1 Week of Plant Based Meals for Under $20

Plant Based Meals | The Wellness Fair

1 Week of Meals for Under $20 and Less Than 1 Hour of Prep Time

There’s a common misconception that adopting a plant-based diet has to be both expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, it’s quite the opposite! Below is a grocery list, meal plan, and recipes for a week’s worth of vegan meals.

Grocery List
Total Weekly Grocery Cost: $19.74

  • Almond Milk: $1.49 for 1 container (Whole Foods)
  • Chia Seeds: $1.74 for 0.25 lb (Whole Foods bulk bins)
  • Bananas: $0.65 1.33 lbs (Stanley’s Produce)
  • Organic Oats: $0.59 for 0.4 lb (Whole Foods bulk bins)
  • Organic Flax Seeds: $0.22 for 0.09 lb (Whole Foods bulk bins)
  • Blueberries: $0.49 for 1 carton (Stanley’s Produce)
  • Quinoa: $2.47 for .55 lbs (Whole Foods bulk bins)
  • Yellow Squash: $0.50 for 5 (Stanley’s Produce)
  • Avocados: $1 for 5 (Woodman’s Market)
  • Spinach: $0.59 for 0.6 lb (Stanley’s Produce)
  • Nutritional Yeast: $1.34 for 0.14 lb (Whole Foods bulk bins)
  • Sweet potato: $0.29 for 1 (Stanley’s Produce)
  • Kale: $0.49 for 0.5 lb (Stanley’s Produce)
  • Tofu: $2.98 for 2 cartons (Woodman’s Market)
  • Broccoli florets: $1.89 for 1 lb (Stanley’s Produce)
  • Onion: $0.20 for 1 (Stanley’s Produce)
  • Tortillas: $0.49 (Whole Foods)
  • Lentils: $0.73 for 0.43 lbs (Whole Foods bulk bins)
  • Carrots: $0.29 for 1 lb (Stanley’s Produce)
  • Hummus: $1.29 per carton (Stanley’s Produce)

(Things you may already have on hand: cooking oil and seasonings like turmeric, cinnamon, salt, teriyaki sauce, and taco seasoning)

Plant Based Meals | The Wellness Fair

Weekly Meal Plan:

Below are two unique meal plan days, each with a breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner. Alternate between “A” and “B” days for 7 days.

See the bottom section for all recipes.

“A” Day:

Breakfast
Daily Dozen Oat Recipe

Lunch
Quinoa Bowl

Snack
Hummus & Carrots

Dinner
Lentil Tacos

“B” Day:

Breakfast
Chia pudding

Lunch
Quinoa Bowl

Snack
Homemade Veggie Chips

Dinner
Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry

Meal Prep Time and Recipes:
Total Prep Time: 44 mins

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3 servings Chia Pudding (1 min of prep time)

Plant Based Meals | The Wellness Fair

  • (2.5 cups almond milk, 3/4 cups chia seeds, cinnamon, large Tupperware)
  • Almond Milk: $1.49 for 1 container (unsweetened vanilla, store brand, Whole Foods)
  • Chia Seeds: $3.49 for 0.5 lb (Whole Foods bulk bins)
  • Bananas: $0.65 1.33 lbs (Stanley’s Produce)

Mix 1.5 cups of organic black chia seeds with 4 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk gently in a large Tupperware and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, slice 1 banana on top. Add additional fruit and cinnamon as desired.

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“Daily Dozen” Oatmeal (2 mins of prep time)

Plant Based Meals | The Wellness Fair

  • (2 cups dry oats, 4 tablespoons flax seeds, 1 carton blueberries, 4 Mason jars)
  • Organic Oats: $0.59 for 0.4 lb (Whole Foods bulk bins)
  • Organic Flax Seeds: $0.22 for 0.09 lb (Whole Foods bulk bins)
  • Blueberries: $0.49 for 1 carton (Stanley’s Produce)
  • Portion out 0.5 cup of oats and 1 tablespoon of flax seeds into each of 4 Mason jars and store. When ready to serve, add 1 cup of water and microwave. Add ¼ cup blueberries on top.

*This recipe allows you to knock out 4 of your 12 daily dozen in one meal! For more on the “Daily Dozen” check out How Not To Die by Dr. Michael Greger.

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Quinoa Bowl Ingredients (12 mins of prep time)

Plant Based Meals | The Wellness Fair

  • (1.5 cups dry quinoa, 5 yellow squash, 4 avocados, 0.6 lb spinach, 7 tbs nutritional yeast, 2 large Tupperware containers)
  • Quinoa: $2.47 for .55 lbs (Whole Foods bulk bins)
  • Yellow Squash: $0.50 for 5 (Stanley’s Produce)
  • Avocados: $0.60 for 3 (Woodman’s Market)
  • Spinach: $0.59 for 0.6 lb (Stanley’s Produce)
  • Nutritional Yeast: $1.34 for 0.14 lb (Whole Foods bulk bins)

Rinse your uncooked quinoa in cold water until the water runs clear. Place 1 ½ cups of dry quinoa in 3 cups of water and turn on high heat. When the water boils, turn the heat down to “simmer”, cover the pot, and let sit for 15 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, wash and slice 5 yellow squash in a disk shape, about ¼ inch in thickness, then bake at 350°.

Cool and refrigerate quinoa and squash.

When ready to serve, place ½ cup cooked quinoa on top of 1 cup raw spinach. Top with 10 slices of baked yellow squash, ½ an avocado, and 1 tbs nutritional yeast.

*In addition to plenty of B-vitamins, nutritional yeast contains all 9 amino acids and is a complete protein

*Quinoa increases 3x when cooked. A normal serving of cooked quinoa is ½ cup.

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Homemade Veggie Chips (8 mins of prep time)

Plant Based Meals | The Wellness Fair

(1 sweet potato, ½ lb kale, olive oil, sea salt)

Sweet potato: $0.29 for 1 (Stanley’s Produce)

Kale: $0.49 for 0.5 lb (Stanley’s Produce)

Slice sweet potato into paper-thin disks*. Wash kale and peel leaves away from the stalks. Discard stalks and place the leaves and sweet potato disks onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Bake at 450° for 8-12 minutes.

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Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry (6 mins prep time)

 (2 cartons of organic cubed tofu, 1 lb broccoli florets, 1 onion, teriyaki sauce, grapeseed oil)

Tofu: $2.98 for 2 cartons (Woodman’s Market)

Broccoli florets: $1.89 for 1 lb (Stanley’s Produce)

Onion: $0.20 for 1 (Stanley’s Produce)

Chop and sauté broccoli in light grapeseed oil until halfway cooked. Then, dice the onion and add it in along with tofu and teriyaki sauce. Continue to cook until onions begin to brown.

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Lentil Tacos (15 mins of prep time)

Plant Based Meals | The Wellness Fair

 (1 pack small corn tortillas, 1 cup dry lentils, ¼ cup water*, 2 avocados, taco seasoning)

Tortillas: $0.49 (Whole Foods)

Lentils: $0.73 for 0.43 lbs (Whole Foods bulk bins)

Avocados: $0.40 for 2 (Woodman’s Market)

Rinse lentils. To cook, bring lentils to a boil with enough water to cover them by about 2 inches, then reduce to a simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Next, place the cooked lentils in a saucepan over low heat with a ¼ cup of water and taco seasoning. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the lentils until they resemble what a ground beef taco filling might look like. Meanwhile, heat tortillas and sliced avocado.

Fill each tortilla with lentil mixture and top with avocado. Feel free to add cilantro or shredded lettuce.

*Feel free to use vegetable broth if you’re fancy

**Makes 12 tacos, suggested serving is 3. I recommend you make the lentil filling ahead of time and only warm tortillas and slice avocado once you’re ready to serve.

Total: 44 mins of prep time

Plant Based Meals | The Wellness Fair

By Sophie Morrison

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