Whether you know it or not, I am not one to count calories or protein needs. From my studies in nutrition, and several other resources like here, here, and here, protein is a macro-nutrient that is found everywhere and we don't seem to need as much as we think.
Nevertheless, as a vegan, I get asked the most infamous question more often than I'd like; "You don't eat meat?! Well then where do you get your protein?!"
That is why I am writing this post...The average adult human body needs only .8-1 gram of protein per KILOGRAM of body weight...that's kg not pound...which comes out to roughly 50-70 grams per day for the average healthy adult.
Disclaimer: Certain life stages or diseases do need more or less protein, but I am just speaking for the general population here. I am also not prescribing how much one should consume, just stating the facts.
Now, to put that into perspective, here's a little chart for you: (The information below was found at the USDA's nutrient database and the)
|Food||Grams Protein per 100g of Food|
|Bacon bits, meatless||32|
|Ground beef, 70/30||24|
|Collard greens, raw||3|
Just think about how much broccoli or black beans you would get for 100g, and how little beef or other meat!!!
As you can see, animal flesh is a very dense source of protein (and saturated fat and cholesterol) and 3 ounce portions are the recommendation. Yes, you read that right...3 ounces...that's about the size of a standard deck of cards or the palm of your hand. From my experience, most Americans consume 3-4 times that at each meal!
Wouldn't you rather get to fill your plate/bowl to the rim with plants?! Well, I certainly would.
Now for the good stuff, and probably what you came here for in the first place:
You will need:
- 2 cups of cooked beans (if you are using canned, be sure to rinse)
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, shredded and roughly shopped
- 1 roma tomato, diced
- 1 garlic clove (optional)
- 1/2 of a fresh jalapeno (optional)
- herbs and spices to taste
Simply mix all the ingredients in a bowl and serve over a bed of fresh greens (spring mix and kale are my favorites).
You can enjoy this entire recipe with no guilt! Check it out, the whole recipe is 520 calories, 34 g protein, 31 g fiber (that's the recommended day's worth), and only 3 g fat!!
Serving Size: 1 full recipe (620g)
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calories needs.
Let me know how it goes if you try this recipe!