For those of you looking for protein, nutrient rich vegetarian or vegan meals look no further!
As we know, protein is essential for our body- for muscle growth, for our hair, skin and nails. However, a vegetarian or vegan diet can be low in protein and iron so it’s important to plan your meals carefully. This is an example of a standard meal plan in my nutrient and protein rich vegetarian diet. These can also be adapted for a vegan diet.
Pre breakfast snack– water, green tea and fruit
In order to clear out your body and get your metabolism going I recommend a pre breakfast of a small serving of fruit.
Why? Because fruit is rich in digestive enzymes, water and nutrients. It is best eaten on an empty stomach- so having it as soon as you wake up is perfect!
The fruit choice is up to you. Today I went for this beautiful bowl of mixed fruit, but when I’m busier I just grab an apple!
Water with a slice of lemon, and a green tea will aid your metabolism. You will also be giving your body plenty of anti-oxidants to help fight off any damage. Give your fruit at least half an hour to digest before having your main breakfast.
Breakfast: Nutty chocolate coconut oats
This breakfast is so tasty and satiating it is one of my faves!! It’s also got so many ingredients which benefit the hair, skin and nails as well as being protein rich!
Add all to a saucepan and mix on a low heat until of a consistency you like. Add more milk if required.
Toppings: choose at least two toppings from the following- a spoonful of desiccated coconut, a handful of berries, a blob of nut butter, a spoonful of flaked almonds, a spoonful of chia seeds.
If you are wanting to build lots of muscle you could even stir in a scoop of protein powder.
Not only does it look amazing but it tastes of gooey chocolatey nutty goodness. Mmm. I sometimes have this as a supper snack!
Mid morning snack: a handful of mixed nuts
Easy lunch– Baked beans on toast.
Three ingredients needed for this British classic!
1. Seeded wholewheat bread
2. Baked beans of your choice
3. Butter or dairy free spread
Toast some thick seeded wholewheat bread.
Let the toast cool slightly for thirty seconds or so.
Coat the toast lightly with butter or dairy free spread – you don’t want soggy toast!
Use a tin of baked beans of your choice. Preferably with little or no added salt and sugar. Heat up gently in a saucepan.
You may wish to add extra flavours- a drizzle of maple syrup or a sprinkling of paprika.
Optional– add grated cheese (dairy free if vegan)
Teatime: Lentil and quinoa bolognese
Chop up one white or brown onion
Add one tablespoon of cooking oil in a frying pan and fry on a low heat moving the onions around.
Meanwhile boil half a cup of lentils and half a cup of quinoa in a saucepan with water for about 8-10 minutes. Don’t cook them to a mush! They will continue to cook in your sauce.
Grate a carrot and two cloves of garlic (better to use a garlic press if you have one) and add these to the onions. Stir regularly.
Add the tomatoes and any herbs you are using. Add some flavour. Have a root in your cupboards to see what you have: Parsley is good and healthy too. Oregano also adds a nice flavour. A squeeze of lemon and a splash of balsamic vinegar adds some flavour. Tomato purée is always a winner, maybe a stock cube?
Drain the quinoa and lentils after about 8-10 minutes and add them to your frying pan. Mix everything together and let it simmer on a low heat for another 10 mins, basically keep an eye on it and keep stirring it. You want the flavours to be absorbed but you don’t want the lentils to be too mushy.
Using a julienne peeler (my preference) or a spiralizer, create strands of courgette so it looks like spaghetti or tagliatelle. Or you can just use wholewheat spaghetti. If I’m wanting a more filling meal I go for the wholewheat pasta. If I want a lighter option I go for the courgetti. Sometimes I mix them together.
In a large bowl place the courgetti (or pasta) inside. On top add your lentil and quinoa bolognese (optional- add grated cheese) and voila!!
If you have leftovers don’t throw them away! Put them in the fridge or freezer so you can reheat them for an easy weekday meal.
Snack: Chocolate ‘milkshake’
Before bed I always like something sweet. I’m such a kid at heart!!
Recently I’ve been making a protein filled, dairy free chocolate milkshake. Mmm.
It makes a really soothing drink and it’s perfect for bedtime! I sometimes have it with a slice of toast and nut butter to keep me satiated until the morning!
As you can see I get plenty of protein, nutrients and variety in my vegetarian diet.
My portion sizes vary depending on my daily activity. I don’t deprive myself- if I’m hungry I’ll eat!
Top tip: Always have plenty of fruit and nuts in your cupboards plus bread in the freezer!
Remember food is pleasure. Nourish your body with tasty, nutrient rich foods you enjoy, and your mind and body will be happier for it!
If you want more vegetarian or vegan recipes or ideas let me know!
Enjoy your cooking!
Hi, I live and work in Dubai. I enjoy getting out and about and seeing what Dubai has to offer, travelling in my holidays and spare time – prepare for blog posts about this, and cooking vegetarian recipes. I am passionate about travel and animals.