The biggest fear people have when it comes to adopting a plant-based diet is that they will not get enough protein. I was guilty of thinking this! Even though I base my meals around vegetables I am constantly trying to add protein, usually in the form of meat or dairy. We always need more protein, right?
Two things started to make me reconsider this protein notion.
1. After ditching fake sweeteners and really committing to working on my relationship with food. I have been much more attentive to how what I put in my body makes me feel. While I love greek yogurt/cottage cheese and they are easy protein sources, if I am being honest they don’t make me feel good. Dairy seems to slow me down rather than give me energy. I sometimes eat yogurt right before bed because it literally puts me to sleep! The thing is, food is supposed to give us energy, so this can’t be right.
2. I watched Forks Over Knives and just started reading The China Study. These two sources have opened my eyes to the misconception Americans have about protein. Results from multiple studies have shown that countries who have a lower intake of protein and receive their protein from plant-based sources have far lower rates of disease.
I don’t think I will ever be completely vegetarian or vegan. Sometimes I crave meat and I really love my fro-yo. I am willing to try to cut back on my animal sources however and I am interested to see how it makes me feel. It is also a fun challenge to try to find new ways to fill my nutritional needs.
This past week I decided to make hummus to eat with my vegetables to replace the usual greek yogurt I have with lunch. I had frozen edamame so I decided to use that in place of the traditional chickpeas.
Beans in general are a great source of protein. They have been linked to lower blood cholesterol and may even help in preventing cancer. Edamame has a ton of fiber and about as much protein as it does carbohydrate. For a plant food it is also high in iron.
Along with my Asian inspiration I added some wasabi to the mix. I have this Penzeys wasabi and love it. You can find wasabi paste at most grocery stores.
I knew this recipe was a keeper when I was eating it straight from my vita-mix with a spoon.
- I package frozen edamame
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 clove garlic
- Juice of one large lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon wasabi*
- Salt and pepper to taste
- *Omit or to taste, with 1 tablespoon the wasabi taste was strong
- Prepare edamame following the directions on the package
- Using a food processor or blender puree all the ingredients except the olive oil. Drizzle olive oil in last and mix to combine.
- Eat with a spoon from the blender, with veggies or use as a spread. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Making your own hummus is super simple, cheap and fun because you can add your own twist to it! If you are in a time crunch though you can find full fridge displays of hummus at your local grocery store. Here are some easy ways to incorporate hummus into your diet:
- Dip your veggies in it! Instead of ranch dressing or a cheese dip serve vegetables and hummus.
- Instead of mayonnaise spread hummus on your sandwich.
- Mix it into your favorite salad. Sub some of your dressing for a more satisfying hummus.
How do you hummus?
Do you like hummus? Favorite kind and way to eat?