Plant-Based Weekday Meal Planning 5 x 1 | Healthy Vegetarian Dinner Ideas



Monday: Spaghetti Squash with Spinach, Basil, and Cherry Tomatoes

Tuesday: Mediterranean Mezze with Homemade Hummus & Veg, Spinach Patties, and Quinoa Tabuli

Wednesday: Fajita Bowl Night with Quinoa & Lentils, Guacamole

Thursday: Cauliflower Rice "Paella"

Friday: Vegetarian Tacos with Fresh Avocado, White Beans, and Chimichurri Sauce

{Click on menu items for recipe}


What is 5 x 1?

Short answer, 5 weekday meals, 1 shopping trip to the market.

I started this challenge after talking to a few of my friends and students who were struggling with weekday night meals. 

They wanted to eat healthier, and more plant-based, but were in a rut. They kept picking up the same vegetables and making the same meals. Their go-to meals started to get boring. 

Is that you? No judgement here. At least you're cooking!! 

My friend Nicole told me she always just bought yellow and green zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, and spinach each week. 

She didn't know where to start to cooking something new, like ... eggplant. 

Her and her husband eat chicken or meat for lunch, but at home, they want to keep it plant-based. 

So, that is the inspiration for this EASY meal planning. 

First, let me tell you what this is NOT. 

This is NOT meal prep. This is not spending 5 hours on Sunday cooking meals for the week. I really hate eating leftovers- maybe you do too?

What this plan is....

I did this plan for a week. I shopped on Monday for groceries, and then cooked Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I never had to go to the grocery store after the first time. It was wonderful.

The best part was that I had everything I needed, AND I had my menu set for the week so it didn't take time and stress. I wasn't asking myself through the day "what will I make for dinner?" And, let me tell you, that frees a lot of brain time! It was great. 

Each dinner took me 30 minutes to 1 hour to prepare. Sometimes I would cut more veggies one day to have them ready for the next day. That saved time too. There was something really gratifying on using what I had, and seeing the produce drawers get more empty each day. 

If you haven't cooked this way, I encourage you to try it for a week, and tell me what you think. 

All these meals are are all plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free. One includes eggs. They are for 1-2 people. 

Living in California, groceries can be expensive so I was super proud to find that for ALL these meals it only cost me $56. That's about $11 per meal, or $5.50 per person. Not bad, eh?

So, here is the menu I made for the week, along with the grocery list. 



Monday: Spaghetti Squash with Spinach, Basil, and Cherry Tomatoes

Tuesday: Mediterranean Mezze with Homemade Hummus & Veg, Spinach Patties, and Quinoa Tabuli

Wednesday: Fajita Bowl Night with Quinoa & Lentils, Guacamole

Thursday: Cauliflower Rice "Paella"

Friday: Vegetarian Tacos with Fresh Avocado, White Beans, and Chimichurri Sauce

{Click on menu items for recipe}


Grocery List 

Vegetarian/Vegan, Gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free.
Got it all at Trader Joe's
(Handy list below)

  • Small Spaghetti Squash (or favorite veggie noodle)
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 3 medium Roma tomatoes
  • Basil, small bunch
  • 2 bags baby spinach
  • 3-4 lemons
  • 1 head garlic
  • 3-4 Persian cucumbers
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 yellow or orange peppers
  • 1 package button mushrooms
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2-3 avocados
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 medium onions, white
  • 2-3 portobello mushrooms
  • 2-3 yellow and/or green zucchini

  • 1 bag Frozen Riced Cauliflower
  • 1 bag frozen spinach
  • 2 eggs

(you may already have some)

  • nutritional yeast
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (or can make from dried)
  • tahini
  • quinoa (about 2 cups)
  • paprika
  • saffron (optional)
  • tomato paste (optional)
  • red pepper flakes
  • olive oil or neutral oil
  • corn tortillas
  • 1 can lentils or dried lentils, cooked
  • 1 can black or white beans, or dried beans, cooked
  • Pepitas
  • Blue corn chips (optional)

Is this something you would be interested in learning more about?