Good sources for vegan protein

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The first concern that seems to come up when someone mentions that they are vegan (or even vegetarian) is: “are you getting enough protein?”. Protein deficiency is quite rare in the western world and as long as you eat a varied and somewhat healthy diet, you are most likely getting enough. Even if you only eat plants. Because what some people fail to understand is that veggies also contain protein.

Still, if you want to make a balanced dinner that is sure to satisfy your protein needs, there are some foods that are more suitable than others (unless you feel like eating 50+ cucumbers per meal…).

Tofu

Tofu is a soy-based protein often used in vegan cooking. For a long time I did not understand tofu, I though it was bland and had a weird consistency and could not understand why anyone would eat it out of free will. Today I cook a lot with tofu and know that the trick is to use the right type of tofu and to not eat it without marinade or spice.

Seitan

Made with wheat protein (gluten) and sometimes calledĀ mock duck/chickenĀ in restaurants, seitan is a great substitute for chicken and poultry in dishes. It is great for marinating and spicing since it easily absorbs fluids and flavours.

Tempeh

Similar to tofu, but is made with fermented legumes. Can be marinated and flavoured just like tofu and seitan and can be cooked in several ways; fried, ovenbaked or as part of a stew.

Beans

Probably my favourite out of the vegan proteins. It’s cheap, tasty (in my opinion) and if you buy the cooked beans you can have a dinner ready in 15 minutes or less!

Lentils

Lentils are a great source of protein. In addition, they are cheap and quite easy to cook. I like them mostly in soups and casseroles but they work on their own as well.

Nuts

Most know that nuts are high in healthy fats, but they also contain a decent amount of protein. Since nuts are high in fat they are also quite caloric so I don’t build meals around them. Instead, I like them as an add-on on stews, bowl and similar, or make a pesto or sauce.

Veggies

Like mentioned above, vegetables contain protein. Some of the most protein packed ones are potatoes, spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts, mushrooms and cauliflower. So by eating a big variety of vegetables you will get a big chance of satisfying your daily need.

Vegan “meats”

This option might not the best regarding the environment or the price, but I like to include it as an option as it is simple and fast, which makes it more accessible. For people switching over to a more plant-based diet this is often a given, since it gives the opportunity to cook similar dishes to before. However, I think it’s important to not get stuck in just cooking substitutes since they can be quite bland and expensive. My favourite brands for substitutes are the Swedish brands Anamma and Oumph!

 

January challenge: Veganuary

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Veganuary is a charity inspiring people to try vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year. – Veganuary.com

During this month I will inspire you to eat more vegan, since it is a good option if you care about your health, the environment and the animals. I am not a vegan, even though I eat a lot of vegan and always strive for a mostly plant based diet, and though I had initially planned on doing a strict 31 days of eating only vegan I have come to realise that it does not seem realistic to me right now.

Why might you say? Well, I have be talking about setting realistic goals to not set you up for immediate that will discourage you and that is what it is all about. My life situation at the moment will make it slightly inconvenient to do a strict vegan month. Since I have no home of my own at the moment, I will be staying at my boyfriend’s place for a big part of the month and at my parents’ for the rest while looking for jobs. Since none of them are vegan or even vegetarian it makes things more difficult. I will not always have the time to cook separate food for myself and thus might have to eat things that are not vegan. My hopes though are to eat as much vegan as I possibly can during the month and to try many new, tasty recipes!

So during the month I will be sharing some good sources for eating vegan, some favourite vegan staples and lots more. Are you planning on joining in on Veganuary?