Everyday Dairy-Free Living

Kaitlin Krull’s Vegan Meal Prep Guide for Back to School

Whether we want to believe it or not, it’s officially that time of year again: back to school. If you and your family are dreading the transition back to early rises, busy days, and insane schedules, you’re not alone. That’s why we’ve come up with a step-by-step guide to help you prepare for the feeding frenzy to come. Check out these easy-to-follow steps to get your vegan kitchen in order this fall and make your back to school transition easier than ever.

Organize your pantry

A well-organized pantry means less stress for everyone when it comes time to put together meals. We recommend keeping well-defined pantry sections for snacks, produce, dry ingredients, and cooking essentials. Make sure to store your dry goods and snacks in clear storage jars, tubs, and containers. Finally, label your storage to eliminate any confusion and make your organization clear to anyone who might need to find food items in your home.

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Plan your meals

Weekly meal planning is popular with busy families, since it takes the stress out of day-to-day decision making and cooking. This particularly useful if you and your family have extracurricular activities that make evenings tight time-wise, and of course in the mornings when everyone is always in a rush.

Choose simple breakfasts that you can make in bulk and freeze or store, or choose simple 5-minute meals that you (or the kids) can throw together in the morning. We love scones (these Gluten-Free Red Cherry Almond Scones are to die for), smoothies, and dairy-free yogurt alternatives like So Delicious Dairy Free Coconutmilk Yogurt Alternatives. Our top tip: jazz up your morning smoothie or yogurt with a tablespoon of maple syrup, some dried fruits, or flax seeds.

For weeknight dinners, select recipes chock-full of fresh fruits and vegetables and either make them in bulk on Sunday night (such as soups, curry sauces, or chili) or plan out easy, quick meals for midweek (we love stir fry, vegan finger sandwiches, and quick pasta dishes).

Stock up on supplies

During your weekly supermarket shop, stock up on ingredients you’ll need for meals, but make sure to also include some or all of the following in case you get stuck:

Fresh produce: fruits and vegetables in every color of the rainbow

Dairy alternatives: Almondmilk Beverages, Coconutmilk Beverages, and Cashewmilk Beverages

Proteins: tofu, beans, lentils, and other legumes

Pantry stocks: nut butters, nuts, dried fruits, vegetable stock, tahini, maple syrup, coconut oil, tomato paste, and our favorite, So Delicious Dairy Free Culinary Milk—a shelf stable organic coconut milk which is perfect for cooking everything from curries to soups and puddings.

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Get prepping

Decide how you want your weekly meal prep to go. You can batch-make meals to freeze and last all week (or month, if you plan it right). Or you can simply plan meals and complete basic sous-chef style preparations on Sunday nights, such as making stocks, sorting, preparing, and chopping ingredients, and organizing and storing for easy cooking during the week.

We recommend keeping your fridge and freezer as well labeled as your pantry area, so you and the rest of your family know which meals are stored where.

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Keep on top of things

Make note of when you’re starting to run low on products with a smartphone or tablet shopping list app or chalkboard/whiteboard on the fridge or pantry and make sure you haven’t used all your ingredients for the current week’s meals. If necessary, make an additional trip to the supermarket to stock up on things you’ve run out of. With any luck, your forward planning and thinking will save you a last minute trip!

About the Writer

Kaitlin Krull is a writer and mom of two girls living the expat life in the UK. She enjoys writing for with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on home projects with confidence.

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