Although there are 375 million vegetarians in the world, they remain a minority in the United States. Only 5% of the American population is vegetarian, but the diet is fast gaining popularity.
There are many reasons to go vegetarian - reduce the suffering of animals, reduce cost, spiritual beliefs, and increase health. But one of the best benefits (in our books at least) is the food.
Vegetarian meal prep is fast to make and just as delicious as its non-vegetarian counterpart.
In this article, we walk you through the best high-protein meal prep perks that go beyond the usual bland tofu. Let's get into it!
Benefits of Meal Prepping
Preparing your meals in advance for the week is a game-changer. You can make your life so much easier and more efficient, which is why it has become such a popular practice.
Here are some of the main reasons meal prepping is advantageous:
Time-saving: Many of us spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to cook and what to buy. Not to mention, the decision fatigue of deciding whether to order in can be exhausting.
With meal prep, you'll always have delicious food waiting for you at home! And it means fewer dishes to do, which we all love.
Budget-friendly: Many people think eating vegetarian and healthy is expensive. Not so. Meal prepping will save you dollars as you can buy ingredients in bulk, a flash freeze, and spend less money eating out.
Aid weight loss: By preparing your meals in advance, you reduce the chance of ordering greasy, fast food. Not to mention, you'll be able to watch your portion sizes and consume adequate calories more efficiently.
Make a Plan
Everything is easy when you have a plan or strategy in mind.
Think about your goals and how to achieve them through meal prep vegetarian food. Your goals could be to lose weight, gain strength, build muscle or gain weight. High-protein meals help with all of these.
Go through your pantry and fridge every week and plan out a grocery list. The idea vegetarian weekly meal prep should include:
- Whole grains
- Nuts, seeds, and dried fruit
Be sure to use up items you have at home already, so you're not wasting anything.
Vegetarian Protein Options
Many people think that a vegetarian diet implies low-protein. This is simply untrue, as there are plenty of staples out there that will help you meet your protein goals. Here are the main vegetarian protein options:
- Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese
- Pulses like chickpeas, lentils, and soybeans
- Nut butter like peanut and almond butter
- Whole grains like quinoa and lentil pasta
You may think that some of these options are pretty low in protein compared to meat. While that may be true, an excellent vegetarian diet works by combining many protein ingredients throughout the day.
Little bursts of protein add up to help you hit those protein macros with ease!
And remember, even bland ingredients like tofu and eggs can be dressed up and made delicious.
It's all about finding the right recipe. If you find yourself struggling to make tofu tasty, for example, try out a vegetarian food delivery for some ideas and inspiration.
Vegetarian Meal Prep Ideas
The benefit of meal prep is that it is fundamentally easy. The process involves combining the hunger-busting combination of fat, carbs, and protein.
This will keep you full longer and aid your nutritional goals as well. Every week, keep at least one item from each of the categories prepped, so you can combine them when you're ready to eat.
This will also ensure that you don't get bored and can play around with different flavor profiles.
Carbs: Keep a base of carbs around at all times. This could be pasta, noodles, brown rice, quinoa, oats, or sweet potato. Ensure that the ingredient is cooked and ready to eat.
Fat: Healthy fats are a must for every balanced diet. Keep avocado on hand, as well as a combination of different cheeses and nuts. You can portion out servings in little boxes so that you're not looking for them or shredding cheese when you want to eat dinner.
Protein: Here's where you get creative. Toss your tempeh in a nut butter sauce for a protein kick, or roast your chickpeas in a nutritional yeast sauce for an umami flavor. Ensure that your protein packs a heavy flavor punch.
Veggies: Bake them, roast them, eat them raw in a salad - the choice is entirely yours. Pick a combination of your favorite veggies, so you get micronutrients and vitamins and keep them prepped. Roasting them all simultaneously in a sheet pan with herbs is a great way to infuse some flavor.
Sauce: And finally, the element to bring it all together! Keep a bunch of sauces on the ready. This way, even if you're eating the same carb and protein every day for a week, you'll get different flavors with each meal.
Some of our favorite sauces are arrabbiata sauce, honey lime sauce, pesto sauce, or ranch dressing.
Vegetarian Meal Prep for the Win
Don't you think veggie meals are delicious? We certainly do.
And they're easy to make in advance, remain fresh and quick to prepare too! Not to mention, ensuring your vegetarian meal prep ideas are high-protein will support weight loss, muscle gain, overall satiety, and nutritional balance.
If you've been struggling to get meal prepping, check out AthelticsFit. We offer multiple types of healthy, chef-prepared meals delivered straight to your doorstep.
Our ingredients are of the finest quality, crafted with local ingredients and constantly changing so you have the variety you so crave.
Check out our menus here to see the meal packages on offer!