Guest post from our friends at Kitchenbug, an online searchable recipe database that allows you to search for recipes based on nutritional requirements, such as “gluten free” or “vegan.”

The Best Source of Meatless Proteins

Calling all vegetarians and vegans! You need to take care of
yourself, and make up for the lack of meat in your diet. Finding a range
of substitutes for meat can be an arduous task without even asking yourself if
you are getting enough protein. This article can help you become aware of the
variety of meat substitutes, give you healthy ideas and provide you with tools
for eating healthy on a meatless diet.

Mixed Grains & Legumes

Mixing grains and legumes creates a complete, i.e. ideal

Try mixing rice and lentils, chickpeas and bulgur, quinoa and
black beans. Of course, feel free to throw in some roasted veggies or greens to
add variety.

Delve into the traditional Arab dish Mujaddara for
inspiration. This consists of rice/bulgur and lentils with spices and sometimes

Meat Substitutes

  • Tofu

It is probably the best known and most popular meat substitute.
However, it isn’t a natural or complete protein, so team it up with other
protein sources. Marinade it, grill it, blend it with almonds to make ‘cheese’.
Remember to add seasoning, as tofu is unflavored.

  • Soya Chunks

If you’re craving a meaty texture, this protein is the one for
you! It is high in protein although industrialized, so can contain added
preservatives and salt. Like tofu, it needs seasoning to make it tasty.

  • Seitan

This mock meat is usually found in Asian cuisine, and is often
used as a replacement for duck due to its realistic ‘meaty’ texture. Seitan
contains gluten and is therefore not suitable for celiacs. Like Soya Chunks, it
is a manufactured product which contains added salt and preservatives.


While vegetables contain high levels of protein (particularly
broccoli, sprouts, green peas and mushrooms), it is not possible to rely on them
as a primary source of protein. For instance, 300g of cooked broccoli contains
9g of protein while 100g of chicken contains 25-30g of protein. Combine your
veggies with another protein-rich source…stir-fry is a great choice.


  • Eat
    protein throughout the day.

It is highly unlikely that you will consume your daily allowance
in one meal. Spread out your protein intake throughout the day to give you a
higher chance of ingesting the necessary amount.

  • Eat a wide
    of quality protein.

Scientifically speaking, you should be aiming to eat proteins
with a high biological value. This basically means proteins that include all of
the amino acids that are essential for us to keep healthy. Natural meat and
eggs have the highest biological values of any protein, so veggies and vegans
need to find other options.

  • Plan your

Sticking to a vegan or vegetarian diet can be challenging, so
find tools to help you. I recommend Kitchenbug: a
useful online recipe platform which allows you to search for recipes on its
database according to dietary requirements such as ‘vegan’ or ‘high protein’ or
even both, just by placing a comma in the middle: ‘vegan, high-protein’. It
also instantly analyzes the nutritional value of any recipe you find online,
and can help you to discover which proteins will benefit you. Use it to build
up your own collection of recipes, organizing them in your personal boxes, to
aid meal planning and ensure you never run out of inspiration.

 By Ilanit Fananes

About the author: Ilanit Fananes is a Registered Dietician who
works at Kitchenbug as
well as runs her own private practice. In her free time, she likes to play
basketball. She tells her clients to toss the scale and use their clothes as
the best measure of success!