Vegetarian meal prep ideas — My easy spicy one-week plan


Nagina Abdullah


October 9, 2017


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed the meal prep craze that has taken over health magazines, health sites and Instagram. If you haven’t tried meal prepping yet, you might be thinking, what’s all the fuss about? Well, today I’m going to make it easy for you by sharing my Easy Spicy One-Week Vegetarian Meal Prep Plan with you.

Meal prep sets you up for success with consistency. It gives you more control over the food that goes into your mouth to support you losing weight and feeling lighter.

By planning and prepping your meals ahead of time, you end up saving twice as much time during the week because you don’t have to grocery shop, think of meals to make, cook or clean.

Here’s how meal planning will transform your habits EVERY DAY:

  • When you open your fridge in the morning and see a healthy lunch waiting for you to take to work or eat at lunchtime, it will be so much easier to make that healthy decision beforehand instead of leaving it up to chance during lunchtime.
  • When you come home, and you already have delicious food cooked and ready to eat, it’s SO much easier to stay healthy than eat a grilled cheese sandwich or order out for pad thai noodles or pizza (have you been there too? I have)!
  • Meal planning helps save you money because constantly eating food at restaurants, throwing away groceries that you do not use and ordering takeout can really add up.

In fact, research shows that those who prepare meals are less likely to consume fast food.

In the Easy Spicy One-Week Vegan Meal Plan post I went over the basics of how to meal prep and why you should only make three servings of each meal, but in this plan, I wanted to go deeper.

For 3 BONUS Meal Prep Tips, Equipment and Reheating Instructions skip to the end of the meal plan.

If you want all of the bonus meal prep tips in a printable, easy to read PDF WITH the recipes, click here for your free Easy Spicy One-Week Vegetarian Meal Plan with 3 BONUS meal prep tips, Equipment Needed & Reheating Instructions.

Easy Spicy 1 Week Vegetarian Meal Plan (Let’s get started!)

Click here for your free downloadable PDF of the Easy Spicy One-Week Vegetarian Meal Plan with bonus meal prep tips.


Are you ready for some easy spicy vegetarian recipes? I can’t wait to share these with you – along with insider tips on how to get an extra boost of vegetarian protein and easy cooking methods.

    • Under Monday’s “Sweet & Spicy Tempeh” dinner, find out more about what tempeh is and how it’s different from tofu
    • In Tuesday’s “Turmeric Frittata,” learn two ways to bake it and change it up each time!
  • You’ll be feeling so much energy after Thursday’s “Cumin Quinoa Power Bowl” dinner! I share the down-low on a little-known vegetarian protein called seitan and give you the information you need to decide if you want to start using it

I recommend you make Monday and Tuesday dinner on Sunday or Monday, and then on Thursday night, make the dinner for Thursday and Friday night. So, you’re prepping for two nights and then spending a few minutes on other nights reheating and adding a little bit to change it up.

This is what your week could look like using the recipes and planning/packing advice in this post.

Some of the recipes are for an extra meal, which you could eat on the weekend or have dinner for two and then take the other serving to lunch for yourself.

Recipes were adapted and photos provided with permission from Workweek Lunch.


For Fresh Greek Salad with Feta and Olives recipe, link is here:

Optional Breakfast: PB&J smoothie

Quick lunch idea: Fresh Greek Salad with Feta and Olives

Monday Dinner: Sweet & Spicy Tempeh, Broccoli & Sweet Potatoes (prepped on Sunday or Monday)

Tuesday Dinner: Lean, Green Turmeric Frittata (prepped on Sunday or Monday)

Wednesday Dinner: Cinnamon-Cayenne Bowl with Yummy Leftovers

Thursday Dinner: Cumin Power Bowl (prepped on Thursday)

Friday Dinner: California Quinoa Bowl (quick addition to Quinoa Bowl)

Vegetarian meal prep grocery list for the week

  • 1 carton of almond milk
  • 1 box of berries of your choice
  • 2 bunches of kale or spinach (you’ll need a lot of it)
  • Protein powder of your choice OR greek yogurt (for smoothies and sauce)
  • Flaxseeds
  • Nut butter
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (or 1 sweet potato and 1 small butternut squash)
  • Agave, honey or maple syrup
  • Low-sodium soy sauce (or Bragg’s Amino Acids which is lower sodium)
  • Garlic
  • Oil to cook with (I recommend olive oil or coconut oil)
  • 1 small box of Feta cheese crumbles
  • 1 package of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 package of quinoa (any color)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 small onion (optional)
  • 1 small box/bag of walnuts (optional)
  • Olives of your choice (optional)
  • 1 small red onion
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • Romaine lettuce
  • 1 lemon
  • Whole wheat English muffins
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 lemon
  • Tahini (optional for greek yogurt sauce)
  • 1 package of flavored seitan (optional – don’t buy if gluten intolerant)

In your skinny spice collection:

  • Salt and pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Cayenne
  • Turmeric powder
  • Red chili flakes
  • Cumin

Click here to download the Grocery List, Meal Plan, and Recipes for FREE!

Optional breakfast: PB&J Smoothie 

There’s almost no better way to start your day than with a protein-packed smoothie. This smoothie is one of my most popular skinny breakfasts and will keep you full for hours! It’s also easy to switch up with different fruits or by using Greek yogurt instead of protein powder.


  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup spinach or any greens
  • 1 scoop protein powder OR 5.5 oz Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds
  • ½ cup berries or fruit
  • 2 tablespoons of nut butter (or 1 tablespoon coconut oil)
  • Water to liquify


  1. Blend all ingredients using a blender or hand-blender and enjoy!

To make the smoothie process even speedier, prep individual bags with fruit, greens, protein powder if using and flaxseeds to keep in the fridge or freezer. Then all you have to do is add the milk, water, and nut butter. It will help shave precious minutes off your morning routine before work.

Click here to download the PB&J Smoothie recipe that you can print out and put right next to your blender.

Monday Night of My Healthy Vegetarian Meal Prep Plan: Sweet & Spicy Tempeh, Broccoli & Sweet Potatoes

(Prep on Sunday or Monday)

First: What is tempeh and how is it different from tofu?

If you’ve never tried tempeh, I highly recommend adding it to your go-to vegetarian protein sources. Tempeh and tofu are similar in that they’re both made of soybeans and are high in protein, but they are processed differently and each have a distinct texture and flavor.

Tempeh is made from cooked and fermented soybeans. It’s higher in protein, carbs, fats and calories. On its own, it’s pretty nutty and earthy in flavor and has more of a meat-like texture compared to tofu. Because of the fermentation process, some may experience discomfort in the gut when eating it, but our body can get used to it! It’s best when baked, grilled or fried.

Tofu is made of leftover curd from soy milk and is pasteurized. It’s higher in calcium and lower in fat, calories and protein compared to tempeh. You can find it in different forms, from silken to extra firm. It’s bland in flavor and usually has a soft texture. It can be fried, baked, scrambled (like eggs) and blended into smoothies.

Again, both are great options! If you’ve tried tempeh and aren’t a fan, you can easily replace it with tofu for this recipe. Just make sure to drain it before baking. Instructions on how to drain tofu are here.  

Whether you’re a tofu or a tempeh fan, this meal is perfect for a Monday night because it’s not messy and it’s all done in the oven!

Ingredients (makes 3 servings)   vegetarian-meal-plan-sweet-spicy-tempeh-broccoli-sweet-potatoes

    • 1 8oz/226 g package of plain tempeh or 1 14oz/396 g package of extra firm tofu
    • ¼ cup agave, maple syrup or honey
    • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce or Bragg’s Amino Acids (lower sodium than soy sauce)
    • 1 large sweet potato, chopped into wedges
    • 1 large bunch of broccoli, chopped into small pieces
    • 2 tablespoons of oil of your choice (I recommend coconut oil or olive oil)
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • A dash of cayenne (more if you like spicier)
    • 1 clove of minced garlic
    • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray


    1. Preheat the oven to 400F/190 C. Slice the tempeh into 9 strips and place in a shallow dish or in a plastic bag.
    1. Combine the agave and soy sauce in a bowl and whisk until fully combined. Then pour the mixture over the tempeh. Seal the bag or cover the dish and place in the fridge until you’re ready to bake the tempeh.
    1. Put the sweet potatoes and broccoli in two small mixing bowls. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, salt and pepper to each. Then add the minced garlic to the broccoli bowl and toss with a wooden spoon. Add the cinnamon and a cayenne if using to the sweet potato and toss with a wooden spoon.
    1. Arrange the broccoli and sweet potato on a large baking sheet (keep them separate) and bake for 15 mins. Remove the broccoli from the pan and divide it into your three meal prep containers. Put the sweet potato back in the oven for another 15 mins.
    1. After you put the veggies in the oven, prepare a baking dish with cooking spray and place the tempeh in the dish. (Don’t pour all the marinade in the dish). Bake for 12-15 mins, then flip and bake for another 10 mins.
  1. Assembling the meals: when the sweet potato and tempeh are done baking, simply divide them into three and add them to the containers with the broccoli.

Tuesday Night of Vegetarian Meal Prep: Lean, Green Turmeric Frittata OR Egg Muffins

(Prep on Sunday or Monday)

Baked eggs are another perfect low-key, healthy meal that you can throw any vegetable into and it still works.

This meal comes together in about 20 minutes and most of that is baking time! If you’re using a muffin tin, make sure to generously grease the pan OR use liners because the egg can get a little sticky making the tins a pain to clean. That’s why I prefer a regular, square glass baking dish for baked eggs.

Ingredients (makes 2 servings) vegetarian-meal-plan-lean-green-turmeric-frittata

    • 4 eggs 
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon pepper
    • ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
    • ½ teaspoon of red chili flakes
    • Cooking spray
    • 2 cups of chopped spinach/kale (or other greens)
    • ½-1 cup of cherry tomatoes halved
    • ½ a zucchini, chopped
    • ANY other veggies you like!
  • ¼ cup Feta cheese


    1. Whisk eggs in a bowl with salt, pepper, turmeric powder and chili flakes, and set aside.
    1. Prepare your muffin tin or baking dish with cooking spray/liners.
    1. Add the chopped veggies to the muffin tin or baking dish and spread evenly. Then pour the egg mixture into the baking dish or muffin tin. If using a muffin tin, then fill cups about ¾.
    1. Bake for 15-20 minutes until just set. There should be no jiggle in the center of the egg cups/baking dish.
  1. Let cool before removing the egg from the dish/tin. If using a baking dish, slice the egg frittata into four pieces. Eat one serving for dinner immediately, while storing the other in the fridge in an airtight container.

Click here to download the Easy Spicy One-Week Vegetarian Meal Plan so you’ll have it at your fingertips.

Wednesday Night of Vegetarian Meal Prep Ideas: Cinnamon-Cayenne Bowl (Leftover night!)

After two nights in a row of cooking easy meals from scratch, your life gets even easier on leftover night.

I encourage you to put together a fun bowl of leftovers with tempeh, sweet potato and any vegetables you haven’t been able to use up yet. Be creative!

Build a bowl by using a base of raw greens. Then top it with warmed leftovers and avocado. If you want to cook any leftover zucchini, tomatoes or veggies you might have, quickly saute them for a few mins in a pan on the stove with a tablespoon of oil on medium heat. Sprinkle a little more cinnamon and/or cayenne on top (is your mouth watering yet?).

And voila! Dinner ready in under 10 minutes.

Thursday Night of My Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Cumin Quinoa Power Bowl

I love grain bowls because they’re filling, easy to put together and versatile. Quinoa is one of the highest protein grains out there and makes an excellent base for a nutrition-packed dinner. Plus, it only takes 10 minutes to cook.

This meal would go well with a Greek Yogurt sauce like this really easy yogurt tahini sauce that could with just about any meal.

Ingredients (makes 3 servings)  vegetarian-meal-plan-cumin-quinoa-power-bowl

    • 1 small sweet potato OR butternut squash, chopped into small cubes & roasted in the oven with olive or coconut oil at 400 F for 20-30 mins.
    • 1 cup of dry quinoa (any color)
    • ½ teaspoon cumin
    • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
    • 1-2 tablespoons of oil of your choice
  • Optional: 1 8oz/226 g package of seitan crumbles
    • 3/4 cup Feta cheese divided
    • 1 small onion, chopped (optional)
    • 2 cups of spinach/kale, chopped
    • Red bell pepper, chopped
    • ¾ cups of Feta cheese
  • Optional: ¼ cup of walnuts in each container

Optional: for more protein, you can include seitan crumbles, which are found in most health food stores! Seitan is often used in vegetarian meat replacements because it has a meatier texture and can be flavored in so many different ways. The good news? It’s inexpensive, but the bad news is that it’s made of gluten and shouldn’t be consumed by anyone who is gluten intolerant. The Cumin Quinoa Power Bowl as written above doesn’t include seitan.

If using seitan, you simply need to saute it in the pan with olive oil and heat it through, then add it to the bowls with the other ingredients.


    1. Preheat the oven to 400 F/190 C and set aside three meal prep containers.
    1. Place the cubed butternut squash or sweet potato on a baking sheet. Add the oil, salt, and pepper to taste and the cinnamon. Toss with your hands or a wooden spoon. Bake for 30 mins.
    1. Cook the quinoa according to the package then add the cumin, cinnamon, and garlic for extra flavor.
    1. The red bell pepper and greens can be added to the bowl raw, or you can quickly saute them in a pan with the chopped onion if using and 1 tablespoon of oil. It’s up to you!
    1. If using seitan, saute it with 2 teaspoons of oil, salt, and pepper to taste.
  1. Assemble the bowls: Add quinoa to each container first, followed by the squash/sweet potato, pepper, and greens. Then add ¼ cup of Feta cheese and ¼ cup of walnuts if using to each container. Eat one serving immediately while saving the other two for a future lunch and the next night’s dinner.

Friday night of Easy Spicy One-Week Vegetarian Meal Plan: California Quinoa Bowl  vegetarian-meal-plan-california-quinoa-bowl

Having a Friday night dinner at home helps you kick off the weekend while keeping a healthy-eating mindset. It also helps you feel more enthusiastic (and less guilty) about indulging on the weekends!

Since I’m originally from California, I love using eggs and avocados in my meals. It’s quick and adds a punch of protein and healthy fats and tastes so fresh.

To keep things fast and simple, heat up the quinoa bowl you made the previous night in the microwave or on the stove. (The quinoa bowl also tastes great cold!). Set it aside.

Heat cooking spray or a little oil in a skillet over medium heat for two minutes. Crack one or two (your preference) eggs into the pan, and let them cook for five to 10 minutes, depending on how soft you like your eggs. You can also make a quick scramble or omelet — whatever you’re in the mood for!  

When they’re done, simply transfer the eggs from the pan to your quinoa bowl and enjoy! You can also add ½ avocado to this bowl to get some extra healthy and satisfying fats in this meal.

Are you ready for a spicy, easy week?

For any of the recipes above feel free to swap out vegetables according to your preferences. I’m not a fan of rigidity, especially because we all have our own needs and tastes, but the most important things to stick to are the spices and the schedule.

After prepping for the week, you’re going to feel so on track that you’ll wonder why you didn’t start doing this years ago!

At first, meal prepping can be a big project because there are so many aspects to wrap your head around between planning, shopping and cooking. Having a plan like this makes it so much easier. Plus, the more you do it, the faster and easier it gets.

To make your life even easier, I suggest downloading the PDF version of this plan and printing it out. Click the link below to get it and happy prepping!


Click here to download the Easy Spicy One-Week Vegetarian Meal Plan before I take it down from this blog.

3 BONUS Meal Prep Tips, Equipment and Reheating Instructions

In the Easy Spicy One-Week Vegan Meal Plan post I went over the basics of how to meal prep and why you should only make three servings of each meal, but in this plan, I wanted to go deeper.

As you prepare the Easy Spicy One-Week Vegetarian Meal Plan (which adds a little dairy and eggs which the Vegan meal plan did not include + all new recipes), I want to give you some crazy valuable information to make your meal prepping super easy.

You can ALWAYS count on me to always give you step-by-step advice so you can do the minimal work on your end to eat healthily.

I’m going to share three steps to simplify meal prepping, simple equipment you need, and how to store and reheat food, and then we’ll jump into the delicious vegetarian meal plan.

Here are 3 steps you can take upfront to simplify healthy meal prep:

1. Figure out how many meals you need (and how much food to buy)

Before you think about cooking, first think about your schedule. This meal plan is for weeknight dinners with a few lunch ideas and an optional breakfast. But do you have dinners out planned with friends, family, your significant other, or for work? Think about the nights you won’t need to cook or eat at home and omit those ingredients from your grocery list.

If you skip this step, you run the risk of over-buying food (which leads to food waste) or even, under-buying food (which leads to more of your precious time spent grocery shopping).

2. Make your grocery shopping trips twice as fast

After you’ve determined how many meals you need for the week, check out your pantry to see what ingredients you may already have and won’t need to buy. Then, make your grocery list and organize it by food category.

This is a huge time saver because this way, you won’t have to run back and forth between departments and you’re less likely to forget something on your list.

To make it even easier, take a photo of your list or just write it in your phone so you won’t even worry about forgetting it at home (which we’ve all done at some point).

3. Maximize your time and meal prep/cook only two times a week

When people think “meal prep” they automatically assume you’re cooking once a week and eating leftovers for six days. If you keep the cooking to 2-3 nights, you’re eating fresher meals and still saving time. It’s a happy medium!

You can do prep/cooking on Sunday + Thursday as a guide. Even if you feel lazy on Sundays like most of us, you’ll thank yourself later when you have no time to cook fresh healthy meals, but they’re all ready to go in your fridge.

On this plan and the one-week vegan meal plan, you only have to go grocery shopping once.

Here is the equipment you need to meal prep (it’s so simple!):

One of the best aspects of meal prep is that the recipes and foods aren’t fancy, so you don’t need any fancy or specialized kitchen equipment.

You will need basic knives, cutting boards and mixing bowls. You’ll definitely need at least one baking sheet, a glass baking dish, a large pan and a medium-sized or large pot. One of the recipes on this vegetarian plan includes a muffin tin, but it’s optional and a glass baking dish will still work.

Most importantly, however, you’ll need about eight containers. I prefer glass containers, but BPA-free plastic is okay too. Containers should be big enough to fit a meal, but don’t need to be so big that you’d bring food in it to a potluck! Remember, most of these meals will yield leftovers to take to work too.

Here is how you will store and reheat meal prepped food so it tastes mouthwateringly delicious:

The food on this plan will last for up to four days in the fridge in an airtight container. Unless you’re eating the meals right away, let them cool for 30-40 minutes uncovered or partially covered before sealing and putting them in the fridge. Meals can last in the freezer for up to three months.

Like I mentioned before, I’m a big fan of glass containers because they’re slightly safer (even though BPA-free plastic is fine) and you can easily pop meals in glass containers right into the oven to reheat.

In general, food tastes best when it’s reheated where it was cooked, but when in doubt use the microwave.

Click here to download the Easy Spicy 1 Week Vegetarian Meal Plan before I take it down from this blog.

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Nagina Sethi Abdullah, BA, MBA

Nagina Abdullah is a health coach for middle-aged women and professionals. She coaches women to boost their metabolism naturally, shed pounds and keep them off. Her work with weight loss clients led to the creation of Masala Body, an online weight loss platform that provides an easy and accessible system that helps women sustainably lose weight. She has helped over 1200 women successfully lose from 10-80 lbs and create a sustainable lifestyle change. Nagina earned her degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.

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