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3 Favourite Plant-Based Protein Recipes

Dear SJ readers: please don’t hate me for what I am about to tell you.

plantsA few weeks ago, after a lot of thought and practise runs in my head, I ‘came out’ to my family. I chose a good moment in the evening—quiet, relaxed, after my dad had finished bottling his home-made wine and (very unusually) didn’t seem to have anything to do. I offered them a cup of tea. And I told them: look, guys, I’m going vegan again.

There was mild horror on their faces. My dad took it pretty well, probably because he’s used to me announcing that I am Going On A Diet and eating only lean chicken and eggs for a couple of days before finding that I start saying yes to helpings of apple crumble at the Sunday dinner. My stepmum, on the other hand, was furious. “So does this mean you are not eating turkey on Christmas Day?! Where will you get your protein?!”

Sidenote: Cringe. There are hundreds of plant-based sources of protein.

I have since made a Herculean effort to provide nourishing meals that are positively chockablock with veg-powered protein sources. The results have been quite delicious – a pleasant surprise to the ever-disdainful hoards of relatives who will undoubtedly give me an ear-bashing every time I sit round the dinner table with them. 

If you’re interested in introducing more plant-based protein sources to your table – or perhaps already count yourself a fully-converted herbivore – then look no further. Here are three fantastic meals you can make that are full of protein, accompanied by the loud, proud (and absolutely true) slogan, ‘no animals were harmed in the making’.

Vegan Lasagne
Serves 6
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350 calories
66 g
0 g
4 g
14 g
1 g
264 g
76 g
5 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
264g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 350
Calories from Fat 35
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
6%
Saturated Fat 1g
3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 76mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 66g
22%
Dietary Fiber 8g
33%
Sugars 5g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
222%
Vitamin C
12%
Calcium
15%
Iron
17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 clove garlic, minced
  3. 1 medium aubergine, diced
  4. 2 10 ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
  5. 1 jar tomato sauce
  6. 1 lb lasagna sheets
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Sautee the garlic for two minutes, then add the aubergine and stir. Cover the frying pan and cook until the aubergine is just tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Cover the bottom of a 9x12 inch baking pan with 2 cups of the tomato sauce, then cover the tomato sauce with 4 or 5 uncooked lasagne sheets. Cover this with a thin layer of sauce, then add the cooked aubergine and another thin layer of sauce. Add another layer of pasta followed by a thin layer of sauce, then the spinach and another thin layer of sauce. Add the remaining pasta and sauce.
  4. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45-50 minutes. The pasta is cooked when it can be pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven, leave to cool, and serve with a big side salad!
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calories
350
fat
4g
protein
14g
carbs
66g
more
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Lentil and Mushroom Bourguignon
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1601 calories
134 g
181 g
85 g
45 g
43 g
1885 g
2759 g
38 g
1 g
33 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1885g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1601
Calories from Fat 746
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 85g
130%
Saturated Fat 43g
217%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 28g
Cholesterol 181mg
60%
Sodium 2759mg
115%
Total Carbohydrates 134g
45%
Dietary Fiber 41g
163%
Sugars 38g
Protein 45g
Vitamin A
79%
Vitamin C
75%
Calcium
48%
Iron
77%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 small onion finely chopped
  3. 2 tbsp butter (or olive oil for vegan version)
  4. 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  5. 1 tsp dried thyme
  6. 2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced
  7. 2 to 3 cups button, brown or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  8. 1/2 cup cooked brown lentils
  9. 1 cup red wine
  10. 1 tbsp flour
  11. 2 to 3 cups vegetable stock
  12. 1 tbsp tomato paste
  13. 1 to 2 cups pearl onions, peeled
  14. Salt and pepper to taste
  15. Sour cream and parsley for garnish (optional - omit sour cream for vegan version)
Instructions
  1. In a large, heavy skillet, heat a drizzle of oil and saute the onion for 2 to 3 minutes, until soft. Add the butter, garlic, thyme and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid, soften and then start to brown. Add another drizzle of oil if the pan seems too dry.
  2. Add the lentils and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, then add the wine and cook for a few minutes more, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet, until the wine has almost cooked off. Sprinkle the flour over the lentil and mushroom mixture and stir to blend, then add the stock and tomato paste.
  3. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and dark and the mushrooms are tender. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more stock.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil in a small skillet and cook the pearl onions over medium-high heat until golden and soft; add to the mushroom mixture. Serve hot, over buttered egg noodles or mashed potatoes.
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calories
1601
fat
85g
protein
45g
carbs
134g
more
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Black Bean & Quinoa Salad
Serves 10
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63 calories
11 g
0 g
1 g
2 g
0 g
74 g
159 g
1 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
74g
Servings
10
Amount Per Serving
Calories 63
Calories from Fat 12
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
2%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 159mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates 11g
4%
Dietary Fiber 1g
6%
Sugars 1g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
10%
Vitamin C
28%
Calcium
1%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (or coconut oil)
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. 1 red bell pepper, diced
  4. 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  5. 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  6. 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  7. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  8. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  9. salt and pepper to taste
  10. 1 cup frozen sweetcorn
  11. 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  12. 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander (not essential - I loathe coriander so I leave this out)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper, and saute until lightly browned. Mix in the garlic and heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the quinoa, then pour in the vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Stir in the frozen sweetcorn and continue to simmer about 5 more minutes, until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the black beans and cilantro. Serve warm - or cold in the summer months as an accompaniment to a barbecue buffet!
beta
calories
63
fat
1g
protein
2g
carbs
11g
more
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About Amy Longworth

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