Family * Travel * Food

Dec 29, 2020

Protein Sources for A Healthy Vegetarian Lifestyle

Are you considering moving toward a vegetarian lifestyle? If so, check out these helpful tips on how to incorporate more protein in your diet. 


Since meat and dairy products are the richest sources of protein, non-vegetarians can afford not to monitor their protein intake rigorously. However, if you’re a vegetarian, making sure you’re getting the right amount of daily protein is crucial to your health and well-being. Because protein is a critical nutrient without which you cannot stay healthy and active, you need to plan your diet around it. 

Here is a list of protein sources to include in your nutrition plan so you can maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

Soybeans 
No doubt, soybeans are the best protein source you can find as a vegetarian. Most importantly, soybeans are considered a whole protein source because they contain all nine essential amino acids that the body needs. Because meat products provide complete protein whereas most plants provide incomplete protein, soybeans are an excellent replacement for meat. Learn more about Sustainable Soy to get the whole range of health benefits from this essential plant. Besides tofu or tempeh, you can incorporate soybeans into a wide variety of delicious vegetarian recipes. 

Lentils
Made up of 25% protein, lentils are an excellent protein source and meat alternative. Although today these highly-nutritious and inexpensive legumes are often neglected, lentils were considered in the past the equivalent of a superfood, in many cultures around the world. Besides containing a high amount of protein, lentils are packed with other nutrients, including magnesium, potassium, zinc, B vitamins, and iron. Lentils are also very versatile when cooked so you can include them easily in your diet. From lentil soup to salads, there’s a wide variety of choices. 


Chickpeas & Beans
Most varieties of beans contain high amounts of protein. This includes chickpeas, which are also known as garbanzo beans. Whether you prefer kidney, pinto, or black beans, you can get at least 15 grams of protein from each cooked cup.  In addition, beans contain iron, fiber, potassium, and several other crucial nutrients. A diet rich in chickpeas and beans not only can help you keep your protein intake at an optimal level, but can also bring you many health benefits such as low cholesterol, balanced blood sugar level, and reduced belly fat

Hemp seeds 
Although soybeans and legumes are known for being great protein sources, few people know about hemp seeds. Not only that hemp seeds provide whole protein, but they also contain 50% more protein than the popular flax seeds and chia seeds. They’re also a source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium. You can add hemp seeds to your salad, oatmeal, or daily smoothie, but you can also include it as an primary ingredient in granola bars or vegetarian desserts. 
Being a vegetarian doesn’t require a compromise in nutrition quality, as some people wrongly assume. There are plenty of high-protein vegetarian foods and ingredients you can add to your diet that will help you maintain excellent health. The only thing to remember is to diversify your diet to include a variety of protein sources since most plants don’t provide whole protein. 
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Jul 6, 2019

Southern Caviar aka Black Eyed Pea Salad Recipe

Over the years, I have been to several events where a special dish called "Southern Caviar" was on the buffet table. I have tried it a few times and loved it so much. If you've never tried it before, it's a flavorful and fresh dip/salsa/salad that you eat with tortilla chips. I recently got to thinking about making it myself and did a Pinterest search for recipes. I was overwhelmed by the number of recipes that popped up. I think I gave up after viewing so many and finally decided on a few that really looked delicious. 

I ended up using those recipes as a guide to making my own version. When I made it, I was afraid because it was A LOT. Trust me, we didn't have a whole lot left over once the family tried it. It is so good that you can't stop eating it. The best part is that it's easy to make with no cooking required, which is perfect during the hotter months. Check out the recipe below. 

Ingredients:
2 cans of black eyed peas (drained and rinsed)
1/2 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1/2 bag of thawed frozen sweet corn
1/2 cup of finely diced cucumber
1/2 of a medium red onion finely minced
1 jalapeno seeded and finely minced
1 stalk of celery finely diced
3 Roma tomatoes chopped
chopped cilantro to your taste, about 3 tbsp

Dressing:
Kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste
5 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp of sugar

Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup. Toss everything together and serve with your favorite tortilla chips. Easy, huh?


You are supposed to let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours, but some of us could not wait. It is so good with the scoopable variety of tortilla chips or even corn chips. This would be perfect on top of Jasmine rice and then topped with chopped avocado as a vegetarian bowl. Yum!

Check out these other delcious recipes:
The Perfect Potato Salad To Take To A Cookout
Perfect Margarita Recipe
4 Ingredient Greek Pasta Salad

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by!
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Jun 6, 2018

4 Ingredient Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

Have you ever eaten something before that was so delicious that you couldn't stop thinking about it? That's how I felt after having some Greek pasta salad from a local restaurant. I was lucky enough to have a friend share what goes in it so I could recreate it at home. The best part is it only requires four ingredients!

Here's what you need: 

2 cups Orecchiette pasta (uncooked)
1 4-ounce container of crumbled Feta cheese
2-3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
A handful of fresh basil, chopped

How to make it: 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add a generous amount of salt. Boil pasta for about 12-15 minutes, or to the doneness you prefer. I find this type of pasta to be way undercooked from following the package instructions. Drain pasta and cool. I like to toss it in a bowl and pop it in the freezer for about 8-10 minutes to get a quick chill. Chop your tomatoes and basil. Now all you do is toss pasta, tomatoes, basil, and Feta together. That is it!


This Greek pasta salad is a great item to take to a cookout or potluck. It can be made the day before. So easy, right? It pairs very well with grilled chicken or steak. If you decide to try this recipe, let me know how you liked it. Thanks for stopping by today. 
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Jul 10, 2015

Prepare Tasty Meatless Summer Meals

Summer is the season for easy living and cool foods. When the sun is shining and the temperatures are rising, no one wants to be slaving over a hot stove in the kitchen. This is also the time of year when farm fresh fruits and vegetables are in abundance. If you are embracing the meatless lifestyle, there are plenty of delicious meat-free dishes to prepare for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Breakfast

Breakfast has been called the most important meal of the day. It can set the tone for your mood and energy, so feed yourself healthy items that meet your protein needs and tantalize your taste buds. For example:

  • Smoothie: The beauty of smoothies is that you can alter them to suit your taste. First, combine fruits such as frozen berries and sliced bananas to create your smoothie base. Next add a protein source, such as nut butter, nuts, or protein powder. You can also toss in some coconut or chia seeds, too, and then blend and drink. 
  • Smoothie bowl: You can also create a smoothie bowl by keeping some of the ingredients whole and topping them with a smoothie-base dressing. Yum!

Lunch

For lunch, use the bounty of the season to create delectable salads and wraps. Try this meatless midday meal:

  • Greek Salad Wrap: Make a salad with romaine, spinach, cucumber slices, and crumbled feta. Heat either tempeh or chikn strips in oil until browned, and then mix up a dressing of plain yogurt, Italian seasoning, and lemon juice. Layer in flour tortillas, and there you have it: a cool and satisfying summer lunch.
  • Hearty Salad: Combine quinoa, black beans, avocado, and corn. Layer over lettuce and add citrus slices. Top with orange lime vinaigrette.

Dinner

You can create filling meat-free dinners without heating up the kitchen by stir-frying, grilling, and cooking up pasta dishes. Some favorites for dinner are:

  • Spaghetti with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes: Buy multicolored tomatoes from your local farmers’ market, or grow your own. Sauté them in olive oil, basil leaves, salt, and pepper. Boil four quarts of water, toss in eight ounces of uncooked spaghetti, and cook until soft. Drain the pasta, mix with the tomato mixture, and add some crumbled goat cheese. This is a beautiful, colorful dish!
  • Stir-fry veggies and tofu: Pick up the freshest looking veggies at your grocery store or farmers’ market. Some great vegetables to stir-fry are mushrooms, broccoli, onions, carrots, zucchini, and bell peppers. Buy the items that attract your eye with their bright hues and freshness, like orange/red bell peppers, golden zucchini, and deep green broccoli. Chop, slice, and dice the veggies, sauté in olive oil with chunks of tofu, and serve with steamed brown rice. Sprinkle nuts on top for additional grams of protein.
  • Veggie burgers: Grill veggie burgers on your BBQ, just like you would barbecue hamburgers. Serve on whole grain buns with an assortment of fixings, and you’ve got a classic summer meal.

Summer is the time to relax, slow down, and enjoy the season’s bounty of fresh produce. You can make meatless dishes that will satisfy your taste buds and nutritional requirements. Take advantage of all the fruits and vegetables that are ripe and ready to be cooked into recipes for your dining pleasure.

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Oct 5, 2014

Unique Naan Pizzas from Tandoor Chef- Review

October is National Pizza Month and pizza lovers everywhere should celebrate! Pizza seems to be the one food that is a go-to favorite. My family loves pizza and likes trying different varieties. Tandoor Chef has come out with a line of Naan Pizzas in some very unique varieties:  Cilantro-pesto, Roasted Eggplant, Margherita, Spinach & Paneer Cheese and Jalapeño. The minute I saw eggplant, I knew I had to try it.
They hand-stretch their naan and all of the ingredients are natural and contain no GMO's. This variety is also vegetarian which is a plus. But, what about the taste? I really thought this came from one of those swanky pizza places that makes specialty varieties with a big price tag attached. It was truly restaurant quality in every way. The flavors were very bold and they did not skimp on the eggplant. I reserved a piece for my husband to try and he never thought the day would come that he would like any food with eggplant on it. We were both impressed!
Tandoor Chef Naan Pizzas are great option if you are looking for a different take on ordinary pizza. I found them at my local Whole Foods market and will be requesting that my regular grocery stores consider carrying them. You can look up your city in the store locator. I don't think I will have to order out anymore with these fabulous pizzas! If you are able to find them, I very highly recommend you give it a try. Don't be mad at me when you become hooked though :-)

You can learn more about Tandoor Chef naan pizzas and other entrees on the web, Facebook and Twitter.

I received product vouchers for complimentary items for review purposes. All opinions are my own as always. 
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