Ideas For High-Protein, Plant-Based Cooking – HexClad Cookware
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Ideas For High-Protein, Plant-Based Cooking

by HexClad Admin

Ideas For High-Protein, Plant-Based Cooking

When you follow a special dietary pattern such as plant-based or vegan, you might be concerned about getting enough protein in your diet. Whether or not you’re concerned with macronutrients (such as carbohydrates, protein, and fat), making sure you eat enough protein is crucial for health. No matter if you’re someone who likes to cook every meal from scratch or plans out big batch cooking to make weekdays easier, there are countless ways to eat delicious high-protein, plant-based meals.


Make quinoa a regular thing

This grain-like seed boasts between 8 and 9 grams of protein per cooked cup. Make it part of your regular plant-based rotation, stirring quinoa into frittatas, piling it into grain bowls with roasted veggies, or folding it into plant-based banana pancakes. Swap quinoa for rice in sushi-inspired bowls, stir it into hummus for easy, portable wraps, or add a couple cups of cooked quinoa to a broth soup. Try quinoa breakfast bowls with almond milk, topped with nut butter, hemp seeds, and your favorite fruit.

Lean on legumes

Legumes come in many shapes and forms, including beans, pulses, and peas. These are some of the top ways to get enough protein when you’re eating vegan or plant-based. This category of protein-rich plants comes in many varieties, from soy to kidney beans to lentils, and therefore can introduce a wealth of flavors and textures to a plant-based diet. Here are some ideas for infusing your diet with beans and legumes:

  • Soy: Yes, anyone who eats plant-based is likely beyond familiar with all the ways to cook tofu from fried to baked to scrambled. We recommend stirring tofu into a bracingly spicy kimchi stew, snacking on edamame for a boost of protein, or searing planks of tempeh for a hearty dinner.
  • Chickpeas: These humble pulses have had a renaissance in the past decade, with people coming to finally appreciate all the chickpea can do. Roast them with spices to make a delicious high-protein, vegan snack, whip them into a garlicky hummus and for dipping with crudités, simmer them in a rich curry, or mash them into chickpea salad for sandwiches.
  • Lentils: Lentils come in many forms, from red lentils which break down into silky dal to tiny black beluga lentils that are perfect paired with roasted veggies and tahini dressing. Brownish green French lentils (lentilles du puy, en français) and black lentils keep their texture when cooked, making them ideal for veggie salads, while brown and green lentils cook up slightly softer and great for soups. Short of red lentils, which break down very quickly into mush, you can try different types of lentils in place of others in plant-based recipes.
  • Peas: This legume is both rich in protein (with around 9 grams per cup of cooked peas) as well as fiber and a variety of vitamins). Choose both dried split peas for soups and fresh peas for pastas, pilafs, and salads. Make them into vegan pea fritters or a pea pesto to toss with pasta and roasted mushrooms.

Load up on umami

As a general rule, it’s good to think about building deep savory, rich flavor in plant-based meals. While protein will help you feel full, umami—the “savory” taste—lends foods extra deliciousness to satiate the brain as well as the belly. Vegan umami-rich ingredients include mushrooms, soy sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, miso paste, and nutritional yeast. Deeply roasted vegetables are rich in umami, too. Add these to your favorite recipes to boost the level of satisfaction.

Seek out seeds

Hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds are your plant-based heroes. Add a sprinkling of either to your salads, grain bowls, and morning oats to add in boosts of protein throughout the day. Swap in toasted pumpkin seeds for pine nuts in your favorite pesto recipe or coat fillets of fish in hemp seeds for an easy, protein-boosted crust. For an easy snack, top medjool dates with a scoop of peanut butter and pumpkin seeds. Flaxseeds are high in protein, too. Add flaxseed meal to baked goods and smoothies and stir in a couple tablespoons of flaxseed to your overnight oats or favorite granola recipe.

Want more plant-based inspiration? Check out these helpful tips for getting started with vegan cooking and ideas for vegan big batch cooking for every meal of the day.

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