Whether you’re already a vegetarian, or you just want to try out a meat-free lifestyle, we’ve got you covered with this simple 3-day plan.
Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

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!

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Day 1

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.

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.

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.

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Day 2

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.

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

Credit: Greg DuPree

Day 3

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.

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.


Be sure to sprinkle in some plant-based snacks throughout your day. You can nibble on nuts, make crunchy chickpeas, or treat yourself with a batch of vegan brownies. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with some fresh cut fruit, or veggies dipped in hummus.