Printable vegetarian meal plan to revitalize you for spring

Lighten up your meals by clearing meat from your diet for even just a week. You’ll be surprised at how energized you feel.

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Eating salad in the park
Photo, Getty Images.

Replacing high-fat red meats with alternatives such as tofu, almonds, black beans and peanut butter, while including plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains can lower your risk of heart attack, diabetes and cancer says dietician Ali J. Chernoff. She also notes that choosing fewer meals with meat, or cutting it out all together, can help you live in a more sustainable way as well (we’re big fans of Meatless Mondays). Try this five-day vegetarian plan, designed by Chernoff, to see if its right for you. For a printable version of this meal plan click here.

MONDAY
Breakfast
3/4 cup quick oats, 3/4 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries.

Lunch
1 cup cooked brown or wild rice with 1/8 cup cashews, 50 grams of tofu and 1/4 cup broccoli.

Snack
2 brown rice cakes, plus 1 tbsp natural almond butter.

Dinner
1/2 cup cooked brown rice pasta, topped with 1 cup tomato sauce and 75 g cooked Yves Meatless Ground Round.

TUESDAY
Breakfast
60 g cereal (look for one that contains at least 3 g of fibre per 30-g serving), an orange, 1 cup of almond milk.

Lunch
A sandwich made with 2 slices high-fibre bread, 5 slices Yves veggie meat slices (which do contain wheat if you’re gluten-free), lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes.

Snack
Healthy snack bar, like a Lärabar or Nakd bar.

Dinner
1/2 cup cooked barley with 1/2 a pear, 1/2 an apple and 1/4 cup hemp seeds mixed in.

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast
60 g crunchy cereal, 3/4 cup low-fat yogurt, a pear.

Lunch
1 cup cooked quinoa with 3/4 cup chickpeas and 1 cup mixed vegetables.

Snack
2 high-fibre crackers like Ryvita with low-fat, lactose-free cheese, like Essential.

Dinner
Pistachio and almond couscous. Healthy tweak: Skip the salt.

Couscous recipe: Pistachio and pomegranate
Pistachio and almond couscous.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

THURSDAY
Breakfast
3/4 cup quick oats topped with 3/4 cup almond milk and 1/2 cup frozen blueberries.

Lunch
1 cup cooked brown or wild rice with 1/8 cup cashews, 50 grams of tofu and 1/4 cup broccoli.

Snack
3/4 cup low-fat yogurt and 1/2 cup chopped mango.

Dinner
3/4 cup lentils with 1/2 cup whole wheat pasta, 1/4 cup of broccoli and 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes mixed in.

FRIDAY
Breakfast
2 slices high-fibre bread, 1 tbsp natural peanut butter and a banana.

Lunch
Sandwich made with 2 slices high-fibre bread, 5 slices Yves veggie meat slices, lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes.

Snack
Trail mix (make your own with 30 g Multi-Grain Cheerios, 1/4 cup dried fruit and 9 walnuts)

Dinner
Pistachio and almond couscous.

Ali J. Chernoff is a registered dietician and Chatelaine advisory board member.