Thursday, December 3, 2009

Protein as the Main Event

One of the most common questions posed to Vegans is “Where do you get your _____ “(fill in space with a multitude of things – iron, calcium, protein). There are plenty of sources of protein that we can get from legumes, tofu, nuts, seeds and butters, as well as grains. I was shocked to read that 1 cup of soybeans has 28.6 g of protein! In order to determine how much protein you need per day, there is a nice little calculation I found in “Becoming Vegan” by Brenda Davis, R.D. and Vesanto Melinda, M.S., R.D.

Your weight (lbs) / 2.2 lbs = weight in kg
weight in kg x 0.9 = your recommended protein intake per day

For a female that is somewhere between 115 to 120 pounds, this works out to about 50 g of protein per day. Chickpeas and tahini will help you achieve this goal.

2 cups chickpeas (1 540ml / 19oz can) = 40 g of protein
½ cup tahini = 40 g of protein
½ cup water, more if needed to get desired consistency
1 leek, sliced
3 garlic cloves
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp italian seasoning (basil, oregano, lavender, etc)
Salt and pepper to taste

Roast the garlic and leeks until browned... this seems to sweeten the taste of each, but more importantly fills the kitchen with an amazing aroma of awesomeness. By the way, Word spell check says awesomeness is a word, so deal with it. Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth.

We smothered some home-made spelt loaf with hummus, plopped on some cooked kale, freshly sliced tomato and garnished with basil for a delicious open-faced sandwich. Balsamic vinegar never hurt anyone either.

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