Are you searching for a plant based meal planner that will provide healthy recipes under $2?
I love meal planning and creating new healthy recipes, but sometimes it is nice to just follow a plan. Meal planning has helped me save money on groceries, eat healthier, go out to eat less often, and save time, too.
Today I would like to share a Forks over Knives meal planner review. I followed their vegan meal plan for one week and you can view how the recipes turned out and how much I spend in this post below.
Forks over Knives Meal Planner Tutorial
Before you get started, the program will ask you some questions concerning allergies.
I decided to leave out the breakfast because I eat the same meal every morning.
In your dashboard you can see lunch, dinner, and a snack for each day (5 days).
You can swap out recipes or delete them as you wish.
If you like batch cooking and would like to schedule the same meal for multiple days, you can click over to the recipe and add or remove servings for the day. This way you can eat the same lunch 5 days in a row or cook double the amount and have leftovers for busy days.
The nutritional analysis is a great feature for tracking your daily values. I usually make sure my meals are between 400-600 calories so that I get adequate nutrition.
If I see a recipe with only 300 calories, I know this will not fill me up and I double the serving size. If you are trying to lose weight you can leave it set to one serving size.
Back in the dashboard you can select the grocery list which you can sort by shopping aisle or by recipe. Once you are in the store you can check each item on the list after dropping it into your basket.
You have to leave the meal planner open on your browser for this option.
As you can see, the meal planner provides meals for 5 days. If you wish to have your weekends planned out too, simply add more recipes to day 5, or double up on the recipes from day 4 and 5.
The weekend prep option will tell you what you can prepare ahead of time for the recipes. For example, you can precook grains, make dressings ahead of meals, bake the snacks for the week, and so on. This will shorten your cooking time during the week.
Forks over knives meal planner recipes review
The meal planning part was very easy. You can also download everything as a pdf and print. Now let’s see how the recipes turned out.
Simplicity of the recipes
The ingredients are very simple and easy to substitute. For example, I did not have tahini on hand and used peanut butter. The recipe came out great! I also did not find brown rice noodles and used linguine pasta instead.
I was very pleased how easy it was to use budget friendly food items.
One mistake I made was using normal kale instead of the baby kale suggested for the caesar salad. It felt like eating the leaves of a tree. I think I could have used baby spinach instead to make the salad.
All recipes were done in 30 minutes and under, some took me only 17 minutes to prepare (even without the meal prep).
Taste and Nutrition of the Forks over Knives recipes
The caesar salad was a total hit (except the kale situation). The plant based caesar dressing was such a perfect match. I also enjoyed all the other recipes except the potato spinach tacos. They did not have a lot of taste, but you could easily add more spices.
Besides the potato spinach tacos, my family enjoyed all the other recipes. Altogether it was a good mix of veggies and grains and different style of food each day.
If you are new to a plant based diet and if you consumed a lot of salt, fat, and sugar in the past, you might think that some meals are boring. Eventually you will get used to the more natural taste and actually enjoy it.
The desserts were sweetened with some spices (like cinnamon and vanilla) and maple syrup. All ingredients were whole foods and my family enjoyed them. I made a chia pudding with berries and oat snackles. Both tasted like a dessert but were still filled with minerals, fiber, and some vitamins.
I also think the meals are planned out for a nutritional benefit. The meals don’t contain oil or added sugar and there is a good balance between your protein, grains, and vegetables.
There are enough vegetables added to each meal and it seemed like every meal contained either beans and/or quinoa as a plant based protein source.
Were the meals filling?
To be honest, the tacos were not filling. And as mentioned above, they were not my favorite. The rest of the recipes were really filling, even the salad! I think the salad was so satiating due to the quinoa and chickpeas (yes, I ate the whole thing anyway).
Is the forks meal planner worth the price?
If you purchase a full year’s subscription, the FOK meal planner costs only about $2.30 per week. If you want a month-to-month subscription you pay $19.99 per month.
What did I spend in the meals?
I printed my grocery list for this plant based meal planner and it contained 5 dinner meals and 2 snacks. I doubled up on the serving size of each dinner to eat for lunch the next day. So I basically got 20 healthy meals plus desserts for under $40.
The items marked with “-” are items I already had at home. The items that are circled are leftovers from buying in bulk. Some optional items I did not include.
As you can see, you might have some foods at home and some leftover food after which you can use for future meals. All in all I think the 20 meals should stay around that $40 price range. Please note that I bought these ingredients in September at Aldi. Prices may vary depending on season and store.
I believe this meal planning service is worth the price, but it depends on your needs. It could potentially save you more money in the long run and help reduce food waste by having a plan. It should save you time shopping and planning, plus you can collect all your favorite recipes from the meal planner in a folder and keep using them even after your subscription ends.
“Members save an average of 20 hours meal planning and grocery shopping per month, all for less than the cost of a take out meal!” – Forks Meal Planner
This meal planner is for you, if:
- you take a long time finding items in the store (the meal planner sorts items by aisle)
- you don’t know what to cook
- you meal plan longer than 15-20 minutes each week
- you overspend on food (going out a lot, spend more than $2 per serving)
- you have a lot of food waste
- your recipes take longer than 20-30 minutes to prepare
- you try new recipes but they don’t taste good
- you would like to start a more plant based diet
- you are searching for healthy, easy recipes
- you would like to lose weight
- you would like to prevent or reverse a disease with a plant based diet
- you would like to create a collection of fresh and delicious recipes that you can re-use year round.
The forks over knives meal planner is not for you, if:
- you only spend 20 minutes meal planning per week
- you are on a budget and know how to cook cheap meals
- you have plenty of healthy cookbooks that you already enjoy
- you don’t have much (or any) food waste
- you don’t want to try a plant based diet
Can I use this meal planner for weight loss?
The recipes provided promote weight loss. They are balanced and nutritious but your weight loss success also depends on what you eat in addition to the recipes provided. You can use the Forks over Knives Meal Planner to plan your breakfast as well, but to make things easy, I suggest eating 1/2 cup of oats with almond milk, 1 cup of fruits, a hand full of nuts, and 1 T of flaxseed every morning.
Additionally, you can consider starting a workout routine or start taking 20-40 minute walks daily. Also make sure to drink lots of water or herbal tea. Besides the breakfast, lunch, and dinner you can make a green smoothie for extra nutrients. All 4 meals should be around 1800 calories which is enough to eat healthy and activate your metabolism, but still in a good range to lose weight naturally.
Are you going to try this amazing plant based meal planner? Let me know in the comments below!