Getting Protein Without Eating Meat
I apologize that it has been a while since my last post. Between the craziness of summer and starting a new job at the Fairmont Royal York I have not had a minute to write to you but I assure you I will be back at it now that summer is over, I’m settled into my job and can get back into a routine.
My latest post is all about how to get protein from your diet without resorting to meat. While I am not vegetarian, I try to stay away from meat as much as possible, especially red meat.
I don’t think I need to explain to you too much about why that is. Between the moral reasons, the environmental reasons and the health reasons it seems pretty obvious. So here are a few tried and true recipes that are easy to whip up, high in protein and just might become some of your go to dishes on a daily basis.
Indian Style Lentils (serves 4)
The first dish I want to share is a straight forward lentil dish that is easy to put your own spin on.
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups green lentils
1 13/4 cups of vegetable stock
1/2 medium white onion, cut julienne
1 tbsp garam marsala
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
How To Make: Make sure to rinse your lentils thoroughly and scan for any small stones or pebbles that might be hiding within them. In a large saucepan over medium heat add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Once oil is hot toss in your chopped onion and let cook until soft and golden, about 3 minutes. Once onions are cooked add in your lentils and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down heat to a low simmer, stir in 1 tbsp of garam marsala and cover for about 20 mins, until lentils are soft and tender. Lentils are great over quinoa or brown rice as well as with tofu and tzatziki sauce. Sometimes I even crack an egg over top of my lentils, cover them with tin foil and bake it until the egg is cooked but the yolk is still runny. Delicious!!
Chickpea and Quinoa Latkes (makes about 6 latkes)
My next dish is a go to of mine because I always seem to have the ingredients on hand at any given time.
Ingredients: 1 cup cooked quinoa
1 can (540mL) chickpeas
1 tbsp pesto
1 handful of spinach, finely chopped
Oil for frying
How To Make: Rinse your chickpeas and put them into a big bowl. With a potato masher (or in a food processor, if you prefer) mash the beans until soft. Add your quinoa, egg, pesto and spinach and combine well. You should have a nice gooey dough. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add a couple tablespoons of oil; we’re going to fry these babies! With a large spoon, ladle small portions of your dough and place in the hot oil (should be sizzling). I find it easiest to shape the dough once it’s in the pan using my flipper. I do two latkes at a time, giving them a couple minutes to get golden brown on each side.
This recipe is also open to interpretation. I’ve added jalapeno, tomato, onion etc. and they’re always great. Just remember not to add too many extra ingredients because the dough will not bind. I also serve these with tzatziki and serve them with black olives. It’s honestly one of my favourite meals!
Asian Crunch Salad
This recipe is a take on one I found in a Martha Stewart cook book. Feel free to add any other vegetables you have kicking around!
Ingredients: 1 cup corn (frozen)
1 cup edamame beans
1 small tomato, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 can (540mL) canellini beans
1 large carrot, grated
Dressing: 2 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce if you prefer)
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp fresh garlic, minced
2 tsp chili flakes
How To Make: I don’t think I have to explain much with this one. Make sure to rinse the beans thoroughly before placing in a large bowl. Add in the rest of the vegetables and in a separate small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the dressing. Toss the vegetables with the dressing and serve. It’s even better after a few hours, once the vegetables have had a chance to marinate in the bowl.
So there you have it! Three ways to make a meal that is high in protein but completely free of any meat whatsoever. So while I’m not promising I’ll be able to say no to bacon double cheeseburgers every time, I can say that I have no trouble finding ways on a daily basis to get what I need out of my meals while not resorting to eating animals and that I feel great!