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Jul 31, 2011 09:43 PM

Pescetarian looking for new dish ideas (no soy products please).

I became a pescetarian a few years ago, but I do not eat seafood everyday. I also avoid any products containing soy. I find it challenging sometimes to create meals that do not involve beans or cheese that still have a sufficient amount of protein. Just wondering if there were any Hounds with the same type of diet (or not) who care to share recipe ideas?

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  1. Do you eat eggs? If so, that's a good option.

    Grains like quinoa are high in protein, and combined with nuts provide a complete protein source.

    11 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      yes i do. i eat dairy and eggs, but not the kind of dairy that isn't broken down already. I don't eat cream, milk, cream cheese, etc. But I can eat yogurt, cheeses such as parm, mozz, Jarlsberg, etc. But I have to resort to rice milk with does virtually nothing protein-wise. I try not to eat eggs every day either, but I do often. Have tried quinoa, but don't usually buy. I know they have it at Costco so next time, I'll pick some up. I also eat peanut butter, sunflower seeds, etc. Quinoa w/nuts will be a great addition to my diet . Thank you!

      1. re: crowmuncher

        For variety in whole grains, you can try millet and soba (buckwheat) as well. I find whole soba grains, boiled until tender, make a good base for a salad or pilaf.

        1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

          never tried millet or soba whole; just the millet that comes in the cereal flakes or the soba in soba noodles. I'll check them out sometime, thanks!

          1. re: crowmuncher

            You might want to buy a small amount of millet before you decide - I made the decision to buy more than I could chew. It is an unusual taste by itself steamed - I've heard it said that millet is the poor Japanese's rice.

            We subscribe to Amazon's delivery of a few food items which lower the cost. One of the high cost items is pumpkin seeds, which has a 9.35g of protein - vs. sunflour of 5.48 - perhaps if one doesn't gobble, eating 40% less could even out the cost and give one a change.
            At first I really liked them, (it is said to buy the raw, not roasted), but now I have stopped eating them, but my husband eats load of them every day.

            I like very much sesame seeds and will roast them for a tahini sauce using like peanut butter, but the amount of protein is not close to pumpkin or sunflower.

            1. re: Rella

              I never tried millet because it sounds unappealing, but then again so did quinoa and i really enjoyed it when i made this week w/ black beans; i know they put millet in some cereal flakes i've had, but there are other grains with it; I will keep that in mind though; i won't be shopping for non perishables for a few weeks though; $ is tight right now in this household

              1. re: crowmuncher

                When I was travelling in northern China, a couple of breakfasts featured congee made from millet. There was diced sweet potato in it as well, to sweeten it. It was pleasant and a much less gritty preparation than just the boiled grain.

                I was vegetarian in university and discovered many grains, among them buckwheat, quinoa, millet, barley and corn. I never grew up eating buckwheat because my mother had a great aversion to the smell of the Jewish dish, Kasha Varnishkes, which is toasted buckwheat with mushrooms and browned onions, in a kind of pilaf bound with egg. I tried making it once I was out of my parents' home. The smell aside, it is delicious. Using a broth instead of just water improves the flavour.

                Speaking of mushrooms, I really enjoy risotto made with dried porcini mushrooms or a mixed mushroom saute over polenta made from stone ground corn (not instant).

                Simple Italian peasant soups of cabbage and beans, with a rind of Parmigiano Reggiano thrown in the cooking pot for depth is very filling, especially if you add a grain to it.

                Another idea from my travels: in Peru a young tour guide told me of a breakfast hot beverage that her mother makes on cold highland mornings. It is quinoa cooked in water, with milk (use almond, rice or hemp milk if cow's or goat's milk is a problem), sugar, grated apple and a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg stirred in toward the end of the cooking time. She said she would set out early for the long, often very chilly walk to school with a thermos of this beverage and it served to both fortify her and keep her warm. I've never made it, but every so often I think about trying it. If quinoa doesn't do it for you, you could do it with Irish oats, either in a slow cooker starting the night before, or simply soaking the oats in water in a pot on the stove the night before and cooking it in less time in the morning.

                Herb pestos with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, pecans, almonds or pistachios can help up the protein, especially if served with a whole grain pasta. As well, try making seed "cheese" in your food processor. I learned this during a brief raw stint. Raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds work well, blended with a bit of onion, salt or nutritional yeast flakes and orange bell pepper (makes sunflower seed cheese look orange, like Velveeta). It is surprisingly tasty, though nothing like real cheese. ;-)

                For a protein boost, consider sprouting dried chickpeas and/or fava beans, before grinding them for falafel. Sprouts can be as much as 55% protein.

                Look to recipes and cookbooks from different cultures for inspiration. Much of the world's population cannot afford to eat meat often and thus, thrive on a more plant-based diet.

                1. re: 1sweetpea

                  wow- you bring so many new ideas; how long does it take you to sprout beans? my beans never hang around long enough to sprout :)

        2. re: crowmuncher


          I often make the quinoa with mango and curried yogurt recipe from epicurious ( It's particularly good in the summer when mangoes are in season.

          It would be a great side dish with fish, but I have also eaten it as a complete meal on several occasions (and I'm a meat eater).

          1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

            good to know; my mango season is over here in south florida (my trees anyhow); i was making buckwheat/mango pancakes with those too- i miss them. It's this one right?...


            looks really good, thank you for the recipe-I'll keep it for next season.

            1. re: crowmuncher

              Yes, that's the one! And it is indeed really good.

              Do you have a recipe for those buckwheat/mango pancakes? Those also sound delicious and I've been seeing a few end-of-season mangoes at the market recently...

              1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                Yeah, they really are but my recipe is not altogether from scratch. I cheat and buy the Arrowhead Mills brand buckwheat pancake mix and doctor it up a bit. I follow the directions on package as a guide, but the mangos are juicy so you need to be careful adding the other liquid, like milk, to get that desired batter consistency. Sometimes I skip the 'other' liquid and use the mango' s juice. If you have a real juicy one, measure it out according to the proportions of package. Sometimes I just squeeze it w/ my hand pureeing it into a measuring cup. Then you can cube some of the mango and add to batter as well. The trick is to not cut them too thick or big as it will make the cakes cook uneven and you may bite into mango chunks surrounded by raw batter. After you make them a couple of times you will perfect it. Sometimes I will add sugar instead of honey as package says to batter. If you notice batter starts thickening as you cook them, fold in a little more liquid. This won't happen if you can make them all at the same time using a comal or griddle. That's on my wish list. Good luck grabbing those last few mangos at the store and w/ the pancakes ;)

      2. You might want to check out Kashi's Original Pilaf. It's got 7 grains. I think 1/2 cup cooked has 6 grams of protein. You can make it sweet or savory. I like to cook up a batch and keep it in the fridge. Throw a spoonful in soup, on top of veggies, or roll up in a lettuce leaf for a wrap.

        1 Reply
        1. re: nemo

          I've seen that before and always wondered about it. Good idea- thank you nemo!

        2. Have some quinoa now, but haven't done anything w/ it yet. Like I stated in my org post, it's hard to get away from the beans habit. But I did find a great black bean burger recipe that I made last night and wanted to share. Wish I could remember where i got it so that i can just post link. Maybe one of you will recognize it.

          16 oz black beans (i used fresh, but 1 can works)
          1/2 green pepper (i used jalapenos bcuz i'm crazy)
          1/2 onion
          3 cloves garlic
          1 egg
          1 T chilli powder
          1 T cumin
          1 t hot sauce (i used that WFs "siracha")
          1/2 cup bread crumbs

          I blended beans in and chopped vegs in food processor, but you can chop it yourself and mash beans w/potato masher as an alt.

          the egg i stirred separately with chilli pwdr, cumin, and hot sauce

          put all of it together in a large mix bowl and stir in bread crumbs (more or less) until mix holds together; then form patties and bake at 375 deg 10 mi on each side on oiled pan (i used the one that comes w/conventional oven).

          I had one for dinner last night and I had one for brunch on top of rice with sunny-side up eggs on top. Haven't done it yet, but i think these would be great to make a lot of and freeze for lunches. Have you seen the price of Sunburgers?

          1. I routinely use beans and grains in my cooking. If you are getting sick of your traditional beans, perhaps try different ones - giant lima beans, French du Puy lentils, black beluga lentils, etc, or some heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo? I really also enjoy flageolet beans since they blow all other white beans away with their creaminess.

            For your original query, you could try more nut-based meals, too. There is a very nice Broccoli, Pepper and Peanut Stir Fry in Supermarket Vegan that is high-protein, low-carb from the nuts.

            There are countless recipes for Peanut butter-based African soups and stews that are really good.

            This is also a nice but interesting African Peanut Kale Stew:

            You could also try your hand at Tacos with Walnut "Meat" - it is actually all about the spices more than anything else.

            This is a good recipe:

            If you are looking for new grains, bulgur is also nice. I prefer the coarse bulgur for most salads or as a simple side.

            1. "giant lima beans, French du Puy lentils, black beluga lentils"
              never cooked those, will have to give them a try

              didn't think of bulgur either and African cooking? That is one continent I'm so far behind on as far as cooking is concerned; have cooked some N African, but that's it; peanut butter-based soup sounds like nothing I've ever tried

              Thank you for the wonderful ideas blink!

              3 Replies
              1. re: crowmuncher

                Also, barley, kamut, wheatberries, farro, so many grains.

                1. re: magiesmom

                  tried farro once, but i need to cook it longer; haven't made the others alone- sometimes they come in hot cereal mixes

                  1. re: crowmuncher

                    soak farro overnight if you want to be able to cook it more briefly. All of these grains taste different and have different textures so trying them alone gives a chance to see their different attributes .