A super healthy, high-protein, gluten-free vegetarian meal plan. This meal plan is full of delicious, easy recipes, that are health supportive and free from animal protein.
Happy meal plan Wednesday friends! This month I created a fully health supportive, yummy vegetarian meal plan. I can’t wait for you to try it!
Disclaimer: I have a very inclusive philosophy around food and truly believe that in a healthy diet all foods can fit, in sharing these meal plans I hope to support and encourage you to add more nutrient-dense foods into your life in a way that is accessible and easy. Each month I will feature a specific therapeutic food protocol, not because I think it is “the best one” or the way you should always eat, but rather to introduce the benefits of a multitude of healthy dietary styles.
This does not substitute for medical advice and I do not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek diagnosis, treatment, and advice from qualified providers based on your condition.
HOW TO USE THIS HIGH-PROTEIN VEGETARIAN MEAL PLAN:
There are 2 ways you can enjoy this vegetarian meal plan:
- Scroll through this post to find all of your recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and, snacks. Some recipes are hyperlinked to the recipe on this blog, other recipes are written out within this post (if they have not been previously published on Abra’s Kitchen). This is a 7-day meal plan, including delicious, wholesome, health supportive foods.
- Your other option is to upgrade to the full comprehensive pdf version for $4.00
The comprehensive pdf version of this meal plan includes:
- Detailed meal schedule
- Full nutritional analysis
- Complete Grocery list
- All complete recipes
- Downloadable as an easy to read and implement PDF that you can print out and take directly to the grocery store, or open on your phone for easy instructions.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF A VEGETARIAN DIET
You know my love of plants, I only scream it from the mountain top in just about every single post on this blog. When a vegetarian diet is executed well the benefits are many. A vegetarian diet that is mostly vegetables and balanced with the right portion of plant-based protein and healthy fat has been shown to be cardioprotective and may reduce the risk of other chronic diseases. One would assume that all vegetarians are “healthy”, but the truth is I have worked with more “french fry and pizza” vegetarians than I care to mention.
Individuals from cultures where diets are predominately plant-based historically have lower blood pressure compared with omnivores living in industrialized societies. Observational studies have shown that vegetarians have lower blood pressure than the general population and randomized clinical trials have shown that blood pressure is lowered when animal products are replaced with vegetable products (Berkow & Barnard, 2005).
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A VEGETARIAN AND A VEGAN DIET?
Technically the definition of a vegetarian diet is a diet that excludes consumption of animal flesh. Thus, vegetarians may still eat dairy products, eggs, and honey, whereas a vegan diet is a complete elimination of all animal products.
DO VEGETARIANS EAT EGGS?
Some do and some do not. Technically eggs are not “animal flesh” so they are in fact vegetarian.
ARE THERE NUTRIENTS MISSING FROM A VEGETARIAN DIET?
In my experience working with vegetarians unless the diet is optimized and intentional in regards to nutrient distribution, there is the risk of being deficient in B12, Iron, DHA, and cysteine and methionine (2 amino acids that are found in abundance in animal products). If a vegetarian is consuming dairy products (which may be problematic for some) they will most likely receive some of these nutrients (not iron).
HOW CAN I OPTIMIZE A VEGETARIAN DIET?
I recommend the following:
- Supplement with a high-quality DHA supplement (an algae based one is fine)
- Add sunflower seeds to some meals due to their high content of cysteine (an essential amino acid). The addition of sunflower seeds will help to create meals that are “complete protein sources”.
- Find sources of plant-based protein that you like. Protein isn’t only sourced from animals. Protein can be found in plant-based foods like beans, whole grains, and vegetables. Some great sources of protein for vegetarians are tempeh, quinoa, almonds, brown rice, and pinto beans. I am a huge fan of tempeh and tofu from time to time. I also use pea protein-based protein powders for an additional healthy protein hit.
- Work to balance out carbohydrate consumption. Naturally, a vegetarian diet will be higher in carbohydrates, thus I recommend being intentional about carbohydrate-rich meals (like pasta) try to combine higher carbohydrates with plant-based proteins and lots of vegetables.
- Eat a wide variety of vegetables! Remember that each different colored vegetable in the plant world represents a different antioxidant. Try not to fall into the rut of eating only broccoli and carrots each week. Branch out and try new vegetables to assure you are getting a diverse array of micronutrients and minerals.
7-Day HIGH PROTEIN VEGETARIAN MEAL PLAN PDF
If you’d like a complete pdf download of this meal plan including, detailed schedule, full nutritional analysis, grocery list, and recipes. You can download it by clicking the button below.
HIGH PROTEIN VEGETARIAN BREAKFAST RECIPES:
Breakfast is quite easy to eat plant-based. Whether or not you are vegetarian these recipes will keep you full for hours and are full of plant-based goodness!
Chocolate Protein Oatmeal with Berries
I promise you will have a fantastic day when you start with chocolate! This recipe couldn’t be easier simply combine (for 1 serving) equal parts rolled oats and almond milk (1/2 cup of each) into a small pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Add 1 tbsp cocoa powder and 1 tbsp maple syrup, and 1 scoop of your favorite vegetarian chocolate protein powder. Stir well and top with a generous handful of blueberries and raspberries.
Overnight Paleo No Oats
I love this recipe, it is super high in fiber and so yummy! (For 3 servings) In a blender combine 1 cup of almonds, 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, and 1 tbsp of flax seeds, blend until almost ground. Place contents in a large mason jar, add 2 tbsp chia seeds, 1.5 cups almond milk, and a pinch of cinnamon. Stir well and store in the refrigerator overnight. When serving top with pomegranate seeds or berries.
HIGH PROTEIN VEGETARIAN LUNCH AND DINNER RECIPES:
Chili Lime Mango Quinoa Salad with Tofu
Sweet and spicy, tangy and luscious. This healthy vegan meal prep bowl is everything! Sweet mango with tangy lime and spicy chili powder, crunchy cucumbers, creamy avocado, tangy protein-rich tofu, and hearty quinoa. I’m happy to have this lunch on repeat all week long.
Farmers Market Lentil Salad
Farmer’s market lentil salad with fresh cherries, sugar snap peas, and fresh oregano. A beautiful bounty of healthy local seasonal veggies and protein rich lentils. An easy to make, super delicious, vegan and gluten-free summer salad.
Zucchini Parmesan Spaghetti Squash Bowls
Veggie Parmesan Spaghetti Squash Bowls, a gluten-free, vegetarian meal for when you are craving something indulgent, but still super good for you. Zucchini and eggplant dredged in almond flour and then baked to crispy perfection, stuffed inside perfectly cooked spaghetti squash with mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce!
Peanut Tempeh over Purple Cabbage Slaw
Tempeh is my favorite soy-based protein. Tempeh is fermented soybeans pressed into a firm dense cake, it is super yummy, versatile, and high in protein. In this super easy recipe you simply create a peanut sauce (follow this peanut sauce recipe) add 1 package of tempeh and toss well to coat, transfer tempeh to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 20 minutes at 350° flipping half way through cooking. While the tempeh is cooking combine shredded raw cabbage with a generous guzzle of sesame oil, juice of one lime, salt and pepper and toss well. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
HIGH PROTEIN VEGETARIAN SNACK AND DRINK RECIPES:
Sweet Potato Toast with Avocado and Sauerkraut
My love for sauerkraut runs deep! This may seem like a strange combo but trust me you are going to want to try it! Slice sweet potato lengthwise and either toast the slices several times until soft or roast at 425° for 10 minutes. Top with smashed avocado and sauerkraut.
Peanut Butter Energy Balls
In a bowl combine 3/4 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup maple syrup, a pinch of sea salt and stir well to combine (you may need to heat the peanut butter a bit to get it soft enough), add 3/4 cup oat flour, stir well to combine. Slowly stir in 1 cup rice puff cereal and stir well. Form into balls and freeze for 30 minutes. In the meantime melt together some dark chocolate and a little bit of coconut oil. Remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer and drizzle with chocolate. Return to freezer for 30 more minutes. Store in the fridge for 10 days or freezer for longer.
Cucumber Mojito Aloe Juice
This recipe is optional, I mean all of them technically are, but I love the idea of a nutritious hydrating beverage in the afternoon. For this yummy thirst quencher combine 1/2 cup water, the juice from one lime, 1.5 tbsp aloe juice, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 cucumber, 1/4 cup mint leaves, and a pinch of salt to a high-speed blender and blend until very smooth. You can strain using a fine-mesh sieve before drinking but I don’t mind it a little bit thick. Serve on ice.