vegan meal prep

This weekend I prepped some food to eat during the week to save some time and sanity when things get hectic.  I try to have some building blocks of meals available in the fridge so that I can make school lunches easily in the a.m. by mixing and matching, and it makes cooking during the week faster if I have veggies cleaned and prepped.  I posted my prep this week on my instagram stories (my handle is @mamaeatsplants) and I wanted to add it to the blog too.  My style of prep is not the bodybuilder-plastic tupperware-same meal for 5 days-plain veggies and meat situtation that I see a lot.  I would get SO bored if I did that.  I want the freedom to create what I feel like eating that day but also have the building blocks on hand to speed up the process, because #momlife .  Here’s the list with links and some interjected photos I saved from my IG story.

IMG_8196I start out on Friday morning, by setting aside some time to compile a list of meals, snacks, condiments, etc I’d like to make that week.  I write down all the groceries I’ll need to buy for those recipes.  To that list I add staples that we buy every week like fresh and frozen fruits, crunchy snack veggies, sweet/regular potatoes, lentils, quinoa.  Then I make a list of foods that I can prep ahead so I know exactly what I’ll be cooking on Sat/Sun.  I gather together all the bags, containers, and jars I will need to buy things package free.  Doing this ahead of time is KEY for me, otherwise I will inevitably forget to bring them with me.  On Saturday morning we go shopping at the farmer’s market, where I buy the majority of our fresh fruits and vegetables.  We head to our local co-op after that, where I buy bulk water, spices, dried beans and grains,and veggies/fruits that are on sale that week plus tofu, tempeh, nut butters and more.  That way I can just use my own bags and jars and not consume and throw away unnecessary plastic waste packaging.   Every couple of weeks we  go to Costco when I need something that’s a lot cheaper there- I stock up on bags of frozen fruit, rice, and onions which are so much cheaper there and we go through those items quickly.  I avoid most other stuff there as it comes in so much packaging!  Also, the grocery outlet near us has so many organic and quality items for super cheap, so we go there every once in a while too.

IMG_8197First up, I put some almonds in a jar to soak overnight.  I’ll blend and strain in the a.m.  It’s easy, tasty, and waste free almond milk.

IMG_8198Next, I toasted cumin seeds in a pan.  I bought these seeds in bulk and I used about half of them to refill and old spice jar of mine.  So, it only cost about on dollar for a new jar of ground cumin.  Store bought ground cumin loses flavor over time and tastes stale and dusty to me.

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Next, I started soaking a pound of chickpeas for a double batch of falafel I made the next day.  I use this bon appetit recipe and double it so I can have a bunch leftover.  I bake it instead of frying.

IMG_8200Then I made a fresh batch of rawnola in my food processor.  It’s so good to have on hand to snack on, top smoothie bowls, pack in lunchboxes for a treat, eat with almond milk and berries for breakfast, it’s amazing!

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I usually cook up a big batch of a grain to keep in the fridge to add to soups, salads, bowls and more to quickly create meals.  Tricolor quinoa is a favorite of ours as it’s gluten free, quick-cooking, and a complete protein.  I boil it like pasta so its al dente and all the grains are separate and not mushy at all.

IMG_8202I had some extra fresh red chiles on hand that were on their last legs, so I blended them up into sweet chili sauce.  It keeps a long time in the fridge and is great to drizzle on plain steamed greens, broccoli, buddha bowls and spring rolls.  I use this recipe .

IMG_8203I like to prep a healthy treat to pack in my daughter’s lunch and to bring to the park after school along with fruit.  These black bean brownies are a household favorite and I’ve fed them to unsuspecting picky omnivore kids with ecstatic feedback.  They are this recipe .

IMG_8204This week I decided to make a loaf of bread because I had some sprouted spelt flour on hand.  This is the recipe I used, and you should definitely check out Amy Chaplin’s blog.  She has tons of amazing plant based recipes.  This one has sprouted flour, seeds, whole grains, and is great for avocado toast.

IMG_8205Speaking of avo toast, I love to put sauerkraut on toast too.  Kraut is dead simple to make at home and costs a fraction of what store made does.  This week I decided to try a beet-cabbage kraut because I saw one at the store but it came in plastic so I passed it up and made my own.  This is the recipe I used.

IMG_8207IMG_8208Another staple for the week is a large pot of soup.  I pack this in a thermos for my daughter’s lunch, eat it with a salad for a super quick meal, have it for dinner, anything.  Soup is so healthy since all the nutrients stay in the broth, and it just keeps getting tastier as it sits in the fridge.  Also a great way to use up any less than fresh veggies you need to use up- reducing food waste too!  This week I made one with chard, lentils, tomatoes, quinoa, chickpeas and more.

IMG_8209Every week I wash and prep any veggies I buy.  Especially with kale, chard, lettuce and other greens, if I wash it and rip it up or take the stems out, I am so much more likely to eat it quickly.  If its in the fridge dirty I get really lazy about washing it and then it gets wasted sometimes!  Same with cauliflower and broccoli, I like to cut up pieces to make it easy to grab and cook.  I’ll be making cauliflower wings later in the week using this recipe except I sub part chickpea flour and part rice flour for the all purpose flour.

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All done and ready for the week, no matter how crazy or busy it gets (usually flies by like crazy).  I also made a batch of eggplant hummus using this recipe .  Hope you guys enjoyed!

 

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