This Meal Prep Madness post brings you a whole weeks worth of meals! Some recipes are more convenient and will work for days when cooking just isn't in the books. Others are quick and easy meals that can be made in about 30 minutes or less. You can prepare all of this on one day, but I like to split meal prepping out over two days to keep food fresh. Scroll down to the bottom to get the grocery list and an estimated total cost. To be fair, you will have supplies to make many more meals and may even have leftovers.
On the menu:
Tofu scramble with black beans, salsa, toast.
Dairy-free yogurt parfaits with fresh fruit and granola.
Dave's Killer everything bagels with guacamole
Berry, kale, banana smoothies.
Spicy protein nut mix
Cucumber tomato salad
Blueberries, bananas, cherry tomatoes
Leftovers from dinners
Amy's Organic frozen burritos with salsa
cucumber salad as a side
Pasta with spicy red sauce and veggies
Risotto or rice and steamed veggies & Morning Star Buffalo Wings
To prepare breakfasts:
Press moisture out of tofu for 10-15 minutes. While waiting, dice half of a yellow onion and cook a can of black beans over low heat. Cook onions with a little of butter (or water if oil-free) over medium heat until translucent. Add tofu after lightly chopping it up; this makes it easier to break up in the pan. While tofu cooks add a little salt and pepper and a good dash of turmeric (for the yellow color). Once the tofu begins to lightly brown, drain black beans and mix them into the pan. Tofu scramble- done! I throw two slices of bread into the toaster and heat this up in the microwave or in a pan. I pour some salsa over extra crispy toast and then scoop the scramble on top & enjoy!
Wash blueberries and grab 4 mason jars or tupper-wares. Put a handful of berries into the bottom of your containers and top with about 1 cup of the yogurt. I just bring my bag of granola out when its time to top the parfait, but if you have small jars and would like to make it all more portable- portion out about 2/3 cup of granola into separate containers.
Bagels and to-go guacamole packs are the ultimate on-the-go meal. I toast the bagel, top it with the whole serving of guacamole (about 3 oz) and eat this like a sandwich. This is a back up meal for when you might be running late or need to eat on the commute. Dave's killer bagels have 12g of protein per serving, so it will hold you over when accompanied with a pre-made smoothie or a banana.
To prepare snacks:
Spicy trail mix doesn't require any preparation but is a great source of fat, protein and carbs; the perfect mix to stave off hunger between meals.
I used the large blender to make two batches of smoothies. I purchased two large bags of frozen fruit by Wyman's brand for about $10 each because I ALWAYS make smoothies for breakfast and snack time so I like having a variety of fruits on hand. In one batch I used the berry/kale mix and in another I used the mango/strawberry/blueberry mix.
For one batch combine 1 peeled banana, about 3 cups of frozen fruit of your choice (I used Kale and Berry Frozen Fruit mix by Wyman's), Juice/coconut water, and ground flax seeds (if you have them on hand like me). Just fill the blender up past the fruit so the consistency is smooth; blend and jar. Makes 5-6 cups.
Chop your mini cucumbers, half of a red onion and one handful of cherry tomatoes. Combine chopped veggies and then add another handful of cherry tomatoes. I leave this salad dry and top with my favorite vinaigrette come time for consuming because it keeps everything fresh longer. You should only have about one half of a pint of cherry tomatoes left to snack on later.
Blueberries are already washed, so keep them available alongside bananas and cherry tomatoes
To prepare dinners:
I made risotto for one of my rice-based meals. I also bought two prepackaged rice sides that have unique instructions on their package. I got the packaged rice just in case I ran out of risotto, and since they aren't perishable there is no harm done if I don't consume them this week.
To cook the risotto, chop the other half of your white onion and cook on medium heat with a pad of vegan butter or tablespoon of olive oil until translucent. 1 cup of risotto makes plenty for one to last 5 or 6 good meals. Add one cup of risotto to onions and toast lightly for 2 minutes, being cautious not to burn. Add 3 cups of vegetable broth in 1/2 cup increments, allowing risotto to absorb broth slowly. While cooking the risotto, you can wash and chop up the head of broccoli and yellow squash. In a large sauce pan, steam veggies over low heat until they are soft enough to pierce with a fork but not soft enough to mash with a fork. Cooking instructions for the Buffalo tenders are on the package, and I will make them ahead of time if I know I will only have access to a microwave when I want leftovers. If you have 3 tenders per meal you will make 6 plates. This might seem like the most involved part of the meal prep, but if you replace risotto with another rice it is about 10 minutes faster to prepare!
Usually I wait until I am halfway thru the week before making another dinner so everything stays more fresh, but you can definitely prepare both of these dinners early in the week and reheat later. To make the pasta and sauce with veggies we just need a few pots for heating sauce and water. While waiting on the water to boil, take out the frozen peas and grab some of the lightly steamed broccoli you have prepared. Pour the entire sauce into a sauce pan, combine in frozen peas and heat over medium. Boil & drain pasta (I used about 1/2 of the bag). Add broccoli to sauce when it is warm, and heat another moment. Make a plate for yourself and then you should be able to portion out 3-4 more dishes with the pasta you have. I usually have sauce left over to cook with pasta in the future and you can freeze this if desired.
After all the prepping is done you should have:
4 servings of tofu scramble
6-10 smoothies (I make 10)
6 1 cup servings of tomato cucumber salad
2 Vegan burritos with salsa (& guac if you wish!)
Trail mix, tomatoes and blueberries to snack on
6 rice, veggies and chicken tender plates.
4 pasta and veggie dishes
5 bagels with guacamole (backup!)
... which adds up to 8 breakfasts, more than 16 snacks, 12 lunch and dinner plates, and 5 "backup bagels"!
I have to say that in this trip I bargained on a few items like pasta, bread, produce etc. because other items that I like are more expensive. Cold pressed juices, certain organic products and dairy replacements can be on the pricey side, so save your budget for foods that are dense in nutrients or absolute must-haves.
1 bunch bananas ($.85)
1 yellow onion ($0.60)
1 red onion ($0.80)
1 head broccoli, about 1lb ($2.00)
5 mini cucumbers ($3.00)
5 small yellow squash ($1.00 on sale)
6 pack spicy Sabra Guacamole ($2.50 on sale)
2 pint packages of cherry tomatoes ($1.00 for both, on sale)
1 lb package organic blueberries ($4)
Cold Pressed Orange Juice by Simple Truth Organic ($6.00)
Cold Pressed Suja Greens Juice ($9.00)
Coconut water ($6)
Wymans berry & kale mix AND/OR Wymans blueberry, strawberry, mango mix. ($10 and $13)
Morning Star Buffalo Tenders ($4)
2 Amy's Organic Vegan Burritos ($4)
Bag frozen peas ($1)
Non-Dairy Refrigerated Goods:
Bread for toast (I got a loaf of sourdough from my local groceries bakery) ($2.50 on sale)
Dave's Killer Bagels ($4 on sale, normally $6)
1 package of your favorite pasta ($1)
1 Can Black Beans ($0.80)
Vegetable broth (make sure you have at least 24 fl oz) ($3)
1 Jar of your favorite salsa (I got , I highly recommend buying local when possible!) ($5)
1 Jar of your favorite sauce (I got classico spicy arrabiata) ($3)
2-3 packages of your favorite rice pilaf, wild rice mix, risotto, cuscus etc. ($4)
Rocky Mountain Provisions Spicy Trail mix ($6)
Kind Brand Red Berries Granola ($5)
Estimated cost: $95-$125.
Prices will vary based on local sales and other reasons.
Want to save $25-$35?
Eliminate Suja Green Juice ($9)
Eliminate coconut water ($6)
Buy conventional juice instead of organic cold-pressed (save $3)
Buy frozen veggies instead of fresh (save $2)
Use frozen berries from your smoothie supplies instead of getting fresh berries ($4)
Buy a bag of brown rice and season it yourself (save $2)
Buy trail mix and granola from the buy-in-bulk section instead of prepackaged ($5)
Choose a cheaper salsa option ($2)
Forget about the burritos ($4)
Forget about the "backup bagels" & guacamole ($6.50)
Thanks for checking out this blog, I hope it was helpful to you!