I want to talk about protein today. And I would love to hear new ideas from you ! We are vegetarians. Everyone whether a vegetarian or not , is always concerned about ‘how vegetarians get proteins into their food ?’ . Here the top 5 protein rich vegetarian ingredients I mix and match in my various recipes for more protein.
Milk : Cheese, Yogurt, Cottage Cheese
We are very lucky to have a toddler who loves milk ! She eats all milk products with a great interest . She will take milk over any other food anytime J . Milk products are easy to mix in any kind of food . Ways to mix in milk –products :
1. Make dough for Roti/Parantha [ Indian Flat-Bread] in Fat-Free Milk or Cottage Cheese instead of water .
2. Buy several kinds of Cheese slices - mozzarella, american, swiss, colby-jack,vegan etc. and Cheese sticks for snacks and sandwiches.
3. Yogurt is a very healthy way to include Proteins,Calcium as well as probiotics in your diet. I don’t buy the sweetened yogurt over the counter . They have way too much sugar. We make yogurt ourselves at home. Here is the way you make your own yogurt easily like a breeze. This home made yogurt is healthier, more natural and has a greater probiotic factor to it.
4. I make cottage cheese [Paneer] at home and my daughter loves to eat it as it is .Here is the way to make your own Cottage Cheese. Cottage Cheese made at home is so much more flavorful than any cottage cheese you would buy at store.
Lentils and Legumes: Lentils can be around 20 or more kinds . Largest variety can be found in any Indian store and the most basic ones can be found in any grocery store . They have very distinct flavor which vary largely from one another.Chick Peas and Kidney Beans come under the same category. Ways to mix in lentils:
1. Chick Peas , Lima Beans and Red Kidney Beans can be bought dry and then boiled to be used in Salads or just as a snack . Sprinkle your favorite spice on them to make them taste even better! Canned beans can be used to save time .
2. All the lentils can be cooked in the same way as mentioned in this Lentil Recipe. This tastes yummy and can be eaten as a soup or with a bread or naan!
3. Mix them up or boil individually with less amount of water to attain a more solidified form . They can then be stuffed into breads , crouquettes or can be used as an ingredient in making dough for a bread
4. Grind your favorite beans with your favorite herbs and spices in a blender to make a dip to savor with chips or steamed veggies.
Soy : Edamame, Soy Milk, Tofu
1. Add Edamame to salads , soups and snacks. They have a great flavor !
2. Add soy Milk to soups , curries to add a nutty flavor.
3. Add soy milk to your baking recipes to create a vegan wonder !
4. Tofu is a wonderful addition to stir fried veggies.
5. Grilled Tofu on a stick along with other grilled veggies look and taste yummy !
Nut – Butters , nuts ,seeds
1. Almond or peanut butter taste great with or without jellies on multigrain breads.
2. Adding seeds and nuts to salads and soups add a great crunch and flavor.
3. Soak almonds overnight and then grind them to a puree with the help of minimum required water in a blender. Freeze in ice trays. Empty out the almond cubes in ziplocs. Use as you want !! This is a great time saving way to incorporate almonds in your smoothies, oatmeal etc.
Grains : Wheat,Brown Rice , Oats, Barley and many more
1. Always use least processed form of grains. That retains the nutrients to their best quantity and quality.
2. Use brown rice instead of White .
3. Eat Oatmeal for breakfast . You’ll be happier J
4. Buy grains and boil them in water . When they are soft, drail water if left. Use these grains in any way you like --- Soups, Salads,Pilafs or just plain snack !!
These are a few ways I use in my daily cooking. Please share any tricks you know for easy additions of proteins !
Have a Happy and Protein-Rich Cooking experience!
Image Credits @Idea go , @vitasamb2001 , @Paul , @m_bartosch , @Simon Howden