Topics » In The Kitchen » Easy Plant-Based Meal Prep for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies

The following is an excerpt from Beyond Cancer: The Powerful Effect of Plant-Based Eating (September 2017, Wellness Ink Publishing) by Sally Lipsky, PhD.

I do not like to cook. And I judge a recipe by its length; if it’s long, I’m not using it. In other words, I place a high value on ease and convenience. So I was grateful to learn plant-centered meals can be prepared easily. This chapter provides guidance on how to make simple yet tasty plant-based meals.

Three Steps for Plant-Based Dishes

Creating a plant-based dish is like constructing a building—start with a solid foundation. For plant-based dishes, the foundation consists of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates provide much-needed fuel, energy, and fiber. Next, add vegetables and fruits to your foundation. Then, choose spices, sauces, and condiments to give your dish the desired flavor. For each step, select from a wide variety of food.

Step 1. Start with one or more complex carbohydrates:

  • whole grains (ex: rice, quinoa, couscous)
  • starchy vegetables (ex: potatoes, corn, squash)
  • legumes (ex: chickpeas, beans, lentils)

Step 2. Add non-starchy vegetables and/or fruits, ex:

  • peppers
  • broccoli
  • pineapple chunks

Step 3. Add spices, sauces, and condiments.

Breakfast Examples:
Breakfast: Easy Plant-Based Meal Prep for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

  1. Oatmeal + berries + cinnamon
  2. Oil-free sautéed hash brown potatoes with garlic, onions, peppers + fresh fruit
  3. Multigrain bagel + hummus + sliced tomatoes
  4. Toasted whole-grain bread + peanut butter + sliced apples
  5. Shredded wheat cereal + nondairy milk + fresh fruit
  6. Oatmeal + banana + spinach + frozen berries + flax seeds blended into a smoothie

Lunch and Dinner Examples:

Baked sweet potato: Easy Plant-Based Meal Prep for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

  1. Corn tortilla + smashed pinto beans + guacamole + shredded greens
  2. Multigrain roll + portobello mushroom burger + mustard + pickles
  3. Butternut squash bisque + peas + curry powder
  4. Baked potato topped with beans + corn + salsa
  5. Whole-grain pasta + marinara sauce + cannellini beans + fresh herbs + olives
  6. Rice noodles + peas + cherry tomatoes + Thai seasoning
  7. Brown rice topped with bean chili + tomatoes + chopped lettuce
  8. Pizza shell + tomato sauce + sweet peppers, onions, mushrooms, avocado + sprinkled nutritional yeast

Each of these dishes can be a stand-alone meal. Or eat it with soup, salad, fruit, or other side dishes.

More Simple Meal Ideas from Sally’s Kitchen

Prepared pizza: Easy Plant-Based Meal Prep for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

  1. Oatmeal + sliced banana + frozen mixed berries + greens
  2. Whole-grain pancakes + applesauce + frozen blueberries


  1. Baked sweet potato + black beans + frozen corn + chopped green pepper + chopped green onions
  2. Rice noodles + frozen peas + cherry tomatoes + teriyaki dressing
  3. Prepared pizza crust + pizza sauce + sliced onions, sweet peppers, broccoli, asparagus
  4. Quinoa + frozen mixed veggies + cherry tomatoes + curry sauce, over lettuce
  5. Whole-grain linguine + ready-made, frozen seitan meatballs + marinara sauce + side salad of raw vegetables with vinaigrette dressing
  6. Orzo + arugula + cherry tomatoes + nutritional yeast topping

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