How many times have you been asked, “Where do you get your protein?” I know I’ve been asked that question a lot. We live in a protein-obsessed culture, and for some reason most people think that it can only be derived from meat. Fortunately, Heather Nicholds’s new book Protein from Plants is here to set the record straight.
Protein from Plants is part nutrition resource book and part cookbook. In it, Heather debunks the top protein myths, explains why we need protein and how much we really need, and gives tips on transitioning to veganism. Heather includes an entire chapter devoted to those times when you may need more protein than normal, such as pregnancy and lactation, training, and post surgery. She even explains how much protein your pets need!
Heather also breaks down the different types of plant protein food groups, including beans and legumes; soy, tofu, and tempeh; grains; and greens. And then she includes a plethora of recipes in which to use those foods. The recipes will get your through a protein-feud day from breakfast and lunch all the way to dinner and dessert, with some snacks to graze on in between meals. Heather’s delicious dishes include Maple Dijon Burgers, Pesto Pizza, and Cranberry Quinoa Cookies.
Chapters in Protein from Plants include:
- Understanding Your Protein Needs
- Additional Protein Needs
- Plant Protein Food Groups
- Protein-Rich Recipes
The first recipe I chose to make from Protein from Plants was the Tempeh Bourguignon. I just can’t resist a good tempeh recipe! I find that tempeh is one o the most underrated protein-rich vegan foods, and most people don’t know what to do with it. I like to simmer it in a bath of vegetable stock before I cook with it to help remove the fermented taste. This Tempeh Bourguignon was absolutely incredible! It’s the kind of dish that you can serve on date night or at a dinner party, and your guests will think that you slaved away in the kitchen for hours, but it really only took a few minutes to throw together. If you have precooked rice on hand, the meal will come together in a flash.
Protein from Plants is an excellent resource book. It will reassure new vegans that that they are indeed getting enough protein in the diets, and it will arm seasoned vegans with plenty of information to answer that pesky question we’re all tired of hearing.
- ½ cup brown rice (dry)
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 package tempeh, sliced
- 1 tablespoons whole grain flour
- ½ cup dry red wine
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, or dried
- 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Put the rice in a small pot with a lid, add 1 cup of water and a pinch of sea salt, bring it to a boil for a couple of minutes, then turn down to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Rice is fully cooked when it is dry and fluffy. Do not stir the rice while it is cooking.
- Heat a large pan to medium-high and saute the mushrooms in the coconut oil. Allow them to soften and release their juices before adding the onion, then the garlic.
- Once the onions and garlic are softened, either remove the vegetables from the pan or push them to the outside and add the tempeh. Sprinkle some flour over the tempeh and allow it to seal around the tempeh and brown on the bottom of the pan for a few minutes. Add the wine and the water, and stir the vegetables in with the tempeh. Add the seasonings, and allow everything to merge on the heat for a few minutes.
- Serve the tempeh bourguignon over brown rice, or with high-protein mashed “potatoes”, with a glass of wine to enjoy it with.
I have a copy of Protein from Plants for one lucky winner. Follow the instructions below to enter. Contest ends at midnight Eastern Time on August 15th. Good luck!