There is a common misconception that a vegetarian diet lacks protein. This is simply not true; there is a host of non-meat based foods, high in protein. Another belief is that vegetarian proteins are bland and boring. This is also not the case, or at least, does not need to be. It is just a question of how you select and prepare them.
Alternative proteins for vegetarians
Probably the best-known protein for vegetarians, tofu is delicious and yields 7g of protein per cup. Tofu is derived from soybean curds. It is highly versatile and can be prepared in some delicious ways. One can eat it raw or grilled, baked, fried or steamed. As it cooks, it will absorb flavors so make it with intense, robust flavors for a delicious meal.
Another popular protein is the mighty lentil. Here, you will get about 9g of protein per cup, cooked. It is also packed full of essential minerals and antioxidants, an all-around super food. Lentils are great in stews, soups, salads, veggie burger patties and dips. They are also one of the key ingredients in many Indian dishes. There is nothing tastier than an aromatic lentil curry. Easy to prepare, you just need to rinse, boil, simmer and rinse again once tender. Experiment with different herbs and flavors to create a delectable and healthy dish.
There is a wide variety of seeds to choose from, and they make a hearty substitute for meat, delivering about 7.5g protein per cup, depending on the type. Again, beans are highly versatile and are delicious in salads, veggie burger patties, dips, and soups. They are ideal for Mexican style foods as I am sure you know. Beans do take a little bit of preparation time but are easy to cook. Get to know the different varieties, and you will be amazed by the tantalizing meals you can create.
One great protein that was seldom heard of not that long ago, and is now one of the most popular, is quinoa. Now a staple for most health-conscious vegetarians, the Quinoa is a small seed that is packed full of essential amino acids, minerals, fiber and protein (4g per cup, cooked). It makes the perfect substitute for rice, pasta or couscous and also gives a pleasant taste and texture to salads. Preparation is similar to rice.
So there you have it, four scrumptious and easy to prepare alternative proteins for vegetarians.