Vegan Eating Plan – Go Vegan for a Day

| 03/27/2014 | Reply

Changing your diet to a plant-based (meat greatly reduced), or vegan (plants only) diet is a big change. The goal of this meal plan is to allow you to “test drive” what it is like to eat a vegan diet just for a day. There are two options presented here – one for people who cook, and one for those who don’t. The non-cooking option utilizes canned and frozen or fresh prepared foods easily available at most natural food grocery stores like Trader Joe’s, Sprouts Farmer’s Market, Wild Oats, Whole Foods, Fairway Market, etc.

Either plan provides you with a full day of plant-based nutrition, allowing you to reap the benefits of a high fiber, high vitamin and mineral eating plan.

Prepare for success! Prepare a grocery list based on the menu plan you select, then shop for everything you need and have it readily available at home the day before you decide to be Vegan for a Day.

If you have time, wash and slice your vegetables and put them in Ziplock bags; prepare what you can for recipes the day before as well. That way when you wake up, your Vegan for a Day plan can be in full effect and go without a hitch.

This meal plan is based upon the following guidelines:

  • You will eat every 3 to 3½ hours to maintain blood sugar and energy levels
  • You will eat as much as you want until you are comfortably full (unless otherwise noted)
  • You will not eat again until it is time for your next meal
  • You will eat everything listed for each meal
  • You will not add anything which is not listed for your meal
  • You will drink a minimum of six glasses of water over the course of the day in addition to unsweetened coffee or herbal tea

The times listed below are just there to demonstrate the spacing of meals – your schedule for arising and sleeping may be very different based on your work hours or social calendar. That’s fine as long as you stick to the 3 to 3½ hour guideline.  Recipes follow.

Vegan Menu Plan for Cooks

7:00 am Breakfast
Steel cut or rolled oats cooked in
1 cup almond or soy milk, with
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped raw walnuts, and topped with a
sprinkle of cinnamon
Coffee or herbal tea

10:00 am Snack
Berry Banana Smoothie with Greens

1:00 pm Lunch
Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger
Lettuce, tomato slices, whole grain bun
Mustard, vegan mayonnaise (optional)
Avocado Salad

4:00 pm Snack
Hummus and raw vegetables

7:30 pm Dinner
Mixed vegetable stir-fry topped with
Marinated tofu OR Gardein Mandarin Chick’N Strips
1 cup (cooked measure) brown rice
Coffee or herbal tea or 1 glass of wine

10:30 pm Snack (optional)
Handful of raw almonds

Vegan Menu Plan for Non-Cooks

7:00 am Breakfast
Amy’s Tofu Scramble
1 fresh orange or 1/2 grapefruit
Coffee or herbal tea

10:00 am Snack
1 banana, sliced into bowl and topped with
1 calcium-fortified soy yogurt

1:00 pm Lunch
Organic vegetable, vegetable barley or lentil soup
multigrain crackers
1 apple

4:00 pm Snack
Hummus and raw vegetables

7:30 pm Dinner
Large green salad with vegan dressing
Veggie burger patty on
Whole grain bread or bun
Avocado, tomato, red onion, lettuce, mustard
Sweet potato fries (check label to make sure it’s a vegan product)
Coffee or herbal tea or 1 glass of wine

10:30 pm Snack (optional)
Handful of raw almonds


Vegan for a Day Recipes

Oatmeal Breakfast

1/3 cup Steel Cut or old fashioned rolled oats cooked in
1 cup almond or soy milk
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup raisins
¼ tsp vanilla extract

Put first 5 ingredients in pot and simmer until cooked per package directions. Top with sprinkle of cinnamon

Berry Banana Smoothie with Greens

vegan meal plan vegan for a day smoothie

1 medium banana (previously peeled, quartered and frozen)
1/2 cup mixed frozen berries
1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
1 heaping Tbsp natural, salted peanut butter
1/2 – 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 cups fresh baby spinach or arugula

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy, adding more almond milk or frozen berries (or bananas) to thin/thicken, respectively. Serve immediately.

Hummus and Vegetables

hummus and vegetables vegan for a day meal plan

1/3-1/2 cup hummus and as many raw vegetables as you want – baby carrots, celery sticks, zucchini sticks, cucumber sticks, red or yellow pepper slices, lightly steamed green beans, etc.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger

sweet potato black bean burger meal vegan for a day

1 small sweet potato, cut into chunks
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1 small rib celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
pinch of cayenne
pinch of salt
fresh cilantro (optional)
1/2 cup black beans
1 tablespoon flour
4 slices whole grain bread (or two buns), toasted

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potato chunks and cook for about 10 minutes, or until they are soft when pierced with a fork. Drain and cool until they can be handled.

Meanwhile, heat 1/2 teaspoon of the olive oil in a small skillet over low heat. Cook the onion and celery for a minute or two, or until the onion begins to become fragrant. Add the garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft, but not browned.

Season the cooked onion, celery and garlic with the cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper and a pinch salt. Add the black beans with a tablespoon of the bean’s juices. Cook for 3-5 minutes more, then place 2/3rds of the bean mixture into a blender or food processor.

Add the sweet potatoes, flour, and 1/2 cup cilantro (if using), and process until smooth. Stir in the 1/3 unprocessed bean mixture for texture.

Warm the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Form the sweet potato-bean mixture into two 4-inch patties and cook for about 5 minutes, or until brown and crispy. Flip and cook each burger another 5 minutes on the other side.

Serve the burgers in between the two pieces whole wheat toast and enjoy. Serves two.

Avocado Salad

avocado salad with red wine viniagrette

1 large avocado – peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinaigrette

Red Wine Vinaigrette

1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar or agave syrup

Add all the diced and cut salad ingredients into a bowl. Make the vinaigrette by mixing the dressing ingredients in a blender. Toss everything together and serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

Stir Fried Vegetables with Tofustir fry with Gardein Mandarin Chick'n

Stir fry a bit of thinly sliced carrot, cabbage, broccoli florets, snow peas, onion, green bell pepper, baby bok choy, mushrooms, thinly sliced celery, bean sprouts, etc. in 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil. Add ½ cup of stir fry sauce of choice (or use recipe below). Top with tofu or prepare Gardein Mardarin Chick’n (pictured) as your protein source.

• 1/4 cup vegetable stock
• 4 Tbsp. soy sauce
• 1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
• 2 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce
• 1 tsp. rice vinegar OR regular white vinegar
• 1 Tbsp. sherry wine OR cooking sherry

• 3 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
• 1 Tbsp. brown sugar

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the ‘Tofu Marinade’ until sugar dissolves. Slice tofu into 1 to 1.5-inch cubes or rectangles and add to the sauce, gently turning to saturate. Set in the refrigerator. Next, combine ‘Stir-Fry Sauce’ ingredients in a cup and set aside. Chop all your vegetables, keeping them in separate piles.

Distribute flour over a large dinner plate. Remove tofu from refrigerator and gently turn each piece in the flour. Let tofu remain sitting in the flour.

Heat a small to medium-size frying pan over high heat. Add 5-6 Tbsp. oil. When oil is hot, add the floured tofu cubes. Fry 1 minute, then turn tofu for 1 more minute or until medium-browned on both sides. Remove tofu from oil and set on paper towel to drain. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue frying until all tofu is cooked. Reserve fried tofu on a pan in a warm oven.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. oil plus onion and garlic, and stir-fry 1 minute. Add carrot and celery + 2 Tbsp. of stir-fry sauce. Stir-fry 2 minutes.

Add broccoli and mushrooms. Stir-fry 2 minutes, adding more of the stir-fry sauce as you go.

Add baby bok choy (or cabbage), red pepper, and remaining stir-fry sauce, frying everything together until vegetables are cooked but still retain some crispness (2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and taste-test. If too salty or sweet for your taste, add a little lime or lemon juice. Add more soy sauce if not salty or flavorful enough. Some fresh-cut chili or red chili flakes can be added for more spice.

To serve, transfer vegetables onto a serving plate or individual plates or bowls. Tip the pan to drizzle remaining sauce over, then top with the warm tofu or Mandarin Chick’n.

Please come back and post a comment below to share your Vegan for a Day experience.

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Category: Veganism and African Americans

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