This is a guest post from Sue Chalmers.
As a vegetarian, it is always important to maintain a balanced diet. People can sometimes be deterred from vegetarianism through ignorance: many meat eaters think they will not be able to get their fill of protein through a vegetarian diet. Wrong. Here’s how to do it.
There are plenty of vegetarian meals and ingredients out there that will actually give you all the protein you need. (Click to tweet)
On top of this, did you know that animal protein is in fact bad for you in the long run? Maybe vegetarians have it right…Well nevertheless, it is important to have a varied diet for anyone, full of all kinds of different foods. Here are the top five vegetarian dishes & foods that are high in protein.
Mac & Cheese with a Tofu Twist
Photo credit: Selina NBH
This is a crowd pleaser for sure. Who doesn’t like old school mac & cheese?!
What you need to do is pop down the shops and pick up some high-protein tofu – which is remarkably cheap.
Chop up the tofu into small chip-like slices and bang them in a baking dish (which has been covered with silver foil).
Whack a drizzling of olive oil over the tofu-fries and don’t go easy on the salt & pepper.
Now for the cheese. Grab a cup full of mozzarella, parmesan & cheddar cheese and sprinkle them over the slices – and maybe slap some rosemary in there for good measure.
Once all this is done, put them into the oven (200C) and wait about 10-15 minutes until the cheese starts to go golden brown.
Marvellous Mac & Cheese with an added protein wallop!
Spicy Baked Feta
Photo credit: Rebecca Siegel
Everyone loves a bit of feta cheese in their salad – but not many people have had feta as it’s supposed to be had – cooked and spiced!
Before you prepare this beautifully quick snack, get that oven on at around 150C.
Simply slice about 8 ounces of feta cheese and whack them in an ovenproof dish.
Proceed then to grab hold of some olive oil and drizzle away – and then throw on a heavy seasoning of oregano and hot chilli flakes.
Put the dish in the oven until the feta softens up (around ten minutes) and serve with lots of crusty bread.
Quinoa Mango Crunch Salad
Photo credit: tomatoes and friends
As a vegetarian, salads can sometimes become boring and monotonous; so it is best to switch up the ingredients every now and again.
Quinoa is one of those rare plant based foods that contain complete protein.
This quinoa salad is perfect for days when you may have eaten too many carbs – and as a result of that are feeling pretty heavy and sleepy. Grab a whole cup of quinoa which has been washed, rinsed and drained already and slam them in a saucepan with three cups of salted water – then bring that to boil.
Once it has boiled, take the heat right down to a minimum and simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all the water (should take around twenty minutes).
While the quinoa is getting fluffy, take hold of a large bowl and place in it some juices of lime and lemon, ground garlic and olive oil, and then whisk away.
Now add these ingredients to the bowl with the whole of the cooked quinoa:
• 1 can of black beans (rinsed + drained)
• ½ cup cilantro (chopped)
• ½ cup mint (chopped)
• 1 diced cucumber
• 1 cubed avocado
• 1 cubed mango
Refrigerate for twenty minutes and season helpfully with salt and ground black pepper. Serve straight away for happy faces.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
This is simple – a vegetable omelette. Eggs are a great source of protein – you can always rely on them to get your fix.
Slap some butter in a pan over medium heat and then throw in a chopped green bell pepper and a small chopped white onion.
After about 5 minutes of that, in another pan beat 4 eggs with about 2 tablespoons of milk and another knob of butter.
Sprinkle heavily with salt and pepper, and cook for around two or three minutes until the omelette starts to dry.
Spoon the softened vegetables into the middle of the omelette and sprinkle on a loving serving of cheddar cheese also.
Fold the omelette in two, cook for another few minutes, and then serve. The perfect vegelet!
Simple but Effective Tofu, with Red Pepper Coulis & Pesto
Photo credit: Andrea Nguyen
This truly is vegetarian gourmet at its best; cheap, easy, high in protein and looks great.
With this tofu dish you need to preheat the oven at 180C.
To make the coulis – Grab a red bell pepper (capsicum), slice in two and remove all the seeds and white flesh (you’ll only need half). Slam the pepper face down onto a piece of baking parchment in the oven until the skin is burnt (should be around twenty minutes).
Remove the pepper from the oven, wait a few minutes for it to cool and then peel off the skin and any general charred pepper. Place the skinned, cooked pepper in a food processor with olive oil, salt & pepper.
To make the pesto – Put all these ingredients into a food processor:
• 10ml lemon juice
• Handful of macadamias
• Salt & pepper
• 10ml olive oil (extra virgin)
• ½ green onion
• ¼ white onion
• 50g of cilantro
To make salt & pepper tofu – Grab two bowls. In one bowl mix some garlic powder (teaspoon), salt, pepper and corn-starch (½ cup).
In the other bowl mix a vegan egg, lemon juice (½ lemon) and water.
Slice one pound of tofu into four slices and dip them first in the egg bowl and then the corn-starch bowl, and then fry over a medium heated pan (with oil).
Cook both sides until they turn golden brown.
Delicately pour the coulis over the plates, and then top with tofu and pesto. Put some extra lemon slices out for the hungry guests also!
Sue Chalmers is a massive health freak who’s nuts about Tofu and writes for PolicyExpert.co.uk.