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No Meat, No Problem! Six Ways to Get Your Plant-Based Protein

Posted by Kristine Ciardello on

Getting enough protein is incredibly important for athletes, busy students, errand-running moms and just about everyone in between. It helps with recovery, satiates after a tough workout, and gives muscles the building blocks they need to repair the tiny tears that working out causes.

But, everyone has different dietary preferences. And protein isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Traditionally, we’ve seen the huge body builders pounding protein shakes made up of cow’s milk and whey protein powder (containing dairy). Or, good protein can be found in lean meats such as ground turkey and chicken breast, maybe over a bed of lettuce or beans.

But what if dairy and meat doesn’t work for you? What if you follow a plant-based diet? Are you out of luck on reaping the body-boosting benefits of protein? Health no!

You can have your protein and feel your best post-workout with these tasty and easy to use sources of plant-based protein:Red lentils, isolated on a white background

Lentils: 17g protein/cup

Perfect for plant-based diets – they’ve got over 17g of protein per cup. You can buy them dry and cook them in vegetable broth to throw in salads, mix with roasted veggies, or just eat on their own. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods sell them pre-cooked for easy access too. Bonus: Packed with fiber too!

Try this vegan one-pot lentils + quinoa dish.

Quinoa: 11g protein/cup

So, so versatile! Eat it like oatmeal (simmer in almond milk – it’s divine!) or mix veggies into it with your favorite vegan sauce or dressing. Quinoa is actually considered a “seed” and is packed full of both carbohydrates and protein. Try your favorite burrito bowl with quinoa next time or check out this quinoa breakfast bowl, made with chai tea and Perfect Bar.

Quinoa RealRice Protein Powder: 24g protein/serving

An easy, on-the-go source of plant based protein. Add a scoop of rice-protein powder to your smoothie, mix it into your oatmeal (or breakfast quinoa!), and bake your favorite healthy cookies with it. A lot of smoothie bars (EarthBar at Equinox Gyms, Barry’s Bootcamps) offer a plant-based protein alternative to whey protein – just ask! Great brands include Vega, SunWarrior and PlantFusion.

Just in time for St. Patty’s get blendin’ with this mint vegan smoothie.

Beans: 13g protein/cup

A great plant-based source of protein that’s both filling and delicious. Dip whole grain crackers or veggies into hummus, make a black bean burger, a veggie bowl (add quinoa for added protein!) or experiment with alternative pastas (did you know they make it with chickpea flour now?).

Try this three-bean summer salad that packs a punch!

Red kidney beans isolate on white.

Perfect Bar: 8g protein/bar

100% vegan ingredients and packed with whole food protein and over 20 organic superfoods. The best to throw in your bag for that post-workout hunger. Or to eat before that “hangry” feeling hits! Try these summer recipes with Perfect Bar for your next family get-together!

Hemp Seeds: 16g protein/cup

Versatile and easy to add to trail-mix, dairy-free yogurt, smoothies or into homemade granola bars. Even simpler? Sprinkle them on your salad for added texture and crunch, or create a creamy texture over pasta, like this vegan alfredo. Hemp seeds superfood

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There’s no stopping you from getting your daily protein intake from plant-based ingredients, so get to cookin’ and share your recipes with us in the comments section below. Enjoy!