The first meal plan subscription I ever tried — many years ago — was The Fresh 20 vegetarian meal plan. It was a game changer for me. I ate healthier than ever, cooked something new every night, and learned so much about cooking. I enjoy cooking, but I don’t know the first thing about creating my own recipes. I also love how meal plans take the effort of planning out of the equation while also forcing me to try new foods and cook meals that never would have occurred to me to put together.
Since making the switch to eating mostly plant-based at home, I’ve been searching for and trying different vegan meal plans. I started out with Meal Mentor by Happy Herbivore, which I loved at first, but my enthusiasm for this one waned after some time. I love a good, easy recipe but the recipes were becoming almost TOO easy and I wanted a plan that was a little more “gourmet” and used a greater variety of vegetables. The recipes also seemed to be designed for people who were switching from a typical meat-based American diet (i.e, “Big Mac” inspired) which just isn’t very inspiring to me.
So, I’ve decided to do a round up of vegan meal plans I’ve come across in my search for the right fit for our family. Each meal plan has something different to offer, which I’ve explained below. Out of the three plans I tried, there was a clear winner, though!
Three Vegan Meal Plans I’ve Tried
Meal Mentor by Happy Herbivore
$18.99/mo – recommended if you are just now making the switch to a plant-based diet and want super easy, minimal recipes that are a healthier spin on the typical American diet.
$9.99/mo – I did the free trial for this plan. The recipes were delicious! I liked how creative they were too. Well Vegan was my runner up. I made some very tasty—and quite pretty—meals from this plan.
$14/mo – hands down, the winner (if you appreciate a well-designed website, like I do, and would prefer a highly customizable plan)!
The Lighter website is feature-rich and far outshines the other meal plan websites I’ve used. The recipes are pretty good, but the website is so well done that it had my interest before I even tried the recipes.
Once you set up an account, you can customize settings such as your family’s appetite sizes, allergies and dislikes, your goals (low sugar, low processed, whole foods plant-based, etc.), amount of time you have to spend cooking, and more. Lighter will then generate recipes for you based on these settings. This is where Lighter really starts to go above and beyond what other meal plan services offer. I was amazed at how specifically I could tailor my meal plans to what I wanted.
One feature unique to Lighter allows you to pick a popular mentor to follow (a few examples include Dreena Burton — for parents, Rich Roll — for athletes, Dr. Michael Greger and Dr. Neal Barnard — for those seeking nutrition experts). There are quite a few other big names on the site, but these are just a few that caught my eye. I was pumped to try out a service that had these big names on board.
After you finish customizing your settings, you are given a seven day calendar with three recipe suggestions for each meal of the day. You can easily choose which recipes you’d like to make and add their ingredients to your grocery list. Pictures of all the recipes are provided. Nutritional information is also included. Everything I’ve come to expect with other meals plans, and much, much more is included with Lighter. I’d be hard pressed to go back to a “static” meal plan after using the Lighter website.
While this post may just sounded like a sponsored post for Lighter, I assure you it isn’t. I’m just THAT excited about this meal plan and wanted to share my excitement. Have you tried any other vegan/plant-based meal plans you would recommend?