When it comes to building muscles, a high protein diet is the way to go. Many people think that the best source of protein is meat, but that is not the case. There are plenty of plant-based proteins that are great for those who are vegetarians or vegans. Here are 5 of the best vegetarian recipes for muscle building.
Chia Strawberry Smoothie
This 3-ingredient smoothie is great for breakfast because you can make them in minutes. The chia seeds are a great source of protein, antioxidants, and fiber. You can also add a little spinach or kale for more nutrients.
For this smoothie, you will need:
- 2 tsp of chia seeds, soaked in water or milk
- 2 cups dairy-free milk
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
To make this, all you need to do is add the soaked chia seeds, milk, and frozen strawberries into a blender and blend until smooth. You can add other vegetables or use other types of frozen fruits. Serve the smoothie chilled.
Breakfast Sandwich with “Egg” and “Sausage”
This breakfast sandwich is a great healthy alternative to the popular sausage breakfast sandwich that you can get from fast-food restaurants. The “egg” is made from tofu, while the “sausage” is made from tempeh. You can use store-bought English muffins or make your own from scratch.
You will need to prepare the tofu egg and tempeh sausage before assembling the sandwich. The ingredients of the tofu egg are:
- 1 block tofu, firm
- 1 ½ tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
For the tempeh sausage, you will need:
- 1 8-ounce package of tempeh
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
First, prepare the egg by combining all the seasoning in a bowl covered with a lid. Next, cut the tofu block lengthwise into half-inch rectangles. You can also use a circle cutter to make a disc shape. Place the tofu in the marinade and let it marinate overnight. Repeat the same steps for the tempeh. When ready to assemble the sandwich, cook the tofu and the tempeh on an oiled pan over medium heat. Slice open the English muffin and toast to your liking. Add the tofu and tempeh to the muffin and serve.
High Protein Sandwich with Cucumber, Avocado, and Alfalfa
Here is another great sandwich recipe, and it is very high in protein. The sandwich is easy to put together and works great for breakfast, lunch, or even a quick snack. The recipe calls for a whole grain bread that you can buy from a bakery or make your own using a bread maker.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2 slices whole-grain bread
- 2 ounces herbed goat cheese, softened
- 1 Romaine lettuce leave
- ¼ cucumber (already peeled and sliced)
- ½ large avocado, peeled and sliced
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup alfalfa sprouts
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
First, on one side of each bread slice, spread the goat cheese. Next, assemble your vegetable in order of lettuce, cucumber, and avocado. Drizzle the lemon juice onto the cucumber and avocado for taste and to prevent it from browning. Gently stack up the sprouts and season the sandwich with some salt and pepper. Place the other slice of bread on top, and it is ready to eat.
One-pan Mexican-Style Quinoa
Quinoa is a fantastic superfood, and it is great for muscle building because it is packed with protein. This quinoa dish features Mexican-inspired flavors and tons of vegetables. It is also straightforward, and all the cooking is done in one pot, hence the name.
For this dish, you will need:
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup red pepper, finely chopped
- ½ cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup corn kernels
- ½ cup salsa
- ½ cup canned chickpeas (already drained and rinsed)
- ½ cup canned black beans (already drained and rinsed)
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
Before you start cooking, preheat your oven to 180° Celsius. Place a sauté pan on medium heat and add the olive oil. The pan should be able to fit into your oven.
Once the pan is hot enough, add the red pepper, onion, and garlic, and cook until lightly golden brown. Next, add all the other ingredients, except for the quinoa, and stir to combine.
Then, add your quinoa and stir to incorporate with the liquid. Bring everything to a boil, and then cover and place in the oven—Cook for 40 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
Lentil Curry with Kidney Beans
Photo Source: Monika Grabkowska (Unsplash)
Lentils are a budget-friendly source of protein and can last for a long time. This kidney bean and lentil curry is made with fresh spices and goes well with flatbread and rice. However, the lentils will take some time to cook fully to save time and effort, and you can make this dish in a slow cooker or a rice cooker.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp yellow curry powder
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup boiling water
- 1 ½ cup of red lentils
- 1 can red kidney beans, strained and washed
- 1 cup coconut milk
Start by heating your coconut oil in a medium-sized frying pan. Add the onions and cook until they turn a golden brown. Next, add all the spices and bloom them in the oil.
Next, mix your tomato in the boiling water and add to the pan. Then, add in the beans and the lentils and bring the mixture to a boil. Add in the coconut milk and stir to combine. Cook until the lentils have softened. Serve with rice or flatbread.