from the blog

5 Essentials for a Vegan Meal Prep

Featuring Sweet Earth Seitan, Veggie Burgers & Savory Grounds

6/24/16

bio-pic2-200x300My name is Kim Capella aka @pbeechie in internet world. I share my unique vegan meals & recipes on Instagram as well as my blog, The Coconut Diaries. I wasn’t always vegan, though! I started my social media after losing 65 pounds through healthy eating and staying active; however, I transitioned to veganism a year ago after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. After transitioning, I found my health radically improve. I am now educated about the ethical and environmental aspects of veganism, and I would never “go back”! I also share my meals on Youtube and address common concerns relevant to other new vegans or people who are just curious. One frequent question is “how do I make a vegan meal prep?”

Tackling the task of a vegan meal prep for the week can certainly be intimidating! Even I was extremely overwhelmed by the idea when I began. You may find yourself asking – How do I make sure I get enough protein? What if I don’t get the right nutrients? How can I keep it interesting every week? Will it even have flavor?! Rest assured; vegan meal prep can be very simple all while maintaining wholesomeness and tasting great!

From experience I’ve found that the best way to prepare well-rounded vegan meals and still remain simple is to break the meals down into five essential food targets. Each week while planning, just choose your favorite item from each group, then put the five groups together! Of course, you need to multiply the servings of each food to create enough meals for your week. Below you can read about each of the five groups I use and why each group is important for the overall meal.

5 Essentials for a Tasty, Nutritious Vegan Meal Prep

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1) Main Protein Source – Essential since humans need .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Plant proteins offer the benefit of getting protein, but they also come with the additional benefit of containing antioxidants, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals. [Sweet Earth Seitan, Veggie Burgers, Savory Grounds]

2) Bean/Legume – Essential as a secondary source of plant-based protein – 1/2 cup contains 7 grams of protein, the same amount as in 1 ounce of chicken, meat, or fish. Additionally essential for their high soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They are digested slowly, which helps keep blood glucose stable and curb fatigue. Finally, beans are high in vitamins and minerals such as folate and iron. [Edamame, Chickpeas, Black Beans, Kidney Beans, Pinto Beans, Split Peas, White Beans, Black Eyed Peas]
3) Leafy Greens/Vegetables – Essential for the nutritional firepower! Leafy greens are brimming with fiber along with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant-based substances that help protect against heart disease and diabetes. [Brussel Sprouts, Spinach, Kale, Broccoli, Asparagus, Green Beans]
4) Grain/Complex Carbohydrate – Essential to provide the body with fuel for physical activity and proper daily function. It is the most effective fuel for a healthy brain and nervous system. Complex carbohydrates are also high in dietary fiber for better digestion and prevention of certain types of cancer. They keep the metabolism revved up and help the body burn fat more efficiently than protein. [Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squash, Rice, Quinoa, Barley, Kamut, Amaranth, Millet, Corn, Peas]
5) Sauce/Flavor – Essential so that the dishes never get “boring” in flavor! Changing flavors keeps things interesting. [Sriracha, Mustard, Soy Sauce, Salsa, Nutritional Yeast, Curry Simmer Sauce, Vegan Pesto, Balsamic Vinegar, Guacamole, Tomato Paste, Vegan BBQ Sauce, Spices]

Vegan Meal Prep

So go ahead! Choose your favorite plant-based food item from each group, then get to meal prepping! Feel free to use more than one leafy green or vegetable for extra nutrients. The flavors you choose are not limited to this list; use whatever you love most! With a week or two of practice, your meal prep is complete in under an hour. Hopefully you’ll see how quick and effortless it is to meal prep balanced, delicious vegan meals that make your busy week a lot less stressful.