High Protein Vegan Meal Prep

High protein vegan meal prep ingredients

As a Registered Dietitian, I’ve worked with thousands of clients on their nutrition and health. What I’ve found over the years is that the most successful individuals have a general plan they stick to each week to help them stay accountable to the healthy diet changes they want to make. 

For my plant-based clients, this typically means choosing high protein vegan meal prep recipes they can cook at the start of their week so that they are prepared with healthy, nutritious meals all week long. For many people, the work week leaves little time to stop and prepare lunches, make a trip to the grocery store, or think too much about what to eat. 

Dedicating a little time each week to focus on high protein vegan meal prep makes it more likely you’ll choose healthy, well-balanced meals throughout the week, avoid cravings, and reach your health and wellness goals. Meal prep sets you up for success and takes the guesswork out of what to eat each day. 

Protein: A key meal prep ingredient

No matter what the recipe, your meal should center around protein. Protein is crucial for building and repairing tissues, supporting immune function, and helping you achieve your weight management goals. It also helps keep you full and satisfied between meals.

Although you don’t need to rely on animal sources of protein if you’re following a vegan or vegetarian diet, it may require a little extra effort on your end if you want to successfully meet your protein needs each day.  

Many plant foods contain protein including beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, nuts, and seeds.  As a general recommendation, aim for around 30 grams of protein per meal and 10 grams per snack to meet your daily protein needs. 

Tempeh20 grams per cup
Lentils18 grams per cup
Edamame19 grams per cup
Hemp Seeds10 grams per 3 tbsp
Tofu (extra firm)30 grams per cup
Soy milk8 grams per cup
Quinoa8 grams per cup
Beans7 grams per 1/2 cup
Peanut Butter7 grams per 2 tbsp
Protein content of common plant-based proteins

Fiber: 

Plant foods have prebiotics which fuel the protective bacteria in the gut to create an environment that drives out inflammatory microbes. Needs differ from person to person but a general recommendation is at least 25 grams of fiber per day for women and a minimum of 40 grams per day for men. 

High protein vegan meal prep will support you in reaching your daily fiber goals. 

The Benefits of High Protein Vegan Meal Prep

Better for the planet

Vegetarian and vegan diets are compelling for environmentally conscious individuals who recognize the strain a meat-centric diet puts on the planet. 

Reducing or foregoing animal products in the diet reduces your carbon footprint because the production of meat and animal products requires huge amounts of land, water, and resources, contributing to deforestation, water scarcity, and greenhouse gas emissions. 

What’s more, livestock farming generates substantial amounts of methane (a greenhouse gas) exacerbating climate change. Embracing a plant forward diet not only promotes personal health but also provides a tangible way for individuals to mitigate their impact on the planet and foster a more sustainable future.

Improved gut health

The gut microbiome thrives on a diet filled with plants. The high protein vegan meal prep recipes included in this article include a variety of plant proteins as well as an array of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. To learn more on best practices to support optimal gut health, check out this article on Gut Health 101.  

The most important characteristic of a healthy gut is diversity in your microbes. You can influence the diversity of microbes directly through your diet. The wider variety of plant foods you include in your diet, the more diverse and healthy your gut will be. 

Save yourself time and energy throughout the week

Meal prep is a game-changer when it comes to saving time throughout the week. By dedicating a few hours on the weekend to planning, shopping, and preparing meals in advance, you can streamline your daily routines and reclaim precious time during busy weekdays. 

With meals pre-cooked and stored in convenient containers, there’s no need to spend valuable time each day on cooking and cleanup. Instead, simply grab a pre-prepared meal from the fridge or freezer and save considerable time and effort. 

Additionally, meal prepping encourages healthier eating habits as it allows for intentional portion control and the inclusion of nutritious ingredients. Ultimately, by investing time upfront in meal preparation, you will enjoy the benefits of time-saving convenience and better nutrition throughout the week.

Meal Prep Basics

Meal prepping involves preparing meals or ingredients ahead of time, making it easier to eat well throughout the week. Here are some basic steps to get started:

Take Inventory

Take a look at your pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what ingredients you already have available to you. This can help you reduce waste and form decisions about the next step: planning.

Plan Your Meals

Choose recipes that are simple, nutritious, and satisfying. Aim for a balance of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and healthy fats.

Make a Shopping List

Once you’ve chosen your recipes, make a list of the ingredients you’ll need. This will help you stay organized and avoid last-minute trips to the grocery store.

Set Aside Time for Cooking

Dedicate a few hours on the weekend or whenever you have free time to prepare your meals. Batch cooking can save you time in the long run.

Invest in Storage Containers

Invest in a variety of containers to store your meals. Glass or BPA-free plastic containers are ideal for storing food safely.

Now that you’ve got the basics down, let’s explore some high-protein vegan meal prep recipes that are perfect for prepping ahead of time.

High Protein Vegan Meal Prep Recipes

Chickpea Salad Wraps

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Whole grain wraps/tortillas

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas with a fork or potato masher.

Add the red onion, bell pepper, cucumber, parsley, vegan mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Mix until well combined.

Divide the chickpea salad among the whole grain wraps and roll them up tightly.

Wrap each wrap in parchment paper or aluminum foil and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Quinoa and Black Bean Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients

  • 4 large bell peppers, halved and seeds removed
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Avocado, cubed
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
Stuffed peppers

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper.

Stuff each bell pepper half with the quinoa mixture and place them in a baking dish.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the peppers are tender.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and avocado before serving. These stuffed peppers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.

Tofu Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

  • 1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (such as bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, and snap peas)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Cooked brown rice or quinoa for serving
tofu stir fry

Directions:

To make the sauce: Whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, and cornstarch in a small bowl.

Heat some oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the tofu cubes and cook until golden brown on all sides. Remove the tofu from the skillet and set aside.

In the same skillet, add a little more oil if needed, then add the minced garlic and grated ginger. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

Add the mixed vegetables to the skillet and stir-fry until they are tender-crisp.

Return the tofu to the skillet and pour the sauce over the tofu and vegetables. Stir well to coat everything in the sauce.

Serve the tofu stir-fry over cooked brown rice or quinoa. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Tofu Scramble

Ingredients:

  • Firm tofu
  • Mixed vegetables (bell peppers, onions, spinach, mushrooms)
  • Turmeric, salt, black pepper, nutritional yeast

Directions:

Crumble tofu into a pan and sauté with mixed vegetables until cooked.

Season with turmeric, black salt, black pepper, and nutritional yeast for flavor.

Divide into individual containers for the week.

Protein-Packed Trail Mix

Ingredients:

  • Mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts)
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, apricots, shredded coconut)
  • Dark chocolate chips or chunks

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

Portion into small snack-sized containers for a quick protein-rich snack option.

Protein Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • Plant-based protein powder
  • Frozen mixed berries
  • Spinach or kale
  • Soy milk
  • Nut butter, chia seeds, flaxseeds

Directions:

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Pour into individual bottles or jars for a quick breakfast or post-workout refuel.

With a bit of planning and preparation, you can set yourself up for a week of healthy eating without spending hours in the kitchen each day. For more meal prep ideas check out my favorite homemade granola recipe and this Kefir Chia Pudding that can easily be customized to meet your dietary preferences! 

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