Protein 101 + Three Vegetarian/ Vegan protein sources

Happy Cinco de Mayo! We hope you celebrate tonight with some Mexican food! Why not try our turkey enchiladaburrito bowl or homemade salsa recipes for a healthy spin to the typical Mexican cusiine classics?!

Today, we are looking at non- meat or dairy based sources of protein. With a focus on incorporating more meatless meals into our weekly routine, I have been trying to incorporate protein sources that are healthy but substantial! Not only are these food items high in protein, they also provide other crucial nutrients to make it a well rounded dish.

Protein is another type of macronutrient and is crucial to the body. In fact, it serves many purposes that we can’t live without! In addition to providing calories, protein builds and repairs structures in the body, takes part in body chemical reactions and helps by carrying nutrients to your cells. Protein is made up of two kinds of amino acids: 1) nonessential – 13 amino acids that your body can make on its own and 2) essential – 9 amino acids that have to be obtained from food. Of course there are many other options of protein sources not from meat or dairy, but I have narrowed down to three of the most popular.



Soy is a high quality protein, in fact it contains all of the 9 essential amino acids. Also, it contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and is low in saturated fat. It is also a good source of magnesium. You may see soy as tempeh, tofu, soy milk, edamame or miso.


This versatile, gluten free grain contains all nine essential amino acids, making it one of the most popular protein sources out there. Whether incorporated into a soup or mixed in a salad, the possibilities of how you can prepare quinoa seem to be limitless! Quinoa is also high in manganese, iron, fiber, copper, zinc, folate, among others. Check out our quinoa fried rice or quinoa greek salad recipes!


With 7 grams of protein in 1/2 cup serving, these legumes are great sources of nutrition. They are also low in calories, high in fiber and are a good source of iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6, among others. Check out our Lemon Orzo Chickpea Salad or Avocado Lime Hummus recipe for some of our favorite recipes including chickpeas!

Talk to us! What are your favorite types of vegetarian or vegan protein sources?


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