What we eat during the course of a day is integral to our nutrient intake and well-being. However, while sometimes it’s simple to figure out what we’re going to eat for breakfast or lunch or for a snack, it’s a little more challenging to meal plan for an entire week and make sure you are consuming all the foods you want!
When putting together a week’s or even a day’s worth of meals, it’s important to consider a few things. First, you always want to make sure you’re consuming a balance of macronutrients – protein, fat and carbohydrates. This can be especially tricky, but not impossible, when you eat a vegan or vegetarian diet. Having a diet with balanced macronutrients (especially when each meal has a little bit of each) will keep you satiated and energized, because you are giving your body all the fuel it needs.
The second thing to keep in mind when putting together meals for the day is micronutrients. Just because you have a balanced meal with fat, protein and carbohydrates does not mean it’s healthy. It’s important to make sure your meals are full of lots of micronutrient-dense veggies and fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and if you consume animal products, make sure they are organic and grass-fed/pastured.
The last thing to consider is whether or not you are someone that consumes three meals a day or several smaller meals throughout the day. Each one of us is different, so it is important to do what’s right for you! Many find it helpful to “reset” by eating three, nutrient-dense meals per day to control snacking and cravings and then figuring out what works best for your body!
Here are 3 delicious and healthy vegan meals to get you started!!
Quick Asian Salad
- 1 handful rice noodles, ripped into smaller pieces
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or other high heat cooking fat
- 2 cups roughly chopped romaine hearts
- 1 handful cashews, roasted
- ¼ cup mandarin oranges
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add avocado oil and allow to heat.
- Once oil is hot, carefully add the rice noodles. If the noodles do not immediately puff up, the oil is not hot enough. Wait until the oil is hot and try again.
- The noodles should take only about 30 seconds to cook thoroughly. Remove from heat when all the noodles are puffy.
- Once the pan has cooled, carefully wipe out any excess oil from the pan.
- Reheat the pan and add cashews, cooking for about 5 minutes until just browned.
- In a large bowl add romaine lettuce, cashews, oranges and crispy rice noodles.
- For the dressing, either combine the sesame oil, coconut aminos and rice vinegar on the side and add to the salad or simply pour each over top if you’re in a rush!
Peanut Butter Protein Chia Pudding
- 1 + ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ½ scoop or packet Amazing Grass Peanut Butter Protein
- ¼ cup chia seed
- A few drops of stevia or other sweetener or choice, optional
- Combine all ingredients in a mason jar with a lid. Shake vigorously and store in the fridge overnight.
- Serve with your favorite toppings!
Vegan Buddha Bowl
- ½ cup quinoa, raw
- 1 bunch broccolini (about 4-5 spears)
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 handful raw spinach
- ½ avocado
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon red curry paste
- 1-2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook quinoa according to directions on package.
- Heat a skillet and add avocado oil.
- Once hot, add the broccolini plus salt and pepper to taste until charred and cooked al dente.
- Remove from pan and allow to cool.
- In a small sauce pan, combine coconut milk and curry paste until warm.
- Assemble the Buddha bowl by placing the cooked quinoa at the bottom and top with broccolini, avocado, spinach, curry sauce and sesame seeds.