One of the most common misunderstandings is that vegans don't consume enough protein. I remember my parents were concerned about this very thing when I told them Freya and I were going vegan, they were worried our health might be affected by the change in our diet. And I think it's a fair concern, it's always important to make sure you're eating a balanced diet. Freya and I did our research and found that for vegans protein comes from a variety of sources. This meant we started thinking much more about the food we were preparing, we started cooking different cuisines and began using lots of new ingredients. Personally, I enjoyed cooking more because of this and making these changes made me into a better cook. From our experience, here are a few different protein sources we like to make sure we're eating (or at least a few of) on a daily basis.
Chickpeas are a brilliant source of protein, they are such a versatile ingredient. Only last week we posted a new recipe using chickpeas; One Pot Vegan Chorizo and Chickpea Stew. Chickpeas are not only great in Mediterranean food, like lentils you can make up a delicious chickpea curry. Even if you're only looking for a little snack, chickpeas are a great alternative to crisps. We love to roast them in the oven with some spices until they are beautifully crispy and golden, we often add roasted chickpeas to a salad too.
Lentils are a great way of getting more protein in a vegan diet. They are commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking, both cuisines that are great for vegans. One of my personal favourite recipes to cook would be the Easy Vegan Daal that we've posted on our blog. It's got a bold taste and is really easy to make. If you are looking for a protein-rich lunch that’s even easier than making daal, check the fresh soup section in the supermarkets. Usually, you can find an Indian style soup with lentils which is another great option!
One of the most obvious ways of replacing high protein meats in a vegan diet would be to use meat substitutes. Today there are so many different brands to choose from which range from simple basics, like a soya mince, too much more complex complete meal elements, like the realistically meaty beyond meat burger. These products can often come in very handy, for instance, if you're cooking for a die-hard meat lover. However, we don't believe they are a total replacement for good old fashioned veggies, but they are a great way to cook dishes that would otherwise be more complex. One example of this would be our use of soya mince in this delicious Bolognese Sauce recipe or how we use the Vivera Veggie Shwarma Kebab to make these Vegan Tacos 'Al Pastor' Style.
We love tofu, tofu is great! I think it's one of my favourite ingredients to cook with since it's so versatile, it basically takes on any flavour that you marinade it in. It's low in calories, high in protein, and it's fermented so it contains cultures that are good for your gut. Yet, for some reason, it's got a bad reputation for being bland and mushy. If you share this opinion, we've got a tonne of recipes on the blog that will change that. One of my favourites is our Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets.
Leafy green vegetables are a really good source of protein. When I found this out I was a little shocked. I'd never considered things such as broccoli and spinach to be packed with protein. Yet it's true, per gram leafy greens are surprisingly high in protein. We love to use them to make buddha bowls and salad bowls. Mix this up with some nice tofu, some roasted chickpeas, and a few other ingredients and you've got a healthy high protein meal, much like our Vegan Summer BBQ Tofu Bowl. Mixing all these vibrant greens into your dishes isn't only a great way to boost your protein but it also makes your meals pretty too! We love to use greens to make pretty pesto dishes, just like the kale pesto we use in our Super Greens Vegan Pesto Pasta.
Since becoming vegan we haven't found ourselves lacking in protein. Our diet has become much more varied and we're enjoying cooking more than ever!
What's your favourite way to ear more protein as a vegan? We’d love to hear what you think. Leave us a comment, like, or share this post with your friends.