12 Delicious Plant Based Protein Sources and Recipes


I’ve been a lifelong vegetarian and the one question I get asked often is “how do you get your protein?” I’m sure that this is a question you hear often if you are a vegetarian or vegan. This question stems from this false notion that plant-based foods don’t contain enough protein to support a healthy, well-balanced diet. Believe it or not, it’s super easy to incorporate healthy plant based protein into your daily routine.


What’s Plant-Based Protein?

Proteins are one of the 3 major macro nutrients that provide us with the energy needed to lead a healthy life and support us in carrying out our daily activities. Plant-based protein as the name suggests, means that the protein source is derived from plants rather than animals or animal based products.


Why Plant-Based Protein?

Research shows that a plant-based diet has significant health benefits and supports in prevention of certain diseases. We are typically a data-driven society and we look for foods that contain the highest amount of protein content rather than the whole package. Let’s take red meat for example, even though it has a high amount of protein, it also has higher amounts of saturated fat. When picking your protein, experts recommend that we pick something that not only contains good levels of clean protein, but we should also choose options that are packed with fiber, have less sodium and saturated fats.


In addition to protein, we also need to eat a ton of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Experts recommend that we fill up ½ of our plate with vegetables and fruits, ¼ whole grains and ¼ proteins


Here’s a list of 12 plant-based protein sources and how to incorporate them into your diet


Tofu

Tofu soaks up the flavors of the dish you prepare and hence makes a perfect meat alternative. Enjoy a tofu scramble for breakfast or add it to any stir fry.

Recipes to try:

Tofu stir fry

Brown Rice and Tofu

Tofu Scramble


Tempeh

Similar to tofu you can use tempeh in stir fry, add it to a salad or use it in a sandwich.

Recipes to try:

6 ways to eat Tempeh

Teriyaki Tempeh

Tempeh Tikka Masala


Edamame

You can buy frozen edamame either in pods or shelled. Frozen shelled edamame is a perfect addition to salads. Edamame pods make a perfect protein-filled snack. All you have to do is microwave for a few and sprinkle some salt and enjoy. You can also try the recipe below to change up the flavors!

Recipe to try:

Szechuan Edamame


Quinoa

Quinoa is my favorite! With it's grainy texture and nuttiness, it's a perfect addition to any soups or salad. It’s considered a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids that we need. I also use it as a healthy alternative to white rice.

Recipes to try:

Lemon Quinoa Rice

Cinnamon Toast Breakfast Quinoa

Quinoa Burrito Bowl


Lentils

Lentils are a staple in our house and I enjoy trying different recipes by adding different vegetables and spices. You can pair it with any type of whole grain like quinoa, brown rice or amaranth and enjoy the flavors!

Recipes to try:

Coconut Lentil Curry

Vegan Lentil Soup


Chickpeas

Chickpeas are perfect to add to any type of salad or soup. I love chickpeas with Indian flavors and sauce.

Recipes to try:

Chickpea Celery Salad

Chickpea Curry with Green Sauce

Garbanzo Bean Soup


Beans (black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, soy beans)

Packed with protein and fiber, there are so many varieties of beans to choose from! Again, you can add them to soups and salads to make it a balanced meal with all the macro nutrients.

Recipes to try:

Sprout Salad

Three Bean Curry

Lemon Parsley Bean salad

Chilli with Beans



Nut butters (Almond, Peanut)

With numerous vitamins and minerals, nut butters are a great addition to your diet. You can add them to smoothies, make healthy desserts or dip your favorite fruits or veggies in nut butter to make it a perfect snack!

Recipes to try:

Energy Bites

Breakfast Bars


Seeds (Flax, Chia, Pumpkin, Hemp)

Seeds are easy to add to any of your favorite foods. I love to add Flax and Chia seeds to my morning smoothies to boost my Omega 3 intake. You can easily add them to a home-made trail mix and enjoy the crunchy snack.

Recipes to try:

Trail Mix

Chia Pudding

Green Smoothie


Nutritional Yeast

If you are a vegan, you probably already know about Nutritional Yeast and sprinkle over any soup, salad or pasta dish. As the name suggests, it’s super nutritious and loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.


Buckwheat

Despite its name, Buckwheat is considered a gluten-free grain. You can use buckwheat flour to make pancakes and crepes. Cooked buckwheat can be added to salads and soups.

Recipes to try::

Buckwheat Tabbouleh

Buckwheat Stir Fry


Vegetables (Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus, Kale, Broccoli)

As mentioned above, experts recommend that 50% of our plate should be vegetables and fruits. We should aim at consuming nutrition-dense vegetables that also contain a decent amount of protein. Although, it's not as high as the other sources mentioned above, protein in vegetables adds up pretty quickly! You can bake, steam or saute these vegetables and enjoy them in your meals!


What's your favorite plant based protein? Would love to hear from you!


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© 2020 alifestylemantra by Sandhya Kallur