A vegan diet is a plant-based plan that excludes all animal products, such as meat, fish and dairy and has a huge range of potential health benefits. To reap the benefits of this eating lifestyle, focus on nutrient-dense whole foods, some of which you will see listed in our must-have ingredient section below.
So whether you are new to the world of vegan cuisine and simply don’t know where to start, or you are a lover of all foods plant-based but are lacking meal inspiration then you have come to the right place!
Let our simple, but delicious, vegan meal plan get your taste buds tingling! Included is our must-have ingredients, our tried and tested meal planning checklist, a 7-day sample plan and even some of our favourite tips!
There are certain ingredients that are staples when creating a vegan meal plan, these are the ingredients that frequently appear in purely plant-based recipes.
Whole grains are an important staple for ensuring nutrient adequacy as a vegan. In particular, iron, zinc and B-vitamins are important nutritional benefits. Oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, wheat bread are great examples and can easily be substituted into your vegan meal plan.
Each kind of nut can provide different dietary benefits, including providing energy and are rich in fibre, essential fatty acids and include high amounts of protein. Seeds and nut butters are also beneficial for this reason. These, alongside nuts, are a great addition to your meal plan or as snacks throughout the day.
Lentils are a leading source of plant-based protein with just 1 cup of cooked lentils containing 18g. This helps to build muscle, provides energy and are low on the glycemic index, meaning they don’t rapidly increase your blood sugar. A must-have for any vegan meal plan.
Beans are a rich source of fibre and B vitamins. They are also a great alternative to meat as they are a great source of vegetarian protein. They also have several other health benefits, including reducing cholesterol, decreasing blood sugar levels and increasing healthy gut bacteria.
Just like with any diet, getting enough fruit and vegetables is key due to the variety of antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds that they offer. Including folate, vitamin C and potassium. They’re also an excellent source of dietary fibre, which can help to maintain a healthy gut and prevent constipation and other digestion problems.
Top Tip: Getting enough protein is a common concern for those on a vegan diet but it’s completely possible to get plenty of protein when eating completely plant-based. We recommend incorporating high protein foods, such as peanut butter, beans, lentils, or nuts to your meals or as snacks throughout your day!
Whether developing your own vegan meal plan with our tips or using our sample, ask yourself the following questions:
Top Tip: A lot of beneficial ingredients are multi-functional and are used in a variety of delicious plant-based recipes. Focusing on these ingredients means you can also save money!
Breakfast: Porridge made with an unsweetened milk alternative such as soy or almond with flax or chia seeds for extra nutritional value (or both!)
Lunch: Potato stuffed peppers (recipe).
Dinner: Homemade vegan pizza with your favourite plant-based toppings.
Breakfast: Banana pancakes using oats, flaxseed, and whole wheat flour, in place of traditional dry ingredients.
Lunch: Sweet potato and coconut soup served with wholegrain bread and a fruit salad.
Dinner: Tofu Burgers served with sweet potato fries.
Breakfast: Wholegrain toast with a side fruit salad.
Lunch: Vegan fried rice
Dinner: Spaghetti and vegan meatballs (recipe).
Breakfast: Bran flakes with a milk alternative of your choice served with some fruit of your choice and mixed nuts.
Lunch: Hummus and veggie roll-ups (bonus points for being kid-friendly).
Dinner: Vegan tikka masala (recipe).
Breakfast: Oatmeal with a sprinkling of your favourite mixed nuts or seeds, or whatever fruit is in season.
Lunch: New potato and cucumber salad.
Dinner: Vegan tacos.
Breakfast: Wholegrain toast with crushed avocado and a sprinkle of your favourite seeds.
Lunch: Zucchini soup
Dinner: Vegan coconut lentil curry (recipe).
Breakfast: Treat yourself to some peanut butter banana bread granola. Substitute honey for maple syrup and use a nut-butter for extra nutritional value.
Lunch: Thai broccoli salad with a peanut dressing
Dinner: Vegan steak and gravy (recipe).
Top Tip: Make starchy carbohydrates the base of your dish and vegetables as the stars, this ensures a filling but delicious meal rich in flavour that won’t leave you reaching for a snack afterwards.
There you have it, Plant Sumo’s vegan meal plan to inspire! Whether you use our tips and guidelines as a base point or use them directly you are guaranteed a delicious array of vegan food. Be sure to check out the Plant Sumo delivery service, or subscription boxes for a bonus treat to add to your very own vegan meal plan!