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How to get enough protein on a vegan diet…

The following is an article from One Green Planet that explains very helpfully how you can get plenty of protein on a vegan diet, even if you don’t want to eat soy products such as tofu, seitan, tempeh etc.

So how much protein do we really need? According to Reed Mangels, Ph.D. and R.D., “The RDA recommends that we take in 0.36 grams of protein per pound that we weigh.” So, let’s say you weigh 175 pounds. You should then be aiming for around 63 grams of protein per day. Now, for some tips on how to achieve this feat, all the while staying plant-based, as well as gluten and soy-free.

Learn to love lentils.

Lentils are a protein powerhouse at around 18 grams of protein per cup. They’re also cheap and versatile. A triple win!

Hail the hemp seeds.

Hemp seeds weigh in at 16 grams of protein per 3-tablespoon serving. I like to add these seeds atop salads and throw them into smoothies whenever possible.

Beans are your friend.

Black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, lima beans…all of them will give you, at minimum, 15 grams of protein per cup. Throw beans on or in to at least one of your meals, and you’ll get a good bit of protein. I like to sneak beans into my breakfasts to get a nice morning protein boost.

Pass the peas.

Other legumes, like chickpeas or black-eyed peas, are a great protein source that can be made into veggie burger patties or cooked in soups, placed on salads, and so much more! These will bring in from 13 – 15 grams of protein per cup.

Quick, eat quinoa!

The gluten-free eater’s go-to rice substitute, quinoa is a staple for me and so many other gluten-free vegans. I eat it probably once every day, either at lunch or dinner. Two cooked cups will add 16 grams of protein to your daily count.

Get those greens.

Even your greens can be a source of protein – especially if you eat them in abundance! Spinach totals at 5 grams per cooked cup, while broccoli will give you 4 grams of protein per cooked cup. If you’re a healthy vegan, you’re eating greens in copious amounts – so add these and other protein rich greens in throughout the day, and it’ll add up fast.

Now, let’s put some of this together to see how easy it can be. If you made a dinner of, for example, 2 cups quinoa (16 grams protein) + 1 cup of black beans (15 grams protein) + a sprinkling of 3 tablespoons hemp seeds (16 grams protein) + 2 cups each of spinach (10 grams protein) and broccoli (8 grams of protein), all stirred up with some delicious vegan stir-fry sauce, your lunch or dinner would be giving you 65 grams of protein – above what is recommended for one day for the average 175 pound person!

15 great Veganuary recipes from food52.com

If you’re running thin on recipe ideas then here’s some inspiration from the fantastic food blog food52.com :

Vegan Carrot Bisque on Food52

I don’t love New Year’s resolutions, especially those that involve the words “diet,” “detox,” or “cleanse.” But if the start of 2015 has you thinking about incorporating more meatless meals into your repertoire, then so much the better. This is a wonderful time of year to explore a plant-based diet, and see where small changes take you.

In my experience, it’s easiest and most enjoyable to explore veganism one recipe at a time. Fortunately, there’s a vegan recipe for everyone. Whether you love soups and stews, hearty casseroles, crispy kale salads, or a crunchy platter of seared tempeh, you won’t be disappointed in this round up of hearty — but healthy — favorites from The New Veganism.

Warm Kimchi Bowl with Spicy Broccoli and Sesame-Scallion Wild Rice

Kimchi Grain Bowl

Lemon Tahini Dressing

Lemon Tahini Dressing

Raw Buckwheat Breakfast Porridge

Raw Buckwheat Breakfast Porridge

Tofu Breakfast Scramble

Tofu Breakfast Scramble

Vegan Pad Thai

Pad Thai

Apricot, Date, and Cashew Snack Balls

Date Balls

Snow Pea, Cabbage, and Mizuna Salad with Marinated and Seared Tempeh

Wintery Mushroom, Kale, and Quinoa Enchiladas

Farro with Leeks and Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Yam and Peanut Stew with Kale

Hearty Kale Salad with Kabocha Squash, Pomegranate Seeds, and Toasted Hazelnuts

Raw Kale Salad with Lentils and Sweet Apricot Vinaigrette

Green Smoothie with Avocado

Tempeh and Sweet Potato Hash

Black Bean and Corn Burgers

Photos by James Ransom

For the full article and links to all the recipes then just head here

A vegan in Uganda…

We’ve just returned from 2 weeks in Uganda.

We had no idea whether we’d be able to continue being vegan or not and so were pleasantly surprised to find that it was actually pretty easy.  We were staying in an area called Masaka which is a large sprawling town 140 km from Kampala.

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Cooking and eating revolves around the weekly food market that descends on the town every Friday and Saturday.  Local farmers bring their produce in large wheelbarrows to sell and the streets are literally groaning with fresh fruit, veg and spices.  Every stall looks identical and is selling identical produce at identical prices so I have no idea how people decide who to buy their week’s bounty from!  But there are plenty to choose from.

Unused spices

What’s available is obviously entirely seasonal but there seemed to be plenty on offer in October.  Potatos of various varieties, colours and textures, avocados the size of pineapples, passion fruit, jack fruit, sweet potatos, tomatos, green beans of all kinds, pineapples galore, mangos, aubergines, chillies, bananas and plantain absolutely everywhere, oranges, lemons, limes, paw paws – absolutely plenty to keep you satisfied!

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market

Avoiding meat was very easy as meat is such a luxury that it is actually quite difficult to come by.  The meat that was available was hanging very uninvitingly in the sun from large butchers hooks, dripping blood and still covered in fat, gristle and patches of skin.

Meat on sale. Uganda’s beef industry is facing quality and organisational challenges.

Dairy is relatively hard to come by also.  We didn’t see any cheese for sale in Masaka.  You can get it in supermarkets in Kampala but it’s very expensive so presumably is imported in.  We got long life soya milk in Kampala so we didn’t have to drink cow’s milk.  Vegetable butter is easy to get so that’s not a problem.  When eating out there was almost always a vegan curry option but I confess we had the occasional non-vegan pizza when we were all curried out!

I was interested to know how people would react to our being vegans and was surprised to find that everyone was very accepting and understanding of it.  As soon as we explained that we don’t eat any animal products people just nodded and seemed to understand.  Which just goes to show that you should never underestimate people.

Thanks for your concern…

I had one of those amusing slash infuriating moments recently that all vegans and veggies have to put up with often.  I was sat eating my lunch (steamed kale, spinach, chickpeas and broccoli with a tahini and lemon dressing) whilst a colleague ate hers (mozzarella and bacon Panini with a packet of crisps).  Over the course of our lunch she tried to explain to me why she thinks veganism is a bad idea.  Her reasoning:

1. It’s too expensive

2. It’s dangerous to cut out entire food groups from your diet

3.  It’s an unnatural diet and not one that we are designed to eat

Hmmm…. I sat there looking from my plate to her plate and back again and wondered how she could not see the irony and complete nonsense of what she was saying.  There was I, a committed vegan for nearly 2 years, eating a plateful of the most nutritious, tasty, cheap, locally grown, organic whole food whilst she sat across from me eating a plateful of high cholesterol, high fat, unhealthy, expensive, factory farmed, deep fried, highly processed rubbish!

Now I’m not saying you can’t eat a really healthy non-vegan diet because of course you can.  But I’m saying it’s astounding how often people will completely ignore the elephant in the room when it comes to discussing the health benefits of veganism.  They’ll start muttering on about vitamin B12, iron levels and zinc and dive straight into the nitty gritty of the possible nutritional shortfalls of a vegan diet if you don’t do it sensibly, whilst ignoring the fact that I’m there snacking on an apple and they’re on their fifth chocolate digestive…

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Breastfeeding booster!

Our 9lb chubster has an impressive appetite at the moment and therefore so do I!  Am breastfeeding exclusively so am ravenously hungry most of the time!  I made this juice on Saturday morning to make sure I’m getting all the nutrition I need and it was delicious so I thought it was worth sharing the recipe…

1 banana

1 apple

I large handful of spinach

1 stick celery

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 cup water

25ml elderflower cordial

1 tbsp Udo’s Oil

1 tsp acidophilus

1 tsp chia seeds

1 tsp flaxseed

1 tsp chlorella

1 tsp lucuma

Blend it all together and drink!

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