With every passing day, more and more people are switching to vegetarian and vegan diets. For many years we believed animals to be the biggest and best source of proteins. Most people are still dependent on animal products for many nutritional benefits, despite the fact that we can now gain all these benefits from plant-derived foods. There are many reasons as to why an individual changes his/her diet to vegetarian or vegan. Those who follow a vegetarian diet or vegan diet have a lower chance of heart disease; there is also a lower chance of certain cancer, and a vegan diet promotes weight loss and keeps diabetes in check.
Whatever the reason might be, it is safe to say that a vegan diet is a very beneficial and altering preference for every human being. A couple of years ago, a vegan diet did not offer many varieties, which was a little disheartening for those who wanted to switch to vegetarian and vegan diets. With the growth of the food industry, there is now a healthy substitute for all food items. You can find a vegan alternative for almost everything. Many believe that it is hard to gain nutrients and essential protein for those who do not consume any meat or animal product. This is not true for those people who plan ahead to make sure they get enough nutrients, calcium, iron, vitamin B-12, and proteins which, omnivorous diet following people get from animals.
Keep on reading to know about some of the best plant-derived foods and find some cool and fun recipes.
Soy products are one of the richest sources of plant-based proteins. The protein content of soy products depends on the preparation of the meal.
- Tofu has the richest protein content. ½ cup of firm tofu contains 10g of protein.
- Tempeh is another soy product with high protein content. ½ cup of tempeh contains 15g of protein.
- Edamame beans, immature soybeans, have 8.5 g of protein for every ½ cup.
Tofu is a very versatile protein food that you can prepare in a variety of different ways. Soy products are also high in calcium and iron, so you can also use them as a substitute for dairy products.
Recipe – Crispy Tofu
Prep – 5 mins
Cook – 10 mins, plus 20 mins draining
Take some tofu and cover it with smoked paprika, garlic powder, and your desired seasoning. Now fry the tofu in oil. This is a straightforward and quick recipe, and you can eat it as a snack or starter dish.
The thing about chickpeas is that they offer higher protein content when cooked. Cooked chickpeas have 7.25grams of protein per ½ cup.
You can boil them to add to salads or blend them to make a tasty dip. There are many different ways to make a delicious chickpea-based meal. They can be made with curries or stews and can also be roasted with some seasoning to make a tasty snack. Hummus is a very famous chickpea recipe, and it can also be added to sandwiches or be a substitute for butter. Chickpeas are rich in protein, and the best part is that they are very delicious.
Recipe – Chickpea Curry
Prep -15 mins
Cook – 25 mins
2 tbsp oil
1 onion, diced
1 tsp fresh chilli
1 tbsp ground coriander
8 garlic cloves
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp garam masala
4 tbsp tomato purée
800g cans chickpeas, drained
5 chopped tomatoes
150g creamed coconut
½ pack coriander, chopped.
- Take 2 tbsp of oil in a pan, add the finely chopped onion, 1 fresh chili, and cook for 5 mins until soft.
- In a blender, add the 8 cloves of garlic, a small piece of ginger, coriander, cumin powder, tomato paste, garam masala, salt, oil, and the fried onion. Blend the mixture and pass it through a shiv.
- Cook this blended paste in a pan for 5mins. Do not forget to stir.
- Now add the boiled chickpeas to the pan, also add some chopped coriander and tomatoes. Cook for another 5 mins.
- Finally, add the creamed coconut and chopped spinach. Cover the lid and cook for 5 mins.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice.
Potatoes are the versatility king because no food can be cooked in so many different ways. A single large baked potato contains 8g of protein and other nutrients such as vitamin C and potassium.
Recipe- Potato wedges
Prep – 15 min
Cook – 30 min
- Put a large pot of water on the stove and add some salt to it.
- Cut the potatoes in wedges, then add them to the boiling water. Cook for 5 minutes then drain the potatoes and leave them to dry.
- Take a baking sheet and spread the potato wedges and sprinkle some salt on them. Also, drizzle some oil over the potatoes.
- Bake the potatoes for 30 mins, until golden and crispy.
For extra flavor, add some paprika and cheese to the dish.
Chia seeds are rich in fiber and are a low-calorie food. These are also rich in Omega -3 which are good for the heart.
Recipe – Chia and Almond oats
Prep – 10 mins
- Add 200g of porridge oats and 50g of chia seeds in a bowl. Pour 600g of unsweetened almond milk and 2tbsp of vanilla extract. Cover the bowl and set it aside for 6 mins.
- Add raspberries and blueberries for taste. You can also serve this with crushed almonds as toppings.
Lentils contain high amounts of fiber, protein, and other vital nutrients. Lentils are best prepared as stews, but you can also prepare them as salads, curries, or rice. ½ cup of cooked lentils contains 8.5 grams of protein.
Recipe – Roasted lentils
Prep – 15 mins
Cooking time – 10 min
- Take a cup of yellow lentils and spread them on a baking sheet. Roast the lentils for 10 mins, until golden brown.
- Take the lentils and toss them with some salt and pepper. You can also add some lime juice for more flavor.
- This dish can be used as a snack.
Changing your diet to vegan can be challenging, but it has a lot of benefits. Vegan food has a reputation for being bland, but it does not have to be so. Try these fun, high protein recipes and enjoy this vegan journey.