Farmers Market Finds: Protein-Packed Produce for Meatless Monday!

August 8th, 2016


National Farmers Market Week, August 7-13, is a wonderful time to explore the markets in your community and plan new and exciting meatless meals with local fruits and veggies. In honor of the week-long celebration, we’ve put together this list of protein-packed produce to look for at the market and add to your menu plan. These delicious (and nutritious) veggies make it easy to create balanced meals for Meatless Monday!

Farmers Market Protein: Green Peas

 

 

1. Green Peas
At the farmers market you’ll often find fresh-picked green peas still in the peapod. Peas have a powerful serving of protein – up to 9 grams of per cup when cooked –and are also rich in fiber, potassium, iron, zinc, folate, B vitamins, vitamin A and vitamin K. Make them the star of your entrée or add them to soup, salad, or stir fry.

 

Broccoli BodyBuilding.com

 

 

2. Broccoli
Farm-fresh broccoli is as rich in flavor and fiber as it is in protein. Broccoli can be enjoyed raw, steamed, roasted, stir-fried, baked in casseroles or stirred into soups. Broccoli provides over 5 grams of protein per cup and plenty of vitamin A, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin C and vitamin K and high levels of potassium, calcium and phosphorus.

 

Mushroom/fantasticfungi.com

 

3. Mushrooms
Mushrooms are a protein-rich food but are better known for their savory flavors, meaty textures, and versatility in the kitchen. On their own one cup of raw mushrooms has roughly 2 grams of protein – add them to dishes with other veggies for even more flavor and vegetable protein. Ask farmers in your local market which varieties you should try.

b-sprouts

 

 

 

4. Brussels Sprouts
If you’ve never seen brussels sprouts fresh on the stalk, you’ve got to find them in person at your farmers market this season. This tiny, protein-packed (about 4 grams of protein per cup) cruciferous vegetable may have gotten a bad rap in popular culture, but you’ll love what happens when you roast them with a little olive oil and your favorite spices.

 

Asparagus/Bembu.com

 

 

 

5. Asparagus
Asparagus is a wonderful vegetable for summer being perfect for the grill, roasting, quick blanching, or even eating raw. This veggie contains up to 4 grams of protein per cup and also adds a lot of fiber and minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, folate and chromium to your meal. Asparagus looks fancy, but it’s an easy-to-cook nutritional powerhouse.

 

 

artichoke

 

 

6. Artichokes
Artichokes might be known for their flavor and fiber content, but they have substantial protein to offer as well (roughly the same as spinach). These flowers can be blended, steamed, roasted, or transformed into a delicious dip. Get fresh artichokes at the farmers market and your dinner guests will be more than impressed with a meatless spread.

 

Spinach/Bembu.com

 

 

7. Spinach
Spinach is probably the most famous protein-rich veggie in the bunch; this vibrant seasonal green is not to be missed. Spinach shines as a raw ingredient in salad, sautéed with other veggies, or blended in green juices and smoothies. With over 5 grams of protein per cup, spinach makes getting your daily servings of protein easy.

 

 

Farmers Market Protein: Kale

 

 

8. Kale
Kale is a versatile, protein-filled green that works well in everything from salads and smoothies to soups and casseroles. With nearly as much protein per serving as spinach, kale offers fiber, vitamin A, and more vitamin C per serving than oranges. Farmers cultivate a variety of types of kale, including curly, frilled, and textured “dinosaur” leaves.

 

 

Farmers Market Protein: Cauliflower

 

 

9. Cauliflower
A cruciferous cousin of broccoli, cauliflower makes a moderate protein impact of its own while adding texture and body to meatless meals. Cut your fresh head of cauliflower into thick slices width-wise to make cauliflower steaks, chop into florets and swap in for broccoli in your favorite recipes, or mash it with potatoes to a less starchy alternative.

 

 

 

Farmers markets offer a huge variety of protein-rich foods to make your Meatless Monday fresh, tasty and healthy. Stop by your local market to find even more ideas for delicious meals this season!

 

Hungry for more fresh farmers market finds? Tour the Union Square Greenmarket with Chef Bryce Shuman of Betony Restaurant in NYC: