Power up on Plant Proteins
Who says that all of your protein choices have to be from animal sources, such as meat and dairy products? It’s a myth that you can’t get enough high quality protein on a plant-based diet. Nature packs plenty of plants with protein. Legumes, including beans, lentils and dried peas; soy, nuts, and seeds are rich in protein. Even whole grains, such as whole wheat and quinoa, and vegetables, such as peas and spinach offer good sources of protein. What’s more is that plant proteins come in a good “protein package,” which means that along with the protein you get fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and even phytochemicals, plant compounds with health protective compounds. That’s why plant proteins, such as legumes and nuts, have been linked with health protection, such as a lower risk of heart disease. Try to get at least one serving of legumes (1/2 cup cooked) and nuts or seeds (1 ounce) every day.
Tips for Putting Plant Protein on your Menu:
- Stock your pantry with canned beans. It’s an easy and inexpensive method of putting legumes into your diet. Sprinkle garbanzos on your salad, stir kidney beans into a soup, and feast on pinto beans and rice for dinner.
- Cook up a pot of beans. Just place a pound of beans in a large pot, soak overnight, drain, and cook the next day for a hearty addition to your menu all week long. Check out heritage beans—unusual forms of dried beans that are making a comeback in natural food stores and farmers markets. My favorites are rattlesnake beans and goat eye beans.
- Fall in love with lentils. Lentils, which come in a variety of colors, do not need to be soaked overnight—they cook up in about 15 minutes. Add vegetable broth, herbs, and vegetables to create a hearty lentil stew in minutes.
- Try tofu. Tofu is one of the most versatile, protein-rich foods on the planet. Try cubing it into stir-fries, curries, and pasta sauces for a hearty, satisfying meal.
Reading: Follow along with The Plant-Powered Diet, pages 43-79.
Bone up on plant-powered proteins with my Tofu Kale Power Bowl with Tahini Dressing.
You Can Win a Prize!
We will be watching your comments on the blog and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) during the challenge, so be sure to let us know how you are doing. We are going to select one winner at the end of the challenge on January 21, 2018 based on participation and comments on the blog and social media.
- Prize: An Organic Plant-Powered Farmers Market Bag filled with Plant-Powered Goodies! (Value $75)
Read the full rules here.
Previous Go Plant-Power Challenge posts:
Main image: Lima Bean Sumac Salad, Sharon Palmer, RDN