Protein is an important part of every diet, but for vegans, it can be hard to get enough protein to help you stay full.
What food sources have protein?
Outside of the typical meat options, there are plenty of vegan protein options, you just have to prep and get a little creative.
1. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts, seeds, and nut butters are good, low carb options that can provide a good protein source as well.
Add walnuts, almonds, or pecans to a salad to add protein without meat. Even if you're not vegan or vegetarian, this is a great option for work lunches so you don't have to worry about keeping food refrigerated all day!
2. Beans and legumes
Chickpeas and black beans are great options, along with a few other bean and legume choices. While they aren't carb free or really even low carb, they do have a good amount of fiber to help balance out the carbs and keep you full.
For a complete protein (22 amino acids) add corn to black beans and you'll help build lean muscles one amino acid at a time. Red beans and rice can also be a complete protein option.
3. Tofu, tempeh, and edamame
These are good options for creating meal time protein options. They typically soak up flavors of whatever you're cooking so the world is your oyster.
Add edamame to salad for even more of a protein boost!
4. Buckwheat, quinoa, and other whole grains
While another option that does contain carbohydrates, whole grains contain a good amount of protein as well. It's recommmended to make at least half of your daily grains, whole grains. That will help increase protein, fiber, and B vitamins.
Get creative with breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
For breakfast, try a healthy and filling oatmeal option. Leave out any cheese and add some hummus for added creaminess. (Typically, I can find the flavored hummus at aldi). For added protein, try my favorite protein powder Plantfusion.
Lunch is my favorite meal to leave out the meat on! Honestly, it keeps lunch at work super simple. But, if you're leaving out meat and cheeses, you definitely want to bulk up the vegetables so you stay fuller longer. Try replacing any cheese in these salad options with nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast will give you a vegan boost if B vitamins and protein while adding a cheesy type flavor!
Dinner is my favorite time of the day and vegan options can be kind of tricky. This black bean and corn tostada is one of my favorites. It's super easy for a weeknight and the cheese is easily replaced with nutritional yeast for a delicious dinner!
Dairy free swaps!
Check out this cheat sheet for dairy free swaps to help make vegan even easier!
If you're up for a treat, you've got to try these vegan cinnamon rolls! They are my absolute favorite at Christmas (and any time you need something special to serve a crowd)!