Last week, we shared how a diet that includes plant proteins has been found to decrease the rates of all-cause death. In addition to that, it is well established that plant proteins are an important factor in lowering the risk of many health concerns such high cholesterol, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and inflammation (among other issues). Today, we will share some delicious recipes that can help you incorporate plant proteins into your diet.
Below is a helpful resource that shares a variety of plant-proteins. A good amount of them can be purchased in dry bulk and stored, making them less expensive and convenient to make. If you keep a variety of these on hand, you’ll always have a healthy protein source available to support you in your quest for healthy meals. You can also read more about the benefits of a whole foods diet, here.
Black Bean Quinoa Salad Bowl
What is great about about recipes like this is that you can interchange the ingredients, helping to keep it interesting. This version has quinoa, a whole grain, which is full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Black beans are an easy plant-based source of protein as you can buy them canned, or make them from dry beans. Either way, they provide a load of protein that will keep you satiated until your next meal. Edamame (which are immature soy beans) are sprinkled in for an additional source of protein. They can help lower cholesterol, help maintain blood sugar, and have even been found to help reduce Menopausal symptoms.
Black Bean Quinoa Burgers
These burgers are made with oat flour, quinoa, black beans, and veggies. Even though these are black bean burgers, you can use any beans you have on hand – this recipe would work with chickpeas, pinto beans, or white beans, all of which provide a healthy dose of protein.
These meatless meat balls are great to make ahead and stash in the freezer for those days you need dinner in a rush. They only take 20 minutes to make, and can be used with pasta, on salads, or even in a pita for a meal on the go. These “meatballs” contain chickpeas, which are loaded with protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This recipe also includes oats and zucchini, which help bind the balls, while also providing delicious flavor and nutrition.
Chickpea Shawarma Stuffed Pita
Pitas are a valuable tool for on-the-go meals. Pick a whole wheat pita to avoid more processed varieties, and reap the benefit of the whole grains. Again, this is a recipe that you can easily switch out ingredients, depending on what you have available, and what you feel like eating.
Mexican Stuffed Quinoa Sweet Potatoes
This combination of sweet potato, avocado, quinoa, black beans provides loads of protein and flavor. Sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber and antioxidants which support gut health, an essential factor in overall health. Also rich in beta-carotene, sweet potatoes help your eye health. Avocado is a great source of healthy fat, while quinoa and black beans being the protein. All-in-all, this is a powerfully healthy and delicious meal option!
Sun-dried Tomato, Mushroom, and Spinach Quiche
This recipe is a protein power house. It has spinach, tofu, flax, tofu, and almond flour. You can add in any vegetables you’d like, making it easy to modify to your palate. Soybeans (which tofu is made of) are naturally rich in protein and contain all of the essential amino acids your body needs. They’re also rich in plant fats, fiber, and several important vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds.
Pea and Carrot Soba Noodles
If you’ve never had soba noodles, you’ve been missing out. Authentic soba noodles are made from 100 percent buckwheat flour. Buckwheat is a whole grain that supports heart health and help regulate blood sugar. Soba noodles also have manganese, zinc, potassium, and are high in protein. This recipe also incorporates edamame and carrots, making it a delicious, fresh dish.
Protein Oat Cookies
Did somebody say cookie? We love cookies, especially those that actually have health benefits on top of satisfying our sweet tooth. This recipe is packed with oats, which help regulate blood sugar and are also high in protein. A bonus- there is no butter or processed sugar in this recipe, but peanut butter (pick a low-salt option), hemp seeds, bananas, and many more healthy ingredients. Add in some dark chocolate doe a little sweetness, and you have a tasty powerhouse cookie!
These are just a few ideas of how to incorporate plant proteins into your diet. Many of your favorite recipes can likely be modified to be meat-free as well. Have a favorite plant-protein dish? Share it in the comments!