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May 22, 2011 01:26 PM

Meat Alternative Lean Protiens

Over the last two years I have significantly reduced the amount of animal products I have been eating, but now that I am working out pretty seriously again, I am realizing that I might need some more protein sources in my diet and don't want to add chicken or meat outside of rare occasions.
My problem stands that I work pretty long hours during the week, and usually cook Sunday for Mon-Wed and then again Wed night for Thurs and Fri. I already eat hummus, dried and roasted edamame, and quinoa quite often. The few ideas I have to add are a grilled and cooled calamari (and other similar seafood) salad, good quality canned sardines, and lentil/bean salads.
Does anyone have some other ideas they could share? Thanks!

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  1. Eggs, or egg whites to be specific.

    Canned tuna and salmon (esp. if canned sardines are ok with no "animal products" line)



    Pumpkin seeds


    Fish roe

      1. re: smartie

        Tofu is not really *that* high in protein, esp. vis-a-vis other non-meat alternatives.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            That's not so, measuring it calorie for calorie against, say, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, lentils or fish roe: Only the fish roe compares favorably to extra firm tofu at equal calories. For about 55 calories the protein content is: quinoa 2.04 gms, pumpkin seeds 2.96 gms, lentils 1.05 gms, fish roe, 7.87 gms, extra firm tofu 7.40 gms.

        1. Honestly, you're probably getting enough as is. But, if you want a boost...

          Oysters. From an ethical point of view, they're not really alive/conscious, farming them actually helps the environment and they're as low mercury as seafood gets. Most importantly, smoked canned ones are really tasty. And, I hear folks like 'em raw.

          Silken tofu. A cheater protein in that you can mash/puree them into a bunch of things for some extra texture.

          Vegan chili. Probably the cheapest solution in that you can make a batch for the week and just top a bunch of things with it for that extra flavorful, beanie, protein goodness.

          1. cottage cheese, greek yogurt, shrimp

            echoing tuna :)

            1. Beans and rice (that would be a make ahead meal to reheat). Peanut butter and whole wheat bread. If you're truly leaning towards vegetarian than include cheese and crackers. Vegetarian Times is a great resource.