Gearing up to go meatless on Mondays? Keep your kitchen and pantry stocked with plant-based foods that are rich in protein and flavor!
When folks start eating meatless once a week, many wonder where they can get enough protein to stay healthy. The truth is, plants (especially pulses) are full of protein, and with just a little planning you can get all the nutrients you need from plant-based foods! Here are some of the most popular plant-based sources of proteins that Meatless Monday diners love.
Nutrition: 1 cup = 18g protein
Lentils are a protein powerhouse: 9 grams of protein in just half a cup! But protein is only part of the picture for lentils; these pulses add a significant serving of fiber, folate, iron, and potassium to your meal. Dried, canned, or pre-cooked, lentils are an essential in any pantry.
Nutrition: 3 tablespoons = roughly 10g protein
Far from a simple garnish, hemp seeds add protein to any meal and contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Whether sprinkled on salads, stirred into smoothies or blended in soups, hemp seeds at a mild sweet or nutty flavor to meals.
Nutrition: 2 tablespoons = 4g protein
Chia seeds are a sprinkle-able, stir-able, drinkable source of protein with simple instructions: just add water! Soaking your chia seeds allows them to absorb water and produce their iconic soluble-fiber- rich gel. These seeds and the gel they produce also make an excellent thickening agent in cooking.
Nutrition: 1/2 cup = 7-9g protein
A perfect protein-rich replacement for rice, quinoa has recently become a popular meatless main course ingredient and stand-alone side dish. Quinoa is packed with full of fiber, iron, magnesium, and manganese, and makes a very nutritious addition to your menu.
Nuts and Nut Butters
Nutrition: 1/4 cup = about 7-9g protein
Peanuts, almonds, cashews, and more – nut butters are perhaps the easiest way to add a dollop of protein and healthy fats to your diet. Nut butters go way beyond the traditional PB&J; spread it on whole grain toast, add a spoonful to soups or sauces, or just enjoy a spoonful on its own!
Beans (Like Black Beans, Kidney Beans, and Cannellini Beans)
Nutrition: 1 cup = about 15g protein
One of the best-known plant-based protein sources, beans are versatile and can be very easy to prepare. In addition to the protein they bring to your plate, beans also offer a heaping helping of fiber and flavor.
Nutrition: 1 cup = 40g protein
Nicknamed “wheat meat,” seitan is made of wheat gluten and has a chewy, meaty texture when cooked. It’s know for its ability to soak up the flavors of the other foods, seasonings, and sauces it is cooked with.
Nutrition: 1 cup = 22g protein
This meatless protein source is made of fermented soy beans, and has a nutty, sweet flavor on its own. Like tofu and seitan it absorbs flavors well, but tempeh has a firmer consistency that makes grilling and searing ideal cooking options.
Nutrition: 1 cup = 14g protein
Spongy, versatile tofu is one of the most popular meatless protein-rich foods. Made from soybean curds, tofu can be silky soft or extra firm, and can be grilled, fried, baked, steamed, sautéed, or even eaten raw.