So you’ve been curious about “Meatless Mondays” but you don’t exactly know where to start? I mean without meat, where would you get your protein from?! I’m here to tell you just how easy it is! With many vegan athletes like Julia Hubbard and Torre Washington sharing their years of success building muscle on a plant-based diet, it’s safe to say there is no lack of protein when eating meat-free! I’m going to share with you five fantastic sources of protein that will be keep you full and satisfied while nourishing your body with the essential macronutrients it needs.
These tiny, colorful disks are inexpensive, easy to cook and packed with protein! With about 9g of protein per 100g, they are a simple way to up your protein intake and keep you full for hours. They also contain many micronutrients like iron, zinc and potassium, and a considerable amount of fiber.
Soy comes in many shapes and forms! Try swapping out your whey protein for a soy protein shake from brands like Vega. Soy can come in block form and is used in delicious dishes like an Asian stir-fry or even in various desserts. Look out for an organic, non-GMO label when purchasing your soy products from the grocer! Edamame is another form of soy you may have seen at Japanese restaurants. This green soybean is loaded with protein at 11 grams per 100g of beans. And if you haven’t had enough of soy yet, there is a dense and delicious form of fermented soy called Tempeh. With its dense and nutty flavor, this soy form contains 19 grams of protein per 100g!
3. Nuts and Nut Butters
What a treat to have so many varieties of nuts available to us! Skip the dairy butter and swap it for a delicious protein filled NUT butter. A balance between healthy fats and protein, nut butters have about 6-8 grams of protein in two tablespoons. Try buying nut butters that are “natural” in form and have the simplest list of ingredients.
Also known as “wheat meat” this protein source is not suitable for those with a gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity as seitan is the protein found in wheat gluten. Seitan can be found at grocers like Whole Foods and Choices Market. Typically, a 3oz portion of this wheat meat can have 21 grams of protein. It is not only low in fat but its meaty texture and taste make it a great beef substitute.
Black beans, lima beans, and kidney beans… the list goes on! The garbanzo bean, also known as the chickpea, contains about 19g of protein for a serving of 100g. Add beans to your salads, whip up some hummus or boil a big pot of chili for those cold nights. Beans are a versatile vegan protein and a very filling.
Bonus Protein Source: All plants have protein! Being able to include an abundance of vegetables in your meals will contribute to the total amount of protein you are receiving. Broccoli, peas, mushrooms and spinach are just a few vegetables that are packed with those vital amino acids that make up protein.
With all the resources and recipes on the market today, you can “veganize” anything to fit your protein needs! From your classic cheeseburgers to creamy vegan butter chicken, you can truly have it all while not compromising your health or ethical values. Here is one of my favorite food bloggers who has tons of free recipes on her website for you to try at home!