High Protein Vegan Stuff

My friend recently went pescatarian, which is dope, buuuut she said she wasn't feeling great and needed some more protein because she's new to it and so I stepped up and offered to share some recipes because why not? What woman with a five-month old doesn't want to do it all?

Seriously though, my husband works landscaping and has always needed a ton of protein for lunch. Also, when I was prego I ate a ton of protein because ya know, growing a human takes some serious nutrition. So I feel like I have a lot of high protein stuff in my repertoire. I'm also really lazy so these are seriously some of the easiest things to make when you just don't have four hours to meal prep.

Some dirty tricks for sneaking more protein in are to keep a lot of high-protein non-dairy milks around. Also, I like to blend a block of tofu into my tomato sauce whenever I make pasta.

Also, you have to make sure you're getting all your amino chains along with the protein. I normally add a dash of Liquid Aminos to whatever I'm cooking just for extra savory flavor. I also sprinkle everything with hemp seeds because they're a complete amino change. Finally, don't forget to supplement B12. Meat eaters only get it because it's also added to the feed for livestock but really everyone should do this because it's a difficult vitamin to absorb.

OKAY! So here is my lazy girl's guide to eating a ton of plant-based protein because, duh, it's great:

 Breakfast Options:

Green Monster Smoothie with Spirulina (25-30g):
Protein here just depends on how much of each ingredient you add. I like to have my green monster with Bolthouse, which has about 10g of protein per cup anyway, so mine usually has 30+ grams of protein in it. I blend: nondairy milk, kale or spinach, peanut butter, hemp seeds, flax and/or chia seeds, protein powder (mine is for breastfeeding and has a chocolate flavor but any kind works), and spirulina.

Chia Seed Pudding with Bolthouse Protein (25g):
Mix 3 tablespoons of chia seeds for every 1 cup of Bolthouse milk. Add in a generous amount of maple syrup and some vanilla or almond extract. If you're fancy you can also add in some coconut shreds but typically I keep the base simple and get fancy with toppings. My favorite toppings are brown rice syrup, bananas, walnuts, and hemp seeds. It's dessert breakfast!

Tofu Scramble with Tempeh Bacon and Avocado (25g):
Take a block of tofu and get it sauteing with some oil. Add garlic salt, pepper, cumin, nutritional yeast, and turmeric according to taste. I like a lot of spice so I normally throw some cayenne and some smoked paprika in there as well. Be patient and let your tofu get a little crispy on the bottom before you move it around with your spatula. Less is more here. I use Hot for Food's tempeh bacon marinade and make it in massive batches because we eat it on everything. Add a couple strips and then top with Avocado and sriracha if you can stand the heat.

Do You Even Oatmeal Bro? with Seeds (40g):
My oatmeal love is serious. I chop up dates because they're good protein and sweet without being sugary, lots of seeds (hemp, flax, and chia) for crunch-factor, more frozen or dried fruit depending on what I want that day, and a lot of walnuts or pecans. I top the whole thing with maple syrup or some sweet non-dairy creamer. I honestly eat this as much as possible because it's the one breakfast that can subdue breastfeeding hunger and also contributes to supply. Fun facts.

Blender Muffins with Seedy Spread (20g):
I just started making these muffins from Pass the Plants recipe and it's now one of my big meal prep items. I've added mini vegan chocolate chips, frozen blueberries, almonds, and these suckers are just so dang adaptable I'm hooked. Did I mention they're also blender muffins and take literally 5 minutes to prep? Plus, Aaron can grab a big container of them and eat them throughout the day and I can snack on them when I get home from work while feeding the baby. WIN WIN. To make these a high-protein meal, I slather these with the seedy peanut or almond butter spread I mentioned in the intro section.

Lunch Options:

Couscous & Red Lentil Curry (24g):
Saute ginger, onions, garlic, and peppers (any kind) then add your red lentils and veg broth ratio as directed on the package. Once the lentils are about halfway done, throw in as much red curry (make sure it's vegan) as you can and about a 1/2 c of tomato sauce for every 2 cups of lentils. (You want it to be like a spread more than a soup consistency.) Squeeze some lemon if you got it and adjust to taste. Slather that red goodness on pita or over couscous but don't forget the fresh cilantro!

Rajma with Hummus & Pita (43g):
Kidney beans, hemp seeds, jalapeno, onion, tomato, red pepper, carrots, vinegar, garlic, lemon juice. Throw that on a pita with chopped spinach a ton of hummus.

Smoked Tempeh Sammies (31g):
This is my jam. I like to make the Thug Kitchen recipe and then throw this on some sprouted bread from La Baguette, our local bakery. I always double the carrots because I'm in love with them and then top with avocado/guac and spinach. As an alternative, you can also rock this Korean Barbecue version from Connoisseurus Veg.

Ethiopian Lentil Salad (18g):
Also my jam from way back. Cooked lentils (cold), jalapenos, hemp seeds, tomatoes, red onions. Mix the dressing with black pepper, salt, dijon mustard, lemon or lime juice, and olive oil. (I normally add garlic too because Aaron is addicted to it.) Side bar: This is super spicy and I eat it with a spoon but I know that's weird so I recommend quinoa because that ups the protein by about 8g and mingles with the dressing really well.

Spring Buddha Bowl (varies):
Buddha Bowls are kind of the bomb because you just take a grain, a protein, and a green and pour sauce on it. Fin. It's like a burrito bowl but with infinity combinations.

My current favorite is stir fried veggies (broccoli and brussel sprouts are high protein), brown rice or quinoa, chopped green onions, whole block of fried or baked tofu tossed with a ton of sauce (sauce is rice wine vinegar, liquid aminos, sriracha, pepper, garlic, ginger, and maple syrup). Top it off with a bunch of sesame seeds so it's cruuuuunchy.

Southwestern Power Salad (22g):
This is my favorite salad ever. (I know. Strong words.) I follow the Cookie + Kate recipe but I always add way more seeds than she says and typically I play that avocado dressing recipe by ear.

Dinner Options:

Tofu Ricotta Stuffed Shells (27g):
I actually did a post on this one! You can make this even simpler by skipping the cashew cheese part and just chopping up a ton of basil, adding lemon juice and garlic, and crumbling the tofu with your hands until it hits the right texture but for a real upscale experience follow the original here. 

Tempeh Peanut Noodles (63g):
Another from the Thug Kitchen. Another side bar: I kind of think the name is pejorative but the food is damn delicious ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Also, if you like the peanut tempeh thing, check out this Marinated Peanut Tempeh from Minimalist Baker.

Seitan Ribs and Shrooms (50g):
This is a Gaz Oakley (my husband Aaron calls him Jazz Oakleaf) recipe for super delicious ribs with a LOT of protein. I really love his seitan ribs but I'm too lazy to make them. Normally our friend Justin makes a big batch and then brings us some because he's a literal angel.

Popcorn Tofu and Broccoli (25g):
This is the easiest of the bunch because you can actually buy tofu pre-cubed and get frozen broccoli and then be a real garbage human and just dump barbecue sauce on the tofu and shovel both into your face really fast in front of the television. Not that I know anyone who does that...anyway. Get about a cup of breadcrumbs and a half cup of flour, throw about a quarter cup of nutrional yeast in there, some garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper, cumin, and smoked paprika. Then lightly coat your tofu cubes in vegannaise and toss it in the dry mixture. Put them on a baking sheet in the oven at 425 degrees for around 35 minutes until they're nice and crispy.

Quinoa Cakes with Sweet Potato Fries (10g):
I admit to being skeptical about this recipe from Oh She Glows but these were so good I almost couldn't bring myself to freeze them. I made these so I could have food while I was in the hospital and even though they're only 10g per cake, you end up eating like six of them so they still count as a high-protein meal. Definitely recommend!

Veggie Chili Dogs/Burgers (15-30g):
This is pretty much the ultimate in laziness and definitely doesn't count as a healthy meal. Still, it's super high protein! I recommend using the Lightlife Smart Dogs or investing in some Beyond Burgers. I always use Amy's Chili because it's vegan and actually delicious even though it's canned. Again, this isn't a healthy meal, per say, but it's less fat than the meat-eater's version and it takes literally 10 minutes from start to finish. 

Lentil Stew (18g):
This is so easy. I get a bag of lentils, 4 or 5 quarts of water, and some veg bouillon going on the stove. While I'm waiting for the lentils to cook, I saute onions and garlic and add that to the broth with a bay leaf and plenty of salt and pepper. Dice up some carrots and potatoes and add them to the pot. Once the carrots and potatoes are soft (about 15 minutes after you add them to the soup) you're ready to eat! Incredible leftovers and super cozy for a snow day.

*All protein totals are approximate and based on a 1 cup serving.

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