Thinking about getting started on the vegetarian diet? With the right vegetarian meal plan, it’s easy to eliminate meat and enjoy delicious plant-based meals. High protein vegetarian meals are in no short supply these days! The best vegetarian recipes combine taste, quality and nutrients for high protein meals that don’t disappoint. If you’re looking to eat more plant based meals, here are 20 high protein vegetarian meals to indulge in!
What is the Vegetarian Diet?
The vegetarian diet is a diet free of meat, fish and poultry. There are different types of vegetarians, such as the pesci-vegetarians who eat fish, dairy and eggs, but don’t consume any other meat products, or laco-vegetarians who don’t eat meat, fish, poultry or eggs, but do eat other dairy products. There are also ovo-vegetarians, who do eat eggs, but don’t eat meat, fish, poultry or dairy.
What is the Difference Between a Vegetarian and a Vegan Diet?
While vegetarians still consume some animal-derived products such as cheese, honey and milk, the vegan diet is completely plant based. Vegans don’t eat meat of any kind and eliminate foods like eggs, honey, dairy products and gelatin.
If you’re wondering if a vegan diet is limited in terms of nutrients, it can be. But there are lots of high protein vegan recipes out there that contain all the protein you need! Healthy, high protein meals are essential for vegetarians and vegans to ensure they have the proper amount of energy and fuel throughout the day.
What are the Health Benefits of Following a Vegetarian Diet?
When done correctly, the vegetarian diet can be extremely healthy, having benefits such as lowered risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. This is mostly attributed to consuming higher amounts of fibre, antioxidants and flavonoids and carotenoids.
The vegetarian diet is also more pure and less toxic. Bacteria, parasites, chemical toxins and food-borne illnesses are more likely to be found in meat, poultry and seafood than plant foods.
Vegetarians also tend to weigh less and are less likely to suffer from obesity than meat eaters.
The challenge with the vegetarian diet is that some people find it hard to get the necessary amount of protein in their meals. This means that making vegetarian meals and snacks requires extra attention and following a high protein vegetarian meal plan is key! Luckily there are high protein vegetarian foods that do the trick!
8 Sources of Protein for Vegetarians
1. Nuts and Nut Butters
Nuts and nut butters, like peanut butter and almond butter are great sources of protein. 28 grams of nuts usually contains 5 to 7 grams of protein. Nuts are also an excellent source of fibre and healthy fats. Make sure to always buy natural nut butters to avoid added sugars, oil and salt.
2. Tofu, Tempeh and Edamame
These three foods originate from soybeans, which are considered a whole source of protein. They provide the body with all the essential amino acids it needs, and also all contain other nutrients that will keep you healthy!
3. Chickpeas and Beans
Chickpeas and beans contain around 15 grams of protein per cooked cup, and are high in complex carbs, fibre, iron, potassium and manganese. They also offer other health benefits such as decreasing cholesterol, lowering blood sugar levels and lowering blood pressure.
Lentils contain 18 grams of protein per cooked cup, which is amazing! They also contain a prime amount of slowly digested carbs and fibre. And don’t forget their high amount of antioxidants and other nutrients that can help reduce the risk of various diseases.
5. Vegetarian Traveler Snack Packs
These ready-to-eat legumes and seeds come in single-serve packs that are easy to bring with you on the go. The nut-free blend has 15 to 17 grams of protein per single serve packet, and you can use them to top everything from yogurt to salads to stir frys!
6. Coconut Macadamia Trail Truffles
With a nut butter filling surrounded by a brownie-like outer shell, these plant-based snacks deliver antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Not to mention, there are 3-4 grams of protein in each serving! They’re a healthy alternative to a sugary snack and are sure to keep you satisfied!
7. Nora Seaweed Snacks
This healthy, delicious snack packs 6 grams of protein. Light, crispy and flavourful, it’s the perfect protein snack to munch on!
8. BuckWhat! Noshes
Available in a variety of flavours, from crunchy peanut, to cocoa, to oatmeal raisin, these snacks are perfect for your mid-day fuel. Made with wholesome ingredients and chock full of fibre, zinc and manganese, they’re also low on the glycemic scale, helping to keep you full!
20 High Protein Vegetarian Meals We Love
1. Breakfast Enchiladas with Ranchero Sauce | Little Spice Jar
2. Sesame Soba Noodles | Damn Delicious
3. Quinoa Stuffed Peppers | Minimalist Baker
4. Chickpea and Potato Masala | Budget Bytes
5. Healthy Egg Salad | Well Plated
6. Meatless Lasagna Pie | Better Homes & Gardens
7. Avocado Breakfast Pizzas | Skinny Ms.
8. Shakshuka | The Mediterranean Dish
10. Spicy Kimchi Quinoa Bowls | Simply Quinoa
11. Tofu Spring Rolls | Better Homes & Gardens
12. Spicy Southwestern Burger | Skinny Ms.
13. Thai Sweet Potato Curry | Pinch of Yum
14. Baked Sweet and Sour Cauliflower | Creme de la Crumb
15. Black Bean Stew with Avocado and Egg | The Awesome Green
16. Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Salad | Fit Foodie Finds
17. White Bean Burger with Spinach | Better Homes & Garden
18. Kale Stir Fry with Curried Tofu | Lauren Caris Cooks
19. Vegetable Dumplings | The Woks of Life
20. Asparagus Falafel | Better Homes & Garden
Vegetarian healthy high protein meals aren’t hard to find! Whip them up to keep you full and satisfied as a vegetarian!