Vegan Meal Prep – Week 7
Another week, another healthy vegan meal prep! To be honest, I don’t love doing meal prep but I do love when I’m done and I have a fridge full of healthy food I get to eat all week. I love thinking about all the nutritional benefits I’m getting from the food and all the delicious meals I’m going to enjoy. Those few hours in the kitchen every Sunday are always worth it. This weeks vegan meal prep ideas post features curried red lentils, hemp protein bars, homemade black beans, maple flax balls, roasted beets, roasted root vegetables and more.
How to do Vegan Meal Prep
I do a buffet-style meal prep, which means I made a bunch of different ingredients that can be paired together in different combinations. I usually make a couple of mains, a bunch of sides, a sauce or two and some snacks and treats. For more info on how to get started with plant-based food prep, check out these posts:
- Vegan Food Prep Tips for Healthy Meals All Week
- How to Stock a Vegan Pantry
- How to Transition to a Plant-Based Diet
- Meal Planning Tips for a Healthy Vegan Diet
- All Weekly Meal Prep Posts
WHAT I PREPPED THIS WEEK
This may seem like a lot of food but between my husband and I we will easily work through this by Friday. By prepping this many vegetables and healthy food, it guarantees I’m going to eat well all week.
No way I want to waste any of it, so everyday I load up on veggies, eat one giant salad and pair all these ingredients together in different ways to make delicious buddha bowl-style meals.
This prep took me about 3 hours from start to finish. I like to put on some music or a podcast and just get in the zone. Even though it’s a bit of a chore and there’s always a big clean up, I find food prep to be quite relaxing and almost meditative. Once you get the hang of meal prep, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
- Almond Hemp Protein Bars
- Maple Flax Balls
- Whole Roasted Carrots
- Whole Roasted Beets
- Roasted Root Vegetables
- Homemade Blacks Beans
- Steamed Cauliflower for Smoothies
- Baked Acorn Squash and Kabocha Squash
- Red Curried Lentils with Kale
- Sweet Potato Peanut Stew
- Oil-Free Baked Fries
- Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette
- Brown Rice
- Tahini Sauce
- Marinated Chickpeas
Food Storage Tips
- Use glass food storage containers with a tightly-fitting sealed lid. I also use mason jars and Weck jars to store food in the fridge and pantry.
- Wash and chop up any vegetables you bought right away to keep them fresh. I chop up carrots and celery and store them in fresh water, chop broccoli and keep it in it’s own container and store kale, herbs and lettuce in jars with water and covered with a bag.
- Snacks like energy balls and bars can get stored in the freezer so they last longer. No need to rush through them this way and they taste great straight from the freezer.
- Clean and organize your fridge weekly so you know what’s in there and nothing get’s left behind and you don’t buy things you already have.
DISHES TO MAKE THIS WEEK
- Roasted Beet Salad with Marinated Chickpeas. I prepped the chickpeas and beets already so this will come together quickly. I want to add roasted corn, kale, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and carrot.
- Roasted Carrot Salad. I prepped the roasted carrots and tahini sauce so I can make this salad this week. I’m going to add a bit of brown rice instead of quinoa.
- Tofu Scramble Acorn Squash Bowls with Black Beans. I baked 2 whole acorn squash and I was thinking of using a couple of them to make tofu scramble and black bean bowls. This might be weird, this this might be delicious, either way it will make a great start to the day.
- Homemade Black Beans on Toast with Spinach and Avocado. I’m liking this idea for breakfast or even lunch or dinner. I prepped the homemade black beans so all I’ll need to do is toast some bread, then add a layer of fresh spinach, topped with black beans and avocado. This is good with hummus too. Check out the lentil hummus I prepped in week 8.
I made 2 mains this week, Sweet Potato Peanut Stew and Red Curried Lentils, so I’ll eat those for lunches and dinners the mix and match salads with the black beans, marinated chickpeas, roasted beets, roasted carrots, acorn squash, roasted root vegetables and kabocha squash.
Groceries this Week
Groceries for this week cost about $160 for 2 people, which is pretty standard for us. Aside from fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables, I picked up:
- frozen fruit for smoothies
- whole wheat english muffins
- organic peanut butter
- almonds for recipes and snacks
- pepitas for salads and snacks
- dates for making bars and snacks
- cashews for recipes and snacks
- bag of dried black beans
- firm organic tofu for quick meals and recipes
A couple staples on the produce side are:
- 2 bags of spinach, we both add a big handful to our smoothies
- 1 container of organic salad greens
- always a bunch of kale, swiss chard or collard greens
- always lots of broccoli
- always a couple sweet potatoes
- most often some variety of squash
- always lots of onions
- always lots of carrots
- always lots of bell peppers
This week I also bought rutabaga, turnip, eggplant and delicata squash. When it comes to eating your vegetables, the more variety and colours you can enjoy the better. Switch things up week to week in order to maximize the nutritional benefits.
Every vegetable has a different nutrient profile and some have more of one specific nutrient than others, so in addition to carrots and broccoli, try adding a new vegetable into rotation every week. This is also a good way to naturally support a diverse and robust gut microbiome.
My pantry is already full of the rest of the ingredients I needed this week. You can read all about how to stock a vegan pantry here.
VEGAN MEAL PREP IDEAS
What a delicious week! I can’t wait to get into all this delicious food to feel healthy, energized and nourished this week.
Almond Hemp Protein Bars
This bars were a re-make of an old recipe I wanted to update and take new photos for. You can find the original recipe here. Here’s what went in the updated version:
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 2 cups lightly packed dates
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup plain organic hemp protein
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
To make them, just blend everything together then press into a square baking pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Place them in the freezer for a couple hours to set then lift them out and cut into bars. This made 14 bars for snacks this week.
Whole Roasted Carrots
Yep, I made them again. I just love them so much! You can make them with or without oil and any spices you like. I usually make them without oil but a bit of olive oil does give a better result in my opinion. As for seasoning, I typically just use some sea salt and black pepper but cumin, curry powder, ginger and even cinnamon is really good.
I eat these for snacks, add them to salads and just eat as a side to my main meal. To make them, simply place whole carrots on a baking sheet with a tiny drizzle of olive oil and roast at 400 for up to 50 minutes until slightly crisped but very tender. I have recipe with whole roasted carrots coming later this week.
Try them on my Roasted Carrot, Kale and Quinoa Bowl.
Roasted Root Vegetables
To cook the rutabaga and turnip, I roasted them with some potato, onion, carrot and lots of roughly chopped garlic. For spices, I added rosemary, thyme, sea salt and black pepper. These got roasted in the oven for about 40 minutes until tender and browned. They taste amazing and are a good source of complex and nutrient-rich carbohydrates you can use for energy anytime you need it. They can also be added to salads and eaten as a side to any meal.
Whole Roasted Beets
Since whole roasted beets take so long to cook, they’re a good one to include in your weekly prep. I think whole roasted beets taste the best but you could always chop them up so they cook faster, or steam them. I like to add a chopped whole roasted beet to my salads for flavour, texture and nutrition.
To make them, give whole beets a quick scrub, wrap them up in tin foil then roast the oven at 450 until tender. Once they’re done, open the tin foil a bit and let them cool completely. Once they’re cool you should be able to easily peel the skin off. These are perfect for popping into smoothies too!
Homemade Black Beans
I’ve recently completely switched over from canned beans to dry. I still have plenty of canned beans in my pantry and they’re great to have on hand if needed but I just love the flavour and quality of cooking my own beans. Cooking dried beans at home is very easy. A lot of it’s suggested to soak beans before cooking them but I don’t find it to be necessary, especially for black beans. I just rinse them and then they’re ready to go.
To make these, I added 3 cloves of garlic and 1 small diced white onion to a pot and cooked them for 5 or 10 minutes until softened. I then added some cumin, chili powder and smoked paprika and 1 cup of dried black beans. I covered the beans with water then covered and simmered them until soft. I think I let mine cook around 50 minutes. Once they’re soft, you can drain a little of the excess water off if you like then just let them cool and they’re ready to store.
Black beans are an incredible source of folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, fibre and protein and I include them in my diet regularly.
Maple Flax Balls
These were another recipe re-make that needs to photos done. I also updated the recipe to suit my current nutritional preferences. These are made with hemp seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, pure maple syrup and almond butter. They taste incredible and would be ideal for a pre or post-workout snack. The recipe calls for 1 cup of ground flax so these balls are a great way to get your daily dose of the powerful, superfood, the flaxseed. I’ll have a finalized recipe coming soon but here’s what was in this batch.
- 1 cup ground flax
- 1/3 cup hemp seeds
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup natural nut or seed butter of choice
Blend all the ingredients together then roll into small balls and store in the fridge or freezer. I used almond butter in this batch but next time I’m trying tahini for a calcium and iron-rich treat. These are very high in iron, fibre, omega-3s, vitamins and minerals.
Get the full Maple Flax Ball recipe here.
Curried Red Lentils with Kale and Carrot
This was much like my Coconut Red Lentil Dahl recipe but I used slightly different spices and added carrots and kale. I’ll eat these as a snack or a main, either on their own or over a bed of spinach.
Oil-Free Baked Fries
These don’t keep that well so we usually eat them within a day or two. They’re one of my favourite foods and this works well with either regular potato or any kind of yam or sweet potato.
To make them, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees then slice potatoes into whatever sized fry you want. Lay them on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat. Don’t overcrowd them, they need to go on one water with a little space for each one. Use multiple baking sheets if needed. Bake for 25 minutes then flip and bake for another 20-25 minutes until puffy and browned. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy.
You can find recipe for baked fries here.
Sweet Potato Peanut Stew
I made this sweet potato lentil stew on Friday so it was a pre-prep prep. It is seriously amazing and I’ll be making it again very soon! You can find the recipe for it here.
Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette
This is my go-to, 5 second salad dressing. I just blend together balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard and a pinch of steiva. You can also add lemon and garlic to switch it up. If you don’t want to use stevia, you can use pure maple syrup for the sweetener, or even a couple fresh dates. I’ll use this on my salads all week.
I made a batch of marinated chickpeas to add to salads this week. You an use the recipe from this squash salad to make them. These are so delicious and a great way to add protein and fibre to meals.