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Vegan Weight-Loss Meal Plan on a Budget

Lose weight the right way and save money at the same time with this budget-friendly vegan meal plan. With this 1,200-calorie meal plan, you’re on track to lose a healthy 1 to 2 pounds per week without feeling like you’re breaking the bank on specialty “diet” foods. The meals and snacks in this plan feature healthy plant-based whole foods that are high in protein and fiber, like beans, edamame and tofu, to help you feel satisfied while cutting calories.

Read More: 9 Healthy Tips to Help You Start Eating a Vegan Diet

By simply eating vegan you’re saving money, as meat and other animal products tend to be the most expensive part of meals. We also tailored this plan to cut costs by strategically using ingredients and leftovers in different ways throughout the week to keep the per-serving cost for the whole week at $50. Be sure to read the Budget-Saving Tips throughout the plan for other cost-saving ideas to keep your grocery bill low.

Don’t Miss: Tips for How to Live & Eat Well on a Budget

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals

  • 1. Make a batch of theVegan Banana Breadto have for breakfast on Days 1, 5 & 7. Individually wrap 2 slices of bread and freeze for breakfast on Days 5 & 7. Any remaining bread can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • 2. Prep 2 servings of theApple-Cinnamon Overnight Oats(through Step 1) and refrigerate until breakfast on Days 2 & 4.
  • 3. When making theRoasted Veggie Brown Rice Buddha Bowlfor dinner on Day 1, prepare the associated recipes linked to on the recipe page (Easy Brown Rice,Colorful Roasted Sheet-Pan Veggies,Soy-Lime Roasted TofuandCreamy Vegan Cashew Sauce). You’ll use the leftovers in different meals throughout the week.
  • 4. Make theCitrus-Lime Vinaigrettefor lunch on Days 2 and 4. You’ll use it for some morning snacks too. You could also use this dressing on the Green Salad with Edamame & Beets (lunch, Days 1 and 7), in place of the simple oil-and-vinegar dressing suggested in the recipe, if desired.

Day 1

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Budget-Saving Tip: Put in the Prep Work-Preprepped ingredients are convenient but they’re also more expensive. Save yourself the money and prep your own veggies, make sauces and dressings from pantry staples (like oil, vinegar, herbs and spices) and cook a big batch of brown rice to use throughout the week rather than buying precooked packets.

Breakfast (312 calories)

• 1 slice Vegan Banana Bread
• 1 Tbsp. peanut butter

A.M. Snack (95 calories)

• 1 medium apple

Lunch (325 calories)

• 4 cups Green Salad with Edamame & Beets

Use the Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette to dress the salad in place of the red-wine vinegar and olive oil dressing.

P.M. Snack (35 calories)

• 1 clementine

Dinner (454 calories)

• 2 1/2 cups Roasted Veggie Brown Rice Buddha Bowl

Meal-Prep Tip: Save the broccoli stems when making the Colorful Roasted Sheet-Pan Veggies for tonight’s dinner to use in place of the kohlrabi in the Thai Peanut Curry Noodles recipe on Day 5.

Daily Cost per Serving: $6.36

Daily Totals: 1,221 calories, 52 g protein, 140 g carbohydrates, 28 g fiber, 55 g fat, 1,290 mg sodium.

Day 2

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Budget-Saving Tip: Reuse Ingredients-The meals and snacks in this plan reuse many of the same ingredients to keep your shopping list short and your bill under budget. You can scan the meal plan further to see how you can pare down your shopping list even more to save money. For example, skip the pecans in the Apple-Cinnamon Overnight Oats and the pumpkin seeds in the Citrus Lime Tofu Salad and just use almonds so you don’t need to buy so many different varieties of expensive nuts and seeds.

Breakfast (215 calories)

• 1 1/2 cups Apple-Cinnamon Overnight Oats

A.M. Snack (112 calories)

  • 1/4 cup hummus
  • 1/2 cup cucumber slices

Lunch (390 calories)

• 4 cups Citrus Lime Tofu Salad

P.M. Snack (30 calories)

• 1 plum

Dinner (471 calories)

• 1 serving Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry

Use 2 cups of the Easy Brown Rice you made on Day 1 in place of the precooked brown rice packages noted in this recipe.

Meal-Prep Tip: Prep 2 servings of the Blueberry Almond Chia Pudding (through Step 1) and refrigerate for breakfast on Days 3 and 6.

Daily Cost per Serving: $8.07

Daily Totals: 1,218 calories, 48 g protein, 145 g carbohydrates, 29 g fiber, 56 g fat, 1,412 mg sodium.

Day 3

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Budget-Saving Tip: Shop in the Bulk Section-If your grocery store has a bulk section, head there for your spices, dry goods, nuts and seeds and more. This way, you’re only buying exactly what you need, which is much more economical.

Breakfast (229 calories)

• 1 cup Blueberry Almond Chia Pudding

A.M. Snack (141 calories)

  • 1/2 cup edamame
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 Tbsp.Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette

Combine edamame and cucumber in a bowl; toss with vinaigrette.

Lunch (353 calories)

  • 1/3 cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cupEasy Brown Rice
  • 1 cupColorful Roasted Sheet-Pan Veggies
  • 2 Tbsp.Creamy Vegan Cashew Sauce

Combine beans, rice and vegetables in a bowl. Top with the cashew sauce.

P.M. Snack (30 calories)

• 1 medium plum

Dinner (450 calories)

• 1 serving Vegan Cauliflower Fried Rice
• 1 cup Soy-Lime Roasted Tofu

Daily Cost per Serving: $7.79

Daily Totals: 1,203 calories, 54 g protein, 121 g carbohydrates, 32 g fiber, 60 g fat, 1,029 mg sodium.

Day 4

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Budget-Saving Tip: Rely on Pantry Staples-Check to see what you already have on hand and find ways to use up those ingredients before buying new. If you have a can of chickpeas handy, sub them in for the black beans in tonight’s Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing recipe. Don’t have avocado oil in your pantry? Use whatever neutral oil you do have (like canola oil or peanut oil) as an alternative when making the Vegan BLATs recipe on Day 7.

Breakfast (215 calories)

• 1 1/2 cups Apple-Cinnamon Overnight Oats

A.M. Snack (70 calories)

• 2 clementines

Lunch (390 calories)

• 4 cups Citrus Lime Tofu Salad

P.M. Snack (42 calories)

• 1/2 cup blueberries

Dinner (472 calories)

• 1 serving Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing

Daily Cost per Serving: $7.06

Daily Totals: 1,189 calories, 54 g protein, 174 g carbohydrates, 40 g fiber, 39 g fat, 1,090 mg sodium.

Day 5

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Budget-Saving Tip: Cook Once, Eat Twice (or More!)-Save a serving of dinner to have for lunch the next day or batch-cook items at the beginning of the week and repurpose them in different ways (like we do in this meal plan) for quick, easy and affordable meals.

Breakfast (207 calories)

• 1 slice Vegan Banana Bread
• 1 Tbsp. peanut butter

A.M. Snack (107 calories)

  • 1/3 cup edamame
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 Tbsp.Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette

Combine edamame and cucumber in a bowl; toss with vinaigrette.

Lunch (306 calories)

  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1/2 cupColorful Roasted Sheet-Pan Veggies
  • 1 cupSoy-Lime Roasted Tofu
  • 2 Tbsp.Creamy Vegan Cashew Sauce

Combine greens, roasted vegetables and tofu in a bowl and toss with the dressing.

P.M. Snack (28 calories)

• 1/3 cup blueberries

Dinner (471 calories)

• 1 3/4 cups Thai Peanut Curry Noodles

Meal-Prep Tip: Save 3/4 cup of the Thai Peanut Curry Noodles to have for lunch on Day 6.

Daily Cost per Serving: $4.96

Daily Totals: 1,224 calories, 54 g protein, 122 g carbohydrates, 24 g fiber, 62 g fat, 1,176 mg sodium.

Day 6

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Budget-Saving Tip: Make a Shopping List and Stick to It-Write out everything you’ll need for the week, make sure to check your pantry before shopping (so you don’t end up buying stuff you already have) and stick to the list when you’re in the store. A sure way to blow your budget is to enter a grocery store without a shopping list.

Breakfast (229 calories)

• 1 cup Blueberry Almond Chia Pudding

A.M. Snack (121 calories)

  • 1 slice whole-wheat bread
  • 2 Tbsp. hummus

Toast bread and top with hummus. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper.

Lunch (376 calories)

  • Generous 3/4 cupThai Peanut Curry Noodles
  • 1/2 cup edamame
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 Tbsp.Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette

Combine edamame and cucumber in a bowl and toss with vinaigrette. Serve alongside the noodles.

Dinner (472 calories)

• 1 serving Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing

Daily Cost per Serving: $7.34

Daily Totals: 1,198 calories, 50 g protein, 170 g carbohydrates, 45 g fiber, 39 g fat, 1,295 mg sodium.

Day 7

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Budget-Saving Tip: Don’t Buy Organic Everything-You can feel good about buying certain fruits and vegetables conventional if you are trying to stick to a budget, as some are less likely than others to be contaminated with pesticides. Read more about the foods you don’t need to buy organic.

Breakfast (312 calories)

• 1 slice Vegan Banana Bread
• 1 Tbsp. peanut butter

A.M. Snack (162 calories)

  • 2/3 cup edamame
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 Tbsp.Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette

Combine edamame and cucumber in a bowl and toss with vinaigrette.

Lunch (325 calories)

• 4 cups Green Salad with Edamame & Beets

Dinner (425 calories)

  • 1 servingVegan BLATs (BLT with Avocado)
  • 1/4 cup hummus
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into sticks

Daily Cost per Serving: $9.62

Daily Totals: 1,224 calories, 49 g protein, 119 g carbohydrates, 35 g fiber, 62 g fat, 1,852 mg sodium.

You Did it!

If you followed along with this meal plan precisely, or simply used it as inspiration for planning your own vegan on a budget meal plan, we hope you found it helpful. Now that you’ve tackled this week of vegan eating, be sure to check out our other healthy vegan meal plans.

WATCH: How to Meal Prep a Week of Vegan Lunches

Don’t Miss!

21 Vegetarian Recipes for Students – cheap, healthy and easy!

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Vegetarian Recipes for Students

Whether you’re a new college or university student, or just looking for nutritious, quick and filling food on a budget, these student-inspired recipes are the perfect place to start.

Even when trying to keep food on the cheap, there’s no reason to starve yourself or miss out on any essential nutrients or vitamins. Gotta keep it healthy. Your brain will thank you for it too.

Easy Tomato Omelette

Check out the recipe here 4.67 from 12 votes Ready in: 10 minutes Recipe by: HurryTheFoodUp

Student bonus: quick to make, cheap ingredients, high protein meal

There is a trick to making the perfect omelette – and it’s weirdly easy. We’ll show you how. You’re gonna love this one!

Scrambled Eggs with Cheese

Check out the recipe here 4.58 from 33 votes Ready in: 5 minutes Recipe by: HurryTheFoodUp

Student bonus: quick to make, cheap ingredients, just needs a frying pan, perfect for lunch, your mate will enjoy it

Make the best scrambled eggs you’ve ever had with our quick & easy but simple to follow recipe – so good you’ll never look elsewhere again!

15 Minute Soy Peanut Noodles

Check out the recipe here

Ready in: 15 minutes
Recipe by: TheCookReport

Student bonus: quick to make, cheap ingredients, easy to make for breakfast

These soy peanut noodles are ridiculously easy to make and are on the table in 15 minutes! Even better, you’ll probably already have most of the ingredients on hand.

Crispy Tortilla Pizza

Check out the recipe here 4.65 from 14 votes Ready in: 25 minutes Recipe by: HurryTheFoodUp

Student bonus: quick to make, cheap ingredients, perfect appetizer, free to change the toppings according to your tastes and budget

Crispy Tortilla Pizza. A healthier way to eat pizza with the same great taste that you love. Ready in just 25 minutes, you won’t look back! One of our absolute fave vegetarian recipes for students.

Vegan Broccoli Salad

Check out the recipe here 4.77 from 17 votes Ready in: 13 minutes Recipe by: HurryTheFoodUp

Student bonus: cheap ingredients, just needs a frying pan, can be stored for a while in the fridge, protein and vitamin bomb

Quick and delicious veggie side dish. High Protein, low carb, vegan and done within 10 -12 minutes. In my opinion a must-have recipe. Broccoli is an underrated ‘superfood’ and we think it’s important to include some in our vegetarian recipes for students compilation!

Welsh Rarebit

Check out the recipe here

Ready in: 15 minutes
Recipe by: PinchAndSwirl

Student bonus: quick to make, cheap ingredients, easy to make for snack, excellent appetizer for a party 😀

A grown up version of a classic comfort food! Lightly adapted from The Taste of the Season by Diane Rossen Worthington.

Vegan Breakfast Potatoes

Check out the recipe here 4.7 from 10 votes Ready in: 20 minutes Recipe by: HurryTheFoodUp

Student bonus: quick to make, cheap ingredients, perfect student’s breakfast, high protein meal, can be stored for a while in the fridge Vegan

Breakfast Potatoes – the best way to start the day. Animal-friendly, high in protein and even higher in taste. Yes please! We absolutely love this vegetarian recipe for students.

5-Minute Tomato Basil Pantry Soup

Check out the recipe here

Ready in: 5 minutes
Recipe by: MomsDinner

Student bonus: super-quick to make, perfect for a big friendly dinner, needs only one pot

This is the recipe that you need on a busy weeknight when your fridge is empty and everyone is starving! Pull this soup together in 5 minutes, make a couple grilled cheese sandwiches or a salad and you are the dinner winner!

Crispy Tortillas with Tangy Guacamole

Check out the recipe here 4.67 from 3 votes Ready in: 10 minutes Recipe by: HurryTheFoodUp

Student bonus: quick to make, cheap ingredients, just needs a frying pan, highly nutritious meal, can be stored for a while in the fridge

Tangy and tasty guacamole with crispy nachos that are healthy, vegan and very easy to make. High in good fats, fiber, vitamin C, and iron.

Great British Eggy Bread

Check out the recipe here 3.75 from 4 votes Ready in: 10 minutes Recipe by: Hurry The Food Up

Student bonus: quick to make, cheap ingredients, just needs a frying pan, highly nutritious meal

Simple but satisfying, and so very tasty. Ready in just a few minutes – why wait longer for a delicious and healthy breakfast?

Creamy Broccoli Pasta

Check out the recipe here 4.91 from 21 votes Ready in: 25 minutes Recipe by: Hurry The Food Up

Student bonus: quick to make, a nutrition bomb, versatile recipe for any time

Creamy Broccoli Pasta. This vegetarian combo is a real nutrition powerhouse. Ready in 25 minutes, super versatile, and sooooo tasty! Enjoy!

Crazy Quick White Bean Salad

Check out the recipe here 4.64 from 11 votes Ready in: 10 minutes Recipe by: HurryTheFoodUp

Student bonus: quick to make, cheap ingredients, needs only one pot and no additional appliances, excellent after a hangover

High Protein White Bean Salad that’s healthy and vegan. High in fiber, vitamins A, C, E, B2 and B6 as well as iron and calcium. Takes less than 10 minutes. A very tasty vegan recipe for students.

Delicious Mocha Oatmeal

Check out the recipe here 4.5 from 6 votes Ready in: 7 minutes Recipe by: Hurry The Food Up

Student bonus: quick to make, cheap ingredients, needs only one pot, perfect start to a student’s day 😉

A hearty way to start the day. Simple coffee and oatmeal breakfast to fill you full of fuel ready to take on the day. Tastes great too.

Fresh Mango Coconut Chia Seed Parfai

Check out the recipe here

Ready in: 15 minutes
Recipe by: VegetarianGastronomy

Student bonus: quick to make, doesn’t require cooking, perfect hangover food, easy to make for breakfast or snack

This fresh fruit coconut chia seed parfait can be enjoyed for dessert, breakfast, or snack! It’s creamy, easy to make, and requires no baking!

The 2 Ingredient Banana Egg Pancakes

Check out the recipe here 4.58 from 128 votes Ready in: 10 minutes Recipe by: HurryTheFoodUp

Student bonus: minimum ingredients, quick to make, perfect for a student’s budget, amazingly healthy

This world’s simplest pancakes recipe contains just two ingredients (egg and banana) and is super quick – just minutes from bowl to plate! Simple and tasty.

Sweetcorn Fritters

Check out the recipe here 4.64 from 11 votes Ready in: 20 minutes Recipe by: Heiko & HurryTheFoodUp

Student bonus: quick preparation, cheap ingredients, needs just a frying pan, perfect for lunch and dinner, can be stored for a while in the fridge

Make these sweetcorn fritters your new go-to recipe with ingredients you’ll always find in your kitchen. They’re vegan-friendly, too, and rightfully earn their place in any vegetarian recipes for students collection!

Tomato Mozzarella Bread

Check out the recipe here 3.4 from 5 votes Ready in: 10 minutes Recipe by: Hurry The Food Up

Student bonus: quick to make, perfect for lunch box, excellent appetizer for any event

Easy to make Italian tomato and mozzarella bread. High in calcium and Mediterranean flair. Delicious.

Sexy Veggie Lentil Stew

Check out the recipe here 4.34 from 15 votes Ready in: 30 minutes Recipe by: Cristina Parés & HurryTheFoodUp

Student bonus: quick preparation, cheap ingredients, a nutrient-rich powerhouse, helps your body to stay sexy 😉

The sexiest lentil stew you have ever eaten. A nutritional powerhouse, this recipe is here to kickstart your year – and your health.

The Runner’s Sandwich

Check out the recipe here 4.73 from 18 votes Ready in: 10 minutes Recipe by: Hurry The Food Up

Student bonus: quick to make, perfect for lunch box, highly nutritious meal, excellent for sports lovers

A tasty AF sandwich that hits all your nutritional post run needs – carbs, protein, healthy fats and electrolyte replenishment. An excellent vegetarian recipe for sporty students.

One Pot Pasta with Tomato & Mascarpone Sauce

Check out the recipe here

Ready in: 30 minutes
Recipe by: HappyVeggieKitchen

Student bonus: quick to make, needs only one pot, best eaten on a busy students’ weeknight, easy to impress your mate – rich, sweet and creamy pasta 🙂

A quick and easy one pot pasta packed with nutritious greens and a thick, luxurious tomato & mascarpone sauce. Excellent midweek dinner!

Pasta Salad With Peanut Butter Dressing

Check out the recipe here 4.85 from 20 votes Ready in: 15 minutes Recipe by: Hurry The Food Up

Student bonus: quick to make, cheap ingredients, a nutritional bomb, high protein meal, easy to impress your mate 😉

Pasta Salad with an unbelievable Peanut Butter Dressing. Did we mention it’s actually healthy too? Ready in 15 minutes, and packed with fiber and protein.

This salad brings us to the end of our vegetarian recipes for students collection and it might as well by my favourite in the entire post. So, I thought why not try it out now? Here is the recipe 🙂

Pin Add to CollectionGo to Collections 5 from 2 votes Course Mains, Salads Cuisine Asian, Vegan Time 15 minutes Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes Total Time 15 minutes Servings 2 people Calories 660kcal

Ingredients

  • 5 oz pasta
  • 1 small salad mix (lettuce, red cabbage, purple kale, carrot all go great)
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (or honey if that’s fine with you)
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (malt or white are fine)
  • ½ thumb ginger, fresh (chopped or grated, dried is fine too)
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped, dried is fine too)
  • 1 small dash water
  • 1 small handful peanuts (roasted)

Optional

  • a few sprigs cilantro/coriander, fresh (for garnish)
  • 1 lime (for garnish)

Instructions

  • Get the pasta cooking away.
  • Rinse, then chop or rip the salad, peel and grate the carrots and chuck in large bowl.
  • Mix the peanut butter, soy sauce, honey and vinegar together well in a small bowl.
  • Add the ginger and garlic.
  • Add a spot of water to thin the sauce (just a little!) and stir well.
  • Roughly chop the peanuts. Then roast them on medium heat until lightly brown. No oil necessary!
  • Drain the pasta and throw in with salad.
  • Add the sauce, mix up and voilà! Serve with lime and coriander/cilantro.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts 21 Vegetarian Recipes for Students – cheap, healthy and easy! Amount Per Serving (359 g) Calories 660 Calories from Fat 153 % Daily Value* Fat 17g26% Saturated Fat 2.8g18% Sodium 686mg30% Potassium 485mg14% Carbohydrates 104g35% Fiber 15.4g64% Sugar 25g28% Protein 26g52% Vitamin A 4500IU90% Vitamin C 29.7mg36% Calcium 90mg9% Iron 7.7mg43% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

So, dear veggie student, I really hope you find something you like in our compilation. Let me know which recipe you liked the best! Or do you feel there’s still something missing?

I’m all ears!

This Weight Loss Vegetable Soup Recipe is one of our favorites! As you would expect in a vegetable soup recipe, this is completely loaded with fresh veggies and flavor.

Naturally low in fat and calories it’s the perfect lunch, snack or starter! While we eat it as a starter or lunch, to make this more of a main dish for dinner, we often add our favorite proteins.

Weight Loss Vegetable Soup Recipe

Vegetable soup is delicious, healthy and filling! It’s easy to make and perfect for lunch or afternoon snack. It’s bright, colorful and loaded with all kinds of vegetables (and you can easily sub in whatever veggies you like or have on hand).

When we are trying to cut back (usually in January after the holidays) we enjoy a small bowl of this vegetable soup before each meal. (And if you follow Weight Watchers, this is a 0 point soup… a freebie and it’s 21 day fix approved) or I use it as a snack to tide me over until dinner.

What to Put in Vegetable Soup

Broth I prefer beef broth in this soup for flavor, you can use homemade stock or broth or vegetable broth if you prefer. Canned tomatoes (with juice) add great flavor to this recipe too.

Vegetables I love the addition of all kinds of veggies and anything goes in this recipe.

Cabbage in this soup adds bulk and fills your belly. If you’re not a fan of cabbage, you can most certainly substitute kale or spinach. Keep in mind that kale will add more bulk and spinach will shrink down quite a bit.

    • Low Carb Veggies Cabbage, beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, celery
    • Starchy Veggies Carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes (may need longer to cook), corn

How to Make Vegetable Soup

1. Prep Wash and chop all of your veggies. Sort your veggies by cook time, things that take longer go in first (like cabbage and carrots) while things that are quicker can go later (like broccoli and zucchini).

2. Flavor I add a touch of water (or oil if you like) and sautee onion and garlic first for flavor. Add spices or herbs to your liking.

3. Simmer Bring broth to a simmer adding in veggies and allow to cook until tender.

Vegetable Soup in the Slow Cooker

    • saute onions and add all ingredients to the slow cooker
    • cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours or until veggies are tender

Instant Pot

    • cook onions using the saute function
    • add all ingredients to the Instant Pot ensuring you don’t go past the max line
    • cook on high pressure 6 minutes, naturally release 5 minutes. cook longer if you prefer softer veggies.

Making This Veggie Soup a Main Course

If you want to make this into a main course, you can add protein like ground turkey and some grains or leftover roasted vegetables.

Proteins to add

  • leftover chicken
  • ground turkey or beef
  • turkey

Grains to add

  • cooked brown rice
  • quinoa
  • whole wheat noodles.

Of course, this soup isn’t the magic weight loss secret but if you’re trying to cut calories this is perfect to have in your fridge ready to enjoy when you need a snack or a quick meal!

How to Add More Flavor to Vegetable Soup

We love this vegetable soup and it’s very flavorful! We season with our favorite herbs or add Italian Seasoning but you can add whatever you’d like! Here are a few additions to change the flavor:

  • replace canned tomatoes with spicy canned tomatoes
  • add a few dashes of hot sauce
  • fresh herbs such as basil or cilantro
  • parmesan cheese (or a cheese rind while cooking)
  • a very small amount of balsamic vinegar
  • tomato paste or bouillion
  • a splash of wine

How to Freeze Vegetable Soup

This vegetable soup recipe is great because it can be made on the weekend to enjoy throughout the week and it freezes well. I spoon it into single servings and portion it into freezer bags.

They’re easy to take out for a quick meal or snack and perfect to heat up for a quick meal on the go. If you’re looking for something quick and healthy you’ll love this easy veggie soup recipe!

4.83 from 74 votes Review Recipe

Weight Loss Vegetable Soup Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 18 minutes Total Time 28 minutes Servings 14 servings Author Holly Nilsson Course Main Course Cuisine American This Weight Loss Vegetable Soup Recipe is one of our favorites! Completely loaded with veggies and flavor and naturally low in fat and calories it’s the perfect lunch, snack or starter!

  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 4 cups chopped cabbage approx. 1/4 head of cabbage
  • 1 cup green beans 1″ pieces
  • 2 whole bell peppers chopped
  • 1 can 28 oz low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon each thyme & basil
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups sliced zucchini

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

  1. In a large pot cook onion & garlic over medium heat until slightly softened.
  2. Add carrots, cabbage & green beans and cook an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in bell peppers, undrained tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, bay leaves and seasonings. Simmer 6-7 minutes.
  4. Add in zucchini & broccoli. Simmer an additional 5 minutes or until softened.
  5. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Nutrition Information Calories: 41, Sodium: 265mg, Potassium: 498mg, Carbohydrates: 7g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 3g, Vitamin A: 2320%, Vitamin C: 49.3%, Calcium: 37%, Iron: 0.8%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword vegetable soup © SpendWithPennies.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please view my photo use policy here.

This is NOT medical advice. This recipe is provided for informational purposes and enjoyment only. Eating this soup doesn’t guarantee weight loss. Before starting any weight loss program, be sure to consult your doctor.

NOTE: Nutritional information auto-generated and is based on the quantities, amounts, and brands of products I used in this recipe. Actual amounts may vary based on your preparation and products used. Informational purposes only, this is not medical information or advice.

Other Delicious Soups To Try

  • Homemade Lentil Soup – hearty and delicious!
  • Borscht Recipe (Beet Soup) – a classic!
  • Leftover Turkey Soup with Potato Drop Dumplings – perfect post holiday soup.
  • Classic Chicken Noodle Soup – so easy to make.
  • Fresh Tomato Soup – serve on a cool winter day.

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First, I want to start by saying that I think everyone should be whatever size they like as long as it makes them happy. Rock your bod anyway you like it! Second, I want to say that I lost 10 pounds over the last couple of months, plus I’m pretty dang sure I gained muscle while doing it. ~flexes measly bicep~ I was happy with my bod a couple months ago, but I was starting to realize my potato chip to vegetable ratio was a little off, so I thought it was time to do something about it.

On average, vegans have a lower BMI than meat eaters or even vegetarians. The reason? Whole plant foods are low in calories, high in fiber (a calorie-free filler upper), have a high water content (another calorie-free filler upper), and are nutrient dense, so your body will feel nutritionally satisfied (aka no cravings). Whereas animal products, especially meat and cheese, tend to be high in calories, lower in nutrients, and contain zero fiber. So it’s definitely easier to stay slim as a vegan, but just because on average vegans weight less, it doesn’t mean all vegans are super thin. Afterall, potato chips are vegan too (as my love handles discovered).

After reading Proteinaholic (I highly recommend this book), where I learned about North America’s needless obsession with protein, I learned the simple truth (science-backed): the ONLY way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories than you put out. Period. No matter what the macronutrient ratios you strive for, whether it be low carb, high carb, high fat, low fat, high protein, low protein. No matter what fancy name you give your diet, Paleo, Keto, Weight Watchers, 80/10/10, it doesn’t actually matter when it comes to weight loss. The reason you lose weight is because you consume fewer calories than you put out, whether you realize it or not. Don’t believe me? Read Proteinaholic. 🙂

This is super good news because it makes it so very simple: eat whatever you want, just eat a little less, or find ways to lighten the calorie load a smidge. That’s it. Keep doing that and you will lose weight, slowly, but surely. It takes time to put weight on, so don’t rush to take it off.

So today I wanted to share with you some easy vegan recipes for weight loss. If you are on a similar journey as me then hopefully you find some scrumptious deliciousness here. I’ve selected recipes that are low in calories but will help bulk up your plate and I’ve listed the calories per serving for your convenience. To view the full recipe click on the picture or the title of the recipe.

It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken (that’s me!): Tofu Scramble

175 calories per serving.

Rhian’s Recipes: Vegan Tofu Rice Noodle Salad

203 calories per serving.

It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken (that’s me!): VEGAN NACHO STUFFED PORTOBELLOS

218 calories per stuffed mushroom.

Strenght & Sunshine: Raw Spiralized Thai Salad

52 calories per serving.

Strength & Sunshine: Quinoa Spring Rolls With Homemade Duck Sauce (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

110 calories per serving, 8 servings in this dish.

It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken (that’s me!): Vegan Seitan Steak

295 calories per steak.

Strength & Sunshine: Grilled Ginger Cauliflower Steaks with Tahini Sauce

203 calories per serving.

Veggie Inspired: ROASTED CAULIFLOWER SALAD W/ LENTILS & GRAPES

217 calories per serving.

A Virtual Vegan: Healthy No Oil Crispy Roasted Potatoes

185 calories per serving.

Veggies Save The Day: CHICKPEA STIR FRY (OIL-FREE)

240 calories per serving.

VegAnnie: Healthy Fudgy Brownies

59 calories per brownie.

Veggie Desserts: SPANISH BEANS WITH TOMATOES

125 calories per serving.

Veggie Desserts: EASY VEGAN PEANUT STEW RECIPE

164 calories per serving.

Veganosity: GREEN SPRING VEGETABLE BOWL & CREAMY CHIMICHURRI

168 calories per serving.

Yummy Mummy Kitchen: ONE PAN ZUCCHINI NOODLES WITH ROASTED CHERRY TOMATOES

203 calories per serving.

As Easy As Apple Pie: HEALTHY CAULIFLOWER MASHED POTATOES

96 calories per serving.

It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken (that’s me!): Vegan Butter Cauliflower

195 calories per serving. (Doesn’t include rice).

Chocolate Covered Katie: Crispy Lemon Cauliflower

114 calories per serving. (Doesn’t include rice).

Wallflower Kitchen: 100 CALORIE CHOCOLATE ORANGE MUFFINS

108 calories per serving. Liar! Teehee… 🙂

Yummy Mummy Kitchen: CHICKPEA VEGETABLE SOUP

211 calories per serving.

Veganosity: SOFRITAS TOFU LETTUCE WRAPS

61 calories per lettuce wrap.

It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken (that’s me!): Easy Vegan Potato and Corn Chowder

126 calories per serving.

Cookin’ Canuck: SLOW COOKER ITALIAN CHICKPEAS

188 calories per serving.

Eat Yourself Skinny: ZUCCHINI NOODLES WITH CREAMY AVOCADO PESTO

214 calories per serving.

Eat Yourself Skinny: SWEET POTATO & BLACK BEAN QUINOA BAKE

273 calories per serving.

Build Your Bite: BROCCOLI TOFU STIR FRY

309 calories per serving.

Connoisseurus Veg: EGGPLANT BOURGUIGNON

331 calories per serving.

It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken (that’s me!): Vegan Irish Stew

233 calories per serving.

Minimalist Baker: SPICY KOREAN-STYLE CAULIFLOWER WINGS

142 calories per serving.

It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken (that’s me!): 10 Minute Peanut Butter Popcorn

215 calories per serving ← I make this recipe on repeat.

I hope you enjoyed this post of vegan recipes for weight loss!

Bon appetegan!

Sam.

Vegan weight loss recipes for dinner that are yummy and everything a healthy vegan dinner should be. They are super filling, packed with protein, veggies and healthy fats that help you with your diet.

Healthy Vegan Recipes for Weight Loss

When people hear vegan weight loss recipes, they instantly think of a sad, boring lettuce salad. But, that’s not true! A true vegan weight loss meal should be satisfying and full of various ingredients.

For most people who are dieting, the low point during the day is the evening. After arriving home from work, they are tired and stressed. It’s easy to slip. But these meals combine healthy and yummy. So you don’t have to worry about cravings and midnight snacking.

Eat up and slim down!

1. Crispy Teriyaki Tofu and Broccoli

Photo: Recipe Runner

Many people shy away from tofu, but the bold Asian flavors in this recipe will convert even the least adventurous eaters.

2. Avocado Chickpea Salad Collard Wraps

Photo: Emilie Eats

Creamy avocados make a healthy vegan substitute for mayonnaise in this easy recipe that’s ready in only ten minutes.

3. Spicy Black Bean Soup

Photo: The Glowing Fridge

Southwest spices and diverse toppings add a delicious kick to this hearty black bean soup.

4. Mediterranean Quinoa

Photo: Simply Quinoa

Quinoa never gets old…especially when it’s bursting with sunny Mediterranean flavors like sun-dried tomatoes and green olives.

5. Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad

Photo: Natasha’s Kitchen

This recipe is Summer in salad form. Fresh cilantro, ripe tomatoes and crisp cucumbers come together for a light, refreshing meal.

6. Lentil Vegetable Soup

Photo: The Garden Grazer

The legumes and vegetables in this comforting soup are packed with protein and fiber that will keep you full for hours.

7. “Parmesan” Cauliflower Steaks over Hemp Pesto Zoodles

Photo: Emilie Eats

Who needs cheese with recipes like this? Cashews, garlic and nutritional yeast make a gorgeous golden crust for the vegetable steaks.

8. Quinoa Superfood Salad

Photo: Lazy Cat Kitchen

It’s hard to say no to any recipe with “superfood” in the title. This salad is loaded with delicious, vitamin-rich veggies.

9. Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Photo: Avocado Pesto

This rich soup is so much better than any packaged soup you can buy! It’s also the perfect healthy meal to warm you up in the heart of Winter.

10. Black Pepper Tofu

Photo: Cilantro and Citronella

Sweet, savory and spicy flavors come together perfectly in this quick tofu recipe’s mouth-watering sauce.

11. Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Photo: Budget Bytes

The lemon tahini dressing makes this salad fancy enough to serve to guests but easy enough to whip up on a weeknight.

12. Thai Lemongrass Coconut Curry Soup

Photo: Salt and Lavender

Vegetable noodles are fun to make and fun to eat, plus they add great texture to this Thai soup.

13. Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Photo: Vegan Huggs

Mix and match the filling ingredients in this recipe according to your taste (or whatever you have in your pantry).

14. Cauliflower Salad with Cashew Lime Pesto

Photo: Trinity’s Kitchen

Did you know that you can make pesto out of cashews? This creative salad is a nice twist on a classic favorite.

15. White Bean and Kale Soup

Photo: Cilantro and Citronella

No vegan recipe list would be complete without a good kale recipe! Greens, herbs and beans are both nutritious and delicious.

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There’s a misconception that when you hear “Vegan“, you think boring, bland vegetables and flavourless salad leaves that no one could really enjoy, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

It’s also true, that just because a recipe is Vegan, doesn’t mean it’s automatically healthy! It’s about finding the right foods, spices and flavours and turning them into perfectly healthy dishes, that are bursting with taste, that simply happen to be Vegan friendly.

So we have collected 39 delicious vegan recipes that you can add into your weight loss diet, that you will absolutely love! Soups, pasta, salads, burgers, wraps, sandwiches, there is something for everyone to enjoy! As always, save and share you favourites to make this week! Enjoy!

39 Delicious Vegan Recipes That Are Perfect For Losing Weight!

“This creamy Vegan Red Thai Coconut curry is full of delicious veggies and covered with a thick, coconut sauce. It’s the perfect winter warmer for these cold evenings!” Recipe: LaurenCarisCooks.

2. Super Quick Vegan Black Bean Burgers

“They are hearty and textured, with a hint of sweetness from the red onion and the barbecue sauce. It’s the perfect balance of flavours for your perfect burger. Try it topped with your favourite salad toppings and extra barbecue sauce for good measure!” Recipe: LaurenCarisCooks.

3. Kale Detox Salad w/ Pesto

“But I had to make this salad delicious, because what’s the point of eating it if it’s not delicious?! It’s got roasted potatoes and carrots, brown rice for fiber, chickpeas (of course), and lacinato kale – all topped with a deliciously chloro-filled (see what I did there!?) green pesto. It’s delicious, AND good for your bod! I hope you all love it!” Recipe: wellandfull.com

4. Vegan Pad Thai

“Pad Thai (or Phad Thai) has been one of my favourite dishes for a while now. Apparently, it’s also one of the most popular Thai dishes outside Thailand so I’m hoping this simple recipe will be a welcome addition to the blog. It’s one of these dishes that are not that difficult to veganise.” Recipe: LazyCatKitchen.

5. Low Fat Pesto Vegan Pasta Salad

“One of my favourite ever lunch choices used to be a pesto pasta salad from Marks & Spencers. Made with pesto, pine nuts, parmesan, spinach and a TON of olive oil – it wasn’t very healthy but it was damn delicious. So I’ve decided to recreate that deliciousness in vegan, gluten-free and low-fat form!” Recipe: wallflowerkitchen.com

6. One Pot Ratatouille Spaghetti (Vegan + GF)

“Thankfully, this Chickpea Spaghetti was on of the best. Especially texture-wise, I feel this spaghetti held together much better than other gluten-free pastas. No sogginess, just that perfect bite and texture.” Recipe: wallflowerkitchen.com

7. Easy Vegan Chilli Sin Carne

“So I’ve resolved to make more of those. Including this incredibly delicious and satisfying chilli which is very simple to make and takes just half an hour to cook. And if you want to make it extra easy, you can buy ready-prepared soffrito mixes at the supermarket, either in the fresh veg or frozen section. This is a mixture of pre-chopped onion, celery and carrots which is the beginning of this recipe, and many others. A very handy mixture to keep in the freezer for soups, veggie bolognese etc.” Recipe from WallFlowerKitchen.

8. Baked Green Pea Fritters (Vegan + GF)

“Peas are an often overlooked legume. We tend to think of them as more of a side dish or something we throw into a dish, last minute. Meanwhile chickpeas and beans are used for all kinds of dishes. But green peas so delicious, sweet, they’re a great source of protein, fibre and other goodness. So I wanted to create a recipe that made the best of that. Green pea fritters!” Recipe from WallFlowerKitchen.

9. Spicy Butternut Squash Soup (Vegan + GF)

“Butternut squash is one of my favourite ingredients in a soup because it gives such a creamy, smooth and silky texture. Plus that delicious sweet flavour. Mmm!” Recipe from WallFlowerKitchen.

10. Mushroom Lasagna (Vegan + GF)

“A good vegan lasagna is hard to come by. But guys… I think I’ve found one of the best, if I may say so. It’s creamy, rich, flavourful, comforting and oh so satisfying to eat. The tastiest vegan lasagna I’ve tried so far!” Recipe from WallFlowerKitchen.

11. Butternut Squash Noodles With Creamy Garlic Mushrooms & Lentils (Vegan & GF)

“I’m often guilty of making out-of-season recipes, such as this rather autumnal-looking dish, featuring spiralized butternut squash, mushrooms, sage and lentils.” Recipe from WallFlowerKitchen.

12. Shirataki Noodles With Almond Butter Sauce (Vegan + Paleo)

“Have you tried Shirataki noodles before? They’re often called “Miracle” noodles or “Zero” noodles because of the fact they contain no calories, fat or carbs! Sounds too good to be true, right? They’re naturally gluten-free and grain-free, meaning they are also suitable for Paleo diets.” Recipe from WallFlowerKitchen.

13. Greek Pasta Salad With Almond Feta (Vegan + GF)

“I’ve made this Greek salad even more substantial, I’ve turned it into a pasta salad! Using brown rice penne which is not only gluten-free but high in protein and much more healthy than ordinary wheat pasta. To veganize it, I’ve made a feta cheese from almonds and don’t worry it’s SUPER quick and easy to make, with no expensive ingredients…” Recipe from WallFlowerKitchen.

14. Green Goddess Fig Nourish Bowls

“Quick and Easy Green Goddess Fig Nourish Bowls! These plant powered nourish bowls are packed with super greens, healthy fats, nature’s candy (Fruit and Figs), and topped with homemade green goddess dressing. They will fill you up and nourish you all at once. Paleo, Vegan, and Whole 30 friendly!” Recipe from CotterCrunch.

15. Paleo Chili Garlic Cauliflower ‘Risotto’ Bowls

“These Chili Garlic Cauliflower “Risotto” Bowls are an easy Paleo dish to satisfy that comfort food craving! A healthy vegan recipe with a spicy sauce. The Cauliflower Rice is the “risotto” and is cooked a non dairy (coconut or almond) milk; all in one pan! The sauce is made extra spicy and creamy with chili, garlic, and avocado combined. Pretty much great on EVERYTHING!” Recipe from CotterCrunch.

16. Smashed Mexican Bean Avocado Toast (Vegan Friendly)

“Smashed Mexican Beans Avocado Toast! Avocado Toast Recipes need a little upgrade. This Fully Loaded MEXICAN style avocado toast recipe is Gluten Free, Vegan Friendly loaded with Flavor!! A simple, yet spicy, meatless meal, breakfast, or even a healthy appetizer.” Recipe from CotterCrunch.

17. Avocado Tomato Gouda Socca Pizza

“What’s not to love about this Avocado Tomato Gouda Socca Pizza recipe? A grain free, gluten free Avocado Tomato Gouda Socca Pizza made with chickpea flour and topped with Avocado, Gouda, Tomato, and Sprouted Greens! Seriously easy to make, egg free, vegan option, OMG delicious!” Recipe from CotterCrunch.

18. Green Goddess Spiralized Potato Salad

“Easy Green Goddess spiralized Potato Salad! A paleo and vegan pasta style potato salad that’s so flavorful and healthy! A perfectly creamy potluck side dish. Or grab a spoon and hog this salad all for yourself!” Recipe from CotterCrunch.

19. Crunchy Vegan Chipotle Salad

“Nutritionally, the vegan cheese and tortilla strips don’t add a whole lot to this salad, but romaine is a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and folate. Plus, it’s low in calories, so you can eat as much as you like without going into caloric overload. (Which is helpful if you’re someone like me, and like to eat by volume!) The chickpeas, on the other hand, are a great source of plant-based protein and fiber – plus, they’re just delicious! I know you’ll love this salad!!” Recipe from WellAndFull.

20. My Favourite Vegan Wrap

“Today’s recipe is something straight out of my own meal rotation – the vegan wrap. I love salads and pasta, but there’s something about wraps that I will always love. Potatoes make up the perfect filling, roasted with a touch of olive oil and spices. The flavors I used for these wraps include guacamole and barbecue sauce, but you could try any spreads and sauces you like – try hummus and hot sauce, or baba ganoush and your favorite salad dressing. The possibilities are endless!” Recipe from WellAndFull.

21. A Really Good Vegan Carbonara

“Today’s recipe is one that I’m really excited about – CARBONARA!! I’ve seen vegan versions online before but they all seem to contain kala namak, a type of black salt that has an egg-y flavor. However, it’s really hard to find, so I experimented with other pungent flavors to get that egg taste. And lo and behold, truffle oil did just the trick!” Recipe from WellAndFull.

22. Warming Vegan Chana Masala

“I thought of that experience while I was developing this recipe, sautéing the onions and garlic with the tomatoes, mixing in the curry powder with the cumin and turmeric. The smell coming out of my kitchen was incredible.” Recipe from WellAndFull.

23. Healthy Vegan Potato Salad

“Imagine crispy yet tender fingerling potatoes, baked with heady rosemary and piquant black pepper, tossed with a mouthwatering spinach salad coated in a mustardy apple cider vinaigrette. YUM.’ Recipe from WellAndFull.

24. Vegan Pho With Daikon Noodles

“Of course, presenting an authentic pho recipe on a vegan blog would be, by definition of pho, impossible. So instead of using the traditional meat-based broth, this soup gets its base from shiitake mushrooms, which have a wonderfully meaty flavor and texture. Coupled with garlic, ginger, and a little bit of miso, traditional pho won’t even compare!” Recipe from WellAndFull.

25. Easy Vegetable Chili

“With everything on hand, I was able to pull this chili together in no time at all. Most likely you will have all, or most, of the ingredients stocked in your kitchen as well. This recipe is low-fat, oil-free, and healthy as can be!” Recipe from Simple-Veganista.

26. Vegetable Quinoa Soup

“Not only is this soup super easy to make (whether in the crock pot or on the stove-top), but overall you will find the ingredients to be accessible, healthy and low-fat. It’s all the attributes I love!” Recipe from Simple-Veganista.

27. Sweet Potato & Chickpea Salad With Crispy Shallots

“I’m totally in love with sweet potatoes at the moment (and forever more) and they are great in salads. The crispy shallots take it to another level. Truth is crispy shallots equal awesomeness! And the simple lemon tahini dressing adds a creaminess making this a salad dream come true.” Recipe from Simple-Veganista.

28. Mashed Chickpea & Avocado Sandwich

“Chickpeas & avocados are a winning combination, add in a few other ingredients and it’s a match made in heaven! Not in the mood for bread? Try serving this over a bed of leafy greens instead. Either way I know you’re going to love it!” Recipe from Simple-Veganista.

29. Chana Dal & Sweet Potato Chowder

“This recipe is inspired by Bob Red Mill’s and comes from a recipe on the back of one of their dried Chana dal packages. I love chowders all year long but especially in the cooler months! This is a healthy and flavorful one packed with protein and fiber.” Recipe from Simple-Veganista.

30. A Very Good Split Pea Soup

“Thick and hearty, this split pea soup is filled with the usual mirepoix and medley of spices, plus added cabbage for extra heftiness and flavor. Whether you choose to cook it in your slow cooker or on the stove top, it’s extremely healthy and so easy to make.” Recipe from Simple-Veganista.

31. Quick & Healthy Creamy Pumpkin Sauce + Kale, Vegan Sausage & Zucchini Noodles

“We’ll be making an easy as can be pumpkin sauce, adding vegan sausage and kale, then tossing it with zucchini noodles for a delicious departure from the traditional spaghetti routine. It’s full of deliciousness and a perfect way to enjoy the season’s flavors!” Recipe from Simple-Veganista.

32. Tex-Mex Quinoa Vegetable Soup

“We start with the basics, carrot, celery and onion, and add in fresh zucchini, a can of corn, tomatoes, beans and dry quinoa. To flavor it all we add chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, a couple bay leaves and a well-flavored vegetable broth. You may find you have almost everything on hand. You’ll find the flavor to be warming (not spicy) with a hint of sweetness from the corn. It’s simply delicious!” Recipe from Simple-Veganista.

33. BBQ Crock Pot Lentil Chili

“This crockpot lentil chili is packed with flavor and easy to make. A hearty yet healthy BBQ Vegan lentil chili made with a few simple ingredients. Just like a taste of Texas! BBQ spices, sauce, onions, vegetables, and lentils. Throw in the crockpot and go. A fiber and protein rich meal that will feed plenty. Gluten-free and Grain Free.” Recipe from CotterCrunch.

34. Cuban Sweet Potato Picadillo Bowls

“These Cuban Sweet Potato Picadillo Bowls make for a wholesome Latin-inspired weeknight meal! This vegan picadillo recipe is the perfect combo of sweet and savory. Stewed Tomatoes, roasted chickpeas, sweet potatoes, olives, raisins, and spices! Simple healthy ingredients made into a flavorful one pot meal. Gluten free, grain free, EASY!” Recipe from CotterCrunch.

35. Curried Cauliflower Kale Rice Soup

“This Curried Cauliflower Rice Kale Soup is one flavorful healthy soup to keep you warm this season. An easy paleo soup recipe for a nutritious meal-in-a-bowl. Roasted curried cauliflower “rice” with kale and even more veggies to fill your bowl! A delicious vegetarian soup to make again again! Vegan and Whole30 friendly!” Recipe from CotterCrunch.

36. Turmeric Roasted Chickpea Carrot Salad With Apple Cider Tahini Dressing

“Turmeric Roasted Chickpea Carrot Salad with Apple Cider Tahini Dressing. A vegan salad with a golden glow! This Turmeric Roasted Chickpea Rainbow Carrot Salad is simple to make yet wholesome and nourishing. A plant based main meal or a healthy gluten free side dish to pass around the table. You choose!” Recipe from CotterCrunch.

37. Snappy Italian Sweet Potato Spaghetti Bowls

“Snappy Italian Sweet Potato Spaghetti made with spiralized sweet potatoes in zesty tomato sauce. This dish is easy to make to one pot with simple paleo/vegan friendly ingredients already in your pantry! Whip up these Italian Sweet Potato Spaghetti bowls in 20 minutes for a quick yet wholesome meal.” Recipe from CotterCrunch.

38. Freezer Friendly Homemade Vegan Veggie Burgers

“Freezer Friendly Soy Free Vegan Veggie Burgers. Grain Free and Gluten free Homemade Vegan Veggie burger Patties packed with herbs, seeds, chickpeas, and spices! These homemade vegan veggie burgers are super easy to make, healthy, and great for meal prep!” Recipe from CotterCrunch.

39. Cashew Satay Spiralized Vegetable Stir Fry

“Spice things up with this Cashew satay spiralized vegetable stir fry! A Cashew satay spiralized vegetable stir fry that is easy to make and healthy! Spicy cashew sauce stir fried with spiralized vegetables and ready in 20 minutes! Paleo and Vegan.” Recipe from CotterCrunch.

Get our 7-Day Vegetarian Weight Loss Meal Plan – Free to Download!

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Heya!

So you want to know whether it’s possible to lose weight on a vegetarian diet? Heck yeah it is! That’s good news already, isn’t it? And even better, you’ve come to the right place. This guide sets you up for the free 7-Day Vegetarian Weight Loss Meal Plan including a grocery list.

First we’d like to show you the benefits of a vegetarian diet for losing weight. There are many and that should get you excited to try it out already!

Next, we go over the weight loss basics. These are essential and stay the same, no matter what diet you’re on.

After that we dive a bit deeper on how to get all the nutrients you need on a vegetarian diet. Important, because we don’t want you to worry over enough protein 😉

Then we put everything into practice with our meal plan including ONLY quick and easy recipes.

Ready? Let’s dive right in!

Benefits of the vegetarian diet for weight loss

(One of my meal plan shopping hauls)

Vegetarian diets can be twice as effective for weight loss as carnivorous diets. This is what researchers from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington DC found in this study.

There is another study with co-authors from the Harvard School of Public Health indicating that vegetarian diets seem to have significant benefits on weight loss compared to non-vegetarian diets.

And these researchers from the Loma Linda University in California found in a group of more than 60.000 people that vegetarians had less body fat than non-vegetarians. This indicates in their eyes that vegetarianism has substantial potential to protect against obesity.

That is really awesome news! But you know how it is with studies. One says this, another says that.

Here is why the vegetarians in this study were so successful:

On a healthy vegetarian diet you emphasize more on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plant-based proteins. At the same time you avoid many high calorie food groups, most importantly processed foods like canned soups or frozen pizzas. By the way, this is also what the researchers in the studies above think.

The Weight Loss Basics

Did you know? As a rule of thumb, weight loss is about 75% diet and 25% exercise (see here). So just by eating right, we can do loads already!

To lose weight you need to take in less calories than your body requires for maintaining its weight – no matter whether these calories consist of protein, carbs or fat.

As simple as that. In reverse: if you eat more calories than your body requires, you gain weight.

In our meal plan you’ll also find a sheet to easily calculate your necessary calorie intake – if you want to focus on calorie counting. But you don’t have to with this meal plan. Here is why:

Now, what is the easiest way to turn around your calorie balance from gaining weight to losing weight?

Answer: Less highly processed foods, more whole foods. That’s it. We promise you, any serious weight loss diet is based on that fundamental rule.

By highly processed food we mean multi-ingredient industrial mixtures that are no longer one thing – fish fingers, sweets, cola (see here).

By whole foods we mean food that is not or just a little processed and refined before being consumed, eg. whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, fresh milk, eggs (check here).

What’s the problem with highly processed food? Most of them contain a lot of sugar, unhealthy fats and artificial ingredients. And on top of that they are low in nutrients (see here). On the other hand whole foods are exactly the opposite.

As a rule of thumb just by replacing most highly processed food with whole foods you’ll automatically move into a caloric deficit. On top of that, we made sure that the daily caloric goal on the plan is roughly 1500 kcal for women and 1800 kcal for men, which means a deficit of around 500 kcal/day for most people.

Nutrition Basics on a Vegetarian Diet

I’m sure many of you don’t only want to know about the weight loss side of things when it comes to a vegetarian diet. Getting all the nutrients you need is at least as important as losing some pounds.

First off, if you are eating a variety of foods in appropriate quantities, it’s unlikely that you are missing out on any key nutrients as a result of going vegetarian.

Actually, being on a vegetarian diet can have many health benefits if you avoid processed foods and stick to whole foods as mentioned earlier. Compared to the “standard western” diet including meat, vegetarians as a population have a lower rate of the common conditions list below (see here, and here):

  • Obesity (you’ve guessed)
  • Heart disease
  • Lower rates of hypertension
  • Lower LDL cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Type II diabetes
  • Overall lower rates of cancer

That said, there are some important points to mention in relation to:

  • Protein
  • Omega 3 fats
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B12

Protein

In the image below you see some of the top vegetarian protein sources.

Against popular belief, meeting protein requirements shouldn’t present any issues at all. A balanced vegetarian diet can provide all the protein you need. Include a wide variety of protein containing foods into your diet and you’ll be absolutely fine:

  • Nuts, peas, beans (including peanuts)
  • Dairy products (cheese has similar protein to meat/fish by weight)
  • Eggs (considered a complete protein)
  • Tofu and meat substitutes
  • Rice, grains, pasta, quinoa and breads

Omega 3

In general the typical Western diet is too high in Omega 6 relative to Omega 3. This means even though you were not eating vegetarian it would be recommendable to keep an eye on your Omega ratio (see here, and here).

Omega 3 fats have important anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic effects (reducing the risk of blood clotting). Their anti-inflammatory processes may be particularly important if you have an inflammatory condition such as arthritis or eczema. Also they appear to be important for our brain to perform well.

For you, it means to include foods with a good Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio in your diet to get the balance right.

Eat more

  • flax seeds,
  • chia seeds
  • flaxseed oil

And avoid vegetable oils high in omega 6 like sunflower oil. Here’s also a list of foods high in omega 3 and omega 6 for you to get an overview.

Vitamin B12

Important functions of vitamin B12 are the formation of red blood cells as well as maintaining a healthy brain and nervous system.

Most animal foods contain vitamin B12, especially fish. Vegetarians (as opposed to vegans) can get their B12 intake from dairy products and eggs.

Also, many foods are fortified with B12. Examples of these include breakfast cereals, yeast extracts, soy, almond and rice milks. But definitely check labels to be sure.

Good sources of vitamin B12 in a vegetarian diet include:

  • Eggs
  • Dairy products – cheese and milk are natural sources
  • Yeast extract – a fortified source
  • Fortified cereals, soy milk, and soy yogurt

Iron

Iron is needed to carry oxygen to all the body’s cells. It is also involved in the cellular production of energy, which is why one of the first signs of low iron deficiency is feeling tired and fatigued (see here). For the meal plan it means we need to add enough nutrition dense foods in order to get the amount of iron we need.

Good sources of iron in a vegetarian diet include:

  • Chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans and other pulses
  • Tofu
  • Sprouted beans and seeds
  • Breakfast cereals and bread
  • Green leafy vegetables like kale and cabbage, and also broccoli
  • Nuts, such as almonds and cashews
  • Dried apricots, dates and raisins
  • Date syrup and molasses

Starting the Vegetarian Weight Loss Journey

Part 1: Out with the old

We’re no fans of throwing food in the bin. But it’s important that you don’t stock up on certain things. As you surely know, we all have our weaknesses for certain naughty foods, and if they are in the house we are much more likely to give in to temptation. That would be a shame for our weight loss efforts.

Follow these tips and you’ll be sure you automatically eat more whole foods and reduce calorie intake a lot.

Fats
Use less highly processed fats like margarine and cheap oils like canola or sunflower oils

Meat
Stop purchasing meats of all kind, especially the highly processed ones like sausages and sandwich slices.

Snacks
Avoid stocking up on sugary snacks like donuts, milk chocolate, cookies and sweets. Also skip the salted chips and salted nuts.

Dressings and Sauces
Walk past heavy caloric products like mayonnaise, ketchup, french dressings and alike.

Drinks
Store bought sodas and iced teas usually are high in calories. Juices are naturally high in calories too. Cut down on these products.

Also important: read nutrition labels!

You’ll be surprised how many calories you find in a single bottle of soda or in a cup of seemingly healthy fruit yogurts. Make sure to always check the serving sizes as well. Many companies are sneaky and recommend super small serving sizes in order to bring the calorie count down.

Don’t let them fool you! You’ll get good at reading labels quickly.

As an example check out these Haribo Goldbears (not vegetarian, actually). To figure out how many calories are in this pack you have to do quite some math: 4.5 times 100 = 450 kcal. Now to be able to compare this to other snacks it would be better to know the calories per 100g: 450 kcal / 142g * 100 = 316 kcal per 100g. All in all quite naughty to say the least.

Part 2: In with the new

Now you might feel slightly disappointed to see so many of your favourite groceries banned from your kitchen. Well, the good news is that the vegetarian diet is not about abstaining, but about changing food staples.

Let’s go:

Fats
Use more of the less refined fats like butter, olive oil and coconut oil.

Meat replacements?!
Going vegetarian doesn’t mean to just leave out meat or replace meat with a meat substitute. It’s more about discovering new recipes. If you are worried about protein and B12, then foods like chickpeas, beans, lentils, tofu, eggs, halloumi cheese, feta and mozzarella are excellent sources.

Snacks
Stock up on dried fruits, nuts, seeds, homemade popcorn and dark chocolate.

Dressings and Sauces
Make your own dressings or at least get some low calorie store bought dressings and use them in moderation.

To Drink
Go for various teas, water and coffee.

Our vegetarian weight loss meal plan has all this incorporated, so you can easily follow along, stress-free.

Part 3: The Weight Loss Meal Plan

Alrighty, on to the veggie meal plan! It’s only moderate in carbs and higher in healthy fats/proteins making it easier to lose weight. Many of the carbs are fibre, also beneficial for weight loss and maintenance.

Day 1

Day 1 kicks off easy, tasty and nutritious:

2 Ingredient Banana Egg Pancakes
Raunchy Sweet Potato Salad
Melted Feta Veggie Bake
Plus, snacks that we’ve written in the meal plan 🙂

Day 2

For day 2 lunch is leftovers of the Sweet Potato Salad.

Breakfast Egg Muffins
Raunchy Sweet Potato Salad
Sexy Lentil Stew
For the snacks check out the meal plan.

Day 3

Less cooking, more eating on day 3. Breakfast and lunch are already waiting for you as leftovers in the fridge.

Breakfast Egg Muffins
Pear Walnut Salad
Sexy Lentil Stew
You guessed it, snacks are in the meal plan 😉

Day 4

In day 4 you’ll find one of our favourite “prep & relax” recipes – the Stuffed Bell Peppers. Stuffed in minutes, off into the oven for half an hour and done. Lovely.

Vegan Ironman Oatmeal
Pear Walnut Salad
Easy Stuffed Bell Peppers
Snacks are…yep!

Day 5

Day 5 is an easy one, no cooking, only re-heating. For the Chickpea Salad ideally buy a parsley plant so it stays fresh until now (yep, we think about “produce shelf life” when creating these plans).

Vegan Ironman Oatmeal
Easy Stuffed Bell Peppers
Vegan Chickpea Salad
You know where to find the snacks.

Day 6

Day 6: Omelettes are the perfect weight loss dish; of course we’ve added a recipe to this plan.

Easy Tomato Omelette
Vegan Chickpea Salad
Easy Cauliflower Curry
Today no snacks.

Just joking. They’re in the meal plan.

Day 7

And we’ve arrived at day 7! The Turkish Lentil Salad is definitely a highlight. So easy to prep, nutritious and delicious. Excellent for weight loss.

Cream Cheese Pancakes
Turkish Lentil Salad
Easy Cauliflower Curry
Snacks → meal plan 🙂

In case you got hungry while going through all these recipes, how about you give that Cauliflower Curry a shot right away? Let me post the recipe right here:

Pin Add to CollectionGo to Collections 5 from 5 votes Course Mains Cuisine Vegan, Vegetarian Time 30 minutes Servings 4 people

  • ½ medium cauliflower (½ = 400g)
  • 2 onion
  • ½ red pepper
  • 2 small-medium potato
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 2 thumbs ginger, fresh
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp curry paste (make sure the paste is vegetarian – choose your fave)
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • salt
  • 1 bunch cilantro/coriander, fresh (if you fall in the cilantro haters group, try basil instead)
  • Cut the potatoes and bell pepper into small cubes, chop the cauliflower into bite sized pieces.
  • Remove the tips of the green beans and cut them in half.
  • Dice up the onion and finely chop the ginger.
  • Add some oil to a pot and on medium heat add the ginger.
  • As soon as it starts to release its aroma (about 2 minutes) add the onion and the bell pepper, and sauté (fry on a medium heat) for 5 minutes.
  • Mix in the curry paste, stir and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Stir in a little of the coconut milk to dissolve the curry paste and then pour in the rest. Set to high heat until the milk starts to boil.
  • Once boiling reduce to low heat and add the lime juice, curry powder, salt and maple syrup. Stir well.
  • Now it’s time to add the potatoes and cauliflower. Simmer for 5 minutes, add the green beans and and let everything simmer for 5 minutes more.
  • Give the curry a taste test: see if you need to add some more salt, sugar or lime. You can also add a little more curry paste if you like. Once you’re happy, it’s ready to serve, wohooo!
  • Serve with chopped fresh cilantro on top. Rice or quinoa goes very well with this lovely curry dish!

Nutrition Facts 7-Day Vegetarian Weight Loss Meal Plan: 1500 kcal/day – Free Download Amount Per Serving Calories 519.8 Calories from Fat 313 % Daily Value* Fat 34.8g54% Saturated Fat 25.9g162% Sodium 100mg4% Potassium 1265mg36% Carbohydrates 43.5g15% Fiber 10.7g45% Sugar 14.4g16% Protein 8.2g16% Vitamin A 1500IU30% Vitamin C 155.9mg189% Calcium 70mg7% Iron 3.8mg21% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Alright, there you have it! This doesn’t look bad at all for a vegetarian weight loss meal plan, does it?

Now you might have some questions left. Let’s answer them now:

What if I don’t want to prep all meals?
If you don’t like some recipes or just want to skip breakfast – no problem. Just cross those off the meal plan. And since each meal is assigned to a letter you can find all respective ingredients on the grocery list and cross them off as well. That way you won’t buy anything you won’t use. Easy.

For how many people is the meal plan set up?
The meal plan is laid out just for one single person. Also the recipes only call for ingredients to make only one or two servings. If you want to use the recipes of this meal plan for your partner or whole family you’ll have to multiply the ingredients. You can change this easily on the site.

Are there different meal plans for men and women?
Yep, there are two meal plans. One 1500 kcal/day (women) and one 1800 kcal/day (men). If you want to calculate your individual calorie intake we recommend modifying the snacks to reach your daily calorie limit. Alternatively you can always vary the calories of a meal by adding or removing certain ingredients (bread, avocado, etc.) to adjust to your individual level.

When should I start with the vegetarian weight loss meal plan?
Begin whenever you like. How about today?

And what about drinking?
Avoid soft drinks and alcohol. Stick to water (with lemon or mint), tea and coffee without sweeteners. You’ll save a ton of calories!

What should I eat for the weeks after the 7 day meal plan is over?
Easy! Either you repeat our 7 day meal plan, or even better: you customize your own! That’s why we’ve added a meal plan template to the pack as well. Just copy-paste what you liked from the previous week and add new recipes to the plan (there are loads more ideas here).

Last but not least: don’t overthink things. It’s ok to skip a meal from the meal plan. For example Hauke almost always has muesli with soy milk for breakfast. (‘Leave me alone with those complicated recipes in the morning, will ya?’)

And if you want to swap a dish from one day to another, that’s fine too! Or maybe you want to make that delish Cauliflower Curry more often? Go for it!

Life after the meal plan

Find more recipes on our site

Your weight loss journey probably won’t end after 7 days of healthy vegetarian recipes. We’re confident many of the recipes can become staples in your household. And then it’s about sticking to them and adding more to the mix!

We’ve got hundreds of recipes online already. Just use the search on our main page. It should be easy to find your next favourite!

Disclosure

We would like to take a moment to note that this post is for information purposes only. It does not claim to provide medical advice or to be able to treat any medical condition. It makes no claims in respect to weight loss, either in terms of the amount or rate at which weight loss could be achieved. If you have any concerns regarding your health please contact your medical practitioner before making changes.

Weight Loss: 7 Vegetarian Protein-Rich Foods To Lose Weight And Cut Belly Fat

Protein not only helps you lose weight, but it also prevents muscle loss

Protein is one of the most important nutrients that is required by the body, especially when you are trying to lose weight. It is said to help boost metabolism, reduce appetite and change several weight-regulating hormones. Protein tends to increase levels of satiety, while reducing your levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. A high protein intake helps boost metabolism due to its high thermic effect and several other factors, which further helps you burn more calories. Additionally, protein has a powerful effect on both cravings and the desire to snack at night. So, if you are loading up on enough protein during breakfast, chances are you will less prone to cravings and overeating through the day. However, there are studies to suggest that most people tend to not consume enough protein in their daily diets, due to which they are left to grapple with weight issues.

Protein not only helps you lose weight, but it also prevents muscle loss, which further facilitates weight loss. The more muscle you have, the lesser room there is for fat to accumulate. Now, that you know how important protein is to your body, especially when you are trying to cut the tummy bulge, we tell you the main sources of this nutrients and why you should add them to your daily diet. There are a number of amino acids that are produced in the body, whereas others need to be consumed with your meals. While a meat eater doesn’t have any problem getting the full range of amino acids in, vegetarians find it difficult to achieve that. This is why vegetarians must be aware about the variety of protein-rich dietary sources available to them.

Sources Of Protein

Some of the highest protein is found in meats, chicken and fish. While most of us are non-vegetarians who can easily get enough proteins from them, there are some who like to stick to vegetarian diet. We enlist the best vegetarian protein-rich foods to lose weight and burn belly fat.

(Also Read: 6 Signs You Are Eating Too Much Protein)

Vegetarian Protein-Rich Foods For Weight Loss

1. Lentils (Dal)

About a cupful of cooked dal has 18 grams of protein. Lentils can not only be eaten as dal curries, but can be tossed in salads and soups. Lentils are said to contain good amounts of slowly digested carbs, and are good sources of fibre, which is important for your weight loss journey. Moreover, they also consist of folate, manganese, and iron, all of which are important for keeping healthy.

2. Chickpeas (Chana)

Chickpeas, or chana, come under the category of legumes and are high in protein content. It is known that a cup of cooked or boiled chana has about 15 grams of protein to offer. Moreover, they are a great source of iron, complex carbs, fibre, folate, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, and several other plant-compounds that are beneficial for health.

(Also Read: 6 Delicious Homemade Protein Shakes For Weight Loss)

3. Amaranth And Quinoa

These gluten-free grains are said to offer enough proteins for the day. Amaranth and quinoa are complete source of proteins and are said to keep you fuller for longer, thereby, preventing you from overeating.

4. Spinach

Did you know that spinach has as much protein as a hard-boiled egg and for half the calories? Maximise its nutritive value by steaming it instead of eating it raw. Steamed spinach helps retain vitamins, facilitate absorption of calcium and ward off bloating.

(Also Read: Green Vegetables For Weight Loss: 5 Vegetables To Lose Weight)

5. Almonds

Almonds are natural weight loss pills. Consuming just a few almonds daily can help lose weight effectively. In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, you can eat them just before hitting the gym as they are rich in amino acid L-arginine that helps burn more fats and carbs during workouts.

6. Paneer Or Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese, or paneer, is super low in calories and fat, and is high in protein content. Moreover, it is a rich source of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and various other nutrients that are required to lose weight in a healthy way.

7. Broccoli

Broccoli is a super-healthy vegetable that is loaded with vitamin C, protein, vitamin K and fibre, all of which are important nutrients for weight loss. Boil, steam, or bake it, broccoli makes for an amazing veggie that can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Make sure you add these vegetarian high-protein foods that will help you lose weight the healthy way. Make sure you complement these foods with exercises and a fit lifestyle. A sustainable weight-loss is not possible without an ideal combination of the two factors.

If you’re trying to lose weight, there are tons of diets to choose from—and new research points to vegetarian diets as a promising option. For the study, which was published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 74 participants cut their normal daily calories by 500 for six months. Some went on a vegetarian diet, and some went on a diabetes-friendly diet (one that focuses on reducing sugars, refined carbs, cholesterol, and saturated fat). People on the vegetarian diet lost more subcutaneous fat (that’s the noticeable fat under your skin). They also lost more subfascial fat (the type that lines your muscles) and intramuscular fat (the type stored inside your muscles). That’s important, since the fat that’s stored inside your muscles and organs can mess with your metabolism, potentially leading to insulin resistance and even type 2 diabetes, says study author Hana Kahleova, M.D.

Related: There Are 6 Types Of Body Fat—Here’s What You Need To Know About Them

“Although both groups in our study consumed the same amount of calories, the study shows that calories are not created equal,” says Kahleova.

Other studies have shown that eating more plants can help you lose more weight, says Stefanie Mendez, R.D. There are lots of theories as to why this is the case. For one thing, you can eat a much larger volume of veggies than you can high-protein and fatty foods—for the same number of calories. “While a cheeseburger might set you back 500 calories, you’d have to eat a whole lot of beans, veggies, and tofu to get the same amount,” says Mendez. “It’s more filling because it takes up more space in your stomach.” What’s more, veggies and grains are the best sources of fiber, which helps prevent blood sugar spikes and drops—keeping you feeling more satisfied so you’re less tempted to munch between meals. Vegetarian diets are also lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, which may have an impact on weight loss, Mendez adds.

Ready to go veggie? While you can, of course, go full-on vegetarian, you don’t have to eat just greens all day, every day to benefit. “I tell clients you don’t have to put a label on your diet,” says Mendez. “Even starting with one day with more veggies is a success.” Going vegetarian just once or twice a week—i.e., flexitarian—“is really on-trend,” she says. Even just that slight shift has lots of other health benefits, including lowering your blood pressure, improving your gut health, and possibly even improving your mood, adds Vandana Sheth, R.D., a lifelong vegetarian, Los Angeles-based dietitian, and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

(Hit the reset button—and burn fat like crazy with The Body Clock Diet!)

If you’re looking to go vegetarian (even if it’s just part-time), make sure to get protein at every meal, says Mendez. “It’s really important to help your body to repair and to maintain lean muscle mass.” And be careful not to take in too many carbs. “The main pitfall with vegetarian diets is you overdo it on the carbs and eat a ton of starchy foods like bread, pizza, and pasta,” says Mendez. If your dinner is just pasta with tomato sauce, you’re missing the balance (i.e., fats and proteins) you need to stay full—and you end up overeating and/or snacking soon after you’re done eating.

Try this sample meal plan if you think a vegetarian diet could be right for you and your weight-loss goals:

Christine Frapech

Mix one serving of carbs, like fruit, whole-grain toast, or whole-grain cereal, with a serving of lean protein, like eggs, low-fat dairy, or a tofu scramble. “The carbs give you energy, while the protein helps you to feel full and meet your needs for day,” says Mendez. Here are some specific breakfast ideas:

  • 3/4 cup whole-grain cereal and 1 cup unsweetened soy or almond milk (soy has more protein!)
  • 1 cup cooked oatmeal, 1 cup berries, and 1 tablespoon nuts or seeds
  • Smoothie with 1 cup of fruit plus 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt OR one serving of pea, soy, or hemp protein powder

This simple swap will make your smoothie so much more filling:

​ Christine Frapech

Divide and conquer: Half of your plate should be a rainbow of non-starchy veggies (like spinach, green beans, cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, or eggplant), a quarter should be protein (which is about 1 cup of beans, legumes, tofu, fish, or eggs), and a quarter should be carbs (about 1/2 cup starchy veggies like corn, peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, or squash; or 1/2 cup grains like quinoa, brown rice, or amaranth). A few options that fit the bill:

  • Large green Greek-style salad with 1 cup garbanzo beans, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, 2 tablespoons crumbled feta, 1/4 chopped avocado topped with 2 tablespoons balsamic-olive oil vinaigrette
  • 3 ounces grilled smoked tofu or tempeh on a whole-wheat bun topped with sliced zucchini and carrot, lettuce, and 1 tablespoon vegan pesto (made with walnuts, olive oil and kale)
  • About 3/4 cups cooked quinoa with lentils, 1/3 avocado, a handful of fresh spinach, 2 tablespoons chopped pecans, 1/8 cup halved grapes, 2 tablespoons diced red onion, and one small segmented clementine

Related: 10 Protein Powders That Will Help You Lose Weight​

Christine Frapech

“Definitely be mindful of snacking,” says Mendez. “If you’re really hungry an hour after a main meal, it could be that your meal wasn’t filling enough to meet your needs.” Have one to two snacks at the midpoint of the longest stretch between breakfast to lunch or lunch to dinner, and watch your portion size. She suggests pairing a carb and protein, which complement each other and help you to feel satisfied. Some ideas:

  • One hard boiled egg and an orange
  • 1 1/2 ounces low-fat cheese and 2 tablespoons dried fruit
  • 1/2 tablespoon nut butter spread on an apple
  • Carrots dipped in 1/4 cup hummus

Christine Frapech

Stick to the same rule you used at lunch: Your plate should be one half veggies, one quarter carbs and one quarter protein. Lots of choices here:

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetarian lentil chili (use the kitchen sink of veggies—think butternut squash, red pepper, crushed tomatoes, black or kidney beans, onions, garlic) and one slice of whole-wheat bread or 1/2 cup cooked ancient grains (like quinoa, amaranth, bulgur, or barley)
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice topped with 2 cups of tofu-veggie stir-fry (use pan-friendly veggies like chopped cauliflower, broccoli, red pepper, and snow peas; add freshly grated ginger, lemon, chopped onion, and garlic for flavor)
  • 1 cup tempeh and black bean taco salad, served on 1 cup of leafy greens, and one whole-wheat tortilla topped with a dollop of salsa and a 2 tablespoons of low-fat Greek yogurt

Colleen de Bellefonds Colleen de Bellefonds is an American freelance journalist living in Paris, France, with her husband and dog, Mochi.

7 best vegetables to help you lose weight (with serving ideas)

Get the weight loss edge!

I bet it comes as no surprise that, when you’re after weight loss, researchers have found that eating more non-starchy vegetables (like cucumber, mushrooms, or salad leaves) gives you an edge.

Using vegetables for losing weight is a smart idea – they are low in kilojoules/calories, contain vitamins and minerals, and fill you up with their fibre and water. They have what nutritionists call a low kilojoule density. In other words, there’s a lot to eat on your plate but they have fewer kilojoules in each bite. In the old days, diet sheets would call them “free vegetables” as you could eat as much of them as you wanted. They were, and still are, incredibly low in everything you don’t want and powerhouses of things you do, like antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Use vegetables for weight loss – they’re low in kilojoules (Calories) and contain vitamins, minerals, and fibre.

You chew lots which is also good for weight loss which I suspect is a big factor in the success of the raw food diet, often touted for losing weight.

Easy substitutions

Non-starchy vegetables can substitute for starchy root veges like potato or starchy grains like rice or cous-cous so you eat less. And you can add them to any grains you cook to create a half-grain, half-vege dish such as a green fried rice. These veges like capsicum, mushroom, celery, artichoke hearts ‘dilute’ down the final carbs you eat yet leave you feeling good. Which means if you replace other sources of food with these, you’ll lose a lot of weight!

By replacing high-density foods with low-density ones, you can stay full for longer and resist the temptation of having a food fest at each meal! Forget that myth about these low-carb or free veges being ‘negative calories’ meaning that they burn off more kilojoules or calories than they provide. They have so few kilojoules – like 15kJ or 5 cals from a stick of celery – that it doesn’t matter.

By replacing high-density foods with low-density ones, you can stay full for longer

Having vegetables ready in your fridge can help you make healthier choices if you need a snack or need to make it another hour or two to the next meal. Plus a container of peeled carrots or celery sticks or cucumber lengths is quick to grab and munch on. For dieters, they’re a dream food.

Plus there’s new research saying that people who eat large serves of vegetables and fruit experienced “increased happiness, life satisfaction, and well-being.” Wow. Now that’s good news!

My top 7 vegetables

1. Carrots

Carrots are top of my list among vegetables for losing weight. I just love the crunch and convenience of carrots. I love them cooked, uncooked and grated in salads. What I like most is that carrots taste great eaten raw whilst they’re economical and keep well in the fridge.

They are wildly healthy. Just think of all that beta-carotene and fibre! And they make a healthy stick to dip into hummus or tzatziki. Dip into just enough to flavour – you don’t need to drown a whole carrot stick. And they don’t get stuck in your teeth.

1 medium carrot, 140g 185 kJ/45 Cals

2. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are tasty and versatile and you can put them in almost anything! Throw them in the frypan with chicken or fish and a sprinkle of mixed herbs, or add them to an omelette with tomato and chives. And nothing jazzes up a BBQ faster than a serve of mushrooms and caramelised onions on that chop.

Since they have little flavour of their own, they meld into whatever you’re cooking! The best example I know is to substitute half mince with half chopped mushrooms (an equal weight) and shape them into burgers or meatballs. Or into a Bolognaise meat sauce. No-one will notice this as the flavour gets an umami boost and they add texture to the meat without adding many kilojoules. Mushroom Growers call this ‘blendability’ and their website gives you heaps of ideas on how to incorporate them.

½ cup button mushrooms 60 kJ/15 Cals

3. Cucumber

Cucumber has a lot of water and flesh, and no fat or carbs. It now comes in many different lengths and shapes.

There’s one for any occasion. I use the small ‘cukes’ sliced lengthwise and into quarters for dips and munch sticks but like the longer ones for salads, and apple cucumbers on sandwiches. Ditto for raw fennel and radishes.

1 short cucumber, 100g 50 kJ/10 Cals

4. Celery

Like cucumber, celery is pretty much all water and supplies hardly any kilojoules, so it´s great for weight loss. You also get fibre as well. It’s another vegetable that´s great to eat raw with all that crunch and crispness.

1 length 15cm long, 30g 15 kJ/5 Cals

5. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is set to become THE veg of 2017. And it’s easy to see why. It’s a low-density food, with no fat, plenty of fibre and a great taste. It’s a brilliant vegetable when you´re trying to lose weight, as it’s so versatile. It can replace a mound of potato mash or a bowl of rice and so slash the carbs and kilojoules.

You can use cauliflower in everything from pizza bases to cauliflower steaks that you pan-fry.

Half a cauli goes a long way so when it’s in season, why don’t you buy up big? If you’ve always disliked it, try cooking it lightly – just enough to take away its toughness and make it tender to bite. Don’t overcook it.

¼ medium cauliflower, 145g 145 kJ/35 Cals

6. Chilli

Fresh or dried, chilli adds a lot of zing to your meals which makes a diet dinner suddenly come alive.

Research says it can boost your metabolism too so your body burns more for a couple of hours afterwards. How much to eat? There’s little guidance in the research but I’d guess enough to warm your mouth nicely for 20 minutes after eating. It won’t hurt and does a lot of good. If you can’t stand chilli, you can do the same with black pepper, horseradish, hot mustard or wasabi – go gently until you’re used to these oral irritants.

1 red pod, 20g 30 kJ/7 Cals

7. Green leaves (butter, iceberg, salad greens)

OK. I admit it. I am into a big salad each and every day so this one is not hard for me. My fave side is a tossed green salad with lots of different leaves.

Some I’ve been trying to grow fresh in my garden (not always with great success) and some I buy when out shopping. I can whip up a bowl quickly and I always have a drizzle of dressing over it. It rounds out any meal from steak to pizza and means you can still counter the side effects of ‘too much’. A green salad contains no fat at all and plenty of phyto-nutrients.

1 cup leaves, 35g 10 kJ/2 Cals

The bottom line

Get used to the taste of these lovely vegetables. They will reduce your total intake and add to your intake of vitamins and healthy things. Grab your apron and start experimenting so that you can find an amazing veggie creation that you love!

Join my #5aDayChallenge on Instagram where I feature these 7 with ideas on how to serve them.

More info:

Hashtags #5aDayChallenge and #CookingChallenge

Weight loss vegetarian recipes

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