If you want gorgeous, radiant locks or to heal fast from that pulled hammy after dropping into a split, then protein is a must. Every cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies is made up of protein, so getting your fill is important when it comes to building and repairing your cells. Protein is made up of amino acids, 12 of which are produced by the body. The other nine, called essential amino acids, must be obtained from our diet. Complete proteins contain all nine, and since red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy are complete proteins, those who eat meat and milk are in the clear. If you're avoiding animal products, then you'll need to eat plant-based complete proteins and combinations of foods to make up the difference.
While it isn't necessary to eat complete proteins at the same meal — you can eat beans for lunch and rice for dinner — if you're a busy vegetarian, you'll find it easier to enjoy them together. This dish of polenta with beans is a perfect example of a complete protein as it contains both legumes and whole grains. Keep reading for more vegan meal ideas that contain complete proteins — all under 400 calories.