Vegetarian Protein Ideas

Posted on 01 October 2013

Guest Post: Vie Activist Lee Bachar-Adlar

The must have for me in terms of protein are the grains (Chickpeas, lentils, beans) and the important thing for vegetarians is the combination of protein with other ingredients, in order to allow the body to absorb the vitamins that we tend to miss out on when cutting out meat. (ie. Iron, Vitamin B etc). Grains should be combined with cereal. I've included a couple of recipes for that combination below.
Eggs are basics for me, I eat them every day! Sometime it's nice to give them a bit of a twist, so I've added a typical Israeli shakshuka recipe :)
Quinoa is another usual suspect, I always have a bowl of quinoa in the fridge and I just add some parsley and whatever other greens I have (coriander, dill, mint) and some cucumber for a really fresh salad with some good olive oil, lemon and pink salt.
Tofu I usually grate into patties, with zucchini  or spinach, but lately I've been cutting it into thick stripes, frying it in sesame oil on both sides, then addding a bit of soy sauce or tamari, and finishing off by squeezing some orange juice on top, easy and delicious! (Great lunch box idea for the kids).
1. Hummus (great combination of grain with cereal, the chickpeas with sesame seed)
  • 1 bag of dry chickpeas (soak in water for a day then boil for about  an hour to  until  soft), alternately you can use a can of already cooked ones
  • 1/2 cup of water (from the water used to boil the chickpeas)
  • 175 gr of pure tahini paste
  • Lemon juice from 1 small lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A bit of cumin powder
  • 1 spoon of chopped parsley
  • Mix it it all in the food processor, if texture is too thick, add more water
  • Garnish with a bit of paprika and fresh parsley
  • Serve with pita bread  


2. Shakshuka 
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 soft tomatoes chopped 
  • 1 red capsicum chopped 
  • 3 garlic cloves sliced 
  • 1-2 chillies chopped (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1.5 tomato paste
  • 6 eggs 
  • Salt and pepper 
Fry the onions until golden, add the garlic and the chillies, then the capsicum and cook for few minutes. Then add the tomatoes, cook for a few more minutes and add the tomato paste. Mix all together, spread evenly across the flat pan, bring to boil.  Break the eggs on top and cover. Simmer until all eggs are cooked.
Serve with bread
3. Bean soup (super easy!)
  • 1 big onion chopped
  • 2 potatoes chopped
  • 1 bag of kidney beans (soak in water for a day or so)
  • 1 tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cubes of vegetables stock ('Massel')
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
Fry the onion until golden, add the potatoes and cook for few minutes. Add the beans and stir in salt and pepper, turmeric and cumin. cover with water and bring to boil then add the vegetables stock and simmer for 45min. Add the tomato paste and cook for 15 min more.
Serve with some basmati rice.

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