Vegan meal planning can be pretty complicated and confusing for beginners. However, it can save you a lot of time and money if you know how to plan correctly.
Here are some practical tips that will help you plan well-balanced and nutritious vegan meals effortlessly -
Plan A Whole Week Ahead
As some vegan recipes require more effort, it is best to plan meals ahead of time. Dedicate a day of your weekend to prepare main meals and snacks for the next seven days. Set some time to organise your recipes for the week, as well as your complete list of ingredients. This way, you have your shopping list ready to go.
Have A Well-Stocked Vegan Pantry
Try to buy healthy non-perishable staples in bulk, so that you don’t have to worry about it every week. This way you will also have vegan snacks on hand whenever you are hungry. Here are some basic items that you can pick while shopping for your vegan pantry —
Grains: Organic quinoa, oats, buckwheat, amaranth, and barley
Seeds: Pumpkin, chia, sunflower, flax, and hemp
Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, peanuts, pine nuts, and brazil nuts
Dry Fruits: Dates, dried cranberries, raisins, and goji berries,
Beans: Chickpeas, navy beans, pinto beans, and lentils
Canned staples: Coconut milk, canned beans, tomato paste, pumpkin puree, canned fruits and vegetables.
Plant-Based Sweeteners: Stevia, date sugar, agave, and maple syrup
Keep A Recipe List
Whenever you find recipes that are tasty, nutritionally balanced, and easy to cook, try to save them for later. It’s better if you can maintain a spreadsheet of all the recipe ideas. Over time, you will have your own tasty vegan cookbook full of tried and true recipes!
Prewash And Pre-Cut
We’ve all been there— planning on having fresh and healthy fruit and veggies then deciding against it because of all the time slicing and cleaning. Overcome this by preparing them all at once and storing them in a zip lock bag or sealed container. This way, your ready-to-eat carrot sticks, celery sticks, and fruit salad are only a few seconds away.
Cook In Bulk
Some people find a vegan diet challenging due to the cooking. Let’s face it, although we want to have healthy home-cooked meals every day, most of us don’t have the time to cook as often as we would like. The trick here is to overprepare, and when you are cooking, ensure you create enough for at least 3-4 meals. Let it be lunch, dinner, snack, or dessert and pop them in the freezer; your left-overs are now a meal on those days you don’t have the energy or time to prepare from scratch.
Thoughtful planning, shopping, and cooking are the secrets to more accessible and faster vegan meals. Follow these five tips to lower your stress throughout the week and make vegan meal preparation and planning a breeze!