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Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or just looking for variety, here’s an easy guide to get you cooking with common plant-based proteins

TOFU

Tofu is a versatile plant protein made from soybeans that can be enjoyed as a protein-packed side dish or as the star of a meal. This plant protein is low in saturated fats, high in polyunsaturated fats, and cholesterol free—making it a healthy addition to any diet.

How To Cook

In a hurry

Only have 10 minutes to spare? Packaged tofu is ready to eat. Simply cut into cubes, season, and enjoy as a quick snack.

Set and forget

Chop a block of tofu into one-inch cubes, toss in a bowl with seasonings and olive oil, then bake for 35 minutes at 350 F.

Light and bright

Tofu scramble is a delicious and light breakfast option. Break up tofu in a pan over medium heat, add seasoning, and voila!

Mix and match

Pair tofu with soy sauce and nutritional yeast, a side of rice, and vegetables. If you know, you know. If you don’t … time to find out!

Tip

Marinate for extra flavor

Tofu absorbs flavor very quickly. Soak tofu in a marinade for a few hours or overnight before cooking to significantly enhance its flavor.

Nutritional info per 1 cup serving:

362 cal; 44 g protein; 22 g fat; 7 g carb (1 g sugar); 35 mg sodium; 6 g fiber

QUINOA

Though technically a seed, quinoa is considered a whole grain. It’s an excellent source of plant protein as it’s one of the rare “complete proteins” in the plant kingdom, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that your body can’t produce on its own. It’s also gluten free!

How To Cook

In a hurry

Batch cook two cups of quinoa and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week.

Set and forget

Season quinoa with salt, pepper, and a dash of turmeric while it’s simmering to add a nice earthy flavor and boost its anti-inflammatory properties.

Light and bright

Try a kale salad tossed with quinoa, apple cider vinegar, and veggies for a nutritious lunch that’s light and high in protein.

Mix and match

Add cooked quinoa to a garden salad loaded with tomato, cucumber, spinach, and freshly squeezed lemon for a boost in calories and protein and a refreshing side to your favorite winter comforts.

Tip

Rinse for better digestion

Quinoa should be rinsed under cold water before cooking to improve digestibility and remove the bitter flavor caused by its protective coating, saponin.

Nutritional info per 1 cup serving:

222 cal; 8 g protein; 4 g fat; 39 g carb (2 g sugar); 13 mg sodium; 5 g fiber

NUTS & SEEDS

With a wide variety of nuts and seeds to choose from, you’re bound to find an option you love. Nuts and seeds are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy fats, and plant protein that protect your heart, boost brain health, and deliver sustainable energy throughout the day.

How To Cook

In a hurry

Keep a jar of your favorite nuts on the kitchen counter. A handful of nuts is a great option when you need a quick snack.

Set and forget

Oven roasted walnuts are great on their own and make a welcomed addition to salads. Toss in oil and seasonings then roast for 10 minutes at 350 F.

Light and bright

Sprinkle flax, chia, or hemp seeds on a smoothie bowl or your morning oatmeal. Add in berries and banana for a nutritious and delicious breakfast.

Mix and match

Nuts and seeds are the cornerstone of any great trail mix. Mix an assortment of almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds with raisins, goji berries, and dried fruit.

Tip

Soak for more nutrition

Soaking nuts in an airtight glass container overnight initiates the sprouting process. Sprouting increases protein content, improves digestion, and helps your body absorb more nutrients.

Nutritional info per 1 cup serving of assorted nuts:

605 cal; 20 g protein; 54 g fat; 21 g carb (5 g sugar); 313 mg sodium; 8 mg fiber

BEANS & LENTILS

Part of the legume family, beans and lentils are an affordable plant protein that pack a ton of nutrition. These tiny protein powerhouses are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and slow-releasing carbs to deliver sustainable energy while improving digestion and gut health.

How To Cook

In a hurry

Canned beans or lentils are your quickest option. Drain and rinse them in a colander before adding to any meal.

Set and forget

Rinse dry beans and cover with water in an oven-safe dish. Bake for up to two hours at 375 F, depending on the variety.

Light and bright

Season and mash beans to make a creamy purée as a dip or side. Add red lentils to a salad for some extra deliciousness.

Mix and match

Pair beans with brown rice, lettuce, onions, and tomatoes for a tasty bowl entrée. Try squirting fresh lemon juice on lentils with mashed avocado for a yummy and rich side dish.

Tip

Boost your iron levels

Vitamin C significantly enhances iron absorption.

Since lentils are an excellent source of iron, pair them with bell peppers, lemon, or other vitamin C-rich foods.

Nutritional info per 1 cup serving:

BEANS: 662 cal; 42 g protein; 3 g fat; 121 g carb (4 g sugar); 10 mg sodium; 30 g fiber

LENTILS: 230 cal; 18 g protein; 1 g fat; 40 g carb (4 g sugar); 4 mg sodium; 16 g fiber

SEITAN

A lesser-known plant-based protein, seitan is made from gluten, which is the protein portion of wheat. Its chewy texture mimics meat in taste and experience but, being low in fat and carbs, it’s a healthy alternative that’s great in veggie soups, stews, and chilis.

Per serving: 68 cal; 8 g protein; 1 g fat; 8 g carb (1 g sugar); 193 mg sodium; 2 g fiber

 

 

 

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