Yes, You Can Go Meatless
and Have Your Protein, Too

April 7th, 2014

farro-risotto2-225x175Everyone who participates in Meatless Monday–those of us who are adding more plant-based meals into our diet–eventually face the same question: how do you get your protein?

The answer is right in your kitchen.

To be sure, eating completely vegetarian one day a week is hardly cause for concern when it comes to protein. The average adult only needs about 50 grams of protein daily, and in general, people are eating much more than that on a daily basis. What’s more, if you keep just a few staples in your pantry, healthy, meatless, protein-packed foods are always at hand, easy to cook, and provide all the protein anyone needs.

One day a week, discover how much protein you can get from green vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Eating an assortment of these foods will easily supply all the protein you need; beans alone have 15 grams of protein in a 1-cup serving, not to mention antioxidants, phytochemicals and tons of fiber. Take that, pot roast!

Green-Apple-Almond-Porridge-225x175This is why Meatless Monday works: every week, more people are realizing that Meatless Monday isn’t about subtraction. It’s about addition.

There are literally thousands of recipes and flavors to explore. Instead of traditional risotto, increase your intake of protein and fiber by replacing Arborio rice with whole farro and stir up a Farro Risotto with Mushrooms and Asparagus. The humble chickpea, by changing up spices and ingredients, can take you from the cuisines of India to Portugal to Mexico. Add a bright spot of flavor and a helping of protein to Morning Oatmeal with Green Apples and Almonds.image010

And that huge salad you’re going to have for lunch? Have it over a bed of intact grains like spelt, brown rice or quinoa, add protein-packed options like edamame and plenty of colorful veggies, and not only will you be doing something good for your health; you won’t have to answer the “protein question” again.

This week’s Feature  Recipe: Spelt & Berry Salad


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