Every western high protein diet you consult will tell you to eat chicken and egg everyday. As a vegetarian, replacing those sources of protein is a real struggle. Isn't it? Here's a few simple foods you can incorporate in your Indian meals that help to increase the amount of protein you eat everyday.
Gone are the days of vegans and vegetarians falling short of their recommended daily intake of protein. Today, there are several foods that are easily available in stores around you that offer more protein than eggs. The list below has 8 top foods we recommend adding to your vegetarian meals to amp up the energy.
Natural Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a great pick if you’re vegetarian and need a good protein addition to your meals. Be careful to pick the right kind of peanut butter though. A natural peanut butter, which has mainly peanuts as its ingredients (no added hydrogenated fats or preservatives), will give you up to 10g of protein per 32g serving (that's 30%). As a spread, peanut butter is quite versatile and can easily be added to your breakfast and snack times. You can have some with toast, add two spoons to your oats, dip some biscuits in it, drizzle it on fruit or add it to your milkshake.
- High Protein Milkshake - read recipe here
- Chilli Chutney Peanut Butter with dosa/upma
- Peanut butter & fruit snacks (apple PB granola recipe)
100g of boiled soybeans contains 24g of protein. Soybean is quite versatile and can be used to make a variety of foods, including salads, main courses, and snacks.
- Masala Soybean (similar to peanut chaat)
- Soya chunks curry
- Soya chaap / falafel
Almonds are a terrific option for you to get more protein in your diet if you occasionally love snacking. Apart from the 5 soaked almonds every morning, you can add roasted almonds to your snack, shaved almonds to your oat bowls or almond butter to your toast. With 24g of protein per 100g, almond butter is a great addition to your diet.
- Almond Milk (read: How to Make Almond Milk at Home)
- Topping on Oat Bowls
- Chocolate Almond Butter on Toast (replace sugary chocolate spread)
As vegetarians, if you think that the best way to get high protein in our diet is through paneer and we're not wrong. As 100g of paneer contain roughly 18g of protein, it is both high in protein and low in calories. You can eat paneer in a veggie sandwich at breakfast and start your day with a high protein kick. In fact, eating a savoury high-protein breakfast in the morning helps maintain more stable glucose levels throughout the day.
- Veggie paneer sandwich
- Raw paneer bhurji with onion and chillies
- Paneer fritters / fingers
This fiber-rich, gluten-free grain is a source of complete protein because it includes all nine essential amino acids, including the muscle-building L-arginine. And has a 16g of protein per 100g.
- Salad with cucumber, tomato and boiled quinoa
- Quinoa biryani (just replace rice with quinoa)
- Quinoa upma
Greek yoghurt is a fantastic source of probiotics and has twice as much protein as homemade curd. It also makes you feel satiated for longer. Every 100 g of fat-free Greek yoghurt contains 10g of protein.
- Yoghurt with granola (for breakfast)
- Greek yoghurt smoothie with fruits
- Substitute regular dahi with unflavoured greek yoghurt
Given that a 100g of boiled chickpeas provides roughly 9g of protein, chickpeas have a fairly high protein level. By producing cholecystokinin, a hormone that suppresses hunger, it aids in enhancing feelings of satiety.
- Chana sabzi
- Hummus with Olive Oil (eat with pita & veggies)
- Pasta or Salad with Chickpeas
Lentils or Dal
As 100g of cooked daal contains roughly 9g of protein, which is much more than one big boiled egg! Pulses are a fantastic source of plant-based protein, fibre and complex carbs.
- Dal Chawal (who doesn't love this - my favourite food!)
- Moong Dal Chaat (with sprouted moong daal)
- Dal Chilla
- Vegetable Khichdi