The Ultimate 3-Day Plant-Based Meal Plan for Beginners
Plant-based eating can mean a lot of different things. Generally speaking, plant-based foods are those that revolve around—you guessed it—plants, and are lower in animal products such as meat, dairy, poultry, fish, and eggs.
Choosing to change your eating habits is a personal decision, and one only you can make. But whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or a meat lover, upping your intake of plant-based foods is a healthy choice. Plant-based diets are linked to lower risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and some cancers.
So whether you’re cutting out meat for health reasons, animal welfare, environmental reasons, of you just want to switch up your meals, we’ve devised the ultimate plant-based meal plan to get you started on your journey.
The meals we suggest completely remove animal products, and introduce you to a variety of satisfying plant proteins, like tofu, tempeh, whole grains, nuts, and pulses. This 3-day plan is perfect for beginners, but also great for vegan vets.
For no-fuss, customizable vegetarian meal plans, be sure and subscribe to the Cooking Light Diet today!
Breakfast: Blackberry-Citrus Granola Bowl
Soak these steel-cut oats overnight for a softer bite.The crunchy Coconut-Buckwheat Granola makes for a perfect contrast to the sweet, creamy oats. Soak in your milk of choice—we especially like almond, soy, or coconut milk.
View the recipe: Blackberry-Citrus Granola Bowl
Lunch: Sweet Potato Medallions with Almond Sauce and Chickpea Salad
You’re five ingredients away from a high-protein, totally plant-forward meal. The creamy almond butter sauce lends tons of flavor, while sweet potatoes and chickpeas balance the peppery arugula.
View the recipe: Sweet Potato Medallions with Almond Sauce and Chickpea Salad
Dinner: Churrasco-Style Tofu Steaks with Hemp Chimichurri
You’ll want to eat this chimichurri loaded with parsley cilantro, and hemp seeds by the spoonful. But, we promise it’s even better over the bold tofu. The smoky, spiced rub and deep grill marks make for a strikingly meaty flavor.
View the recipe: Churrasco-Style Tofu Steaks with Hemp Chimichurri
Breakfast: “Huevos” Soy-Cheros
Get a little comfortable swapping out your favorite animal proteins, like eggs, chorizo, and cheese, for plant-based options. This riff on huevos rancheros uses turmeric-stained tofu, soy chorizo, and protein-packed pinto beans for a filling breakfast dish.
View the recipe: “Huevos” Soy-Cheros
Lunch: Summer Salad with Tempeh Croutons and Beet Dressing
Super crunchy tempeh make for an awesome alternative to traditional croutons. Toss in a mixture of fresh tomatoes, radishes, kale, arugula, and asparagus for a super-filling salad. The combo of beets and tahini makes for an out-of-the-box dressing you’ll want again and again.
View the recipe: Summer Salad with Tempeh Croutons and Beet Dressing
Dinner: Chickpea and Kale Curry
Quinoa, peanut butter, and chickpeas come together in the ultimate plant-powered meal. Blend creamy coconut milk with Indian-inspired flavors for a nutty, creamy, and super-filling vegan main.
View the recipe: Chickpea and Kale Curry
Breakfast: Peanut Butter Oats with Raspberries
Peanut butter, or really any nut butter, paired with a nut milk and whole grain makes for a protein-packed, delicious start to your day. Dates bring out a natural sweetness to the bowl—without any added sugars.
View the recipe: Peanut Butter Oats with Raspberries
Lunch: Tempeh Gyros with Tzatziki
Silken tofu is the secret ingredient that makes for a creamy, yet totally vegan tzatziki sauce. Let the tempeh cook down in the flavorful sauce, and you’ll instantly be reminded of the craveable street cart version.
View the recipe: Tempeh Gyros Tzatziki
Dinner: Slow Cooker Creamy Lentil Soup
Lentils are a plant-based cook’s secret weapon. They’re shelf stable, super versatile, and unbelievably filling. This slow cooker recipe is as easy as they come. Let the lentil, onion, and carrot mixture cook all day, then toss in the chickpeas and kale in the last 30 minutes.
View the recipe: Slow Cooker Creamy Lentil Soup