Plant-based eaters don’t get enough protein? Not always the case!

There are ton of plant-based proteins out there. See some of my favourites below:

  • 1/2 cup tofu, firm = 20g
  • 1 cup cooked lentils = 18g
  • 1 cup pinto, kidney, garbanzo, or black beans = 15-18g
  • 1 cup edamame = 17g
  • 1/2 cup tempeh = 16g
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds = 15g
  • 1 cup quinoa = 11g
  • 1 cup cooked peas = 9g
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (soy) = 7-9g
  • 2 tbsp nut butter (peanut, almond, etc.) = 8

Speaking of protein, how much do we actually need per day?

I get asked a lot about protein recommendations per day. However, I prefer to provide protein recommendations per meal. Why?

  • Several studies suggest that protein timing plays increasingly important role in maintaining muscle mass.
  • Research has found that while a moderate amount of protein (30 grams/meal) can increase muscle protein synthesis, there may be a ceiling effect. For most adults, consuming more than 30 grams/meal provides additional energy, but it isn’t likely to provide further increase in muscle protein synthesis.
  • When young adults halve their protein intake at mealtime, their muscle protein synthesis is reduced by approximately 50%.

Unfortunately, North American distribution of protein is skewed – most protein is consumed at supper and less at breakfast and lunch. This eating pattern fails to maximize muscle growth and repair. We get the greatest benefit by distributing protein evenly across meals: about 30 grams at each meal. Perhaps the AMDR should be changed from a daily model to a per-meal model, as it does not accurately reflect this 30-30-30 notion.

The takeaway? Make sure you’re getting enough protein at breakfast and lunch. Pick 1-2 plant-based proteins from the above list per meal, and you will most likely be able to get your protein needs met.  Not sure where to start? All of the recipes from this week will help you get enough protein at each meal!

Watch me making each of the recipes here.

Scrambled Veggie Tofu Burritos

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil olive oil
  • 1 red pepper,sliced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 20 ounces firm tofu
  • 1 bundle of kale, chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 medium tortillas

Directions

  1. Heat oil on frying pan over medium heat. Add red pepper, onionx and kale. Fry for 5-7 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, crumble the tofu with a fork, pressing down to create bite-sized pieces.
  3. Add the tofu to the same frying pan and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Mix the turmeric, cumin and salt in a bowl. Add 1 tbsp of water to bowl to create a sauce. Pour sauce on tofu and veggies in frying pan.
  5. Assemble burritos: Roll out a tortilla. Add generous portions of the roasted vegetables and scrambled tofu. Roll up and place seam side down (you can wrap in foil to keep warm – optional). Continue until all toppings are used up.
  6. Enjoy immediately for best results. Alternatively, you can package and refrigerate these up to 4 days (or the freezer for 1 month). Just microwave or heat in the oven before eating (be sure to remove foil if heating in microwave).

Sheet Pan Protein Pancakes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1.5 cup chickpea flour
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk (445g)
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy vanilla yogurt (90g)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions


1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF
2. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry.
3. Whisk everything together to create a batter. Lumps are okay. The batter will be airy which means light and fluffy pancakes!
4. Pour the batter onto a parchment-lined sheet pan and smooth it out using a spatula.
5. Add optional toppings of your choice.
6. Bake at 400ºF for 25-35 minutes. Poke the center with a toothpick to test doneness.

Lentil Tabouli Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cups lentils, drained
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large bunch Italian Parsley- finely chopped ( about 1 1/2 Cups)
  • 1/3 C finely diced Red onion
  • 1/4 C finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 3 Tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1/4 C lemon juice

Directions

  1. Finely dice tomatoes, onion, parsley and mint, and place in medium bowl. Add lentils.
  2. Mix together cinnamon, allspice, oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Add to veggie bowl. Enjoy!

Easy Edamame Pasta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 box edamame pasta
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • 2 cups broccoli, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF
  2. Chop broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Add chopped broccoli and red peppers to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with avocado oil. Place in oven for 20 minutes (once preheated), tossing halfway.
  3. While veggies are roasting, bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling, add edamame pasta. Boil for 3-4 minutes, or until desired tenderness.
  4. Combine roasted veggies, cooked pasta and pesto sauce. Enjoy!

Written by Nicole Osinga, RD, MAN, BASc

I'm a Registered Dietitian who works with clients in the Durham Region! I use evidence-based recommendations to help you achieve your nutrition goals. I have many hearty and delicious recipes to share! My office is in Courtice, ON. I regularly work with clients from Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, Newcastle, Bowmanville and Courtice.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.