Meatless Monday – Protein power

It has often been said that getting enough protein in a meatless diet is challenging. While I don’t fully support this idea (those eating a junk food diet with some meat will likely not get enough protein either) I do think one should be vigilant about getting quality sources and sufficient amounts of essential amino acids in their daily diet. Enter protein powder supplements. And while I prefer a whole foods diet, I am not averse to the occasional supplement.

The two most common types seen on shelves these days are whey protein (moo) and pea protein. Whey protein, in particular whey protein isolate (further processed whey with more protein content) is quickly digested and provides the complete complement of essential amino acids. Pea protein is the plant-based version. It contains less protein per serving and not all of it will get absorbed by the body. According to a presentation I attended this weekend (Monitoring Recovery) you would have to eat twice as much pea protein to get the same amount as whey protein. Soy protein, hemp and rice are also popular ingredients in protein supplement powder. Whichever type you choose, here are some ways to sneak some protein powder in everyday foods.

  • replace a couple tablespoons of flour in pancake batter OR just use protein powder mixed with eggs/bananas and some milk (dairy or non-dairy) to make pancakes
  • mix some powder in a beverage ie smoothie, hot chocolate, etc.
  • mix some powder with oatmeal and prepare as usual
  • add some protein powder to a muffin/scone recipe
  • mix some powder with bread crumbs and sprinkle on top of casseroles
  • mix some powder with yoghurt and fruit then freeze in popsicle molds

Any other ideas you have to add to the list? 

Dick Gregory, an US comedian, activist and vegetarian passed away in the late evening of August 19, 2017.

Check out this link for his book on healthy plant-based eating:

See what Tracey McQuirter of By any greens necessary (best vegan blog 2015)  has to say about him:

So who was Dick Gregory anyway?

Meatless Monday – MasterChef meatless hacks

I’ve been watching a lot of MasterChef Australia these days as well as My Kitchen Rules New Zealand. There seems to be a recurring theme on these shows:

panna cotta, plate presentation, purée, crackling and crumb

The shows are heavily meat-centric and I wonder and wait for an all vegetarian/vegan MasterChef series. In the meantime I perform my recipe alchemy to make meatless variations of current food trends.

Almost every show there’s a panna cotta for dessert. This very simple dish is usually just milk with sugar, flavouring and gelatin. It is heated then poured into individual serving dishes and cooled. It should be removed from the container then served on a plate. The wobble is a sign that your panna cotta is successful. I replaced the gelatin with powdered agar agar and used coconut milk instead of cow’s milk (½ teaspoon to 1 cup) and it works. See my Instagram for a wobble video.

Plate presentation is often a judging criteria. A rainbow coloured mix of fruits and vegetables helps make a visually appealing plate. And you can’t go wrong with a small pile of grains topped with tofu or tempeh slices and kissed with some fresh herbs.

Vegetables often feature in some sort of purée smeared onto the plate. Try a pumpkin, pea or celeriac purée accompanied by a hearty serving of some plant protein.

Crackling is crack for pig meat lovers. It is the fat on pork belly crisped up. The generic tastes associated with it (salt, fat, crunch) have universal appeal though. Some oven-baked kale chips or fried plantain crisps can provide a salty, fatty, crunchy topping for a salad.

A crumb can be either sweet or savoury and resembles breadcrumbs in texture. It is often used as an accent to the main dish. Macadamia nut crumb with dessert or bacon crumb (more pig, sigh) for a savoury dish. With a food processor and some imagination you can create your own crumb accent for any meatless dish. Nuts, soaked then dried, make the ideal base for any meatless meal. Ideas: macadamia nut and ginger crumb with coconut panna cotta; pumpkin seed, maple flake and sage crumb with a three sisters (corn, squash, beans) and quinoa stuffed bell pepper.

Meatless Monday – “Yes we have no bananas”

Simply a recipe for this Meatless Monday 

Banana granola 

  • One banana, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons each coconut oil and maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar or maple sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • extras: walnuts, chocolate chips, freeze-dried strawberries

Preheat oven to 250°C. Mix wet ingredients then combine with the dry ingredients. Lay out on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for one hour. Makes around 2 cups.

Eat as a cereal, mix with yoghurt or use as a base for trail mix.