Take A Seat, Beans. 17 Other Non-Meat Protein Sources


Please, take a seat, Beans . . .

Please, take a seat, Beans . . .

I was a pescatarian all through college and then again throughout my late twenties, and, contrary to popular belief, I did not only live on beans even though I love them.


I do not have any beef with beans. LOL

Over the last few years, I’ve had many problems with adult on-set allergies to certain nuts, seeds, oils, corn, and certain processed & high-fat foods. So. On Labor Day, after sharing a delightful Domino’s sausage pizza with Caleb, I decided that I would give the pescatarian diet a go. Pescatarian: aka: ovo-lacto vegetarians) Meaning I cut out all meat besides seafood, organic dairy products, and organic eggs.

Not having enough protein has forever been the #1 concern for people considering vegan or vegetarian eating habits. Despite these concerns, as a vegan or vegetarian, you can source the necessary nutrients from various food plants rich in protein. Other than black beans, more food plants contain protein.

17 Protein Sources for Vegetarians

17 Protein Sources (Other Than Beans) for Vegetarians

1. Seitan

Wheat gluten is the source of seitan. When cooked, it resembles meat in texture and looks. Many vegans and vegetarians source their proteins from seitan due to the high nutrient composition. Every 100 grams of seitan contains approximately 25 grams of protein, phosphorus, calcium, and iron.

Did you know Chipotle offers seitan “Sofritas” as a protein option?

2. Protein-Rich Fruits and Vegetables

You can increase protein intake by adding certain vegetables and fruits rich in protein to your meals. A few examples: alfalfa sprouts, spinach, boy Choy, broccoli (my favorite food), cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts.

3. Lentils

The high composition of protein in lentils helps prepare a variety of dishes such as spice-infused dahl’s, hearty soups, fresh salads, and more. Lentils are also rich in fiber that can reduce the occurrence of various diseases.

I am not a huge fan of just lentils, but I love them in soups, and in the veggie burgers Caleb makes for me from How Sweet Eats. 

4. Nutritional Yeast

Many people use nutritional yeast to give meals a dairy-free cheese flavor. Nutritional yeast is rich in fiber, protein, and vitamin B12.

5. Tofu, Tempeh, and Edamame

Soya beans are the source of Tofu, tempeh, and edamame. In addition, soya beans are rich in essential amino acids necessary for tissue growth. Thus, vegans and vegetarians can prepare various recipes using these food plants, rich in other nutrients on top of protein.

6. Green Peas

When making a green peas meal, you are guaranteed to benefit from a high protein composition, minerals, and vitamins.

As a kiddo, I absolutely hated green beans, but now I look forward to having them!

7. Spelt and Teff

Spelt and teff are ancient grains that contain high-protein components. These ancient grains are alternatives to usual grains as they are also rich in minerals and vitamins.

8. Spirulina

Vegans and vegetarians should absolutely consider adding spirulina to their diet. Spirulina is a blue-green alga that is very nutritious due to high protein components that increase general body health.

I like adding Spirulina to my smoothies or juices in the morning.

9. Hemp Seed

Vegans and vegetarians can source highly digestible protein and essential fatty acids from hemp seed. In addition, the nutrients from hemp seeds promote human health.

10. Amaranth and Quinoa

Also referred to as pseudo-cereals, amaranth and quinoa are sources of protein. The preparation of amaranth and quinoa is similar to other traditional grains such as rice and wheat.

11. Bread Made from Sprouted Grains

Bread prepared from organic legumes and grains such as millet, wheat, barley, soybeans, and more, have nutritional and enhanced protein nutrients compared to usual bread.

12. Nuts and Nut Butters

Vegans and vegetarians should look for nuts, seeds, and butter to complement their diets with protein, vitamins, and minerals. The seeds are nutritious even when eaten raw.

protein sources for vegetarians

13. Oats and Oatmeal

On top of adding protein to a vegan or vegetarian meal, oats are also very nutritious and delicious.

14. Wild Rice

As a source of nutrients, wild rice is also tasty and rich in protein. However, vegans and vegetarians should take precautions with wild rice due to its arsenic content.

15. Chia Seeds

Besides providing protein, chia seeds also contain minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that help our bodies stay happy and healthy.

Chia seed pudding is super easy to make overnight and keeps me full for hours. Here is a 3-Ingredient Chia Seed Pudding recipe by Feel Good Foodie. And, here is one of my favorite breakfast ideas; Dark Chocolate Raspberry Chia Seed Smoothie Bowl. 

16. Soy Milk

As an alternative to cow’s milk, soy milk is rich in protein. In addition, soy milk has a versatility that helps produce various products that have protein components.

I specifically look for soy milk that does not have any additives, like sunflower seed lectin.

17. Chickpeas and Most Varieties of Beans

Many legumes varieties such as chickpeas, pinto, black, and kidney beans provide a rich protein meal. In addition, these food plants offer potassium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, fiber, complex carbs, folate, and other beneficial nutrients.

What are your diet preferences? Have you ever made a diet change? 

I will report back to you all in a few months and let you know if I have noticed any changes; positive and/or negative, with my new eating habits.

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