Following a plant-based diet is becoming more and more popular and it’s helping to reduce the use of animal products. Vegan and vegetarian diets have come a long way, especially in the past few years with non-animal products becoming more widely available in supermarkets, restaurants, and cafes. There are plenty of plant-based and fortified foods out there to make sure you are eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet.
Lentils come in two colours, red or green and both contain plenty of protein, fibre, and key nutrients, including iron and potassium. Cooked lentils usually contain around 8.84 g of protein per ½ cup. Lentils are a great source of protein to add to a lunch or dinner routine as they can be added to stews, curries, salads, or rice to give an extra portion of protein.
Tofu is one of the most versatile and popular plant-based products to include in your diet. Did you know soy products are among the richest sources of protein? Firm tofu (soybean curds) contains about 10 g of protein per ½ cup. Tofu is often used as a meat substitute, for example a tofu steak or in a chicken dish. Soy products also contain good levels of calcium and iron, which makes them great substitutes for dairy products.
Chickpeas were mostly known for being the main ingredient in hummus but have become quite popular in salads or curries on their own. They are worth the hype as cooked chickpeas are high in protein, containing around 7.25 g per ½ cup. Chickpeas can be eaten hot or cold and are highly versatile with plenty of recipes. Hummus especially, can be used as a dip, or a spread on a sandwich for a healthy protein-rich alternative to butter.
Potatoes are a firm favourite and sometimes get a bad name when fried but one large baked potato offers 8 g of protein per serving. Potatoes are also high in other nutrients, such as potassium and vitamin C. Chickpeas and potatoes make a delicious curry and are a great meal to freeze.
Quinoa is a grain with a high protein content and is a complete protein. Cooked quinoa contains 8 g of protein per cup. This grain is also rich in other nutrients, including iron, magnesium, fibre, and manganese. Quinoa salad has become a popular dish and you can usually find it on menus even at pubs!