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How to Start a Plant-Based Diet - Step 3 - One Week Meal Plan

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

I developed this meal plan with that person who does not know where to begin and does not have a lot of time or interest in cooking in mind. The hardest thing about plant-based for most people is that nearly every website, book or program that is supposed to guide you through the transition makes things too complicated. They typically begin by having you completely reset your kitchen and then going out to buy a lot of unfamiliar ingredients such as "tempeh", "seitan", "textured vegetable protein", and "nutritional yeast" in order to prepare complicated time-consuming recipes. In addition, many plant-based recipes rely on a blender to make sauces and dressings.

I think that these things needlessly discourage many people. Therefore this meal plan is created to use familiar ingredients without any special equipment. Each recipe is short, uncomplicated, and designed to be prepared by those with limited time. It's fine to learn about these more unfamiliar things later, but initially a shopping trip to a local grocery and some basic recipes are all that are needed. Even though the ingredients are familiar to you, give yourself a few days to prepare a grocery list and do the shopping as you may not have many of the items on hand. If you begin the plan on a Monday, the more "special" breakfasts will fall on the weekend. If you don't have time for the "special" breakfasts on the weekend, just use the weekday breakfasts.

In keeping with the idea of simplicity, you will find that the dishes are repeated through the week so that you can prepare a double batch to have it twice. Most recipes serve two as written. If you are cooking for more than two people you will need to increase the quantities accordingly. You will also find that some ingredients repeat from one recipe to another and in that way you eliminate waste.

A couple of quick notes:

1) Always check ingredient labels. For the breakfast cold cereal just be sure to choose a variety with whole grains, little to no added sugar, low in fat and no milk. Nature's Path Heritage Flakes or Uncle Sams Original are good options. For plant milk, options abound but most people find that rice milk tastes the closest to cow's skim milk. Oat milk and hemp milk are also great options.

2) For the fruit selection you can pick whatever type of fruit you like to eat - fresh or frozen.

3) Oil-free hummus can be hard to find in the grocery store. If you can't find it in the grocery store, I have provided a recipe for Oil-free Hummus.

4) A way to save time on meal prep is to purchase frozen vegetables and/or pre-washed and cut up vegetables in your grocery store. Another option is to prep vegetables one or two days a week and store in fridge and take out as needed.

After week one, you can find more elaborate recipes on this website and many other plant-based websites including, which is one of my favorites. You may also find this article helpful: Plant-based Diets: What Does a Meal Look Like?

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