The veggie club at my school is doing a week-long vegan (or vegetarian) challenge starting this Friday (January 8). I put together a little “meal plan” for them. It has vegan breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas.
I’m putting this challenge on my blog so, if you want, you can try it with the veggie club. If you’re not vegan but want to try veganism, try becoming vegan (and using this meal plan) for a week and see how it goes! At the end of one week, stick with being vegan if you like it. Try out this meal plan if you’re already vegan but want to eat healthier as this plan is full of healthier meal options with more whole foods than processed or “fake” foods. I’m already vegan, but I’m going to do this week-long challenge as a way to “get back to my vegan roots.”
This plan is super customizable as I listed many options (and recipes!) for each meal so you can make this challenge as healthy or unhealthy as you want. Like you COULD just survive on vegan desserts but I wouldn’t recommend it as it’s not considered “healthy” and you’d probably feel like a fat lard by the end of the week. You can also eat as much or as little food as you want, but I recommend eating three meals a day plus snacks.
I’m just going to warn you ahead of time that being vegan might take up more time than you’re used to for making food. Before I became vegan, my mom cooked meals for the whole family so I didn’t spend very much time making food. Since I became vegan, I’ve learned how to make my own meals and I spend a lot more time creating in the kitchen (but who am I kidding, my mom still cooks for me a LOT). Being vegan might mean more work in the meal department because you’ll be cooking your own meals instead of relying on pre-packaged meals from “grab and go” restaurants. However, the extra time and energy you spend creating vegan food is so worth it! The food you’ll make will be delicious and it will probably leave you feeling better after you eat it than the food you might be eating right now.
Now that we have that introduction and disclaimer out of the way, let’s get to the fun part: FOOD!
***HERE is a sample vegan meal plan for you. It’s a PDF file so download it by clicking on the link. Use it or create your own plan with the options below.***
Ideas for the “most important meal of the day” include…
- Banana ice cream
- Muffins: I love these apple muffins, these peanut butter muffins, and these blueberry muffins.
- Oatmeal: HERE is a link from Real Simple that includes multiple oatmeal recipes. Ignore the ones with cheese, bacon, or egg. Click HERE and HERE for other simple but incredibly filling oatmeal power bowl recipes from “Oh She Glows.”
- Cereal or granola with non-dairy milk
- Chia seed pudding with fruit and granola
- Pancakes: In my opinion, pancakes make a better weekend breakfast than a weekday breakfast because they take longer to make and eat than other breakfast food (like pastries or smoothies). They’re also less portable. However, they ARE delicious, so I recommend making them at least one of the days. My favorite pancakes come from Chocolate Covered Katie.
For breakfast, PICK AN OPTION AND STICK WITH IT OR MIX IT UP AND TRY AN OPTION A DAY.
From left to right: Peanut Butter Smoothie, Peanut Butter Muffins, and Chia Seed Pudding (can you tell I like peanut butter!?)
First of all, HERE is an awesome guide to vegan shopping in Grand Rapids (where I live- don’t stalk me). It will help you find ALL THE VEGAN FOOD in GR! You’ll want to stock up on fruit, veggies, potatoes, grains, beans, nuts, nut butter, non-dairy milk, vegan cheese, tofu, and vegan margarine. You also might want to buy flaxseed meal as flaxseed and water bind to create an “egg” for baking.
Ideas for the midday meal include…
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich: A simple but sweet lunch option. Just make sure the bread you use is vegan. Most bread is vegan, but check the ingredient list to make sure!
- Vegetable stir-fry with hummus
- Quesadilla using vegan cheese or hummus as a binder instead of cheese: My favorite vegan cheese is the “mozzarella” from Trader Joe’s but other vegan cheeses you can buy locally are “Daiya” and “Follow Your Heart” (found at D&W).
- “Tuna” sandwich: for the vegan mayo in this recipe, you can make your own [with this recipe or this recipe] or buy some. Meijer carries Just Mayo and the Knapp’s Corner D&W carries Veganaise.
- Chips and guacamole
- A tofu scramble can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (recipes HERE and HERE).
- Soup (like THIS squash bisque, THIS chili, THIS black bean chili, or THIS sweet potato soup). I’d make the soups ahead of time if I were you.
- Salad (such as THIS one)
- Grilled Cheese (with vegan cheese)
Like breakfast, you can switch up what you eat for lunch or keep it the same every day. It’s totally up to you!
Two lunch ideas: Quesadillas and Vegetable Stir-Frys
- Fruit (plain or with nut butter)
- Veggies and hummus
- Banana Ice Cream
- Granola bar (Lärabars, Kind bars, etc. OR make your own)
- Banana balls (one of my favorite foods EVER)
- Kale chips
- Trail Mix
- Snap Pea Crisps (like these)
Most of these recipes make multiple servings so you can always make one recipe and eat leftovers for a few days afterward. If you don’t have time to make dinner, or you just don’t feel like making food, you can click on THIS LINK for a list of restaurants in GR that serve great vegan options.
- Any of the previous lunch options
- Any of the previous breakfast options (breakfast for dinner!)
- “Peanutty Perfection” Pasta by Chloe Coscarelli
- “Stuffed Shells in Arrabbiata Sauce” by Chloe Coscarelli: This recipe takes a little more prep time than usual but the creamy, basil filled pasta shells you end up with are worth the extra work!
- “Orange You Glad I Made Crispy Tofu” by Chloe Coscarelli (can you tell I love Chloe’s recipes!?). This recipe tastes scarily similar to “Orange Chicken.”
- Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce (homemade or store-bought)
- Vibrant Penne Pasta: I’d halve the recipe if I were you. It makes a great weeknight dinner, and you can always buy pre-prepared vegetables to make the prep work easier.
- Spicy Cauliflower Power Bowl by Pumpkin and Peanut Butter. This recipe is seriously spicy but seriously good.
- Sweet Potato Chickpea Bowl by Minimalist Baker. I prefer this simple, earthy bowl without the sauce.
- Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes by Minimalist Baker
- Vegetables on Grain: make your favorite grain (rice, quinoa, couscous, etc.) and roast or stir-fry the vegetables you have on hand. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy.
- Veggie Burger (buy them or make your own) on a salad OR on a bun with french fries/ potatoes and peas on the side.
- Any of THESE 12 easy vegan meals from “The Garden Grazer”
You can also find some really delicious recipes by searching “vegan dinner recipes” the Internet. My go-to blogs for meal recipes are Minimalist Baker, Oh She Glows, Pumpkin and Peanut Butter, Post Punk Kitchen, and The Happy Herbivore.
Two easy dinners: Butternut Squash Bisque and Vibrant Penne Pasta.
- Sugar Cookie Bars
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Hippie Cookies
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Chlostess Cupcakes (I make them without the crème filling)
- My favorite chocolate cupcakes EVER
- Banana French Toast Cupcakes
- Chocolate, either in bar or chip form. My family LOVES Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips, and my favorite chocolate bars are Ghiradelli 72% cocoa, Chocolove 70% cocoa, and Endangered Species 72% cocoa. Most dark chocolate bars (excluding Nestlé and Hershey) are vegan, but read the ingredient list to make sure. We also love Bark Thins, delicious chocolate bark.
More resources for you:
- HERE is a week-long meal plan created by The Happy Herbivore
- HERE is a detox guide with recipes created by Minimalist Baker
- HERE is a 2 day “reset” meal plan created by Oh She Glows
- HERE is a 2 week long meal plan put together by PETA. It features more processed, “fake” food (like fake meats and cheeses)
- “What I Eat in a Day” might help you with your day-by-day eating plan.