Vegan meal plan for beginners

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Keen to try a vegan diet? We asked a dietician to create a healthy vegan meal plan to get you started.

Johannesburg-based dietician Mayuri Bhawan devised a sample menu where you have three options to choose from for every breakfast, lunch and dinner along with vegan snack suggestions. Mix and match to make up a week’s meals and repeat as many times as you like.

Where to buy vegan ingredients in South Africa

The key to succeeding on a vegan meal plan is to be prepared. While you can make a lot of the ingredients yourself, you can also cheat by stocking up on some of the basics from these online stores:

READ MORE: Before you start, click here to find out the basics about going vegan and which important essential vitamins and minerals you need.

Vegan meal plan

Breakfast

Option 1: Hummus on toast

Hummus served on rye toast with fresh 100% fruit juice.

Option 2: Spicy tofu, potato and pepper scramble

Slices of tofu, crumbled and served with diced and fried peppers and onion, a small cooked and cubed potato, shredded wilted spinach, herbs and spices. Serve with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

Option 3: Berry oats

Cooked oats served with soy milk, cinnamon, berries and a sprinkling of hemp seed.

Mid-morning snack

Option 1:

  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Strawberries

Option 2:

Option 3:

  • Hummus
  • Provitas

Lunch

Option 1: Vegetable and tofu fajita

Tofu, cubed  and served with the following mix of stir-fry vegetables: carrots, cabbage, onions, peppers and butternut. Serve in a corn tortilla and top with guacamole.

Option 2: Spinach and vegan cashew ricotta cannelloni

Stuff vegan cannelloni tubes with vegan cashew ricotta (get recipe here) and top with vegan Béchamel sauce made with soy milk (get recipe for white sauce here). Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Serve with fresh rosa tomatoes, sliced onions, chopped chives and cubed avocado salad.

Option 3: Curried tofu with spinach and mushrooms served on a bed of cous cous

Stew curried tofu with sautéed spinach, mushrooms, onion, and red peppers. Serve on a bed of cooked cous cous.

Mid-afternoon snack

Option 1: Grapes

Option 2: 100% apple juice

Option 3: 1 medium apple cut into wedges with some carrot sticks and celery

Dinner

Option 1: Roast butternut and lentil lasagne

Layer a baking dish with vegan lasagne sheets, cooked and drained brown lentils, roasted butternut and vegan Béchamel sauce (get recipe here). Bake for 20-30 minutes. Serve with a fresh green salad and slices of avocado.

Option 2: Creamy coconut tempeh red curry served on a bed of cous cous

Tempeh (available from earthproducts.co.za), cubed and curried with red curry paste and cooked with low fat coconut milk. Serve on a bed of cooked cous cous with colourful peppers, green peas and patty pans.

Option 3:  Chickpea and roasted butternut salad served with a red pesto dressing on a bed of quinoa

Cooked chickpeas, drained and mixed with roasted butternut on a bed of cooked quinoa. Drizzle with a red pesto dressing.

More vegan recipes to try

Once you’ve got started, try experimenting with some of these delicious vegan options from Your Family:

By Tammy Jacks

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