How I Prep a Week of High-Protein, Fall-Inspired, Vegetarian Meals
If you’re a vegetarian, I am sure you’ve been told it’s difficult to get enough protein on the diet. That’s hardly the case, as this Power Hour and Power Hours past have proven. Here, it’s all about celebrating fall produce while also filling your plate with plant-based protein. In about two hours, you’ll have meal-prepped a week’s worth of seasonal breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. It’s sure to be a delicious — and protein-filled — week.
Meal Prep Goals
- Breakfast: A quick store-bought option that’s ready to go.
- Lunch: Prepped choices that simply need to be reheated.
- Dinner: Simple meals that require a little cooking at the beginning of the week, but can be enjoyed as leftovers as the week progresses.
- Nutritional goals: Each meal clocks in at 20 grams protein or more 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 20 to 40 minutes of easy cooking and reheating)
- Greek yogurt with apples and granola
This week’s shopping list celebrates seasonal produce while taking advantage of high-protein vegetarian ingredients like beans and tofu. It assumes cooking basics like olive oil, salt, and pepper are already on hand.
- Produce: Apples, 1 medium and 1 small yellow onion, 1 head garlic, 1 small bunch fresh rosemary, 5 ounces baby spinach, 1 pound Brussels sprouts, 1 medium shallot, 1 small bunch fresh sage, 1 large bunch Swiss chard, 1 medium zucchini, 1 medium lemon
- Refrigerated: 3 quarts plain Greek yogurt (any variety), 1 large wedge Parmesan cheese, 3 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, 1 dozen large eggs, whole or 2% milk, 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese, 1 (about 16-ounce) package super firm tofu, 1 (8-ounce) container hummus
- Pantry: Granola, 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, red pepper flakes, 1 (32-ounce) carton low-sodium vegetable broth, 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, smoked paprika, roasted almonds, 1 pound dried small pasta like small shells or elbows, 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, pecans, za’atar, garlic powder
- Other: 6 (6- to 7-inch) pita breads or (4×5-inch) naan
Power Hour: How to Get the Prep Done
- Preheat oven and prepare frittata: Arrange a rack in the top third of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Make the frittata according to recipe instructions.
- Boil pasta: While the frittata bakes, boil the pasta for the casserole. After draining the pasta, reserve the pot for making the soup.
- Make soup: Let the pasta cool while you prepare the soup according to recipe instructions.
- Assemble pasta casserole: While the soup simmers, finish assembling the casserole by tossing the pasta with the remaining ingredients and spreading the mixture out into an oiled 9×13-inch baking dish. Top with grated Parmesan cheese but do not bake just yet. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate.
- Sauté tofu and vegetables: Prepare the tofu and vegetable mixture for the naan wraps. Let cool, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Pack up remaining meals: Once the frittata and soup are cool, cut the frittata into 6 slices, transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate. Cover the soup pot with its lid and refrigerate.
A Week of High-Protein Vegetarian Fall Meals
- Enjoy 1 cup of Greek yogurt with diced apple and store-bought granola.
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Enjoy a slice of frittata cold, room temperature, or rewarmed with 1/4 cup roasted almonds.
- Tuesday, Thursday: Rewarm a bowl of soup.
- Monday: Heat the oven to 375°F and bake the pasta casserole, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden-brown on top. Enjoy servings tonight and save four helpings for leftovers.
- Tuesday: Enjoy leftover pasta casserole.
- Wednesday: Rewarm half of the tofu and vegetable mixture in the microwave and assemble two naan wraps.
- Thursday: Enjoy leftover pasta casserole.
- Friday: Rewarm the remaining half of the tofu and vegetable mixture in the microwave and assemble two naan wraps.
Power Hour Meal Prep is the series where we help you put it all together. We show you how to eat well during the week with an hour or two of Power Hour prep over the weekend. Every plan is different; mix and match to find your own personal sweet spot.