Vegan Meal Prep 101-Planning & Recipe Inspiration

Hi Friends,

On the blog today, I have some new & exciting content to share with you! This is the first time in conversationalist history where I’ll be giving you my meal prep tricks and tips. For the past 8 months I’ve been meal prepping vegetarian/vegan meals for my mom and I. Ever since we embarked on our fitness journey’s back in December, I wanted to ensure that we would see the results we were paying for. If you’ve read my road to health post on how I lost 50 lbs, then its simple to say that achieving your goals takes preparation and perseverance. I used to be somebody who busted her butt in the gym for hours on end just to ruin all my hard work with what I was consuming when I got home. But things have positively improved since I’ve learned how to create nutritious, delicious and affordable meals.

I’m proud to announce that my total weight loss thus far is 64.3 lbs!! I weighed in at 168.8  at the beginning of December, and today after 8 months of killing it in the gym and eating clean I’ve reached my “ideal” weight of 145 lbs. 5 years ago, when I weighed 210 lbs, I vividly dreamt of what life would be like when I accomplished my goal. Friends, I can say for a fact that this has been a life changing journey that was filled with numerous obstacles but ultimately leaded to triumphant self-growth.

Now… for any of you who have wanted to lose weight, build muscle or improve your general health by going to the gym, y’all know this maxim:

“Diet is 80% and Exercise is 20%”

Nutrition is KEY! I cannot stress this enough. I used to be a strict believer of the mindset where I would eat anything I desired and then would say to myself that I’d burn it off at the gym by doing extra cardio. Psshh…. like that ever worked.

That’s why I’m here to share with you my meal prep planning tips and recipe inspirations. I’d like to help you kick-start your individual health & fitness journeys and help you succeed in your endeavors. So, lets begin!

Preparation: Grocery Shopping

Every successful meal prep starts with a plan (or unless you’re one of those people who likes to think creatively on the spot, that’s totally your prerogative). My typical week consists of the following:

  • Monday/Tuesday: browse for recipe inspiration on YouTube, Pinterest, or any cookbook of your choice
  • Thursday/Friday: dedicate this day to purchase your groceries (depending on where you live there are better store promotions and less traffic as you navigate the narrow aisles with your super- carts)
  • Saturday night: cook the base/chop fruits/veggies (i.e. quinoa, pasta, rice, etc…) these items usually take the longest, so having them prepped saves you time during assembling on Sunday.
  • Sunday Morning: prepare the main dish that accompanies your base (roasted veggies, toss salads, warm up curries, soups, sauces)

Grocery shopping… oh do some of us just hate doing this. Like why can’t the food just pop into my fridge. Someday friends, where technology will catch up to our wild imaginations. In the meantime however we have to set a game plan for what we need to buy, otherwise you end up wasting money you didn’t have to.

Where to shop: 

  • Bargain Stores 1st – Food 4 Less, 99 cent store, Food Max, Bargain Market Grocery Outlet, Local farmers markets, etc…
  • Bulk items -Costco is pretty affordable for these speciality bulk times (quinoa, rice, pasta sauce, canned beans, and fresh fruits and vegetables). Sprouts also has a great selection of options in their bulk foods section (ideal for buying bulk foods by the lb if you’re on a weekly budget)

Pro Tip: Pinterest & Google

There are tons, literally tons of vegan/vegetarian grocery shopping lists you can access online. Its a great way to stock up on the essentials and once you have the basics, each week you just purchase the fresh items that you need for the meals (fruits & veggies).

Now that we covered the how-to of meal prepping, lets jump into the exciting part I promised. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about that. 😉

Recipe Inspiration: 

Let me start off by saying that I am no chef or recipe creator. I am not a skilled cook either, but I enjoy cooking and I learn by observation and practice. I pull recipe inspiration from various sources (which I will link below). There is a common misconception that healthy meals are bland and boring. In order to achieve your goals you have to eat like your ancestors (in a day & age where Mrs. Dash seasoning and delicious sauces weren’t readily available). But friends, that is far from the truth!

Eating healthy means experimenting with ingredients and recipes until they fit your personal taste. Here are a few recipes I’ve dabbled with and I hope you give them a try.

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Very Berry Quinoa Salad – inspired by CPK’s Super Spinach & Quinoa Salad 

 

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Sweet & Sour Tofu – inspired by Sarah’s Vegan Kitchen

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Southwest Style Pasta Salad– inspired by Liv B

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Channa Masala (chickpea curry) – inspired by Manjula’s Kitchen

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Creamy Palak Paneer (spinach curry) – inspired by Veg Recipes of India

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Vegan Lentil Meatballs w/ Spaghetti– inspired by Jenné at Sweet Potato Soul

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Well friends, there you have it! I finally got around to sharing with you my meal prep tips & tricks. I hope that you found this post useful and I’d love to know if you check out any of the recipes above.

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Happy Eating!

Love,

Ashna

XOXO