​Meat-Free Protein Ideas

With the price of meat rising, many of us are looking for alternative sources of protein for our families, especially growing children who need protein. Let’s explore meat alternatives that are both kid and pocket friendly.

Lentils have 18 grams of protein per cup, and lentil bean soup makes for a delicious and filling meal. You can buy lentil bean soup canned or prepare it fresh. I like Amy’s Lentil Vegetable Soup. This brand is not only delicious, but it has a good amount of vegetables in it such as carrots and green beans. If you prefer to make your soup from scratch, there are super easy recipes you can find online.

Quinoa is another terrific source of protein, delivering 8 grams of protein per cup. Qrunch makes a frozen quinoa burger that can be pan fried from frozen, then served over a bed of lettuce, or you can make it into a burger with a bun, lettuce, tomato, and onion. Try this delicious Quinoa Salad. It can be a meal on its own or used as a side dish.

Nut butters, including peanut butter, can have 7-8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. Look for those that have no more than two ingredients such as the nut itself and salt. Watch out for nut butters that contain a lot of sugar. Make a peanut butter sandwich or have a snack of celery sticks with peanut butter or other nut butter.

Tofu has 10 grams of protein in a ½ cup. You can use crumbled tofu in place of ground beef and make tacos. You can also use cubed tofu in your favorite stir fry recipes. I recommend buying only organic tofu.

Pinto beans and black beans contain a little over 15 grams of protein per cup. Make a large pot of chili and divide it into individual portions, which can then be frozen for future lunches. Crumbled tofu or Beyond Meat Crumbles, which has 14 grams of protein in a ½ cup (found in the freezer section), can be added for additional protein. Top with 2 tablespoons of shredded cheddar cheese, and you have another 7 grams of protein!

Bada Bean Bada Boom is a broad bean crunchy snack, with 7 grams of protein in a 1-ounce bag. Pair the Sweet Cinnamon flavor with a nut butter, and you have a protein packed savory snack. There is just 1 gram of sugar in a 1-ounce bag. The sweetness comes from stevia which makes it a low sugar snack.

Whether you are trying to save money, or trying to eat less animal protein, we’ve got you covered.