Where do you get your protein from?
The eternal question I hear over and over again when people find out I don’t eat meat. But here’s the thing…plants have protein! Yup, you heard that right…Plants. Have. Protein.
I figured that since I seem to get this question a lot, and I’m sure you do too, that I would share some of my favorite plant-based proteins. Now this is just a short list…the ones that are my go-to’s and that you will always find in my kitchen. But there’s loads of awesome plant-based proteins out there. What’s your favorite?
Chickpeas - man I love chickpeas! I mean…HUMMUS?! I usually buy big bags of dried chickpeas and cook up big batches at a time. They make a mean no-tuna salad. They’re great in curries and stews. They are perfect for salads and the kids love them plain in their lunches. Try roasting them for a crunchy snack! And you can even make desserts out of them! (think dessert hummus, edible cookie dough or blondies!)
Lentils - this is probably a tie with chickpeas for one of my favorites! I always keep dried brown or green and red lentils in my pantry. A family favorite in our house is lentil tacos and lentil shepherd’s pie. They’re also great in curries and to make a killer bolognese sauce!
Hemp Hearts - I put hemp hearts in just about everything. On toast, in cereal, smoothies, baking, granola, power balls. They’re a great source of protein and also Omega-3’s. Just remember to keep them in the fridge or freezer to keep them fresh!
Tofu & Tempeh - I always keep a couple blocks of both in my fridge at all times. Not only is it a good source of protein, but it’s super versatile and can be used in tons of dishes. I always make sure to grab the organic, non-gmo stuff though. I make tofu nuggets on the regular and tempeh bacon is a huge hit in my house. But really, I toss it in a lot of dishes as it tends to soak up any flavours it’s cooked in. And you can even use the silken tofu in desserts!
Quinoa - if you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it! Not only for the protein, but it’s a complex carbohydrate and a whole grain, meaning it keeps you full longer and is full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. It makes a great substitute for rice and even pasta. I add it to chili, spaghetti sauce and salads. And more often then not, I serve my curries or stir fries over it.
Now there as so many other amazing protein sources, but I find these are staples in our house. Other great sources to note include: peas, seitan, spirulina, broccoli, chia, nuts and seeds…and the list keeps going. So if you were concerned about your protein intake…don’t worry, you’ve got lots of choices! And maybe this list will help you discover a few new ones.
Curious on how to incorporate any of these into your diet? Drop me a line and I’m happy to give you some tips!