True or false? People who eat plant-based diets are often protein-deficient.
True or false? Vegans who are not protein-deficient put so much time into figuring out how to eat enough protein, many ignore their partner, neglect their children, fail to care for their pets, and compulsively Google “symptoms of protein deficiency.”
“Do you get enough protein as a vegan?” People ask me this a lot. I respond by pointing to my torso, and say, “Does this look like a body that is lacking anything?”
Fact: As long as you are getting enough calories, there is a 99.9% chance you’re getting enough protein.
Fact: Pretty much the only way an American cannot get enough protein is to not eat (i.e., people with food insecurity, or those suffering from anorexia, depression, etc.).
Fact: Lentils, legumes, and vegetables have protein! A lot of it!
Listen to plant-based celebrity chef and goddess blogger Colleen Patrick-Goudreau debunk vegan protein myths here.
6 Protein-Packed Plant-Based Foods
Grains and legumes should have prime real estate in every home cook’s (vegan, or not) pantry. You can find a comprehensive list of protein-packed foods here, but these are my favorites:
- Wild Rice
- Chia Seeds
This list of 12 high-protein vegetables to incorporate into your diet is also worth saving. And because I like you, and don’t want you to ignore your partner, neglect your kids, or fail to care for your pets, I’m sharing my favorite, go-to protein-packed recipes.
Protein Focused Recipes
Pad Thai with Broccoli: I’ll say it loud, I’ll say it proud, I’m in love with this recipe.
30-Minute Easy Lentil Bolognese: Always keep at least one can of lentils in your pantry, and you’ll never have to worry about protein again. (I know you always have pasta).
Chickpea, Coconut, and Cashew Curry: Skip the first section of this recipe (unless you are a spice high-achiever), read the recipe notes, and use store-bought curry powder or garam masala instead of mixing your own. You’ll have a luscious curry in less time than it takes to order from your favorite Indian restaurant, and wait for Uber Eats to show up with cold food.
Quinoa Black Bean Salad: Quinoa is a super food that cooks more quickly than white rice and has way more protein. Which is why I often use it as a substitute for rice-y recipes. The disadvantage: It gets stuck in your teeth.
Moroccan Pumpkin Chickpea Stew: A double-whammy, with chickpeas and spinach in the same dish.
Easy Peasy Peanut Tofu: You will love this. I promise. Get creative, and have your way with it — plop it on top of a bowl of quinoa and sautéed spinach, or keep it in the frig and eat as a pick-me-up snack.