Meatless Mondays: Meatless Protein Sources

04 Aug
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A big concern surrounding the vegetarian or vegan diet is a lack of protein.  People often believe that meat is the only strong source of protein.  However, there are many other foods that are full of protein. 

Quinoa: Containing 8 grams of protein per cup, quinoa is a great substitute for rice or couscous as it has the highest concentration of protein.

Chia: Chia seeds are the highest plant source for omega-3s and are also a good source of fiber and protein.  For each tablespoon of seeds, there are 2 grams of protein.  These can be used to top off any dish or mixed into beverages. 

Nuts and Nut Butters:  Most nuts have about 5 or 6 grams of protein per ounce and can be used in many diverse ways.  Try to get nuts and nut butters without added sugars and sodium.

Chick Peas: Also known as Garbanzo Beans, these legumes can be pureed into hummus or used to top a salad.  Half a cup of them contains 7.3 grams of protein, as well as being high in fiber and low in calories so eat up!


Edamame: Edamame contains 8.4 grams of protein per half cup. Once boiled and shelled they can be consumed hot or cold.  You can also add them to your favorite salad or pasta dish!

Try this protein packed recipe for quinoa with tomatoes, avocados, corn and lime:


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion, from one small onion
  • 1 cup pre-washed quinoa (if not pre-washed, follow package instructions for rinsing)
  • 1-2/3 cups low sodium vegetable broth (recommended brand: Swanson Organic)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes, from 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1-1/4 cups fresh cut cooked corn, from 2 cobs
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, from 1 large lime
  • 1 avocado, cut into bite-sized chunks


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

2.  Add quinoa to onions and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes. Add vegetable broth and stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil. Cover pan tightly with lid, turn heat down to low and simmer for 17-20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Transfer cooked quinoa to mixing bowl and chill in refrigerator.

3. When quinoa is cool, add remaining tablespoon olive oil, tomatoes, corn, scallions, jalapeno, cilantro, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Right before serving, scatter avocado chunks over top.

Zoë Naseef

Sources: Greatist,, abc.go,

Last modified on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 08:37

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