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Protein Packed Plant Foods recipes

There is a common misconception that people who choose to consume a plant-based diet struggle to eat enough protein. Proteins are built up of amino acids which are very important within our bodies this includes production of DNA, cells, muscles and repair of tissues. Animal products contain all the essential amino acids within the body to maintain good health. Plant products do not contain all the essential amino acids with the exception of tofu.

Combining proteins is the process of adding one plant-based food with half the amino acids with another to create a food/dish with all the essential amino acids.

It’s incredibly important to consume enough protein especially during developmental stages including childhood, adolescence and pregnancy so that kids can grow to their full potential and have the best brains. A lack of protein can cause malnutrition and growth problems. It’s also important to maintain protein consumption during adulthood so tissues can repair themselves easily, recovery from illness can be quick and general health can be maintained.

It is super easy to meet protein requirements within a plant-based diet. Below are two quick easy and satisfying recipes to make sure your day to day eating is protein packed.


Spinach and chickpea frittata


This dish is protein packed, containing chickpeas, spinach and eggs, providing all of the essential amino acids. Aside from being high in protein this frittata is high in iron, b vitamins (b12), calcium, and magnesium. This frittata can be spiced up, made vegan or cheese added for extra calcium. This recipe is super tasty, easy to make, time and cost effective and can be apart of a healthy lunch box or the main course in dinner.

Make time: 10 mins Bake time: 20-30 mins skill level: easy

Ingredients:

- 1 bunch of fresh spinach diced (can be frozen 500g)

- 1 can of drained chickpeas

- 6 free range eggs

- 150ml of milk/milk alternative

- Pinch of salt and pepper

- 1 diced onion

- 2 cloves of grated garlic

- 15ml of olive oil

Optional extras/ingredients and alternatives

- If you love spice this frittata can be made spicy by adding 1 tsp curry powder, cumin and turmeric. The result will taste like an Indian pakora.

- Nitrate free bacon can be added to the frittata to make it taste more quichie

- Vegan option: don’t add eggs or milk instead sauté all other ingredients and eat as a side dish with tofu.

- For a calcium boost add ½ cup grated cheese.

Method:

1) Heat a fry pan on stove will olive oil

2) Grate garlic + dice onion

3) Place onion and garlic into fry pan + cook in till golden brown (if adding bacon add now) (If adding spices add now)

4) Finally chop spinach and add to onion mixture

5) Sauté spinach in till wilted then allow time for spinach mix to cool

6) In a large bowl whisk eggs with milk + add salt and pepper (if adding cheese add it now).

7) Once spinach has cooled add it along with the drained chickpeas to the egg mixture

8) Grease a tin (olive oil)

9) Place mixture into a tin a bake for 20- 30 mins or in till a skewer comes out clean.

- Serve hot with tomato sauce and optional side salad

- Lasts up to 5 days in the fridge

- Perfect for kid’s lunch boxes




Chocolate almond protein balls


It so easy to make your own protein balls, heaps cheaper and less sugar filled than its café alternative. This protein ball can be a great afternoon pick me up snack, providing pre and post gym energy, and excellent lunch box filler for the kids. Almonds are high in protein making you feel fuller for longer. In plant-based eating nuts are fantastic source of healthy protein. This recipe can be made vegan by substituting honey for maple syrup.

Make time: 5 mins roll time: 10 mins skill level: easy

Ingredients:

- 1 cup of almonds

- 1 cup desiccated coconut + 1 cup for rolling

- ¼ cup cocoa powder

- 5 dates

- 2 tbs honey

- ½ tsp vanilla

- 2 tbs coconut oil

Optional extras/ingredients and alternatives

- This recipe can be made vegan by substituting honey for maple syrup

- For extra protein ¼ cup of 100% peanut butter can be added.

Method:

1) Place almonds, coconut, cocoa powder and dates into food processor blend in till desired consistency

2) Add honey, vanilla and coconut oil to the dry ingredients, blend in till dough like sticky consistency.

3) Roll balls in coconut and place on a plate

4) Store in fridge lasts up to a week or in freezer.

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