When I first went vegan, navigating meal planning and prep was a struggle. I had never been much of a cook and had no idea where to begin when planning balanced vegan meals, so I relied heavily on pre-made meal delivery services, frozen foods, and takeout. Consequently, I ate way more vegan junk food than I care to admit. I wanted to do more home cooking, but finding healthy vegan recipes that were quick and simple enough to prepare on a weekly basis seemed impossible. Clearly, I needed guidance.
Luckily, I found that there are a wealth of resources out there for vegans who need a little (or a lot of) help with meal planning. It was a game changer for me when I found vegan meal plans that weren’t overly complicated, fit my lifestyle, and offered recipes that tasted better than anything I ever ate before going vegan. If you’re like me and need a bit of structure to get you started on your meal planning journey, these resources may be just what you’re looking for.
The Easy Vegan Meal Plan
($9.99 monthly; $99.99 annually)
Recently launched by vegan recipe blogger and cookbook author Sam Turnbull, this meal planning service is already getting rave reviews. And for good reason. Unlike some other meal plans on the market, this one has a strong focus on making vegan meal planning as easy and affordable as possible. It’s ideal for those who want recipes that take minimal time to prepare and use cost-effective, easy-to-find ingredients while still being absolutely drool-worthy. There are over 450 original recipes on the site, and more are being added regularly. You can filter by dietary needs, special occasions, and other helpful criteria. The weekly meal plans come with a grocery list, nutritional information, and more to make your meal planning experience as stress-free as possible.
PLANeT Based Meal Planner
($14 monthly; $99 annually)
Brought to you by the creators of the popular vegan documentaries Seaspiracy and Cowspiracy, this vegan meal planning tool helps subscribers understand the positive impact a plant-based diet has on the environment. For those who watched the films and immediately wondered what they could do to help sustain life on our planet, signing up for this meal plan is one way to be part of the solution. Users can specify their household size, dietary needs, goals, and how much time they have to prepare their meals. The tool will create a customized recipe plan drawing from over 2,000 mouthwatering recipes. Once subscribed, users get access to food coaches available any day of the week—ideal for those who are new to meal planning or to the plant-based lifestyle.
Clean Food Dirty Girl
($25 monthly; $60 quarterly; $216 annually)
This meal planning program has something for everyone. Subscribers can choose to follow either the simple meal plan or the gourmet meal plan, so all skill levels are welcome here! There are over 2,800 recipes in the CFDG Recipe Vault as well as 200+ archived meal plans. One of the biggest perks of this program is the private Facebook group. It’s buzzing with members who want to support each other in batching the meal plans and sticking to a plant-based way of life. You don’t have to be a meal-plan subscriber to join, so anyone can become a part of the group to get a feel for what the meal plans have in store. CFDG also offers a free trial so you can explore the online classroom and decide if the program is right for you.
($69 biannually; $99 annually)
Though not specifically a vegan meal planning tool, PlateJoy offers customization based on dietary needs, so you can make your plan fully vegan if you choose to subscribe. This program is more focused on helping users achieve their weight-loss goals than others. One feature that sets it apart is the ability to indicate that you are trying to lose weight, set your goal weight, and input the number of calories you want to eat per day to achieve your goals. PlateJoy will then design a customized plan for you based on your needs and desired outcomes.
Paprika Recipe Manager
($4.99 on the App Store)
The Paprika app is a handy tool for anyone who wants a little more freedom when planning their meals. Unlike subscription-based programs, Paprika allows you to import recipes from any websites of your choice or to manually input recipes from hard-copy cookbooks. Once you enter your recipes in the app, you can generate grocery lists and schedule your meals using the built-in calendar. You can also create a list of items you already have in your pantry, which can help you save money and avoid waste when doing your grocery shopping. This is the perfect low-budget tool for anyone looking for a little meal-planning help without the commitment of a subscription-based program.
Whichever route you choose to go, deciding to eat a plant-based diet and prepare more food at home is a win! The reward will not only be in the tasty food you create, but in knowing you are making positive choices for your health, the planet, and our animal friends.
Also by Courtney: The Best Vegan Restaurants In Seattle
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