The Best Plant-based Meals for Fat Loss & Muscle Gain
Updated: Sep 22
In this article, you will find some plant-based recipes which will help you to lose fat and gain muscle. They are high in protein and low in carbs but not too low that you run out of energy.
We've all seen those people who have lots of skin draped over their muscles but not much muscle to put in it. Well, that's because they lost a lot of weight without exercising so caution here. Exercise at the same time as losing weight, don't be that chicken guy or gal.
Whatever you normally choose to eat, know that there are plenty of plant-based foods that can help you to build lean muscle easily. The more protein, less carbs the better but do not go Keto as this can play havoc with your kidneys and lead to easy weight gain once your normal eating habits resume.
I use the formula: 40% Carbs
20% good fats
Plant-based meals will help to keep your body lean and prevent inflammation. The foods listed below can help to preserve and build lean muscle at the same time as reducing unwanted body fat. Follow and include these vegan meal recipes in your daily routine to build muscle and lose fat fast.
When cutting out dairy, meat, and eggs from your diet it is important to make sure you get your macros right. Eating a plant-based diet does not mean you are banished to a life of eating bland lettuce leaves and bean sprouts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are plenty of protein-rich plant-based foods you can eat that are just as delicious as any juicy steak or cheese omelette. Even writing that sentence just made me feel sick. I've been plant-based now for 9 years and the first thing i noticed was the increase in energy, improved complexion and a decrease in allergies.
Although qualified to give you advice on healthy eating habits i've called on some of the top plant-based nutritionists to provide you with 10 muscle-building plat-based meals fit for anyone who is looking to lose some body fat fast. (Fast means 12 weeks any quicker and you are looking at turkey skin).
Whether you are a full-on vegan or someone who is looking to incorporate more vegetables and plants into your diet, these recipes will help you to eat better and control your macros.
1. High-Protein Breakfast Shake
2 frozen banana, sliced
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk for higher protein content, choose soya milk
3 tablespoons hemp seeds
1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons maca powder
1 scoop vegan protein powder
3 tablespoons powdered peanut butter
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and drink it. Yum Yum!
2. Tofu Scramble
2 teaspoon cooking oil
1/3 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup red and green bell peppers, chopped
1 cup spinach
12-15 ounces tofu, crumbled
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a pan, add in onions and peppers. Sauté until vegetables are softened and ready to cook. Add spinach, crumbled tofu, salt, and pepper. Cook for a few minutes on medium heat and serve.
3. Red Pepper and Chickpea Salad
Serves: 8 – 10
2 14oz cans chickpeas (no salt), drained and rinsed
4 red peppers, finely diced
6 florets of broccli
1 cup cilantro, chopped (about 1 bunch)
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped (about ½ bunch)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (depending on preference)
2 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of Himalayan salt and fresh ground pepper
Whole wheat pitas
Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl, cover it and chill for a minimum of 2 to 1:30 hours to allow flavors to come together. Once chilled to remove from the fridge and spoon into a whole wheat pita.
4. Southwestern Quinoa Power Bowl
½ cup cooked quinoa
1 cup cooked black beans
5oz firm tofu
2 - 3 cups greens of your choice
½ cup bell peppers, chopped
1-2 small tomato, diced
¼ cup chopped cilantro and green onions
1 Lime juice, to taste
Salt and pepper for a taste
Add quinoa, beans, and veggies to a bowl. Toss with lime juice, salt, and pepper, to taste.
5. Tofu “Egg” Salad Lettuce Wraps
Makes: 4-6 Lettuce Wraps
For the dressing:
1/4 cup Vegan Mayo
1/2 cup relish
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper for a taste
Instructions For the salad
12 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained (at least 15 min) and crumbled
2 celery stalks, sliced down the center and finely chopped
¼ small red onion, finely chopped
4-6 iceberg lettuce leaves
In a bowl toss for dressing and salad together until combined. Spoon onto lettuce leaves. Serve chilled.
6. Tempeh Joes
18-20 oz. package tempeh (any variety)
1-2 cup low-sodium canned chickpeas, rinsed
2 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup green peppers, chopped
1/2 can be diced or petite-cut tomatoes (preferably with jalapeño peppers)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/3 teaspoon cumin
4 whole-grain buns
1. Place a cup of rinsed chickpeas in a bowl and mash them. Set aside.
2. Slice tempeh into one-inch-thick slices. We can either steam the tempeh for approximately 10-15 minutes or stir-fry it in a tablespoon of olive oil for approximately 12 minutes. Once the tempeh is steamed or stir-fried, cut into small pieces.
3. In a large pan, heat the tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is hot then add onions and garlic, stirring frequently. Once onions and garlic are lightly browned, add peppers, mashed chickpeas, and cut-up tempeh. Stir frequently over medium heat for five-eight minutes. Add diced tomatoes, chili powder, paprika, and cumin. Raise heat and stir frequently for approximately five minutes in the meantime, toast whole-grain buns.
4. Place tempeh mix on toasted buns and enjoy.
7. Vegan Chili
2 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed (if you don't like beans you can use vegan pulled pork, duck or chicken)
1 cup kidney canned beans, rinsed
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1 8-18 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes
1-2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper for a taste
In a large pan then we add oil and heat over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until soft, about five-eight minutes. Add remaining ingredients to pan and stir. Cover and simmer for about 16-20 minutes.
8. Seitan Stir-Fry
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 container White Wave seitan, into bite-size chunks
2 small orange pepper, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
Paprika powder for a taste
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste (optional)
2 cups quinoa, cooked
1. Heat the olive oil at medium to high temperature in a medium-sized pot. Once the oil is sufficiently heated (we should see “waves” in the oil when you move it around the pot), throw in the diced garlic. Be sure to move it around often to prevent it from burning.
2. Once the garlic reaches a golden color, throw in the diced peppers and increase the heat to high. Continue to heat for five to six minutes. Stir frequently.
3. Add in seitan chunks. While stirring then we add pepper and paprika powder, to taste. Stir for only two minutes and then lower heat back to medium for six more minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
4. Cut a ripe medium-sized avocado into thin slices. Place a scoopful of quinoa in a serving bowl. Top quinoa with seitan stir fry and avocado slices.
9. High Protein Pasta
6 oz black bean pasta or chickpea pasta
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Once done then drain pasta and add back to the pot. Add oil and sauce to a pot and toss until combined; season with salt and pepper.
10. Hemp Energy Balls
Makes: approx. 18 balls.
2 cup oats
1/4 cup hemp seeds, plus extra to roll balls in
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup peanut or almond butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup mini vegan dark chocolate chips (optional)
1. Stir dry ingredients together. Once combined then add nut butter, maple syrup, and chocolate. Mix well.
2. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop the mixture and form each ball by rolling them with our palm.
3. Roll and coat the outside of each with hemp seeds and place them in a container. Store in a refrigerator.
I have tried to include as many of my favourite plant-based meals as possible to help you to lose weight and building your body muscles. These meal ideas with ensure you get a variety of veggies in your diet at the same time as increasing your protein intake.
As we all know, you are what you eat and good sources of vegetables and protein will will help you to get and keep your body lean at the same time as preventing inflammation and building lean muscle. What could be better?