Following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is becoming more and more popular in our modern age. There are many reasons why individuals and families might choose to follow a meat-free diet; some of which include ethical reason where an animal’s life is valued far too much to consume it, sustainability values where a deeper understanding of the climate affects the meat industry has on the planet and of course the health reasons where the well-read few know a little too much about the ins-and outs of animal husbandry.
Here are 5 (of the many) vegan and vegetarian foods high in protein:
Whatever the reason; whatever the chosen diet; the main concern on everyone’s mind is simple and is generally followed by a rather mundane question; “where do you get your protein from?” This is the most irritating question a vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian is asked; and it is asked rather often. For all the doubters out there, the non-believers in a meat-free world, here are 5 (of the many) protein sources that are entirely guilt-free:
Soy is a totally natural legume that is grown in vast amounts. It’s quantity is the agricultural world is mostly due to the fact that it is fed to cattle to help make them strong and bulky for production. If you’re reading between the lines, you might question why cattle is fed soy in order to feed us. Bypassing the cow and consuming soy products directly increases the level and quality of the protein being ingested. Soy products such as edamame, tofu, seitan, tempeh are widely available in a variety of supermarkets and can also be found in more accessible forms such as burgers, sausages and other commercial products.
Lentils come in a variety of shapes, colours, tastes and textures. It’s hard to say that you don’t like lentils; there are so many to choose from and they can each be prepared in different ways. A cup of lentils has around 18 grams of protein, your RDA of protein is roughly 50g for males and 45g for females on a regular calorific diet. A cup of lentils is needed to make a simple portion of dahl or a lentil burger; so with one meal you’re pretty good on your target.
3. Beans and legumes
Every non-knowing vegetarian feeder goes straight to beans and legumes whenever they are faced with preparing a meal for a vegetarian. Now while that is a whole lot better than a sorry-looking side salad; beans and legumes may be thought of as boring sources rich in protein. But they don’t have to be. Try a chickpea and beetroot hummus; or maybe even a kidney bean taco; packed with protein and super tasty!
4. Nutritional yeast
This may be a new one on your list but do yourself a favour and dive right in to the flavours and nutritional benefits that nutritional yeast has to offer. A deactivated strain of yeast that comes in the form of yellow flakes or powder. It is easily incorporated into most meals and takes on a cheesy or nutty flavour, depending on what it’s paired with. Try it with your pasta, soup, porridge or even sprinkle some on your lunchtime salad. It’s really tasty.
5. Nuts and seeds
You might think that this is an obvious one, and maybe you’re right; but sometimes everyday facts look you dead in the eye and you still can’t see the truth. Nuts and seeds are overly packed with goodies for our bodies to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Protein included. Eating nuts and seeds is really not hard at all. Make yourself a homemade nut or seed butter (bake, cool and blend – as simple as that) and spread it on some toast for a mid morning snack or carry some trail mix in your bag after that gym-hunger hits.
Choosing vegetarian foods is easy. Learning to love them takes some time and allowing them to become your ultimate source of protein is a choice you have to be willing to make. The most important thing is to keep challenging yourself. Talking about challenges; if you or one of your friends is looking for a great vegetarian or vegan meal, give our chefs at Surf N Turf a call ahead of your reservation to get some super veggie options to your table.