I’ve been a fish eating vegetarian for over 18 years, and if I had a dime for every time
someone asked me where I get my protein from, I could buy an island. Being a vegetarian is a great way to cut down on saturated fats, cholesterol, and increase nutrient intake. Multiple studies have also found that vegetarians not only consume fewer calories, but they also live longer. Below is a list of my favorite foods that will fulfill your recommended daily protein intake.
Eggs are a great source of protein. They contain only 70 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 7
grams of protein. They’re also incredibly versatile – toss a hardboiled egg on a salad for an extra
burst of protein for lunch, scramble them for breakfast, or serve on a tortilla for dinner.
Florentine Frittata cups:
1/2 cup Shallots, diced
2 cups Kale, chopped
1 Roma tomato, diced
1/4 cup Basil, shredded
1/4 cup Feta cheese
1 dozen eggs
3 tbsp milk, water, or almond milk
Salt /pepper to taste
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin cups with coconut or vegetable oil or line with aluminum foil. Prepare vegetables. Beat eggs and whisk together with milk, salt, and pepper. Combine egg mixture and vegetables in a small bowl and fold in the feta. Evenly spoon the vegetable ingredients into a muffin pan or cups. Pour 1/4 cup of the egg mixture on top, and bake for 20-30 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Enjoy!
Tried and true, tofu is an excellent vegetarian source of protein. A serving contains only 80 calories and a minimal amount of fat while filling you up with 9 grams of protein. Tofu can be easily morphed into the flavors it’s cooked with, so you can toss soft tofu in a smoothie to add creaminess and protein without even tasting it. I love to stir fry firm tofu with sesame oil and serve over vegetables and rice for dinner. The possibilities are endless!
Lentils are a great source of protein and carbohydrates. A half cup of lentils contains only 115
calories, 0.5 grams of fat, and 9 grams of protein. Green lentils are best for cooking as they
retain their firm shape. Red lentils will get a bit mushy after being cooked, so those are best for
making “meatloaf” or protein-packed pancakes. They do take a while to cook, so I prefer to make
a large batch of lentils for lunch to last me throughout the week.
Slow Cooked Power Lentils:
2 cups carrots, chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
1 whole onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, diced
2 cups dried lentils
4 cups water
1/2 block tofu, cut into cubes
4 cups spinach
Salt/pepper to taste
Set your slow cooker to 3.5 hours on high. Rinse your lentils and chop your veggies. Place the first six ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on high heat for 3 hours. At the 3 hour mark, add your tofu and spinach. Cook for the remaining 30 minutes and season to taste.
Edamame are soybeans and come in pods. They make a great snack and are any easy way to
add protein to salads, stir fries, and soups. Simply boil the pods for 5 minutes and toss with a
dash of salt. One cup contains about 120 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 9 grams of protein.
Salad with Shredded Carrots and Edamame:
1 tsp or 1 cube grated ginger
1 tbsp diced shallots
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp whole grain mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
1 package Edamame (shelled)
4 large carrots
In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Set aside. In a large bowl, julienne the carrots, zucchini, and cucumber (use a potato peeler while rotating your vegetables if you don’t have a mandolin or other means of julienne-ing.) Add edamame. Fold and combine the dressing with the sliced vegetables and edamame. Immediately serve over a bed of lettuce, or keep it covered in the fridge and serve over salad greens and rice for an easy dinner fix!
Greek yogurt is packed with protein and is a great source of calcium. I personally prefer Greek yogurt to
traditional yogurts because it contains far less sugar and I love the tart flavor. Greek yogurt can
be substituted for sour cream in dips and makes a great base for tahini. And, granola and berries can
be layered with it for an easy breakfast or sweet snack.
Quinoa is considered a superfood because it is a carbohydrate that contains 5 grams of protein.
It can be substituted for rice or pasta, and is a great cereal sub for breakfast. Cook your quinoa
according to package directions and serve with almond milk, cinnamon, and dried currants for a
hearty breakfast that will last until lunchtime.
-Sarah Ann Corkum, Fabletics Master