Vegan Protein Sources: Going Meat-Free

People often ask me if I follow a particular style of eating: Paleo, vegan, vegetarian etc. Personally, I don’t subscribe to one particular nutritional theory. I listen to my body and what it is telling me it needs. When I eat something and it makes my body feel good, then I know it’s a good food for my body. The same applies when something makes my body feel sluggish, tired or bloated; I know that food is not right for my body.

I try to eat mostly plant based foods in my diet, as I know they give me energy and make me feel vibrant and healthy. I have found some great, little known vegan sources of protein I wanted to share with you.

Whole Grains: Whole grains such as rice, millet, quinoa, buckwheat and oats still contain all of their naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You want to avoid the white refined grains like white flour and white rice, as they have had their bran and their germ removed, along with some of their nutritional value.

Beans: Beans contain a more complete set of amino acids than many other plant foods. Beans are best prepared fresh, and it is recommended to start with beans that are smaller in size such as split peas, mung and adzuki beans for easier digestion. You can also make beans easier to digest by soaking overnight, adding spices or vinegar, skimming off cooking foam, pressure cooking or puréeing and eating small portions.

Soy: Soy is one of the most difficult beans to digest. Common forms of soybeans eaten in the American culture include edamame, tofu, tempeh, miso, and tamari. Fermented soy is often easier to digest.  Many people are allergic to soy, and many “food-like” substances incorporate highly processed versions of soy that are difficult to digest and contain very little nutritional value (such as soy milk, soy-meats and soy ice cream). Soybeans are one of the most genetically engineered crops in America, so I personally believe it is extremely important to only choose organic, certified non-GMO soy if you choose to consume it.

Nuts: Nuts can be a good source of vegan protein, but they are quite high in fat as well, so they should be enjoyed in moderation. Peanuts (which are actually legumes) are higher in protein than any nuts. Nuts also contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.

Leafy Greens: Broccoli, spinach, kale, collard greens, bok choy, romaine lettuce, and watercress all contain varying amounts of protein and should be enjoyed often. Leafy greens are also great sources of magnesium, iron and calcium and Quercetin, which has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting properties. Green leafy vegetables are dense with easily-assimilated amino acids as well as other life-extending nutrients.

© Integrative Nutrition, Inc. | Reprinted with permission

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Why You Should Eat More Quinoa!

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has the highest nutritional profile and cooks the fastest of all grains. It is an extremely high energy grain and has been grown and consumed for about 8,000 years on the high plains of the Andes Mountains in South America. The Incas were able to run such long distances at such a high altitude because of this powerful grain.

Characteristics of quinoa

  • Contains all eight amino acids to make it a complete protein
  • Has a protein content equal to milk
  • High in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, and vitamin E
  • Gluten-free; easy to digest
  • Ideal food for endurance
  • Strengthens the kidneys, heart, and lungs

Uses for quinoa

When quinoa is cooked, the outer germ surrounding the seed breaks open to form a crunchy coil, while the inner grain becomes soft and translucent. This double texture makes it delicious, versatile, and fun to eat. To save time, cook a lot of quinoa at once, and eat it as leftovers. Quinoa can be reheated with a splash of nut milk for breakfast porridge; you can add dried fruit, nuts, and cinnamon for a sweet treat. Add finely chopped raw vegetables and dressing for a cooling salad, or add chopped, cooked, root vegetables for a warming side dish. Store dry, uncooked quinoa in a cool, dry, dark place in a tightly closed glass jar for up to one year.

Preparation

Before cooking, quinoa must be rinsed to remove the toxic (but naturally occurring) bitter coating, called saponin. Saponin, when removed from quinoa, produces a soapy solution in water. Quinoa is rinsed before it is packaged and sold, but it is best to rinse again at home before use.  Place quinoa in a grain strainer and rinse thoroughly with water.

Quinoa is one of my FAVE vegetable protein sources. I use it in breakfasts, lunches and dinners! It can be made savory or sweet, and adds great nutritional value to any dish. We eat it all the time in our home!

© Integrative Nutrition, Inc. | Reprinted with permission

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Avocado Hummus Recipe – VIDEO

I LOVE this avocado hummus recipe. It’s so simple and versatile. You can use it as a dip, or even as the filling for a delicious, protein packed vegan sandwich topped with sprouts, lettuce and tomato. It’s perfect for summer! I like to make a batch and keep it in the refrigerator. Just be sure to keep it in an air sealed container with saran/plastic wrap pressed on top to prevent air exposure, or it will turn brown. Enjoy!

Instructions:

  • Add to food processor & blend:
    • One can chick peas
    • 1 Avocado
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Add salt & pepper to taste and blend again

 

 

 

Healthier GF Italian Pasta Salad: SugarFreeMom.com

This is a great side dish to bring along to a picnic…pasta salad! This is a REALLY delicious one and it’s always a crowd pleaser when I bring it along to BBQ’s.

Ingredients

2 cups chopped zucchini
1 cup sweet grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup sweet red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup sweet yellow pepper, chopped
2 scallions, diced
4 cups cooked pasta ( I used Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta)
1/2 cup Italian Dressing
Optional: 2 cups diced cooked chicken (light meat), black olives, mozzarella cheese

Italian Dressing

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

While the pasta is cooking, add all your chopped veggies to a large bowl. Take your pasta off the heat and drain it prior to it being fully cooked, al dente is best with this dish so the pasta doesn’t get mushy. Cool the pasta over cold running water, drain and then add it to the veggies. If you are using chicken add it now as well. Place all your dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined well. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad. Refrigerate overnight or at least an hour before serving. Serve with optional toppings on the side for guests.

Healthier Italian Pasta Salad {Gluten Free}

Creamy Broccoli Slaw from PaleoPorn.net

This side dish is another awesome option to bring to a picnic or BBQ this spring/summer. Super easy to throw together, but looks so refreshing and tasty!

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups (8oz) bag of organic broccoli slaw
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, cubed
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
coarse ground sea salt, to taste
extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Add broccoli slaw, tomato, avocado and zucchini to a large mixing bowl.
Add balsamic vinegar, season with sea salt and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to combine and taste to check for additional salt.
Split between two plates and serve.
Enjoy! 🙂

Creamy Broccoli Slaw

Quick & Easy Butternut Squash Lentil Soup

This recipe is one of my favorites. I usually make it once a week because it’s very quick and easy to make, and it’s a complete, balanced one pot meal. I use my instant pot but you could also make this on a stovetop as well. Watch & enjoy!

Click here to watch the video and get the recipe for: butternut-squash-soup

 

 

Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower Bites from cleananddelicious.com

This is an excellent meatless appetizer that is sure to please the crowd! I just LOVE buffalo cauliflower, and this recipe is fantastic. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower, washed and broken up into small florets
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. of your favorite hot wing sauce
Directions:
Pre heat oven to 425

Toss cauliflower with olive oil and distribute evenly.

Combine garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and salt in a small bowl. Toss spice mixture over cauliflower and mix well, making sure all the cauliflower is coated in the spices.

Spread cauliflower out on a rimmed baking sheet a roast for 20 minutes.

Toss with wing sauce and serve with your favorite blue cheese dressing for dipping. Enjoy!

Makes about 2 cups.

http://cleananddelicious.com/2013/01/28/roasted-buffalo-cauliflower-bites/

Vegan Chocolate Mousse – A Quick, Healthy Dessert Kids (& Adults) LOVE

Vegan chocolate mousse recipe
Vegan chocolate mousse recipe (Wikipedia)

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • ¼ Cup Cocoa
  • Powder
  • ¼ Cup Raw Honey
  • ¼ Cup Almond Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Preparation:

Puree all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy!