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Apr 16, 2012 04:09 PM

Omnivore Interested In Vegetarian Foods

Hi everyone. I am not a vegetarian. I don't think people are supposed to be vegetarian, but having said this...I also don't think we're supposed to eat nearly as much meat/fowl/fish as we do in Western societies. I mean, we aren't cats. So I am always looking for good high-protein vegetarian ideas. I just wanted to say I'm happy to see this board, and plan to check it often.

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  1. Hi StrandedYankee - I'm glad to see that you're using the Vegetarian and Vegan board already. Your question about good high-protein vegetarian dishes is great!

    However, as we have stated here in the Welcome post (see:, this board is not the place to discuss the merits of a vegetarian diet. So, your comment "I don't think people are supposed to be vegetarian" is off topic for this board.

    Everyone is welcome to post on the Vegetarian & Vegan board, but please keep the discussion focused on Vegetarian & Vegan food, not on the value/merit/healthiness of being a vegetarian or vegan.

    Dave MP

    1. search for quinoa recipes on the Home Cooking board - high protein grain. Scrambled tofu is easy
      for a quick and easy breakfast or yogurt and toast with peanut butter. I also like cottage cheese with salt and pepper as a spread on my morning's toast.

      1. A huge portion of my family's protein comes from rice and beans. Together they make a "complete protein" in terms of amino acids. Quinoa is also a pretty solid mainstay.

        I've found that you can substitute chickpeas for just about any chicken dish! We love chickpea tacos, teriyaki, curries, you name it. I'd totally suggest exchanging some chickpeas for chicken the next time you want some non-meat variety in your dinner.

        4 Replies
        1. re: MamaCrunch

          MamaCrunch: And if you're REALLY good we'll make the chick peas into felafel---little vegetarian "meatballs" piled into a pita with lettuce and tomatoes and olives and slathered with hummos and olive oil and vinegar. (Although I must confess that I buy my felafel at a Middle Eastern store that has them freshly-made at 10 AM every day.....).

          1. re: MamaCrunch

            The "complete protein" idea has been both debunked and recanted by the original proponent (Frances Moore-Lappé). If anything, people eat too much protein, not too little.

              1. re: LisaPA

                Very good! Loved this website & will add it...loved the calculator too!

            1. Any combination of grains and legumes (beans, lentils) is a solid bet as that makes a complete protein. Rice and beans/lentils and bean burritos are fantastic. Less common grains like amaranth, quinoa, etc. tend to be high in protein. Nuts and seeds are also healthy and great. Dairy products have decent protein levels, and some veggies may have more protein than you might think.

              Paneer is a very high-protein tofu-like food made from milk. You could buy it at any Indian store, but it's actually pretty easy to make at home. Here's a recipe:

              A great cuisine to try is Indian food - with a host of beliefs (Hare Krishna, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain) of which a significant percentage are lacto-vegetarians, the nation has developed a rich cuisine of tasty vegetarian foods, many of which are healthy, and some are rather quite high in protein as well.

              There are no end of great recipe websites on the Internet for vegetarians and vegans. But here are a few particularly good collections to get you started:

              As for cookbook authors, Kurma Dasa is perhaps one of the world's most famous in vegetarian cooking, and another great and famous one is Yamuna Devi. Shanka Dasa, Adiraja Dasa, Cintia Stammers, and Krishna Priya Dasi have also written some gems.

              Good luck with your vegetarian exploration - it's always a great choice to make, and really lets your creativity and curiosity, and exploration of new cuisines and cooking styles, thrive!

              1. I'm an omnivore myself, but I eat vegetarian a lot. You'd be surprised how much protein a vegetable has. Asparagus has 3g per serving, for instance.

                I think the bigger issue is satiety, so fiber as well as protein is what you want. Whole grain products have come miles in just the last 15 years or so. I remember when whole wheat pasta was disgusting, but now all the multi-grain and whole wheat pastas I buy are almost indistinguishable in flavor from white pasta. Barilla's is great and I really like the Trader Joe's store brand pastas. And of course, brown rice when you eat rice.

                Just balance protein, carb, fiber and a little bit of fat and you should feel satisfied without meat in every meal.

                4 Replies
                1. re: LisaPA

                  I don't doubt that vegetables have protein, but either someone is putting their thumb on the scale or their "serving size" is pretty substantial.

                  1. re: ferret

                    Actually, they do - 2 servings of asparagus (8 spears, 2.1 oz.) has 2.9 g. of protein. 1/2 c. of boiled chopped broccoli (has 1.9 g. of protein). For lunch, I just ate 4 oz. of broccoli, 4 oz. of cauliflower, 1/2 c. steamed lentils, 1 T. of nutritional yeast and that topped out at 20.5 g. of protein. Cooked/heated all those, mixed them together, and for more flavor, I drizzled some Bragg's Liquid Aminos on top and sprinkled curry powder all over. Filling, vegan & very tasty!


                    1. re: gansu girl

                      I guess we're just using different reference points, but the post I responded to said a serving of asparagus had 3g protein, which would be true if your "serving" was 145g (5+ ounces).


                      And, again, I wasn't questioning the protein that you can get from vegetables, just that you need larger amounts than a "serving." For example, your lunch gained only about 3g protein from the broccoli and cauliflower combined (and that's from a half pound).

                      1. re: ferret

                        even though i'm not a vegetarian, i've been eating eat those portion sizes of vegetables for years.
                        to me, a 5oz bag of baby lettuce is an average sized salad.
                        5 oz of asparagus sound like a single serving to me.