What are the essential kitchen tools for easy vegan meal prep? Today I’d like to share with you the equipment that’s helped me simplify meal planning, food prep, and cooking while saving time and effort in the kitchen every week.
I’ve never been a big fan of the idea of meal prepping until March 2020. I used to think that meal prep meant cooking a week’s worth of our family’s meals in a single day (Here are a few other types of meal prep). Just the idea of slaving away in the kitchen for an entire afternoon would make me shudder.
At the same time, I wasn’t enjoying the stress that came with having to figure out what to make for dinner every night. After a long day of working, chasing after my toddler, and taking care of our home all day I just wanted to melt into the couch with a cup of tea (or a glass of wine if it was THAT KIND of day).
Instead, I can’t count how many times I found myself in the middle of our kitchen at 6 pm, having no idea what to cook, or not knowing if we had all ingredients for whatever I’d finally come up with.
All of that was happening to the soundtrack of my husband and daughter rummaging through the shelves of our pantry in search of snacks because they knew it was going to be a while before dinner’s ready.
Finally in early 2020 I decided that something had to change.
How I Finally Mastered Vegan Meal Prep for My Family
Originally I just wanted to make things easier every night. But then, the COVID lockdowns entered our life in March 2020.
We quickly understood that running to the store every day to pick up that one missing ingredient for dinner was out of the question. Our family needed to figure out a way to get everything for the week in a single shopping trip.
To do that we had to decide on what to eat for dinner every night in advance. (We focused on dinners because those usually yield leftovers to eat for lunch the following day). That’s how the idea of meal planning came up again. Except I wanted to do it on my own terms.
So, after lots of experimenting, I came up with my own method of vegan meal planning.
Here’s the gist of what it looks like every week.
First, I would decide on our dinners Monday through Friday.
Then, I’d write down which parts of each dinner I could prep in advance. Think: cook some grains, bake a block of tofu, prep some vegetables that could stay fresh in the fridge for a few days even if they’re chopped up (onions, peppers, celery, etc.).
After that, I would combine all chopped vegetables that went into the same recipe together in storage bags, and mark each bag with the name of the recipe (or a weekday when I’d be cooking it).
Finally, during the week, I’d save myself tons of time and stress when making dinner because 1) I would know what to cook; 2) I would have most of the tedious chopping and prepping already done.
That’s how my family has been eating a fresh, made-from-scratch dinner every night for many months now. I’ve been using this vegan meal planning method every single week since March 2020.
I’ve noticed that doing this sort of meal planning and prepping doesn’t just save time and stress. It also saves our family money because we don’t buy more food than we need every week, and we don’t have to throw away anything that would inevitably go bad in the back of the fridge otherwise.
This way of planning our vegan dinners has been so helpful that for a while I’ve wanted to share it with the world. So recently I used it to build my Vegan Meal Planning Blueprint – a 3-week dinner meal plan that’s got every step of planning, prepping and cooking your vegan dinners written out for you:
- How to buy exactly what you’ll need during the week in a single shopping trip;
- How to prep a few ingredients in advance to save time during the week;
- How to sort and store those prepped ingredients until you need them;
- And how to cook every dinner in the quickest, most efficient way so you get dinner on the table in no time every night.
Want to see if this meal planning system is right for you? I’ve got a sample one-week meal plan that you can get for free!
Looking to save time on your meal planning routine? Check out these 5 tips to save time while meal planning.
Folks who have tried this meal planning method have asked me if I use any particular kitchen tools when I do my meal planning and prepping. So today I’ve summed up a few of my favorite tools for food prep, food storage, and cooking.
Want to get 3 weeks of detailed vegan dinner meal plans that I use for my own family? Check out my Vegan Meal Planning Blueprint over here.
Have you tried meal planning as a vegan? Do you have any must-have kitchen tools that you can’t imagine ever going without? Please let me know below!
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