Protein...where are you?

Morning all...has anyone got any suggestions for adding protein to a vegetarian diet? I sometimes have quorn stuff but not a massive fan, and I know there's protein in nuts and cheese but don't want to go to town on them! I'm also terrible at cooking so the idea of knowing what to do with lentils to stop them looking like tree detritus phases me slightly!

Whenever I check my macro whatsit on MyFitnessPal I'm always massively under the 20% protein aim. Which I suppose means inbasically just eat carbs and fat - always a winning combination! 🙄

Thanks in advance! 😁

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19 Replies

  • Try adding ground almonds into your porridge. A few chickpeas or lentils work well in pasta sauces, don't need to add too many. Make it interesting with lots of veg in there too. Buy beans /lentils tinned, or boil up a whole load and freeze in lots of tiny portion sized pots til you need them. I also add Engevita nutritional yeast which is good for protein. Plus how do you feel about eggs? There's a world of frittatas to explore... :)

  • Thanks for the advice - yes I eat eggs, so trying to have a few of those a week (not in cake form)...I forgot they were good for protein too!

    I'm going to have a good sort out of my freezer this weekend (it's really small and useless but is also filled with loads of gubbins) and see if I can start doing some bulk cooking/freezing to get better at the old cooking lark.

  • I use really tiny pots, the kind that get used for salad dressings/ chutneys etc in takeaways, and fill these up with mini portions of cooked green lentils. They can then be quickly stirred into a pasta sauce etc, not much space to find in your freezer too. Also try making a vegan version of cottage pie/moussaka with a mixture of lentils and quorn mince. Loads of 'lettuce wrap' ideas on google too if you want to really shift the protein to carb ratio... :)


    It tastes awful but it's very good.

  • That looks a bit scary - I thought only astronaut food came in silver packets! I might see if I can do it via food first but if I'm still failing at quinoa I'll check it out!

  • Have been using it for years. It's good and it gives you that extra choice if you need it.

    Good luck.

  • You've already mentioned lentils :)

    Quinoa and mung beans (in fact most beans) are relatively high in protein. I follow a low fat vegan diet so I target about 10% of calories from protein and I wouldn't worry about not reaching 20%.

    Some types of lentil like puy hold their shape better when cooked, or you can go to the other extreme and turn them into soup. I often include lentils with rice or beans so they add texture without dominating.

  • Hi. I recently bought the River Cottage Veg book even though I'm not veggie. Really easy, delicious recipes including great lentil ones. I did a lentil salad with roast tomatoes and peppers with goats cheese - even my husband was converted! Also lots of chickpea ideas. The easiest risotto I have ever made - leek and chestnuts (I have used mushrooms when I can't find chestnuts). So many ideas and really quick and easy. Really worth a look.

  • I had this book out the library at one point and agree it has some great recipes. A good recipe book can help things a lot!

  • I will check it me a good excuse to trawl bookshops at the weekend!

  • I used to think protein powder was for bodybuilders but I have a new snack of frozen berries, white chocolate protein powder and whatever veg/nuts I feel like adding - you literally can't taste it if you add a little spinach, kale etc as the berries keep it sweet. Easy way to get protein in as an after dinner snack

  • I've been a veggie for 29 years. I would recommend the Veg book mentioned below and Simon Rimmer's Accidental Vegetarian. Lentils and pulses are one of the best ways to get your protein. One of the simplest meals is the best - Beans on toast. The pulse and the carbohydrate actually work together to provide protein. You should also try tofu. Good luck.

  • Trying to think of things easy to add that don't require culinary skills 🙂

    MORNFLAKE GO make a high protein porridge suitable for vegetarians and it's nice.

    Frozen soya beans, just boil 3 mins, add a touch of salt, make a nice snack

    Black beans, (good protein) just add tomatoes, onion, squeeze of lime and chilli, nice Mexican salad.

    Greek yoghurt.

    MERCHANT GOURMET do a range of ready to eat lentils, quinoa etc which are lovely.

    PURITION vegan protein shakes are great tasting, bit expensive but good, natural protein source

    Overnight chia seed pudding. Simply add coconut milk to chia seeds and leave in fridge over night, Stir in a drop of vanilla extract or fresh fruit, great brekkie.

    Hope these help.

  • Purition protein shakes, you buy them already made?

  • They are in powder form, I add to coconut water, water or almond milk. Made from natural ingredients. Come in different flavours. I would defo recommend on taste. The vanilla makes great protein pancakes. 1 banana, I egg, 2 scoops powder and blitz.

  • How much does it cost?

  • Check out their website as they have many different options.

  • Those all sound great thanks! I'm very much a fan of the 'no culinary skills required' options!

  • If your a fan of curry - Daal is super easy to make and delish with an egg on top!

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