Posts Tagged ‘protein’

Protein Bomb

July 28, 2010 Leave a comment

My sandwich at lunch today had at least 21 grams of protein. No wonder I wasn’t hungry until way later…

  • Whole Foods Multigrain bread: 4 grams protein per slice
  • 4 slices LightLife faux turkey: 13 grams protein

Now I just gotta figure out who owns LightLife. I heard a rumor it was some huge conglomerate like Dean Foods or some bullshit like that. Could be a deal-breaker. That turkey is so good though. At least I know it is non-GMO.


Vegan Food Bars

February 11, 2010 1 comment

I’m a big fan of energy bars. They are a compact way to get some solid food in your stomach. From the vegan perspective, eating a Clif Bar, Odwalla Bar, Lara Bar, or whatever, is a good way to get some protein and nutrition. Of course there tend to be drawbacks to such convenience. The biggest for me: wrappers. Every bar comes in it’s own super-sealed foil/plastic landfill fodder. If you eat one a day, you can just imagine how much indestructible non-biodegradable trash you send to landfills and maybe the oceans. Hence, my new project: DIY energy bars.

My goals for making my own vegan food barzz:

  • Filling snack for work
  • Nutrition packed
  • All organic
  • No wrapper
  • Protein the way I want it (soy-free)

It turns out this is pretty easy. If I can do it successfully, you can too. The beauty is that you can modify your recipe every time to try different flavors and ingredients. I have done a sweet cranberry bar, a simple banana-nut bar, and I’m excited to try more variations. Here’s a basic recipe:

Vegan Food Barzz:

Ingredients (all organic for me, and almost all from the bulk bins at Whole Foods):

  • Dry:
    • Rolled oats (I like quick oats)
    • Walnuts
    • Almonds
    • Ground Flaxseed
    • Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apricots, etc.)
    • Sunflower seeds (or others if you want, optional)
  • Wet:
    • Medjool Dates
    • Apple Sauce
    • Agave Nectar
    • Peanut Butter
    • Bananas
    • Fruit Juice (optional)


Pick whatever ingredients you want from these lists, and in whatever amount seems good to you. I would say the key ingredients are rolled oats, dates, and nuts.

1. Chop nuts. I just use a knife, but a food processor might speed things up.  2. Preheat oven to 325-350ish (I just do whatever seems to work).  3. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.  4. Chop dates. I like to slice them lengthwise, then into smaller bits.  5. Mix wet ingredients in a small pot over low heat on the stovetop. Apple sauce, dates, peanut butter, etc. This makes the dates easier to work with, and gives you a consistent thick liquid.  6. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients. You want just enough wet stuff to make a thick dense batter.  7. Press batter into a small baking pan after greasing it with Earth Balance or coconut oil. It should be about a 1/2-inch thick. Think Clif Bars.  8.  Bake for 25-40 minutes, until it looks good.  9. Allow to cool, cut ’em up, throw ’em in the fridge.

I know, this is a weak excuse for a recipe. But this is basically how I do it. I know what I want in the end and try to keep that in mind while I chop, mix, and bake. This may mean taking the pan out of the oven a few times to touch-test, experimenting with covering the pan or leaving uncovered. The point for me is to experiment, and have a nice little food brick to nourish me on those short work breaks. They are tasty, healthy, and come with a little pride every time you avoid throwing out a wrapper. My bars have tons of vegan Omega-3’s, protein, whole grains, and fruit. You can’t argue with that.

Red Lentil Dal

January 14, 2010 Leave a comment

This tasty dal is one of the recent fruits of my efforts to incorporate more legume-based protein into my diet, in lieu of soy. I’m not giving up soy, just trying to supplant it when I can. As vegans, we have an opportunity to get the bulk of our protein from more complete sources like beans and lentils, and I hope to use that opportunity to discover lots of new recipes.

I was very pleased with how this dal experiment came out, and I hope to make variations on it pretty often. I found the recipe for it online. Dals are pretty easy, and The New York Times put a quick little guide up online for making simple legume-based dishes in their Minimalist series, so check that out for more ideas.

Some prep pics:



Catching Up

December 30, 2009 Leave a comment

This posting won’t be pretty, but I want to catch up on some of the tasty vegan food I’ve been eating lately. Think of this as a food diary of sorts. No pics to upload, but I figure it is worth it to share some of the things we’ve been cooking.

  • Miso Soup – a tasty simple soup that even I can’t screw up. Miso contains probiotics that boost your immune system, and it makes for a great lunch on a cold December day. I added scallions, fresh spinach, and thin noodles, along with some sriracha to spice it up.
  • Spaghetti – an easy vegan standby. I got a bunch of organic mushroom marinara on sale, so Minnie whipped up some pasta with texturized vegetable protein, nutritional yeast, and added tomatoes. Always good.
  • Red Lentil Dal – I will do a pic for this one shortly. In my quest to cook more and try new dishes, I decided to give Indian dal a shot. Red lentils with onions, garlic, turmeric, more spices that my tired brain can’t think of now, all served with Minnie’s magical yellow basmati rice. More details on this dish soon.
  • Vegetable and Barley Stew – slow cooked to perfection. I’m surprised we haven’t done veggie soup with barley until recently. The barley is such a perfect addition that I doubt we’ll leave it out ever again. Carrots, potatoes, celery, onions, tomatoes… noms.
  • Mashed potatoes – this time Minnie made them nice and creamy with hemp milk. I can’t wait to have some tomorrow!
  • Roasted Butternut Squash with lentils – another one I managed not to screw up. I wanted to make sure to do another squash before the season ended. There has been so much organic Colorado squash at the store this fall that it screams at me to buy it every time I shop. I have learned to bake it a little hotter and a little longer than the on-squash sticker specifies; maybe the local farmers don’t account for altitude on their labelling? Another tasty leftover waiting for me tomorrow…

I’ve been trying to increase the variety in my diet and reduce the amount of processed foods I eat (like veggie burgers, fake meat, etc). This means more dried beans and lentils from the bulk bins, and staying on the lookout for interesting recipes that a kitchen amateur like me can handle. Right now I am soaking some kidney beans for a Jamaican sweet potato and kidney bean stew I am making tomorrow. I also have a new chickpea/veggie curry I want to try out soon. It has been rewarding to get back to basics and get protein and nutrition from legumes and fresher whole foods. I still love my Yves fake ham and turkey for a quick sandwich, but I am consciously trying to get protein from fewer soy products, just in case all those scary rumors about soy are true (and protein variety seems much healthier to me).

Being vegan is such an evolving lifestyle. When you start out, you tend to eat a lot of Boca burgers and pasta. While those meals still end up in my rotation, I have found a lot of new recipes that I might not have considered if I still ate a diet based on the industrial food system I was so familiar with before. Going vegan only gets easier and more rewarding as you go, and I love it more every day.

Protein Audit: Last Sunday

November 17, 2009 Leave a comment

I’ll attempt again to answer the classic question asked of vegans: how do you get your protein? I did this a couple months ago, documenting everything I ate on a day off from work. This time I looked back on a typical work day and recalled all the things I ate this past sunday at work and at home. Last audit I got 72 grams of protein. An article on suggested I should be getting about 100 grams of protein per day, but another site suggests that 54-70 grams is enough for somebody my size. I’ll split the difference and shoot for 80 grams. Let’s see how I did:

Click here to read more about my protein audit…

Vegan Dinner: Veggie Stew

October 26, 2009 Leave a comment


A simple, hearty vegetable stew. Perfect for a chilly Denver day. Green lentils, carrots, a potato, leeks, shallots, celery and spices crock-potted for 3 hours or so in vegetable broth. This was super easy to make and probably breaks down to about $1.00 per serving. Not bad, considering we used all organic ingredients. I can’t think of many meals with more nutrition than a pot full of vegetables! Lots of protein in those lentils, too. Very tasty results.

Yesterday’s Protein

September 6, 2009 Leave a comment


Probably the second question every vegan gets from the uninitiated friend or concerned family member is: how do you get your protein? (The first question, of course, being: What do you eat?). Well, I thought I’d take a look at everything I ate yesterday and figure out just how much protein I consumed in a day, just out of curiosity. I did the calculation after the fact, and tried to eliminate any protein-loading bias by choosing yesterday’s meal. Here it is (after the jump) 

Read more…