Looking for a healthy and nutritious way to fuel up but don't have much time? Luckily, plenty of delicious and easy plant-based protein meals can help ensure you're getting the nutrients you need and don't take long (at all!) to prepare. Here are three quick and easy plant-based meals that are full of protein and flavor.
Lentil and Mushroom Curry Recipe
This vegan and gluten-free lentil and mushroom curry is packed with protein and flavor. Not only does it typically consist of lentils and mushrooms, but it also includes various spices, vegetables, and herbs cooked together in a flavorful curry sauce. It provides plenty of dietary fiber along with a good helping of calcium, iron, and potassium.
Like most recipes, there's plenty of room for experimentation and adjustments.
- Peanut oil - 2 tablespoons
- Diced yellow onion - half a cup
- Garlic - 3 cloves
- Sliced mushrooms - half a cup
- Lentils - 1 can drained (15-16 oz.)
- Vegetable stock - ¼ cup
- Cooked brown rice
- Curry powder - 1 tablespoon
- Cumin - ½ teaspoon
- Garam masala - to taste
- Heat about two tablespoons of your choice of oil (peanut oil is a great option) over medium-high heat until the oil starts to smoke. Reduce heat to medium, add half a diced onion and three minced cloves of garlic (more is good, too), sautéing until they're softened and slightly translucent.
- Add half a cup of sliced mushrooms (canned are fine, but make sure they're well drained). Continue to sauté the ingredients until everything is a light golden color.
- Next, add a scant tablespoon of curry powder, half a teaspoon of cumin, and garam masala to taste. Stir to combine and let the flavors marry for about two to three minutes. Pour in a drained can of lentils and a quarter cup of vegetable stock, and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is reduced. Serve over cooked brown rice or with naan bread, and enjoy!
Lentil and mushroom curry is a popular dish in Indian and South Asian cuisine, and is known for its delicious flavor, hearty texture, and nutritious ingredients. It can be customized to suit different dietary preferences and is a great option for those looking for a filling and satisfying meat-free meal.
Tofu Stir-Fry Recipe
Tofu stir fry is a vegetarian dish that typically consists of stir-fried tofu, vegetables, and various sauces or spices. This easy and quick stir-fry recipe is full of protein and nutrients — as much as half of your daily recommended allowance of calcium, manganese, and copper!
You'll need firm tofu for this recipe. You can press regular tofu between two plates with a can on top (reserve the expressed liquid for soup stock!), or you can save a few minutes and buy the extra-firm tofu, which won't need to be pressed.
- Extra-firm tofu - 1 ½ cups diced small cubes
- Peanut oil - 3-4 tablespoons
- Stir-fry vegetables of your choice. Here’s some suggestions:
- Sliced/chopped mushrooms
- Baby corn
- Water chestnuts
- Julienned carrots
- Bell Peppers
- Green vegetables of choice
- Soy Sauce - to taste
- Sesame Oil - to taste
- Cooked Brown Rice
- Slice about a cup and a half into one-inch cubes while heating two tablespoons of oil in a pan or wok over medium-high heat. Once the oil (again, peanut oil is a good bet) just starts to smoke, add in the cubed tofu and vigorously (but carefully!) toss until coated in oil.
- Fry the tofu until golden (slightly crispy), then set aside. Add a bit more oil to the pan or wok, and add your favorite stir-fry vegetables, like mushrooms, baby corn, water chestnuts, or julienned carrots. If you're cooking green, leafy vegetables, put them in last and bear in mind they'll reduce quite a bit.
- Sauté everything until tender, then re-add the tofu. For extra flavor, drizzle a little soy sauce and sesame oil over the mixture and toss, serving over cooked brown or wild rice.
This recipe can also be good with a variety of other sauces and seasonings, such as ginger or garlic to give the dish different flavors and depth. Tofu stir fry is a popular dish in many cuisines, including Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, and is known for its delicious flavor, nutritional value, and versatility. It can be customized to suit different dietary preferences.
This easy, nutritious salad couldn't be faster to make, and it's bursting with plant-based protein and flavor. Chickpea salad is a healthy and flavorful dish made with chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. The salad usually includes a variety of other fresh ingredients, such as diced vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion, as well as fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro. The salad is usually dressed with a simple vinaigrette made from olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
- Cooked Chickpeas - 1 can (15-16 oz.) or homemade
- Vegetables of your choice. Here are some suggestions:
- Diced Cucumber
- Chopped Tomatoes
- Diced Red Onion
- Romaine Lettuce - 1 head
- Other greens welcome
- Olive Oil - 1 cup
- Lemon Juice - 2 tablespoons
- Kosher or Sea Salt - to taste
- Pepper - to taste
- Simply combine cooked chickpeas (canned and drained are OK—we won't tell anyone), diced cucumber, chopped tomatoes, and diced red onion in a bowl. Sprinkle with a little kosher or sea salt, toss, and set aside while you make the dressing.
- Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper until the mixture begins to emulsify. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss, and serve on a bed of romaine lettuce, other greens, or in a wrap.
Some variations of chickpea salad may also include additional ingredients like feta cheese, avocado, or chopped nuts for added flavor and texture. Chickpea salad is a nutritious and filling dish that can be served as a main meal or as a side dish to accompany other dishes.
Healthy, Easy, Delicious
Eating a plant-based diet can be an incredibly healthy and nutritious way to eat, but one of the biggest concerns for those on vegetarian or vegan diets is getting enough protein—and let's face it, some of the best plant-based protein options can be a little more time or preparation intensive than fast food.
Delicious, nutritious, plant-based protein meals don't have to be complicated or time-consuming to prepare. With some planning, these meals can be made in minutes, and there's plenty of room for experimentation.