How to Add Protein to Salads for Vegetarians

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The choice of protein foods to be added to your salads depends upon the type of vegetarian diet being followed. With a vegetarian diet, you can have proteins with a plant-base only. Vegans design their diet in a way to incorporate dairy products and plant-base foods to consume sufficient amount of protein required by the body. Well, there are numerous other ways to add protein to your diet, other than meat and eggs, if you are on a vegan diet.

Add Protein to your Vegans Diet

If you are a vegetarian and following a weight loss regime, you might be worried about the amount of protein content in the diet. Well, surprisingly enough, vegetarians can get their daily dose of protein quite easily. It is a common misconception that protein can be obtained only from animal sources and meat. Check out the following sources and the ways to add them as protein source in salads for vegans.

  • Beans and Legumes

Beans are considered as one of the most common foods known for their rich protein content. They can be consumed in their cooked form, or added to salads in boiled or as sprouts.

The lentils, beans and legumes prove to be an excellent source of protein for vegetarians. The variety includes kidney beans, black beans, vegetarian chilli, Indian dal, chickpea hummus, split pea soup. You can add any of these to the salads in the boiled form or as sprouts.

  • Soy Products

Soy is a flavour that can never bore you. Besides common soy items like soy milk and tofu, you can also try out soy products like soy ice cream, edamame, soy nuts, soy yogurt, soy cheese and similar more items. Other soy foods with rich protein content include tempeh and TVP.

Adding more to your surprise, there are many tofu and soymilk brands that contain other nutrients as well required as a daily dose for vegans and vegetarians, like iron, calcium, and vitamin B12. If you are fond of tofu, you can add it to your salads in raw form or baked, fried, grilled, sautéed, steamed for consumption.

  • Quinoa and Whole Grains

This tiny little seed has become very popular in the world of healthy foods. This magical grain provides you with nine most essential amino acids that cannot be produced by our body. It is considered as a complete protein and the queen of whole grains for containing iron, fibre, manganese and magnesium. Added to salads, Quinoa can provide taste as well as protein content to the vegans’ salad. 

  • Seeds, Nuts, and Nut Butter

Nuts, like cashews, peanuts, walnuts and almonds are filled with protein content equivalent to sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. However, being high in fats, nuts and seeds cannot be opted as the primary protein source. This protein source is great as an occasional snack post workout.

  • Meat Substitutes

Many stores provide food items that contain meat substitutes and are rich in protein as well. These substitutes are usually prepared from product like wheat protein, soy protein or can also be a combination of both. These food items can be added to the vegan salad for high proteins.

  • Lentils

Being known as a rich source of iron, foliate, antioxidants, and potassium, lentils are referred as a super food packed with proteins. These are obtainable in green and red varieties. Lentils can be used in almost any type of Indian food, including salads, soups, and stews.

  • Natto

This is a popular Japanese food that is obtained from fermented soybeans. These appear like overgrown kidney beans. This protein food is known for its pungent smell and is generally consumed in salads in their baked or steamed or roasted forms.

  • Tempeh

Tempeh, bit chewier than tofu, is prepared from fermented soybeans. The somewhat sweet flavour and crunchy and nutty texture tastes wonderful when eaten in its raw form. It can be added to salads in the raw form or as baked as well. This food item is a versatile alternative protein.

  • Tofu

Tofu is prepared using soybeans and contains good amount of protein as well. Just ½ a cup of tofu contains as much as 10 grams of protein. Quite a good count! If prepared properly, tofu can make a delicious and quite filling addition to any salad. You can try Tofu-Tomato salad, Warm Salad with Marinated Tofu, Hazelnuts, and Potatoes, or any other recipe of your own.

So, now you can plan your diets and design your salads with sufficient protein content to make you feel fuller as well as healthy besides maintaining the weight.

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