If you’re on the lookout for a mouthwatering and nutritious meal, your search ends here. This high protein vegan recipe effortlessly combines the goodness of plant-based ingredients, vibrant fresh vegetables, and delightful aromatic seasonings, resulting in a truly satisfying dish that will keep you energized throughout the day. In this article, we’ll walk you through the simple steps to create this Mediterranean-inspired vegan meal prep.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This High Protein Vegan Meal Prep with a Mediterranean twist calls for a variety of wholesome ingredients to create a harmonious blend of flavors. Let’s take a closer look at the key components and possible substitutions.
The star of this recipe, tofu, provides a substantial amount of plant-based protein. Extra firm tofu works best for its texture and ability to hold up during cooking. If you prefer a different protein source, such as tempeh or seitan, feel free to swap it in.
For the marinade, we use extra virgin olive oil. If you prefer a different oil, such as avocado oil or grapeseed oil, you can easily make the switch. Next, freshly squeezed lemon juice adds a tangy and refreshing element while red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar adds acidity and depth. If you prefer a milder taste, white wine vinegar or rice vinegar can be used instead.
Italian spice blend contributes a savory and aromatic essence to the tofu marinade. If you don’t have a pre-made spice blend, you can create your own by combining herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
Nutritional yeast provides a cheesy and slightly nutty flavor to the tofu. If you have a sensitivity to nutritional yeast or prefer to omit it, you can skip this ingredient without compromising the overall taste.
Whole wheat couscous serves as the base for this meal prep. If you’re gluten-sensitive or prefer a different grain, quinoa, bulgur, or brown rice can be used as alternatives.
This recipe features an array of fresh and vibrant vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata olives, and red onion. Feel free to customize the vegetable selection based on your personal preferences or seasonal availability.
The recipe suggests adding leafy greens to the meal prep containers. You can choose your favorite greens, such as spinach, kale, or arugula, to incorporate into the dish.
Finally, optional toppings includes vegan tzatziki or hummus, along with lemon wedges for serving. If you don’t have access to vegan tzatziki, you can opt for hummus or any other plant-based dip that complements the flavors of the dish.
- Airtight Container: A large airtight container is ideal for marinating the tofu. It allows you to easily combine the ingredients, securely seal them, and evenly distribute the flavors throughout the tofu cubes.
- Pan: A non-stick or cast-iron pan is recommended for cooking the tofu. It provides an even heat distribution, preventing the tofu from sticking and allowing for a nicely browned exterior.
- Cutting Board and Knife: Since there are several vegetables to be chopped, having a sturdy cutting board and a sharp knife will make the task easier and safer.
- Meal Prep Containers: Dividing the prepared ingredients into meal prep containers helps with portion control and allows for easy storage. Choose containers that are microwave-safe and have separate compartments for different components, if preferred.
How to Make This High Protein Vegan Meal Prep
Begin by preparing the tofu. Cut the extra firm tofu into cubes and place them in a large airtight container.
In the container, add extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, Italian spice blend, dried dill, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Seal the container tightly and shake it well to ensure the tofu is evenly coated with the marinade. Let the tofu marinate for approximately 15 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse.
While the tofu is marinating, cook the couscous according to the instructions on the package. Typically, you’ll need to add boiling water to the couscous in a large bowl, cover it, and let it sit for a few minutes. Once done, fluff the couscous with a fork to separate the grains.
Once the tofu has marinated, heat a pan over medium heat. Transfer the marinated tofu to the pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it turns lightly browned. This will enhance its texture and flavor.
As the tofu is cooking, chop the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata olives, and red onion according to your desired size and preference.
Divide the cooked tofu, couscous, chopped vegetables, and leafy greens into 4 meal prep containers. This will help you portion out the meal and keep everything organized.
To keep the leafy greens fresh, you can pack them separately in ziplock bags and add them to the meal prep containers each day when you’re ready to eat.
For serving, set aside the vegan tzatziki or hummus and lemon wedges until you’re ready to enjoy your meal. When it’s time to eat, simply add a desired amount of leafy greens, a dollop of tzatziki or hummus, and squeeze some lemon juice on top to enhance the flavors.
Tips & Tricks
- Press the tofu properly: Before marinating the tofu, make sure to drain and press it to remove excess moisture. This step helps the tofu absorb the marinade better and allows for a firmer texture when cooked.
- Customize the marinade: Feel free to adjust the seasoning and spices in the marinade to suit your taste preferences. You can add a pinch of smoked paprika, cumin, or garlic powder to enhance the flavors even further.
- Experiment with different toppings: While the recipe suggests vegan tzatziki or hummus as toppings, don’t hesitate to get creative! Try other Mediterranean-inspired dressings, sauces, or spreads to add your own unique twist to the dish.
- Use leftovers creatively: If you have any leftover tofu or vegetables from the meal prep, consider incorporating them into other meals. They can be added to salads, stir-fries, wraps, or sandwiches for a quick and nutritious boost.
- Keep the leafy greens fresh: To maintain the freshness of the leafy greens, store them separately from the other ingredients until you’re ready to eat. This ensures that the greens stay crisp and vibrant when it’s time to enjoy your meal.
- Prepare in advance for busy days: Take advantage of the meal prep concept by dedicating some time to prepare this recipe in advance. Having pre-portioned meals readily available will save you time and effort on busy days when you may not have the luxury to cook from scratch.
FAQ: High Protein Vegan Meal Prep
Absolutely! If you prefer a different protein source, such as tempeh, seitan, or even chickpeas, you can easily substitute them for tofu in this recipe. Adjust the cooking time and method accordingly based on the protein source you choose.
Certainly! If you’re not a fan of couscous or prefer a different grain, you can swap it out with quinoa, bulgur, brown rice, or any other grain of your choice. Follow the cooking instructions for the specific grain you decide to use.
Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy and slightly nutty flavor to the tofu. If you don’t have nutritional yeast or prefer to omit it, you can simply skip this ingredient. It won’t drastically affect the overall taste of the dish.
Absolutely! Feel free to customize the vegetable selection based on your preferences and seasonal availability. You can add or substitute vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, spinach, or any other vegetables you enjoy.
When stored properly in airtight containers in the refrigerator, this meal prep can typically last for up to 4-5 days. However, it’s always best to use your judgment and ensure the ingredients are still fresh before consuming.
While it’s possible to freeze certain components of this meal prep, such as the cooked tofu or couscous, the texture and taste may be slightly altered upon thawing and reheating. It’s generally recommended to enjoy this meal prep fresh for the best results.
Vegan High Protein Meal Prep (Mediterranean Inspired)
Couscous and Veggies
- 1 cup whole wheat couscous (uncooked)
- 1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
- 1 cucumber, diced
- ¼ cup kalamata olives, sliced
- 3 green onions finely diced (or 3-4 tbsp diced red onion)
- 4 cups leafy greens
- 1 cup vegan tzatziki or hummus
- lemon wedges to serve
- 1 diced jalapeño (optional)
- Cut tofu into cubes, and place in a large airtight container. Add olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, nutritional yeast, Italian spice, dill, salt and pepper, place the lid on and shake well to combine. Allow the tofu to marinate for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare your couscous by following the package instructions. (Typically, add 1.5 cups of boiling water to 1 cup of couscous in a large bowl, cover for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork.)
- Cook the tofu in a pan on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir occasionally to ensure the tofu cooks evenly.
- Chop the veggies and olives while the tofu is cooking.
- Divide the ingredients into 4 meal prep containers. Keep the tzatziki or hummus and leafy greens off to the side until you are ready to serve. (Tip* Each day fill a ziplock bag with greens on the side to keep them fresh). Once you are ready to eat, add the lettuce, tzatziki and a squeeze of lemon on top. Enjoy!
This High Protein Vegan Meal Prep with a Mediterranean twist offers a delicious and convenient solution for those seeking a nutritious and flavorful meal. With the combination of marinated tofu, fluffy couscous, fresh vegetables, and delightful toppings, this recipe provides a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. Whether you’re meal prepping for a busy week or simply looking to enjoy a satisfying plant-based meal, this Mediterranean-inspired dish is sure to please your taste buds while keeping you fueled and nourished. Embrace the vibrant flavors, embrace the ease of meal prepping, and indulge in this delightful high protein vegan feast.