How I Prep a Week of Delicious High-Protein Vegetarian Summer Meals
When you think about what a high-protein summer meal consists of, your mind might go straight to hamburgers or a grilled steak. Vegetarian options abound, however, and there are plenty of high-protein meatless dishes that feel equally at home in this season of cookouts and backyard dinners.
This week’s Power Hour is all about vegetarian meals that also happen to be protein-rich. In this simple meal prep session, you’ll lean on seasonal produce and plant-based protein to make a week’s worth of feel-good breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
Meal Prep Goals
- Breakfast: One easy option that just needs to be reheated before eating.
- Lunch: Seasonal choices that are make-ahead friendly.
- Dinner: Hearty meals that come together quickly and can also be rolled over into lunch leftovers.
- Nutritional Goals: Each meal clocks in over 20 grams of protein per serving.
Meal Prep Plan Snapshot
- Feeds: 2 adults
- Prep Time: About 2 hours
- Meals Covered: About 80% (no weekend meals)
- Weeknight Cooking Required? Moderate (about 15 to 30 minutes of easy cooking and reheating)
- Herbed Egg Whites & Feta on English Muffins (22 grams of protein)
- Lemon-Marinated Bean and Vegetable Salad with a hard-boiled egg (25 grams of protein)
- Leftover Veggie Burgers (32 grams of protein)
This week’s shopping list leans on wholesome ingredients like vegetables, beans, and whole grains. It assumes cooking basics like olive oil, salt, and pepper are already on hand.
- Produce: 1 small bunch fresh basil, 1 bunch fresh chives, 1 head garlic, 2 medium lemons, 1 head celery, 2 red onions (1 small and 1 medium), 2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes, 1 bunch fresh parsley, 1 small bunch fresh dill, 1 small bunch scallions, 1 medium carrot, 2 (5-ounce) clamshells baby spinach, 3 large bell peppers (assorted colors)
- Refrigerated: 1 1/2 quarts purchased egg whites, 1 pint half-and half, basil pesto, salted butter, 3 ounces feta cheese, 6 large eggs, 1 1/2 ounces Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, white miso paste, 13 to 16 ounces plant-based hot or sweet Italian sausage, 4 ounces semi-hard cheese (such as Swiss, havarti, muenster, or provolone)
- Pantry: Honey, 3 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, old-fashioned rolled oats, walnuts, 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, chili powder, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, 1 jar pickled pepperoncinis, 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, harissa paste, 1 (14-ounce) can crushed or diced tomatoes
- Other: 12 whole-wheat English muffins, 6 hamburger buns, 4 (6- to 8-inch) split hoagie or sub rolls, 1 loaf sourdough or other crusty bread
Power Hour: How to Get the Prep Done
- Make the English muffin egg sandwiches: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Prepare the Herbed Egg Whites & Feta on English Muffins according to recipe instructions. Tightly wrap each sandwich with aluminum foil and store in resealable bags in the refrigerator.
- Prepare the bean salad: Once the sandwiches are done, make the Lemon-Marinated Bean and Vegetable Salad according to recipe instructions. Refrigerate in an airtight container.
- Make the veggie burger patties: Next, form the Veggie Burger patties according to recipe instructions. Refrigerate in an airtight container.
- Make the chickpea mixture: Make the chickpea mixture for the Cheesy Chickpea Melts according to recipe instructions. Once cool, refrigerate in an airtight container.
- Boil eggs: As the chickpeas cool, hard-boil 6 eggs.
- Cut the vegetables for the vegan sausage and peppers: Prep the vegetables for the Vegan Sheet Pan Sausage and Peppers and store in an airtight container or zip-top bag in the fridge.
- Reheat two English muffin sandwiches uncovered in a 325°F regular or toaster oven until warmed through, about 20 minutes.
- Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: Enjoy portions of bean salad over baby spinach with a hard-boiled egg.
- Tuesday and Friday: Rewarm veggie burgers in the microwave and serve them on leftover hamburger buns.
- Monday: Grill all of the veggie burgers per recipe instructions and serve on 2 on hamburger buns with your choice of condiments. Serve with a side of arugula or spinach dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Refrigerate leftover patties for lunch.
- Tuesday and Thursday: Finish preparing the vegan sausage and peppers according to recipe instructions, but only warm up 2 hoagie rolls. When reheating leftovers on Thursday, heat the other 2 hoagie rolls.
- Wednesday: Use the chickpea mixture to make the cheesy chickpea melts according to recipe instructions.
- Friday: Enjoy a well-deserved dinner out!
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