12 May 4 Protein-Rich Foods for Vegetarians
4 Protein-Rich Foods for Vegetarians-
You don’t eat meat? Where do you get your protein? If you’re a vegetarian, you’ve heard this question many, many times. It’s so common for me, in fact, that I’ve come to see it as a rite of initiation for all the newbie vegetarians out there. If you’ve chosen the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, you’ve got to know how to defend it. Everyone knows protein is important, but not everyone knows you can get it from a wide variety of sources–not just meat.
On the other hand, if you’re thinking of giving up meat–for a little while or forever–then you can rest easy knowing that yes, you can get protein in your diet without eating meat. How you do it is up to you, but here are some of the best and most delicious sources that I’ve found.
Tofu is delicious. Yes, it really is. The word “tofu” has become almost synonymous with bland, boring dieting rituals, but it’s actually extremely versatile, and with the right methods, can enhance many dishes you’re already making.
For instance, if you enjoy a hearty meal of scrambled eggs in the morning but have decided to give up poultry products, just swap in some extra firm tofu. Add some seasoning and veggies, and you’ve got yourself a delicious, protein-rich, egg-free breakfast.
For dinner, dice some extra firm tofu into cubes, and roll them in breadcrumbs. Fry them in a skillet with some extra-virgin olive oil, and you’ve got yourself a delicious meat-free snack.
2. BLACK BEANS
It’s easy to overlook the humble bean as a great source of protein, but that’s exactly what it is. Half a cup of good old black beans can net about 6 grams of protein, which isn’t too shabby. Add in the high fiber content, and you’ve got a winner. Black beans can be added to a variety of things: salads, rice, soup, burritos–you can hardly go wrong. Personally, I put them in my quinoa recipe, which leads me right into the next food.
Quinoa is a grain from South America, and it’s exploded in popularity over the last couple of years. It’s also one of the best plant-based protein sources out there. It contains all of the essential amino acids in abundance, which is a great argument to use against those carnivorous naysayers. Who needs animal protein?
Quinoa tastes better than rice, is easier to cook than rice, and has more protein (8g per cup) than rice, but it’s otherwise kind of similar to rice. If you haven’t had it, substitute it for rice in whatever meal you’re currently using that calls for… you guessed it: rice.
If you’re a vegan, there’s no need to read this section. If you’re a vegetarian, you probably know all about eggs, but it bears repeating: eggs have about 6g of protein (with a complete profile of those amino acids), and are delicious. Scramble them up, fry them, boil them–there’s almost no wrong way to eat them. Except raw. Don’t eat them raw.
If you’re counting calories or want to avoid extra fat, just strain the yolks out and eat the whites. It’s a great way to get protein without the calories. Plus, eggs are always on sale somewhere, so they’re usually pretty cheap as well.
So the next time someone asks you, with an air of incredulity, “Where you do get your protein?” Look them right in the eye and say with confidence, “Plenty of places, most of which are actually healthier for you than meat.” They’ll be so taken aback, they won’t be able to rest until you share your lifestyle secrets with them.