Beans, lentils, peas, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and soy products. What do these foods have in common? These are all great sources of plant-based proteins. They also contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy fat, and antioxidants.

 

Why should you eat plant-based proteins? Research has linked plant-based diets with lower risk of heart disease, obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. I’m not saying you should make the switch to plant-based proteins entirely, but even committing to one day of meatless meals each week can have major benefits.

 

  • Tofu – has little to no flavor which means it can be dressed up in any number of

ways with marinades, sauces, etc. You’ll usually find tofu in the refrigerated

section in different levels of firmness from silken to extra firm. Choose organic if

you’re concerned about GMO soy.

  • Beans and Legumes – are easy to find in the grocery store dry or canned and

have a long storage life. Beans and legumes are also a great source of fiber,

iron, vitamin B6, and magnesium. These items can be used in savory (chili,

soups) to sweet (brownies) dishes.

  • Nuts and Seeds – vary in type, texture and flavor (nutty to sweet). They are very

easy to find them in the grocery stores. Some stores will even have a grinding

machine, so you make your own nut or seed butter. Many nuts and seed are also

available as a milk, ground into a flour or as a pasta.

  • Whole Grains – includes oats, quinoa, brown rice, barley, and more. While the

protein content isn’t as high as those above, you can still get a significant

amount.

 

Here are a few recipe ideas:

Breakfast:

Toasted Oats Fall Breakfast Parfait from Food Heaven Made Easy – https://foodheavenmadeeasy.com/toasted-oats-fall-breakfast-parfait/

*This recipe utilizes oats and nuts

Lunch:

Creamy Avocado & White Bean Wrap from Eating Well – http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/275595/roasted-brussels-sprout-butternut-squash-salad/

*This recipe utilizes beans, avocado and whole wheat wraps

Dinner:

Easy Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers from Food Heaven Made Easy – https://foodheavenmadeeasy.com/stuffed-peppers/

*This recipe utilizes pesto, white beans and rice