Quick and Easy Sources of Vegetarian Protein
While meat is a great source of protein, it's just not an option when you're maintaining a vegetarian diet. Ensure you're getting your fill of protein each day by keeping your kitchen stocked with these necessities that offer protein in a flash.
- Canned or boxed beans: Dry beans take a long time to prepare, so it's best to have boxed or BPA-free canned beans such as Eden brand in your pantry at all times. A half-cup serving of kidney beans offers eight grams of protein, and black soy beans offer 11 grams. Sprinkle them on salads, in soup, in your omelet, on pizza, or in your pasta sauce.
- Protein powder: Made from the power of peas, quinoa, hemp, brown rice, and soy, these plant-based protein powders can offer up to 25 grams or more of protein per serving. If you're confused by all the brands, Vega is a great choice.
- Mozzarella cheese sticks: For salty cravings, grab an 80-calorie cheese stick, and you'll consume a quick eight grams of protein.
- Cubed tofu: Blocks of tofu are great to have in your fridge to make recipes like these vegan cucumber tofu rolls or baked tofu for salads. If you want to save a little time, then buy the one that's already cubed for you. Cut a small slit in the package, drain and squeeze out the excess water, and enjoy it raw sprinkled with a little garlic powder and salt. You can also add it to a pan with sliced veggies for a quick stir-fry or on top of pizza. One-third of the package offers 10 grams of protein.
- Plain Greek yogurt: With no fat and only 53 calories per 5.3-ounce serving, plain Greek yogurt with cut-up fruit offers almost 10 grams of protein. It can also be used in recipes such as smoothies, baked goods, or dressings and as a healthier alternative to sour cream.
- Frozen edamame: A delicious little snack, one cup of edamame in pods is 150 calories and 12 grams of protein. Or, for an even quicker source of protein, buy shelled edamame and use it as you would any other bean.
- Tempeh: A four-ounce serving offers an impressive 22 grams of protein. Dice up plain tempeh and add it to your favorite veggie recipes, or, to save time, buy the ones that are already flavored; they're great to add to sandwiches.
- Cottage cheese: For a fast 12 grams of protein, eat low-fat cottage cheese. It's only 90 calories, so you can feel free to load up your bowl with tons of fresh fruit.
- Veggie burgers: Depending on what they're made of, veggie burger patties range in the amount of protein from three to 26 grams. Great on whole-wheat buns, cooked patties can also be chopped and added to wraps, tomato sauce, or your salad.
- Raw peanuts: Satisfy your crunchy cravings and grab a handful of peanuts (about an ounce) for over seven grams of protein.
- Milk or soy milk: Not just for your cereal bowl, enjoy a glass of skim milk (eight grams) or plain soy milk (seven grams) for a quick and easy low-cal source of protein, perfect for a post-workout snack.
- Hard-boiled eggs: Keep a bowl of hard-boiled eggs in the fridge. Just one contains over six grams of protein. They're great to enjoy with a healthy breakfast, for an easy snack, or sliced on your salad or sandwich.