything you need for the week, trust me - you won't. After making your meal plan, write a shopping list and only buy those ingredients! You'll avoid buying unnecessary items and cut down on food waste (I'm looking at you, pointless bunch of radishes).
I also heartily recommend shopping on a full stomach. You're way less likely to buy snacks and treats (usually more expensive than basic ingredients) if your blood sugar isn't crashing.
4) STOCK YOUR FRIDGE WITH BASICS
Make a few simple items at the beginning of the week to ensure you've always got food on-hand. I always like to have a jar of my favourite homemade dressing in the fridge (Jamie Oliver has some great recipes for simple jam jar dressings which I use all the time).
I also like making a big batch of a whole grain on Monday night (rice, millet, quinoa etc.) which I can then eat with salads or stews over the course of the week.
5) GO SIMPLE
This tip is especially for anyone new to veganism (although we could all do with a reminder!). Keep things simple by making easy, quick-to-prepare dishes, and save the more complicated meals for when you're a bit more experienced or have more time.
Try making delicious one-pot dishes that yield lots of portions, like hearty stews or my Warming Bean Chili below. As you get more familiar with eating plant-based, you'll naturally want to branch out and try more challenging recipes, but to start with make it as easy as possible for yourself!
6) IT'S ALL IN THE TOOLS
It sounds really obvious I know, but tools make all the difference to vegan meal prep. Having a sharp knife will make slicing vegetables so much easier!
Likewise, using something like a food processor or a mandolin (I know - I wasn't convinced either, then I bought one and now use it literally every day) to shred vegetables will save huge amounts of time.
So there you have it! I hope you've enjoyed these vegan meal prep tips and that you're now feeling ready to go for it.
Do you have a favourite meal prepping tip? Please share it below in the comments!