Protein is extremely important for our health especially to build and maintain muscle mass and also to speed up muscle recovery. Your protein intake will vary depending on your activity level.
But the general recommendation is 1g of protein per 1kg of body weight. For instance my body weight is 50kgs, so my daily protein intake should be around 50g. But because I’m active, I’ll up my protein intake to about 60g.
I know a lot of people tend to get worried and think that they are not having enough protein. It is actually not difficult to meet your daily protein requirement if you consume a balanced diet. Most of the time, we consume more protein than what we need.
If you are vegan, I’m sure you must have come across at least one person asking you “where do you get your protein from?” or perhaps they might make the statement that “you’re NOT consuming enough protein.”
I’m sure you’ll agree that this is NOT true. There are lots of high protein plant-based food such as nuts and seeds, tempeh, tofu, soy, legumes, beans, quinoa, oatmeal, spinach and more.
So I’m going to share with you a high protein plant-based meal plan, to support and maintain good health.
For breakfast, let’s make Breakfast Tofu Muffins. What you’ll need are:
Breakfast Tofu Muffins (makes 6 )
- 2 cups Potatoes, grated – 232Cals, 6.06g Protein
- 1 tbsp. Olive Oil – 119Cals
- A pinch of Salt and Pepper
- 200g Firm Tofu, sliced in cubes – 176Cals, 18g Protein
- 3 Garlic Cloves, diced – 12Cals, 1.14g Protein
- 1 medium Onion, diced – 46Cals, 1.01g Protein
- 1 cup Spinach – 7Cals, 0.9g Protein
- 1/3 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved – 9Cals, 0.44g Protein
- 1/3 cup Mushroom, thinly sliced – 5Cals, 0.71g Fat
- 1/3 cup Red Bell Pepper, diced – 13Cals, 0.49g Protein
- ½ tbsp. Olive Oil – 60Cals
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
- Let’s start by prepping the crusts. Place the grated potatoes onto a clean kitchen towel and firmly squeeze out excess moisture.
- Transfer the potatoes into a dish, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix until potatoes are evenly coated.
- The divide the potatoes into 6 equal portion and press the potatoes into a muffin tray to form the crusts.
- Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown all over. Set aside.
- While crust is baking, we want to cook the fillings. In a pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic, onion, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, bell pepper and spinach.
- Sauté for about 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are slightly tender and spinach is wilted. Season with a pinch of salt, continue to stir and set aside.
- To prepare tofu filling, add tofu and salt to a food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Once the crust is cooked and browned, remove from oven. Fill it up with the cooked vegetables. And top with the tofu mixture.
- Return to the oven and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes or until tofu is golden brown and firm.
- Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool down. The tofu will continue to firm up as the muffin cools down.
For most vegans, tofu is a huge part of their diet. It contains 10g of protein per half cup serving. Plus it is very low in calories, which is great for weight loss. The denser a tofu is, the higher protein content it’ll have. So firm tofu is higher in protein compared to silken tofu.
When it comes to tofu, always opt for organic varieties to avoid genetically modified soy and any funky pesticides, which can do more harm than good.
If you consume 3 tofu muffins for breakfast you’ll be having 339 Cals and 14.5g protein plus 2 servings of vegetables.
Spinach is a great leafy green to enjoy as much as you like and it’s high in protein. A cup of cooked spinach has more than 5g of protein. So this is a perfect breakfast to kickstart your day!
Let’s see what’s for lunch – Chickpeas Tofu Scramble Wrap! This recipe is convenient and great to be eaten on the go. What you’ll need are:
Chickpeas Tofu Scramble Wrap (serves 3)
- ½ can Chickpeas – 153Cals, 8.5g Protein,
- 100g Firm Tofu - 55Cals, 4.8g Protein, 2.7g Fat
- ¼ cup Cherry Tomato, halved – 6.5Cals, 0.33g Protein
- ¼ cup Red Bell Pepper, diced – 9.5Cals, 0.37g Protein
- ¼ cup Onion, diced – 17Cals, 0.37 Protein
- 1 tbsp. Olive Oil - 119Cals
- ½ tsp. Turmeric Powder – 4Cals, 0.09g Protein
- ½ tsp. Garlic Powder – 5Cals, 0.24g Protein
- ¼ tsp. Smoked Paprika – 2Cals, 0.08g Protein
- A pinch of Salt
- 8-inch Whole Wheat Tortilla – 130Cals, 4g Protein
- In a pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and cherry tomato. Saute for 3 - 4 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Then add in the chickpeas and firm tofu. Continue to cook until all ingredients are heated through.
- Stir in the seasonings - smoked paprika, garlic powder, turmeric, and salt.
- Remove from pan and set aside to cool down.
- Take one wholegrain wrap and place about ¼ cup of the filling near the centre. Roll up tightly into a wrap.
This recipe is extremely versatile. I personally love the nutty and earthy flavor of chickpeas but you can replace it with other beans of your choice. You can also other varieties of vegetables and even replace the wrap with pita bread, make it a sandwich or just have it on its own.
1 wrap provides you with 254Cals and 9g protein. Have 2 wraps for lunch!
As for dinner, my favourite is the Tempeh Chilli Con Carne. This dish is bursting with flavours. What you’ll need are:
Tempeh Chilli Con Carne (serves 4)
- 2 tbsp. Olive oil, divided - 119Cals
- 1 cup Tempeh, cut in cubes – 320Cals, 31g Protein
- 2 tsp. Soy Sauce – 6Cals, 0.8g Protein
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced – 37Cals, 1.2g Protein
- 1 cup Zucchini, cut into cubes – 19Cals, 1.4g Protein
- 1 Carrot, diced – 25Cals, 0.6g Protein
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced - 8Cals, 0.76g Protein
- 1 medium Onion, diced – 46Cals, 1.01g Protein
- 1 can Black Beans – 378Cals, 26g Protein
- 1 can Diced Tomatoes – 32Cals, 1.52g Protein
- 1 tbsp. Smoked Paprika – 20Cals, 1.02g Protein
- ½ tsp. Cumin Powder – 8Cals, 0.37g Protein
- ¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper – 1Cal, 0.05g Protein
- 2 sprigs Coriander, roughly chopped – 1Cal, 0.09g Protein
- 1 cup Cooked Wild Rice – 166Cals, 6.54g Protein
- Using one tablespoon of olive oil, saute the tempeh until it is lightly golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.
- Then add in the soy sauce, and saute for another minute, until the soy sauce is sticky and dissolved. Set aside.
- With the remaining 1 tbsp. of olive oil, saute all the vegetables – garlic, onion, zucchini, carrot and bell pepper.
- Add the seasonings - smoked paprika, cumin powder and cayenne pepper.
- Then add in the black beans, chopped tomatoes and tempeh.
- Allow all the ingredients to simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until the sauce thickens. Don’t forget to stir occasionally and if necessary, add some water.
- Garnish with coriander and serve with rice.
Some of you might not have even heard of tempeh. If you get a chance to, do give it a try.
Tempeh is a fermented form of soy that’s high in protein, easy to digest and rich in probiotics. It has 12g of protein per cup! It’s nutty, chewy and has a distinct flavor. You might not enjoy the taste on your first few tries, but give it some time, and you’ll grow to love the unique taste and texture.
Black beans are one of the most nutrient dense beans of all beans and legumes. 1 cup of boiled black beans pack 15g protein and it is low in GI. This means that adding black beans into your diet will keep your blood sugar levels stable, you won’t constantly be feeling hungry or crave for bad food.
One serving of the Tempeh Chilli Corn Carne served with rice has 421Cals and 23g protein.
All these recipes can be prep ahead and you can keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days. Add two ¼ cup of trail mix as your snacks and you’ll be meeting your daily protein requirement at 66.23g protein which is enough for my activity level and to maintain a good health.
So guys, it is possible to get your protein through plant based food. What’s your favourite plant-based protein? Let me know in the comments below.