Plant Based Proteins: Not Just for Vegetarians Anymore!

I’ve recently had two of my friends transition to eating a plant-based diet. I’ve gotta give them major props – I don’t think I’d ever be able to give up meat or dairy! I eat so much grilled chicken that I’m afraid one morning I’ll wake-up sporting white feathers. No joke. However, there are a ton of benefits that come from adopting a plant-based diet. These benefits include lowering one’s body weight & decreasing one’s risk of developing cancer. (Tuso, Ismail, Ha, & Bartolotto, 2013). My biggest concern about plant-based diets has always been the same: how do you get enough protein in your diet? Turns out, it’s easy! If you are considering going vegan, pescatarian,  vegetarian, or even just thinking about participating in “Meatless Monday”, check out these easy, delicious, and meat-free sources of protein! Your muscles (and your taste-buds) will thank you!

1. Quinoa

This uber-popular grain has been all the rage lately. And with good reason! Not only is it delicious and versatile, but it’s also chock-full of protein! It contains 8 grams of protein per cup. And not just any protein – quinoa is a complete protein. This means it contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs! Try quinoa in salads, as a side dish, or in place of rice in stuffed peppers. The possibilities are endless! Here’s an easy go-t0 recipe.

2. Tempeh

Tempeh is actually in Indonesian soybean. It has a whopping 18 grams of protein per serving! It may look gross, but cook it right and it’s delicious! Ya just gotta know how to play around with the flavors! Check out this recipe! 

3. Gardein Frozen Meals

My mom used to always tell me, “Don’t knock it ’til ya try it!” This saying is perfect to describe how I feel about Gardein’s product line. Meatless meatballs? Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n? You’ve gotta be kidding me. There’s NO WAY any of that stuff can be edible. But after trying some of it out, I came to the following conclusion: their product line is so good guys! Just cook and serve. It’s so easy! Their chicken substitute remind me of eating chicken tenders when I was little. So crispy and delicious! You’ve got to try them out!

4. Lentils

I don’t know what it is about lentils, but I’m addicted. No lie. Toss them into salads to bulk up the protein a bit. Or eat them alone with a bit of balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, and tomatoes mixed in. Ugh – I’m drooling just thinking about it! OH! And just in case you were curious, lentils carry 18 grams of protein per cup. Woo! Find a recipe here! 


Written by GUADS staff member Angelina with contributions from and 

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