This is an example of a vegan meal plan for a week. Mobile and print-friendly version here.
This meal plan is taken from the Challenge 22 vegan lifestyle plan. If you are new to veganism, we recommend signing up to the plan (it’s free!), for online support from vegan mentors and other new vegans, plus dietary advice from nutritionists.
We’ve expanded on the Challenge 22 meal plan by offering some shortcuts/time-saving ideas for the meals and snacks each day in case you don’t have the time to spend in the kitchen- just select a day of the week or scroll down the page to see our suggestions. Note- the meals in the plan below are very nutritious so swapping out a home-made version for a shop-bought version will affect the nutrition for that day. The emphasis should be made on getting in as many fruit/vegetables and healthy unprocessed foods as possible.
|Monday||Green smoothie||1 slice bread with peanut butter with jam||3-bean salad||Edamame with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and coarse salt||Lentil burger, whole grain bun and fresh veggies/toppings of your choice|
|Tuesday||Hummus sandwich with fresh veggies||Veggie sticks (peppers, carrots, cucumbers, etc.)||Vietnamese spring rolls||1 slice bread with cashew cheese||Thai curry vegetables and rice
|Wednesday||Oatmeal with fruit||A piece of fruit
A handful of nuts (Brazil nuts, cashews, almonds etc.)
|Vegan “egg” salad sandwiches
Fresh veggie slices
|Avocado toast||Vegan spaghetti and “meat” balls
|Thursday||Toast with lentil spread
|A bunch of grapes||Chickpea flour omelet
|Cooked beans/chickpeas with olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning of your choice||Seven Vegetable Couscous|
|Friday||Granola or muesli with soy or other non-dairy yogurt
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 serving of fruit
|Rice cakes with avocado||Vegan sushi||Fruit salad||Vegan Lasagna
|Roasted chickpeas||Black bean, sweet potato and quinoa soup||Chocolate banana ice cream||Tofu veggie stir-fry
Rice or quinoa
Whole grain toast + avocado
|Cherry tomatoes with olive oil and balsamic vinegar||Quinoa stuffed peppers
|A handful of nuts (Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, etc.)
2-3 dried dates
Cooked quinoa or rice
Chopped salad with tahini dressing
If you don’t like the smoothie recipe suggested in the meal plan, you can experiment and make your own- frozen fruit, fruit juice + greens (such as lettuce, coriander etc). There’s lots of recipes online too, so there will be at least one amazing combination you’ll love.
The 3-bean salad can be made quickly but if you’re in a rush you can pick up a plain salad (without dressing) from a supermarket or high-street store and add cooked/ready-to-eat beans.
‘Edamame’ are soy beans. Some shops sell them ready to eat from the fridge (Itsu, some supermarkets), or you can buy them hot (Wagamama). You can also buy shelled edamame in the frozen section of some supermarkets.
If you don’t have time to make the lentil burger, many supermarkets now sell vegan burgers in the frozen section, including meat-style ones. See list here. Health food shops like Holland and Barrett, Whole Foods and Planet Organic also have a good range.
You can make the hummus sandwich as a toastie if you’d prefer a warm breakfast. Also, buy the hummus pre-made to save a lot of time. All supermarkets stock hummus.
Not all supermarkets stock tahini (needed for the tahini dip)- it may be kept in the world foods aisle. If you can’t find it, you can use hummus for the dip instead.
If you don’t have time to make the spring rolls, many supermarkets sell vegan-friendly vegetable spring rolls. They won’t be as healthy as home-made, and they may also need to be pre-cooked.
To make vegan oatmeal/porridge, just follow the normal instructions but replace the dairy with a vegan milk (coconut, soy, almond, hemp, cashew etc, so many to choose from!). If you don’t have fresh fruit, you can use frozen fruits- blueberries and raspberries soften well.
If you don’t have the time to make the sandwich (or like the taste of eggs, even vegan ones!), you can either make a more simple vegan sandwich or buy a pre-packaged sandwich. Most supermarkets carry a vegan sandwich/wrap option and Pret a Manger, Bagel Factory, Boots, Caffe Nero and Starbucks also have options.
Avocado toast at its simplest, is just mashed avocado on toast (with optional lime or lemon juice, salt and chilli flakes)- you don’t have to follow a fancy recipe.
You can buy pre-made vegan meatballs in the freezer from Sainsbury’s and Morrisons (Holland and Barrett sometimes carry the Vbites brand in their fridge). If you don’t have the time to make meatballs, you can just slice up some cooked Linda McCartney vegan sausages (found in all supermarkets) and add them to the pasta/sauce.
The lentil spread can be made ahead of time (and quickly) and stores well in the fridge. Other breakfast toast options could be vegan yeast-extract (like Marmite- Sainsbury’s own brand is labelled vegan), avocado toast, jam (with vegan margarine like Vitalite, Pure, vegan Flora, and some supermarket own brands).
The chickpea flour used in the vegan omelette is also known as ‘gram flour’ and can be found in the world food section in the supermarkets (even smaller supermarkets usually carry it).
When buying granola, check the packet to make sure the ingredients don’t include honey, some vegan options are listed here. It’s also easy to make your own granola from basic ingredients- nuts, seeds, oats etc.
All supermarkets sell vegan/dairy-free alternatives to yoghurt. Alpro is a popular brand (soy-based) but supermarkets will stock others like Coconut Collaborative and Coyo (coconut based), Nush (almond based).
Chia seeds are little seeds that look like poppy seeds. Most supermarkets sell them now (including Lidl). They are usually found in the dried fruit/nuts/seed section of the supermarket.
Vegan sushi is easy to make, but you can buy pre-made from Itsu and Waitrose. To cut down on cooking time, you can omit the rice completely and just layer the seaweed wraps with lots of thinly cut vegetables and pre-cooked tofu.
For the lasagna recipe, you can buy pre-made white sauces (such as Tesco’s FreeFrom brand) or make your own (see the white sauce for this recipe– remember to use unsweetened soy milk!). The recipe in the meal plan uses a product called nutritional yeast, which is a powder that tastes a lot like cheese (but isn’t), and contains lots of B-vitamins. You can find nutritional yeast in most health food shops, including Holland and Barrett.
You can buy vegan (and gluten free) pancake mix from the Orgran brand in some supermarkets, and most health food shops from the free-from section.
Some supermarkets/health food shops sell pre-packaged snacks like roasted chickpeas, broad beans, soy beans etc.
Soups are really easy to make at home. But if you’re busy, you can buy store-bought vegan soups. The brands Glorius and Covent Garden have a few options in the fresh soup aisle, and most supermarkets have a few of their own.
You’ll need a food processor or blender for the chocolate banana ice-cream (to soften the frozen banana). If you can’t make this treat at home, you can replace it with a fruit sorbet (though a shop-bought one will contain sugar).
Tofu can be found in the healthy eating/vegetarian aisle (refrigerated section) in the supermarket. Common brands are Cauldron, Tofoo and Dragonfly. When making tofu scramble, use the firm unflavoured variety (and not smoked or ginger-flavoured). Asian supermarkets like Wing Yip (Croydon) and Longdan Express (Kingston) carry a wide variety of firm plain tofu.
For the quinoa-stuffed peppers, you can use precooked quinoa (usually kept near the beans) from the supermarket. For vegetable stock, you can use vegan stockcubes (like the Kallo brand) or vegan vegetable bouillon powder (by Marigold).
You can add vegan bolognese-style mince to the chilli (add it after frying the onion). To make it taste more ‘meaty’, stir a spoonful of vegan Marmite into the mince. Most supermarkets sell their own brand vegan mince in the frozen section.
There are lots of vegan recipes out there (and products in the shops!), far too many to mention. We recommend new vegans signing up to Challenge 22, and joining Facebook groups like Vegan Supermarket Finds, London Vegans, Vegan Food UK etc to find out what’s available, and where.
Croydon Vegan Outreach are on Croydon high street every Thursday, so if you need support, please come and say hello and we’ll do our best to help you on your vegan journey.