If you’re just getting started with vegan meal prep, it’s best to keep things simple.
You want to focus on flexible ingredients that go well with most other vegan foods and reheat well.
This lets you cook a big batch of each individual ingredient, and then toss them all together.
For each meal, you generally want to aim to have a vegan protein source, vegetables (a mix), a grain.
Here are the most flexible picks in each category:
|Pick at least 1||Pick at least 2||Pick 1|
|Beans (Black, kidney, etc.)||Corn||Farro|
|Fake meat (or make your own seitan with vital wheat gluten)||Peas|
The amount you’ll need will depend on your size of course.
For most people, a can of beans or block of tofu will last 1-2 days. Both last a long time in storage, so it’s not a problem to over buy initially. The same goes for grains.
Vegetables are a bit tougher to estimate. If you end up with leftovers that you can’t fit into your meals, I encourage you to freeze them and use them later.
If you’re brand new to meal prepping, you might want to start by using mostly frozen veggies until you see how much you actually need in meals.
Finally, you’ll need to spice things up so it’s not too bland.
You can use a vegan salad dressing or vegan teriyaki sauce, which both go well with most of those ingredients above. Or, keep it simple and low calorie with salt, pepper, garlic, and typically one other spice you like (e.g., cayenne, paprika, cumin, cinnamon).
Putting Together Your Vegan Meal Prep Shopping List
Meal prepping is all about simplicity and efficiency, which is why I recommended the amounts of each food in the table above.
Your grocery list could be as simple as:
- 3 blocks of tofu
- Bag of rice
- Bag of frozen green beans
- 2 large sweet potatoes
Then you could come home, cut the potatoes and tofu, put them on roasting trays, and bake. And while that’s cooking, cook the rice in a rice cooker or on the stove.
Once that’s happening, make your blend of seasoning if necessary, and put your meals together in containers when done.
One hour of cooking like this will make lunches for a week.
This is a topic I plan to write about in a lot more detail, so if there’s any resource or questions about vegan meal prep, just let me know.