Are you concerned about not getting enough protein in your vegetarian diet, but tired of eating only tofu? Here are a few creative ways to get this key nutrient into your daily diet while maintaining the taste and flavors you love.
1. Unflavored Protein Powder
This powder will mix this into your soups, casseroles, or breads seamlessly. A great option if you prefer to not have an item that tastes or looks like meat, and a nice way to hide extra protein for feeding a ‘picky’ family. The 20/20 LifeStyles Protein is a great option.
2. Chickpea or Lentil Flour
Substitute this for enriched white or wheat flour. You also get a nice profile of micronutrients per serving, which enhances your overall diet quality.
3. Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
This product’s granular texture makes it best to mix into hot cereal at breakfast, into soups at lunch or into rice at dinner. It has a nice neutral flavor that will soak up the spices you add to your meals. Check out this create overnight oats recipe with TVP.
4. Plain Greek Yogurt
Use this as a dipping sauce, or to add thick, creamy textures to vegetable dishes. Look for yogurts that have at least twice as much protein as carbohydrate to know that you’ve picked a good option.
5. Crumbled Veggie Burgers
Avoid the monotony of having only vegetable burgers at meals by crumbling them into the variety of rice or vegetable dishes you create. Explore bean, soy or pea protein based options for even more diverse flavors.
Do you know how much protein you should be eating?
Remember, if you are in good overall health, you can target around 1-1.2g of protein per kilogram of your total body weight (Note: 1 kg is equivalent to 2.2 lbs.). This will give you to total amount of protein to target each day. For example, a person who weighs 150 lb. (approximately 68 kg) would aim to consume 68-81 grams of protein per day. Read food labels to start getting more familiar with the amount of protein in your favorite vegetarian foods and see if you’re getting the right amount.
It can be quite challenging to get enough protein, without getting too many carbohydrates. The diet options listed above can be helpful in finding a healthier balance. Enjoy!
By Erika DeRooy, RD, CD, Registered Dietitian at PRO Medical and 20/20 Dietitian Manager