10 High-Protein Vegan Recipes | VegNews

Current marketing trends place too much emphasis on protein. The truth is that the vast majority of Americans get plenty of this macronutrient, no matter what diet they follow. However, there are situations that may require some individuals to pay a little more attention to their protein intake. Athletes need more protein than those who live sedentary lifestyles – about 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight versus an average of 0.8 grams per kilogram.

Other health conditions or goals can also raise a person’s daily protein quota for a period of time. Vegan meals can pack protein as well as animal-based meals, and those meals can be more varied than mixing plant-based protein powder into everything (this works, though). Here are the answers to all your plant-based protein questions, plus 10 high-protein vegan recipes to get your macros every day.

Are vegans getting enough protein?

Most vegans don’t have to worry about getting enough protein. All natural foods naturally contain protein, so if you eat a mostly whole food, plant-based diet and consume enough calories for your needs, then you don’t have to squash any numbers – you’ll get enough protein without thinking.

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For those who enjoy the quantitative aspect of nutrition, protein requirements are fairly easy to calculate. The USDA’s Recommended Daily Allowance is 0.36 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. To calculate your protein needs, multiply your weight by 0.36 and the result is the number of grams of protein you need each day. For example, a 130-pound woman should aim for 46.8 grams of protein per day and a 170-pound man should aim for 61.2 grams of protein per day.

Note: This formula is designed for the “average” individual – someone who can exercise occasionally but not at high intensities or most of the week. Those who are more active—those who exercise at a moderate to high intensity at least four days a week—should aim for 0.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This is a general guide; To truly optimize performance, a plant-based dietitian can help you fine-tune your complete protein needs based on your activity level.

Given these average daily protein requirements — between 47 grams and 61 grams — it’s not hard for vegans to naturally consume enough protein. Let’s say you ate a bowl of oatmeal and a piece of nut butter every morning. The soy or pea milk you use to cook the oats contains eight grams of protein. Half a cup of oats contains five grams of protein. And a tablespoon of peanut butter will provide an extra four grams of protein. In total, 17 grams of protein for just one morning meal. Add in lunch, dinner, and snacks and you’re well into the protein comfort zone.

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It is worth repeating this: All foods contain some protein. Yes, there are serious differences in protein content between foods, but technically speaking, there is protein in every food. In fact, if he eats just 2,000 calories’ worth of broccoli each day, he’ll still get 146 grams of protein. (Please, don’t actually try to eat 2,000 calories of broccoli – we’re just using this example to prove a point.) Vegetables also have protein, and it’s not necessary to rely on animals for their protein content.

Common vegan protein sources include nuts and seeds, grains, beans and legumes, seitan, plant-based protein powder, soy or pea milk, and plant-based meats. There’s a wide variety to choose from, making the vegan diet anything but boring and bland.


High protein vegan foods

First, let’s define what high protein means. There’s no technical or legal definition for high protein—which is why you’ll find it added to just about every food product—but for our sake we set the bar at eight grams per single serving. Why is that? Why? The dairy industry touts cow’s milk as a high-protein food, and a glass of cow’s milk (like pea or soy milk) contains eight grams of protein. So anyone who argues that eight grams isn’t high protein can argue that with dairy marketing giants.

Plant-based meats set a new bar for high-protein plant foods. Traditional vegan burger patties and other beef alternatives provide up to 20 grams of protein, and plant-based butchers outrank store-bought options with protein counts in their high 20s. For example, The Very Good Butcher’s Ribz has a terrific 27 grams of protein per 100 gram serving. With just 150 calories and 3.5 grams of fat, this nutritional profile is unmatched when compared to cow- or pork-based ribs with over 230 calories, 17 grams of fat and 18 grams of protein.

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Vegan protein powder can also provide a significant protein boost. Most brands contain between 18 grams and 30 grams of protein per serving. In a pinch, adding a scoop to a smoothie or bowl of oats can almost guarantee you’ll fill your protein quota.

Whole plant-based protein sources include tofu, quinoa, lentils, soy and pea milk, and peanut butter. Yes, while other nut butters contain a fair amount of protein, old-school peanut butter excels with this macronutrient.

10 high protein vegan recipes


one High Protein Vegan Quinoa Hemp Tabouli

Combine a protein-heavy grain like quinoa with an equally robust seed like hemp and you have a protein-packed grain and herb salad like tabouli. Top this on heated pita bread or top a Mediterranean-inspired Buddha bowl for added texture, flavor, and nutrition.
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2 Vegan and Gluten-Free Black Bean Cake

Dessert shouldn’t be the food you rely on to hit your protein goals, but a protein-heavy dessert won’t hurt. These sugary muffins provide a moderate amount of protein, adding not only black beans, but also quinoa flour and a healthy dose of chia seeds and walnuts. Wash one down with a glass of chilled soy milk and your humble dessert carries the protein equivalent of a small meal.
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3 Vegan Sticky Dessert Char-Siu Tofu

The protein content of tofu varies depending on the type of tofu; Silky tofu weighs around four grams, while extra-firm tofu weighs around nine grams. Get a high-protein tofu like Wildwood and you’ll consume more than 14 grams per serving. The thing is, tofu is naturally high in protein, but sometimes we crave a preparation outside of our daily whipping or frying technique. These roasted tofu sheets are bold in flavor and high in protein. Go ahead, there are seconds.
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4 Chocolate Vegan Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl

on the go? Dilute this high-protein smoothie bowl of banana, chocolate plant-based protein powder, and creamy peanut butter with a little extra soy or pea milk for a sluggish breakfast or post-workout topping. No matter how you take it, the protein count will be in the double digits.
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5 Vegan Protein Pancakes with Spinach and Chia

Sweet and healthy enough for breakfast, this morning relies on spinach and chia seeds to provide a powerful protein boost. Don’t you like chia? Use mini vegan chocolate chips instead, or add a pinch of your favorite plant-based vanilla protein powder to your dough.
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6 Vegan Snickerdoodle Energy Bites in Two Steps

These easy, healthy, cookie-inspired energy bites are made with almond butter for a nutty, slightly sweet, protein-packed snack that’s perfect for busy days. Enjoy long walks, summer beach days or in between Target runs.
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7 Meaty Vegan Tempeh & Broccoli

While we expect chains like Panda Express to offer a plant-based Beef & Broccoli option, this beefy tempeh version will do just fine. Tempeh is a longstanding vegan protein source made from fermented soybeans. A three-ounce serving contains 18 grams of protein. Combine that with a heavy serving of broccoli and you have a high-protein meal that simultaneously scratches that itch to purge.
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8 Vegan Pumpkin Sage Pasta with Blackened Tempeh

Yes, tempeh provides a solid amount of plant-based protein, but to really boost the nutrition, choose a bean-based pasta like Banza. A reasonable two-ounce serving packs an impressive 11 grams of protein, thanks to the chickpea flour base. Think of this comforting meal as an adult version of hot dog slices and mac and cheese.
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VegNews.SweetPotatoChili.jpgHannah Kaminsky

9Vegan Sweet Potato Chili

After you’ve been vegan for a while, you’ll realize that the main course doesn’t have to provide most of your protein. Sides can be more than enough to provide both essential nutrients and satiety. Pair these delicious, slightly sweet and succulent baked beans with steamed kale and corn on the cob for a tempting meal made from the best sides.
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10 Vegan White Beans & Pozole Verde

In this belly-warming pozole, Seitan represents traditional animal products. Meaty chunks made from vital wheat gluten provide the necessary texture and chewiness for this hearty stew plus 18 grams of protein. Combine that with a can of creamy and protein-rich white beans and this soup will be eaten like a meal.
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