Looking to boost your overall health? How about getting packing a bit more protein into that daily regimen!
Protein is not only an essential building block of life playing a crucial role in multiple bodily functions and organs, but it’s also been linked to more muscle mass, increased energy, reduced appetite, stronger bones, increased fat burning, and lower blood pressure. On the other hand, protein deficiency — also referred to as hypoproteinemia — can “affect almost all aspects of body function … [and] as a result, it is associated with many symptoms.”
Luckily, plant-based foods are absolutely brimming with protein! The list includes tofu, tempeh, edamame, lentils, chickpeas, most beans, green peas, hemp seed, chia seeds, quinoa, oats, and nuts, just to mention a few options.
Yet, it’s not as simple as eating enough of these plant-based proteins, but it’s also about knowing how to mix and match to create complete proteins. A complete protein refers to a protein that contains all nine essential amino acids — those that can’t be created by your body and must be consumed via diet — including histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. While there are a few foods that are naturally packed with all of these — quinoa, tofu, tempeh, edamame, amaranth, buckwheat, hemp seeds, and chia seeds — you can also mix and match your ingredients such as pita and hummus, rice and beans, or even a peanut butter sandwich (as long as you use whole grain bread!).
Get your complete protein on with these 15 plant-based protein-loaded recipes!
We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help you get healthy! And, don’t forget to check out our Whole Foods Archives!
This Chickpea & Lentil Salad recipe by Stephanie Davies is the ultimate complete protein meal packing in chickpeas and lentils wrapped up in aromatic flavors such as garlic, lemon, cumin, coriander, and parsley.
Nuts and tofu are both great sources of protein — plus tofu is a complete protein — and this Almond Butter Tofu Stew recipe by Jackie Sobon does a wonderful and tasty job at combining them! This stew also packs a huge antioxidant, vitamin, and mineral punch with bell pepper, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and kale.
One of the best ways to create a complete protein is to combine beans and rice, which also happen to go very well together. This Beans and Rice recipe by Nita Ragoonanan may sound bland, yet Ragoonanan infuses these protein-rich foods with onion, habanero pepper, coconut milk, thyme, ginger, and garlic.
Instead of mixing and matching those plant-based foods to create a complete protein, you can always opt for a protein powder that’s naturally complete. This Vegan Protein Chocolate Shake recipe by Peffe Stahl is great to take on-the-go for that midday energy lull.
Soy products are a perfect addition to get that complete protein into your diet. This Easy Tempeh Oat Meatballs recipe by Hailee Repko is not only rich in soy-based tempeh, but it also offers a healthy dose of dietary fiber from those rolled oats.
Without overdoing the rice and beans duo, this list would not be complete without a great burrito recipe! This Burritos with Simple Queso recipe by Natalie Martin MS, RD and Lexie Staten MS, RD uses nutrient-rich brown rice, beans, and delicious vegan queso based on cashew, nutritional yeast (a complete protein!), salsa, almond milk, and cumin.
What makes this Stuffed Yams with Avocado Mayo recipe by Lena Novak a complete protein meal? Over a cup of edamame! On top of that, you’ll get a dose of antioxidants from those deep orange yams and a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats from avocado.
Quinoa is not only a gluten-free superfood, it also happens to be a complete protein. This Gluten-Free Quinoa Pasta Salad recipe by Wendy Irene packs on the nutrients from tomato, lemon juice, onion, and olive oil.
These are some of the most protein-packed pancakes you’ll find! This Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes With Coconut Whipped Cream recipe by Kennedy Kitchings includes complete protein chia seeds and soy protein powder, along with fiber-rich oats and potassium-rich bananas.
Tofu is a staple in any plant-based kitchen, especially as it happens to be one of those great complete proteins. This Marinated Tofu Veggie Kebabs recipe by Sarah Creighton is a fun, festive, and easy appetizer or meal.
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.
For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
- Plant-Based Health Resources
- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!