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Weight Loss & Diet

7-Day Nutritious Dairy-Free Meal Plan for Weight Loss

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole
Author
Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health

In this article:

  • It can be hard to find easy, healthy meals for weight loss. But it is possible.
  • This meal plan has 7 days’ worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. They total about 1,200 calories. There is no dairy in this meal plan.
  • You can add snacks if you need more calories.
  • Be sure to ask your doctor before using any new meal plan.
  • Lark weight loss coach is available 24/7 on your smartphone with more tips for healthy weight loss.

Healthy eating for weight loss can be simple. And it can taste good. Here is a 7-day meal plan to try. Most of the meals take only a few minutes to put together. They are all dairy-free. The plan includes a few delicious recipes to try if you like.

Each day adds up to about 1,200 calories. The meals get about 30 to 35% of their calories from carbohydrates. If you need to, you can add snacks from this Snack List. You can also consider using swaps from our Healthy Swaps List.

Here are some more tips for success.

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Aim for at least 64 ounces.
  • Each meal has about 30 grams of nutritious carbohydrates. That is a moderately low amount. It can help with weight loss and health.
  • Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new meal plan. And ask what might be the best approach for your own needs.
  • Include some physical activity, as long as your healthcare provider supports it. A good goal for most people is at least 150 minutes per week.
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Monday
Breakfast Taco

1 egg and 2 egg whites (or ½ cup liquid egg) plus diced onion and chopped bell pepper, cooked in a skillet with cooking spray, plus ½ cup of black beans and ¼ cup avocado slices in a small whole-grain tortilla (hint: wrap it in foil to keep it together if you are on the go)
Greek Pita Pocket

Small whole-wheat pita spread with 2 tablespoons of mashed avocado and stuffed with lettuce, tomatoes, 8 pitted kalamata olives, ½ cup of garbanzo beans, and dried oregano.

1 tangerine
Salmon with Portobello Citrus Salsa

¼ of recipe below

Serve with ⅓ cup of cooked brown rice and 1 cup of steamed broccoli florets
Tuesday
Cereal and Milk

½ cup of Cheerios mixed with ¾ cup of unsweetened almond or soy milk, 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds, and 1 small banana, sliced
Open-Faced Chicken Quesadilla

1 ounce of shredded dairy-free cheese tossed with cumin, garlic powder, and (optional) red pepper flakes, 3 ounces of cooked diced chicken breast, and 1 small thinly sliced zucchini, on 1 small whole-wheat tortilla, served optionally with salsa

1 small orange
Baked Sweet Potato

1 medium sweet potato, baked, topped with mixture of ½ cup canned Italian-style stewed tomatoes, ½ cup of cooked chopped broccoli florets, and 3 ounces of lean ground turkey cooked with diced onion and 2 teaspoons of olive oil
Wednesday
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

½ cup of oats made with ¾ cup of hot unsweetened almond or soy milk, plus ¼ cup of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix), 1 ounce of walnuts or pecans (14 halves), ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, and (optional) low-calorie natural sweetener (such as stevia or monkfruit),
Rice Salad

⅓ cup of cooked brown rice, 3 ounces of cooked chicken, ½ cup of halved grapes, 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds, 2 teaspoons olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice, chopped parsley or mint, pepper

Served on a bed of spinach or arugula, optional
Dairy-Free “Cheesy” Baked Eggplant Casserole

¼ of the recipe below.

Served over ½ cup of whole-grain pasta such as rotini or penne
Thursday
Peanut Butter and Banana Cinnamon Toast

2 slices of whole-grain toast spread with a blend of 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, ¼ of a ripe banana, mashed, and ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon

1 cup of strawberries
Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

⅛ of recipe, below

Serve with avocado slices
Rotisserie Chicken and Salad

3 ounces of rotisserie chicken (remove skin), 1 whole-grain dinner roll or hamburger bun Salad with greens, tomatoes, cucumber, and 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette (or 2 teaspoons of olive oil with balsamic vinegar and herbs)

1 cup of watermelon cubes
Friday
Spinach Omelet

4 egg whites or 1 egg and 2 egg whites, and 1 tablespoon of milk, stuffed with 1 cup of chopped fresh spinach leaves and 1 ounce of dairy-free cheese, topped with slice of avocado

1 banana
Chicken Raspberry Salad

3 ounces of cooked chicken, fresh spinach or arugula leaves, sliced red onion, sliced tomato, ½ cup raspberries, 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds

1 slice of whole-grain toast
Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

¾ cup of cooked whole-grain spaghetti tossed with ½ cup of tomato-based pasta sauce heated with 3 ounces of cooked lean ground turkey and ½ cup of cooked cauliflower florets, topped with ½ ounce of dairy-free cheese

1 cup of steamed green beans
Saturday
Waffle and Egg

1 whole-grain waffle with ¾ cup of strawberries and 1 tablespoon of peanut or almond butter

Served with 1 cooked egg
Three-Bean Salad

½ cup of green beans, ¼ cup of black beans, ¼ cup of garbanzo beans, ¼ cup of chopped tomato, 1 tablespoon of rice wine or cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, optional dash of a low-calorie sweetener such as stevia

½ of a whole-grain English muffin
Fish Soft Taco

3 ounces of fish rubbed with Mexican seasoning and baked, plus optional toppings, such as diced tomato, shredded cabbage, fresh cilantro, lime juice, ¼ cup non-dairy plain yogurt, and garlic powder, on a whole-wheat soft taco-size tortilla

1 small ear of corn on the cob (or ½ large ear)

1 cup of watermelon
Sunday
Huevos Rancheros.

Cooked egg and ½ cup of low-sodium black beans on a small whole-grain tortilla, topped with 1 ounce of shredded dairy-free cheese and salsa made with chopped tomatoes, diced onion, cilantro, garlic, and lime juice
Chicken Pita Pocket

2 whole-grain pita pockets (2 halves of a full small pita) spread with 2 tablespoons of hummus and stuffed with 3 ounces of chopped cooked skinless chicken, dijon mustard, and optional arugula or other greens.

1 small apple
Roast Chicken Dinner

3 ounces of chicken breast spread with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of olive oil, squeeze of lemon, black pepper, and fresh or dried rosemary, 1 baked in a foil wrapper with 1 cup of zucchini slices for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until chicken is cooked through.

Served with ⅓ cup of cooked whole-grain pasta and 1 piece of fruit

Recipes

Salmon with Portobello Citrus Salsa


Salmon with Portobello Citrus Salsa

This recipe has a wealth of flavors and is packed with antioxidants, healthy fats, and fiber. You can add grapefruit if you like a tangier flavor. Lime juice is a good swap for lemon juice if you prefer. To save time on the day you make the salmon, you can make salsa a day or more in advance and let the flavors mingle together overnight in the fridge or in the freezer. Serve it with steamed or roasted vegetables and ½ a medium potato or ⅓ cup of cooked brown rice or whole-wheat pasta.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, about 6 ounces
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 tangerines
  • ¼ of a small red onion
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup of chopped cilantro.
  • 12 ounces of salmon fillets or steak
  • Optional garnishes: chopped cilantro, lemon or lime wedges, and/or an avocado slice

Instructions:

  1. Chop the mushrooms. Peel the oranges and tangerines and coarsely chop them. Bigger pieces are fine. Dice the red onion.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the mushrooms and red onion. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the citrus fruit and cook for another two minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.
  4. Set the salsa aside on the counter, or refrigerate it for two hours or overnight, or freeze it.
  5. Cook the salmon in a skillet with cooking spray. It should take about 3 minutes on each side. It is ready when it flakes.
  6. Serve ¼ of the salmon onto each plate. Top it with citrus salsa.

Dairy-Free “Cheesy” Baked Eggplant Casserole


Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

This eggplant casserole is like a low-carb, dairy-free lasagna. It uses sliced eggplant rounds instead of lasagna noodles, and tofu instead of cheese in the middle. Layer the ingredients and bake it until it is bubbly and delicious. You can use zucchini, sliced lengthwise, instead of eggplant if you prefer. You can also add sliced mushrooms, bell pepper strips, or canned or fresh tomatoes for extra vegetables.

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 14-ounce block of firm tofu
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ large onion
  • 2 medium eggplants, or about 2 lb.
  • 24 ounces of pasta sauce (choose a low-sugar variety)
  • 3 ounces (¾ cup) of shredded dairy-free cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a bowl, blend together the tofu, garlic powder, basil leaves, oregano, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Slice the eggplant into rounds about ¼-inch thick. 
  4. Dice the onion.
  5. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the onion. Cook for two minutes. Add the eggplant and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until it begins to soften. Turn off the heat.
  6. Spread some tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish or baking pan to thinly cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant on top of the sauce and spread a layer of tofu on top of that. Add more sauce and continue to layer eggplant, tofu, and sauce.
  7. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the casserole and bake it for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is brown and bubbly.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup


Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

Forget the bacon. This split pea soup tastes delicious with only plant-based ingredients. It has plenty of protein from peas, and a small amount of barley adds a nice texture. It is super versatile and you can add extra vegetables such as spinach, mushrooms, or cabbage. You can also use other grains if you do not have barley. Even oats work!

This soup is perfect for beginning cooks. Just add the ingredients to a pot and your job is basically over. The soup even purees itself as it cooks so there’s no need to blend it. There may be plenty of leftovers to refrigerate or freeze.

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • ½ lb of green split peas
  • ¼ cup of pearled barley.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 8 cups of low-sodium broth

Instructions:

  1. Place the ingredients in a large pot and stir. Bring to a boil, then stir and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 1 to 3 hours, or until peas and barley are cooked soft. Stir occasionally. A shorter cooking time will keep the soup chunkier, while cooking it for longer will make the soup creamier.
  2. Remove the bay leaves before serving.