One of the most frequently asked questions in my practice is about protein powders. Do I need one? Which one? etc.
My answer is this: protein powders can be a convenient way to meet your protein needs, but they are by no means necessary.
I do use protein powders myself, at least a few times a week, because there are days when I struggle to get an optimal amount of protein (I am for 20-30 g of protein/meal). Often protein powders go in my breakfast oats!
However, I do also like to get those protein needs met without protein powders as much as possible. Why? Protein powders are still a refined food product. Ie nutrients are lost during the processing process. Compare this to eating a whole food, plant-based protein ie edamame. We get the fibre, iron and satisfying factor from biting into that whole, real food!
Given all of this, I wanted to show you how to get adequate protein through real, whole plant-based foods! I’ve compiled this meal plan for you that consist of a breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner…and you get a whopping 100 g of protein through it! The protein in the meals come from the chickpea and almond flours, tempeh, edamame, lentils and hemp seeds!
Let me know which one you’d like to try!
Chocolate Protein Pancake
- 2 tbsp Ground Flax Seed
- 1/3 cup Water
- 1/2 cup Chickpea Flour
- 1/2 cup Almond Flour
- 1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
- Combine the ground flax and water in a small bowl. Whisk and set aside to thicken for about 5 minutes.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the chickpea flour, almond flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
- Add the almond milk and flax mixture to dry ingredients. Mix well until a smooth batter forms. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Spray oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spoon the batter into the pan in 1/4 cup portions. Cook pancakes for about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Enjoy!
Tempeh Quinoa Stir Fry
- 1.5 cup Quinoa cooked
- 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
- 1/4 cup Veggie Broth
- 1 tbsp Garlic powder
- 1 tbsp Basil
- 18 oz Tempeh
- 1/2 Onion sliced
- 3 cups Broccoli Florets
- 1 cup Edamame
- 1/2 head Cauliflower chopped
- Mix together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, vegetable broth, garlic and oregano in a bowl. Add the tempeh/tofu and marinate for at least 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Add the prepared veggies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once the tempeh is done marinating, add it to the parchment-lined baking sheet as well. Add the extra marinade to the veggies.
- Roast for about 24 to 26 minutes, turning the tempeh and stirring the vegetables halfway through. Top quinoa with roasted tempeh and veggies. Enjoy!
Berry Banana Cauliflower Smoothie
- 1 Banana
- 1/2 cup Frozen Cauliflower
- 1/2 Berries
- 1/4 cup Hemp Seeds
- 1 cup Soy Milk
- Place all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Lentil Sloppy Joes
- 4 cup Lentils (cooked, drained and rinsed)
- 1/2 Sweet Onion diced
- 1 Green Pepper diced
- 2 cup Mushroom sliced
- 1 cup Matchstick Carrots
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 3 tbsp Yellow Mustard
- 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
- 2 cup Crushed Tomatoes
- Combine the lentils, onion, green pepper, mushrooms, carrots, garlic powder, yellow mustard, maple syrup, crushed tomatoes, sea salt and black pepper in the slow cooker or Instant pot. Use a spatula to mix well.
- If using the slow cooker: cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours.
- If using Instant Pot: put the lid on and set to “sealing” then press manual/pressure cooker and cook for 8 minutes on high pressure. Once finished, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then do a quick release.
- Serve with your choice of bun.