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  • Robyn Taaffe

Here's how to eat more Protein from Plants

Eating some plant-based meals is good for your health, good for animals and good for the planet.

We’ve been told how important protein is, and it’s true. You really can create meals that are high in protein without meat. It just takes some learning, some additions to your shopping trolley and some meal inspiration.

Protein is important. It’s the building blocks of your muscles, builds and repairs body tissue and it’s involved in the production of enzymes, hormones and antibodies. It's also filling and provides a satisfying feeling after the meal.


SHOPPING TROLLEY ADDITIONS


First, it's good to get into the habit of stocking up on some staples. The really great thing about plant-based food sources, is that food like tinned lentils and beans have a much longer shelf life, and they're cheap.

Soy Products

Soy products are a complete source of protein. This means they have all the amino acids that your body needs. This includes tofu, edamame, soy milk and tempeh. Most big supermarkets now stock soy products.

Beans and Legumes

Tinned beans and lentils are high in protein and fibre. Substitute the meat in dishes like curries, Bolognese or Lasagne for beans and lentils. 1 cup of Chickpeas has around 11grams of protein. 1 cup of lentils has closer to 18 grams.

Nuts

Nuts are high in fat and also contain protein. Pick up some almonds, cashews or walnuts. The amount of protein varies depending on the nut, but adding them to meals such as oatmeal, cereal, granola, stir fries and dips will add more protein to your plate.

Seeds

Seeds such as hemps seeds have around 10 grams of protein in 3 tablespoons. Flaxseeds and chia seeds are also high in protein and omega 3's. Add them to smoothies or salads.

Quinoa


You’ll find around 8 grams of protein in 1 cup of quinoa.

Pea protein based food

Pea based foods are high in protein and often have a very meat like texture. Birds Eye have recently brought out a range of pea protein based products that taste nice and don’t cost a bomb.

CREATING HIGH PROTEIN MEALS

Whether you eat meat or not, a lot of your meals are made up of plant-based sources anyway. If you’re feeling overwhelmed think of it this way, all you're doing is swapping the meat. Everything else stays the same.

Here’s some dreamy meal ideas:

A stir fry with vegetables, rice noodles and tofu or tempeh. Team it with some soy sauce, garlic, lemon juice and a drizzle of maple syrup to your taste.

Chickpea and lentil curry with basmati rice. Use your favourite curry recipe and switch the meat for some lentils and chickpeas. The Happy Pear have some great plant-based recipes and their curries are amazing.

Lentil Bolognese with whole wheat pasta. Check out this recipe by The Food Medic and Deliciously Ella. This is our personal favourite for meal prepping.

Veggie and Bean tacos (Yumm) Check out this recipe by BBC GOOD FOOD

Pancakes. Check out these Easy Oat and Vegan Pancakes by Natural Born Feeder.

Berry smoothie Bowl. Check out this recipe by The Minimalist Baker.


Let us know your favourite plant-based meal in the comments or over on instagram @insightwellness.ie. We're always looking for some ideas and inspiration!

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