#VeganMoFo Day 3: I Read an Article About Protein-Packed Vegan Foods So You Don’t Have to (But You Probably Will Anyway If That’s Your Thing)

A.K.A. I Am Not A Nutritionist, But I Know How to Google

Listen, if you’re here, you probably already know that getting your protein as a vegan, like, ain’t a problem. That shit’s in everything. It’s B12 you gotta look out for, but let’s not get into that. But I went ahead and looked up some allegedly high-protein ingredients and picked a few to invent a meal out of. It’s like Chopped! But without the egos and arbitrary time limits and referring to dead animal parts as “proteins” (noun)!

  • Tofu – 10g protein / ½ cup
  • Quinoa – 4g protein / ½ cup
  • Spinach – 5g protein / 1 cup cooked
  • Sun-dried tomatoes – 6g protein / 1 cup
  • Lentils – 18g protein / cup
  • Pepitas – 9g protein / 1 oz.

From this, I propose: Baked tofu with a sun-dried tomato and pepita pesto, garlicky sauteed spinach, and a quinoa-lentil pilaf. Oooh. That sounds pretty good. Pantry ingredients include: garlic, onion, lemon, parsley, olive oil. I WILL NOT BE UNDERSEASONED. DON’T BORE NINA. (Wait. That last one is a different show.)

image

Pesto: Throw all of this in a food processor and make a paste.

  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, patted dry
  • ⅔ cup pepitas, toasted
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Small handful of parsley, torn
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste

Smear half the pesto in the bottom of a baking dish, spray with olive oil, add tofu slices to fit, then spray with more olive oil and cover with the rest of the pesto. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes on each side (I used my toaster oven).

Pilaf: Saute the onion in olive oil, add bouillon, then add washed lentils and quinoa until a bit toasty. Transfer to multicooker, add 3 cups of water, and cook for about an hour. (I used the brown rice setting on my VitaClay.)

  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • ~1 Tbsp. vegetable bouillon
  • ¾ cup French green lentils
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt to taste

Spinach: Wilt spinach in a big pan with a little olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and minced or microplaned garlic to your heart’s content. Splash with a good vinegar of your choosing. Serve.

  • 2 bags baby spinach (12 oz. total)
  • At least 4 cloves garlic, minced or microplaned
  • Olive oil, salt, and your favorite vinegar (I used balsamic)

The result is not the most photogenic dish I’ve made, but it’s pretty tasty. It could use a sauce, though. Why didn’t I make my usual tahini sauce?!

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