When two food groups are eliminated from a diet, health substitutes venture in. The vegan diet, specifically, is meatless and dairy-less, and the number one health question for vegans is: Where in the world do you get your protein?
Pamela Elizabeth, owner of NYC Blossom and Blossom Du Jour vegan restaurants is looking to answer that question. The answer lies in her menu at her latest outpost, Blossom on Columbus. Here, Elizabeth breaks down how she provides her vegan guests with plentiful protein:
1. Black Beans:
One cup of black beans provides 30% of your daily protein needs. This is the same as fish or chicken, BUT with black beans you are also getting lots of fiber. There is no fiber in fish, chicken or meat. The conclusion? Not only are black beans a great answer to the question of where do vegans get their protein, it’s actually better than its meat counterparts.You can get high quality black beans from grain exporters India.
*used in Nachos (house-prepared tortilla chips, tapioca cheese, black beans, tofu sour cream, guacamole)
2. Black Eyed Peas:
One cup of black eyed peas again provides 30% of your daily protein needs. This legume is low in calories, high in fiber and packed with potassium. It’s pretty close to a perfect food. Why it isn’t used on more menus is beyond us.
*used in Black Eyed Pea Cake (red pepper coulis, chipotle aioli)
Making cream sauces with nuts like cashews is amazing because it not only replicates the creaminess we love in white sauces, it also adds protein to a dish with 5 grams per ounce.
*used in Eggplant Tower 13 (baked eggplant and tapioca cheese topped with parsnip shavings, cashew cream sauce)
Most people don’t realize dark leafy greens provide a decent amount protein. The high fiber veggie also leaves you feeling full.
*used in Harvest Kale Salad (raw kale, avocado, wax beans, dried cranberries, bell peppers, scallions, avocado-ginger dressing)
These may be small beans, but they are huge on protein. Normally lentils are just thought of an addition to soup, but Blossom on Columbus looked at another way to add these gems to their menu.
*used in Lentil Rings (phyllo-wrapped lentils, curried pistachio cream, tofu ricotta)
This grain is known as a super food and we sure agree. It’s packed with protein and naturally gluten-free. It’s also said to have anti-inflammatory compounds that are said to help fight obesity. What animal protein can say that?
*used in Southwest Quinoa (black beans, quinoa, roasted sweet corn, diced peppers, watercress, toasted pumpkin seeds, guacamole, poblano dressing)
This one packs in protein like few others at 21 grams per serving or 41% of your daily needs. Still not sure what seitan is? It’s also referred to as wheat meat. It’s made by rinsing away the starch in wheat, leaving you with a protein packed gluten.
*used in Seitan Scallopini (pan-seared seitan cutlets, white wine, lemon, and caper sauce, truffle mashed potato, sautéed kale)
A cup of cooked tempeh has 31 grams of protein or 62% of daily needs. The fermenting process gives this soy product the edge over other soy products is easy to digest and source of fiber and calcium.
* used in Barbecue Tempeh (yukon potatoes, collard greens, horseradish crème fraîche)
A common misconception is that vegetarians only eat tofu. While that’s far from true tofu is still a great option due to its high protein and iron count.
*used in Salmon Tofu (trumpet mushrooms, leek-fennel compote, forbidden rice, sautéed broccolini, dill crème)
For another vegan feeder perspective, look at NYC Celebrity Chef Mark Bailey. His clientele consists of meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans (to name a few). A common request from his vegan clients is to have meat and dairy lovers’ type dishes, but turned meatless and dairy-less.
“It’s not as impossible as it seems,” Chef Bailey said. “Delicious meat and dairy-less dishes that I make for my vegan clients include Fettucini & Broccoli in Soy Cream Sauce, Vegan Bean Tacos, Curry Tofu Over Grits and an Avocado, White Bean and Corn Salad.”