Meatless Monday – The Challenge Week 3

5o Hearty Vegetarian Recipes (That Even Omnivores Will love)

You are halfway through the month and the challenge! How is it going?  How did you fare going meatless for Thanksgiving? Any new converts out there for the meatless lifestyle?

Where’s the Beef?

Critics of a vegetarian diet say it’s not possible to get full protein from plant sources, citing that animal protein is complete and contains all the essential amino acids that the body requires daily from the diet. Lacto-ovo vegetarians fare a little better with protein than vegans. However, some planning and a little knowledge, will enable you to obtain these amino acids from plant protein alone. The key is to eat a wide variety of whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and vegetables.

  • The limiting amino acid in legumes is methionine. Combine with grains, nuts and seeds.
  • The limiting amino acids in grains are lysine and threonine. Combine with legumes.
  • The limiting amino acid in nuts and seeds is lysine. Combine with legumes.
  • The limiting amino acid in vegetables is methionine. Combine with grains, nuts and seeds.

American Society for Nutrition: Protein Complementation
Vegan Health: Protein

Tips
-Soak your nuts/seeds and sprout your legumes to increase the nutrient availability of these foods.
-It is not always necessary to combine 2 incomplete plant proteins at the same meal (e.g. rice and beans). As long as the foods are eaten in the same day, the body should be able to complete the amino acid profile.

Some combo ideas
-Sweetened red bean paste and sesame seed buns. It may be dessert but who says it can’t be high in protein as well as sugar and fat!
-Bean salad with quinoa and topped with seeds. (E.g. Mexican themed with pinto and kidney beans, bell pepper, corn, pumpkin seeds and an avocado lime dressing.)
-Veggie burgers made with oats, rice, lentils and walnuts.
-Oatmeal with nuts and seeds.
-Yellow split pea soup with cashews.
And just for good measure, throw vegetables into everything! (yes even dessert. Carrot cake, chocolate zucchini muffins, etc.)

This week’s recipe can be eaten on its own, poured into a pie crust and baked or topped with mashed potato for a shepherd’s pie imitation.

Ingredients:
1 cup lentils, sprouted
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium carrot, diced
a handful of crimini mushrooms (about 7-8)
1/3 cup each of peas, corn and walnuts
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
½ teaspoon of dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon each of mustard powder and rosemary
¼ teaspoon of Marmite
½ teaspoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of ketchup
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of vegetable stock
some oil for cooking

Method:
Heat oil in a deep pan, then add onions. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, mustard powder, parsley, rosemary and thyme then stir. Add mushrooms and carrot and continue to cook another few minutes. Add the Marmite, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup and stir to combine. Now add the peas, corn and walnuts and stir. Throw in the lentils and stir again. (Lots of stirring in this recipe!) Pour in vegetable stock then turn the heat to high. When it starts to boil, turn heat down to medium/low and cover the pan. Cook about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once most of the liquid is absorbed and the lentils are tender, the dish is done. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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