Loading...

Follow Dietitian Debbie Dishes | Dishing Up Healthy, V.. on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Dole Sunshine®as part of their #SharetheSunshine and #KingofJuices campaign.

Summer is in full swing and I can’t get enough of these strawberry pineapple margaritas! They are so refreshing and just happen to be a bit better for you than a margarita made with a traditional store-bought margarita mix since those mixes are usually loaded with sugar. Instead, these margaritas get most of their sweetness naturally (there’s a little sugar in the orange liqueur) from fresh strawberries and Dole 100% pineapple juice. Plus, they are super simple to whip up from just a few ingredients that are easy to find at your local grocery store. I am seriously in love with the pretty color the crushed strawberries add to this margarita. Although I strained the margarita mix to remove the crushed strawberries, you could totally include them in the bottom of the glass since they are so delicious to snack on when you are done with your margarita. Making this margarita for a crowd? The recipe below makes 1 serving, but you could easily triple/quadruple/etc the recipe to serve more. I think it would look really pretty served up in a pitcher with lots of chopped strawberries and pineapple. 

Our new condo has a great back porch so we have found ourselves spending quite a bit of time hanging out there this summer. I was so excited when our new patio furniture came since we finally have something comfortable to lounge on while we sip on these margaritas. My ideal summer afternoon would likely involve hanging out on our porch and sipping on one of these strawberry pineapple margaritas while I wait for dinner to finish on the grill. What about you?

Strawberry Pineapple Margarita - YouTube

Print
Strawberry Pineapple Margaritas
  • Author: Dietitian Debbie
  • Prep Time: 5 Min
  • Total Time: 5 Min
  • Yield: 1
  • Category: Drink
Description

Cheers to summer with this strawberry pineapple margarita made with Dole 100% pineapple juice. Crushed fresh strawberries create a pretty pink color and add lots of flavor!

Ingredients
  • Margarita salt for glasses
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 5 fresh strawberries, stems removed and halved
  • 2 oz tequila
  • 1 oz orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier)
  • 2 oz Dole Sunshine 100% pineapple juice
  • Club soda or lemon flavored sparkling water
  • Ice 
  • To garnish: fresh pineapple, sliced strawberries, fresh mint
Instructions
  1. Add margarita salt to a plate. Rub rim of glass with sliced lime and roll in rim in salt to coat. Add ice to glass and set aside.
  2. Squeeze lemon and lime and add juice to a cocktail shaker.
  3. Add strawberries, tequila, orange liqueur, and pineapple juice to the shaker. Crush strawberries with a cocktail muddler or large spoon. 
  4. Strain strawberry/pineapple mixture through strainer or top of cocktail shaker into prepared glass. 
  5. Top with club soda. Garnish with fresh pineapple, sliced strawberries, and mint. Serve!
Notes

Recipe makes 1 cocktail.

Nutrition
  • Serving Size: 1 drink
  • Calories: 130 kcals
  • Sugar: 11.5 g
  • Sodium: Varies
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 g
Did you make this recipe?

Tag @dietitiandebbie on Instagram and hashtag it #dietitiandebbie

SaveSave

SaveSave

The post Strawberry Pineapple Margarita appeared first on Dietitian Debbie Dishes.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Pssst! This post isn’t sponsored by any of the brands mentioned below and I haven’t been paid by any of them in the past for any campaigns. I just thought it would be fun to create a guide for some of the best frozen store-bought veggie burgers. 

Summer is officially here! With the 4th of July holiday coming up fast on Wednesday, I thought it would be fun to do a roundup of some of the more popular frozen veggie burgers you may find in the store. Although homemade veggie burgers are by far the tastiest, sometimes it’s just more convenient to pick up some frozen ones. However, not all frozen veggie burgers are created equal! I can probably speak for many fellow vegan/vegetarians who have gone to cookouts in the summer to be stuck with another so-so grilled veggie burger. So, Will and I grilled up a bunch of different ones and did a taste test to rank the best of the best! (I recruited Will for the grilling and for his perspective as a meat-eater.)

As you can see above, the brands we included in this taste test were: Trader Joe’s Hi-Protein burger, Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie burger, Hilary’s World’s Best Veggie Burger, Morningstar Farms Grillers’ Prime burger, Boca’s All American Flame Grilled Veggie burger, Field Roast’s Fieldburger, and the Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger. Of course, there are others out there but these seemed to be the easiest to find at our local stores. (Give a shout out in the comments below if you have a favorite one that isn’t included!) When looking for a good veggie burger option, I want one that has as close to 21 grams of protein as possible (the equivalent of a 3 oz beef burger). It gets bonus points in my book if it also has some fiber, but it isn’t a requirement as long as the protein is there.  I also like a simple ingredient list without processed soy or other additives. Here’s a ranking of our favorites from Best (#1) to Worst (#6) based on flavor. 

#1 – Field Roast (Vegan)
  • Taste: Hands-down this was both Will and I’s favorite! I thought it had a great well-rounded flavor of garlic, onion, and other spices rather than a fake smoke flavor like some of the others. When cooking, it caramelized nicely on the grill and held its shape well. It also stayed moist and I liked that the patty was thicker than most. The ingredient list includes vital wheat gluten, barley, onion, mushrooms, and spices. 
  • Nutrition Run-Down: Not only did the Field Roast burger taste great, it also met a lot of the nutrition criteria I look for in a veggie burger. Each patty has 25 grams of protein, 7 grams net carbs, and 3 grams of fiber. All that protein means that these burgers will actually fill you up like a typical beef patty. These are vegan, but do contain gluten. It looks like they are soy free too per the ingredient list, but it isn’t noted on the package. 
  • Cost: $9.29 per package of 4 = $2.32 per burger
  • Where to Find It: I usually have the best luck finding Field Roast products at Whole Foods. (Our little local co-op also carries a lot of their products – yay!) My only complaint about the packaging is that all 4 patties are vacuum sealed together so that they freeze into one large chunk so you have to do a bit of defrosting to be able to carefully pry them apart. 

#2 – Beyond Meat Burger (Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free)
  • Taste: I was totally intimidated to try these for the first time last summer. They look and feel so much like the real thing! Beyond the ick factor of looking so much like real ground beef, these do taste pretty good and are almost a little too close to the real thing as far as flavor and texture. These grill up nicely and have a nice smoky flavor. I can totally see these winning over a meat eater who may be veg-curious. 
  • Nutrition Run-Down: Each burger has 20 grams of protein, 2 grams net carbs, and 3 grams of fiber. The protein in these burgers comes from pea protein isolate. These are vegan, gluten-free, and soy free. 
  • Cost: $6.99 per package of 2 = $3.50 per burger – definitely a splurge!
  • Where to Find It: I’ve found these in the freezer aisle and the refrigerator aisle with the tofu and other plant-based products so I would check both places. You should be able to find it at Whole Foods and more recently at most major grocers like Kroger, Jewel, and Marianos. 

#3 – Morningstar Farms Burger (Vegetarian)
  • Taste: Before I really started cooking much as a vegetarian, I used to eat a lot of MorningStar Farms burgers. (The spicy black bean burgers were my fave!) These Grillers Prime burgers had a nice smoky flavor and held up well on the grill while still retaining some moisture. I also liked the texture of these more than some of the others that were lower on the list. 
  • Nutrition Run-Down: Each burger has 16 grams of protein, 3 grams net carb, and 1 gram of fiber. Unfortunately, these aren’t vegan since they contain egg. They also have gluten and wheat in case you need to avoid these.
  • Cost: $4.59 per package of 4 = $1.15 per burger 
  • Where to Find It: I have had pretty good luck finding these at just about any major grocery store as well as Target. 

#4 – Dr. Praeger’s Burger (Vegan)
  • Taste: Unlike the other burgers on this list that also try to taste like meat, these Dr. Praeger’s burgers are all about that veggie flavor. I thought it was a really tasty “vegetable forward” (per Will) burger. To me, the strong veggie flavor doesn’t seem to necessarily pair with typical burger condiments so I would probably slice this and put it in a veggie wrap instead. 
  • Nutrition Run-Down: These only contain 5 grams of protein per burger so you’ll definitely want to eat a side of baked beans or other plant-based protein food with these burgers. They also have 10 net carbs and 4 grams of fiber. FYI -they do contain soy and gluten for those who need to avoid those. 
  • Cost: $5.99 per package of 4 = $1.50 per burger 
  • Where to Find It: Most traditional grocery chains should carry these. I found them at Trader Joe’s so you can get them there if you have access to a TJ’s!

#5 – Trader Joe’s Hi-Protein Burger (Vegan)
  • Taste: I had high hopes for these burgers, but I was kind of disappointed in them. (I am usually a fan of TJ’s products!) The outside of these gets nice and crispy but the inside is kind of mushy. I think I like my burgers to have some texture to them, but these are rather smooth. The flavor was also pretty mild/bland so they could definitely use lots of toppings. I think I would prefer them chopped up and served as a taco or over a salad.
  • Nutrition Run-Down: Each of these burgers has a whopping 26 grams of protein, 8 grams net carbs, and 4 grams of fiber. They are vegan and appear to be soy free and gluten free, however it isn’t certified gluten free. 
  • Cost: $3.49 per package of 2 = $1.75 per burger
  • Where to Find It: Trader Joe’s
#6 – Hilary’s Burger (Vegan, Certified Gluten Free)
  • Taste: I’ve seen so many people raving about these burgers on Instagram, I had high hopes for these Hilary’s burgers but neither Will nor I really enjoyed them. I mean, the package says they are the “world’s best veggie burger”! Lol. (It was kind of a toss up between us if these or the Boca burgers would be last.) After grilling these were pretty dry and crunchy. You can definitely tell these are more grain based than any of the other burgers on this list. We both thought it kind of tasted a little like cornbread, which I wouldn’t really want to eat between two buns. I think these would be better served up over some salad greens. 
  • Nutrition Run-Down: These only have 4 grams of protein so definitely don’t serve these as your main source of protein in a meal. They also have 23 grams net carbs and 4 grams of fiber. They are vegan and certified gluten free. 
  • Cost: $4.39 per package of 2 = $2.20 per burger
  • Where to Find It: I found these at my local co-op but their website locator also has them at Whole Foods and Fresh Thyme Market. 

#6 – Boca Burger (Vegetarian)
  • Taste: Although Boca and MorningStar Farms have pretty similar products, these Boca burgers just didn’t measure up. They didn’t have much flavor and they had a lot less texture than the MorningStar ones. They also dried out a lot more quickly on the grill than the other burgers on the list. 
  • Nutrition Run-Down: Really similar to MorningStar with 15 grams of protein per burger, 1 gram net carb, and 4 grams of fiber. Unfortunately, these aren’t vegan since they contain milk. They also have soy, gluten, and wheat in case you need to avoid these.
  • Cost: $3.22 per package of 4 = $0.81 per burger
  • Where to Find It: You can usually find these at most major grocery store chains.  

Let me know what you think! What are your favorite veggie burger brands? 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

The post Store-Bought Veggie Burger Taste Test appeared first on Dietitian Debbie Dishes.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

These buffalo tempeh salads have quickly become a weekly dinner option for Will and I since summer started. Some days you just really can’t bring yourself to turn on the oven so these tempeh salads are the perfection solution. Until recently, I didn’t know just how easy it is to make your own buffalo sauce at home. It’s literally just 2 ingredients so I debated whether I should even post this “recipe” since it is so simple! You also have to serve it with some ranch dressing since buffalo and ranch are a perfect match. I have yet to come up with a recipe for a vegan ranch that I like so I would just use your favorite store-bought vegan ranch. The rest of the salad add-ins are totally up to you! These days, we are usually adding whatever market vegetables we need to use up. 

When I posted the photo of this salad on instagram, a lot of people mentioned that they had never used buffalo sauce on tempeh before and I was like “OMG – you have to try it!”. Tempeh is seriously like a sponge and just soaks up all that buffalo sauce. I think it would be a great way to introduce a newbie to tempeh since buffalo sauce is such a familiar ingredient and it pairs so well with the mild flavor of tempeh!

Print
Buffalo Tempeh Salads
  • Author: Dietitian Debbie
  • Prep Time: 10 Min
  • Cook Time: 10 Min
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Vegan
Description

These filling buffalo tempeh salads are a perfect meal for hot summer nights when you don’t want to cook but still want to eat healthy.

Ingredients For the Tempeh: 
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 8 oz. tempeh
For the Salads: 
  • Store-bought vegan ranch dressing, salad greens, cucumber, bell pepper, tomato, avocado, purple onion, radish
Instructions
  1. Add the hot sauce and butter to a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until butter is melted. Stir well to combine. Set aside. 
  2. Cut the tempeh into 1″ squares and then in half into a triangle shape. Carefully, half each piece again to create a 1/3″ triangle piece. 
  3. In a non-stick skillet, add oil and sauté tempeh until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Turn off heat and pour on buffalo sauce. Toss to coat. 
  4. Assemble salads. Divide tempeh evenly between 2 salads. 
Notes

**Nutrition facts below are for the tempeh only.** Nutrient composition of the entire salad will differ based on which vegetables and dressing you use. 

Nutrition
  • Serving Size: 1/2 recipe
  • Calories: 423 kcals
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 422 mg
  • Fat: 35 g
  • Saturated Fat: 30 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 5 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.5 g
  • Fiber: 8 g
  • Protein: 22 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Did you make this recipe?

Tag @dietitiandebbie on Instagram and hashtag it #dietitiandebbie

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

The post Buffalo Tempeh Salads appeared first on Dietitian Debbie Dishes.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Strawberry and rhubarb season is finally here! I always impulsively buy rhubarb at the farmers market on the weekend and the have to figure out what exactly I am going to do with it that week. I love the simple strawberry rhubarb compote for these overnight oats since you can put it on a variety of things like waffles, hot oatmeal, yogurt, toast… you name it! Personally, I’ve been loving it on overnight oats since I can make it up the night before and just grab it when I roll out of bed in the morning for a quick and easy breakfast. Plus, I prefer cold overnight oats in the hot summer months to my big bowls of hot oatmeal from the colder months. This compote recipe makes enough for at least 4-5 servings of oats so you have plenty to enjoy on whatever breakfast you may fancy. Also, if you are an overnight oats fan (like me!), be sure to check out my Overnight Oats 4 Ways for more tasty overnight oat combos. You won’t get bored! 

Print
Overnight Oats with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
  • Author: Dietitian Debbie
  • Prep Time: 8 Hours
  • Total Time: 8 Hours
  • Yield: 5
  • Category: Breakfast
Description

Don’t let that rhubarb go to waste! Make these overnight oats with strawberry rhubarb compote for a quick and healthy breakfast perfect for busy mornings. 

Ingredients For the Strawberry Rhubarb Compote:
  • 1 bunch rhubarb (~1 lb), chopped
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
For the Overnight Oats (Makes 1 serving): 
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats (not quick-cooking)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other favorite non-dairy or dairy milk)
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Add all of the compote ingredients to a saucepan over low heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until rhubarb has broken apart and thick sauce has formed. Turn off heat and transfer a jar. Cool completely in the fridge.
  2. To make the overnight oats, add all the ingredients to a jar and stir well with a fork. Store overnight in the refrigerator. 
  3. To serve, add ~1/3 cup compote to oats and stir well to combine. Top with chopped nuts, hemp hearts, coconut, or other favorite topping. 
Notes

Double or triple the overnight oats recipe if you’d prefer. The rhubarb compote recipe makes about 1 3/4 cups which is more than enough for at least 5 servings of oats. 

Nutrition
  • Serving Size: 1/5 rhubarb recipe + 1 serving oats
  • Calories: 396 kcals
  • Sugar: 29 g
  • Sodium: 304 mg
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 62 g
  • Fiber: 11 g
  • Protein: 16 g
  • Cholesterol: 27 mg
Did you make this recipe?

Tag @dietitiandebbie on Instagram and hashtag it #dietitiandebbie

The post Overnight Oats with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote appeared first on Dietitian Debbie Dishes.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Will and I are finally getting settled into our new condo (eek!), and I am loving the fact that we can start grilling again since our last apartment didn’t have anywhere we could set up our grill. Since the weather has warmed up and it feels like summer already, we’ve been firing up the grill a couple times a week. I had been craving kebabs so I created these grilled tofu kebabs with red pepper sauce over the weekend and we couldn’t get enough! We served them up with some brown rice and a few spears of asparagus we picked up at the farmers market. Mmmm!

The sauce recipe makes more than you’ll need for marinating the tofu. As the skewers cook on the grill, you’ll brush them with some of the extra sauce and you can drizzle it on after they are cooked when serving. The sauce is super simple to whip up from a couple of pantry staples you may already have on hand – diced tomatoes, jarred red peppers, and curry paste. When purchasing your tofu for these, make sure to get an extra firm variety so that it holds together well when grilling. 

Print
Grilled Tofu Kebabs with Red Pepper Sauce
  • Author: Dietitian Debbie
  • Prep Time: 15 Min
  • Cook Time: 10 Min
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6-7 Skewers
  • Method: Grill
Description

Fire up the grill and make these simple grilled tofu kebabs with red pepper sauce. The grilled tofu gets nice and crispy and that sauce is so delicious! 

Ingredients For the Sauce: 
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (7.75 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
For the Skewers:
  • 16 oz. extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 pint baby portobello mushrooms
  • Wooden skewers
  • 1/2 yellow or red onion
Instructions
  1. Add the sauce ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour 3/4 cup sauce into an 8″x8″ baking dish. 
  2. Add the cubed tofu to the dish and toss to coat in sauce and place in the refrigerator.
  3. Prepare your grill for cooking. 
  4. Chop the vegetables into large pieces. 
  5. When your grill is ready, assemble skewers. (Recipe should make 6-7)
  6. Cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally until blackened around edges. Brush periodically with extra sauce from baking dish. 
  7. To serve, drizzle with extra red pepper sauce.
Notes

**Not all curry paste is vegan/vegetarian so make sure to read the ingredients label. 

Nutrition
  • Serving Size: 2 Skewers
  • Calories: 251 kcals
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Sodium: 193 g
  • Fat: 13.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.5 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Fiber: 5.5 g
  • Protein: 19.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Did you make this recipe?

Tag @dietitiandebbie on Instagram and hashtag it #dietitiandebbie

The post Grilled Tofu Kebabs with Red Pepper Sauce appeared first on Dietitian Debbie Dishes.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Disclosure: Imperfect Produce sent me a few weeks of free produce boxes to try. I loved it so much I wanted to share it with you! They are a produce delivery company that fights food waste by finding a home for ‘ugly’ produce by sourcing it directly from farms and delivering it to your door in a convenient subscription box. 

Take advantage of the last of the winter citrus at the store and make this simple citrus and fennel salad. Fennel isn’t something I usually pick up in the grocery store, but I received some in my recent Imperfect Produce box so I was curious to test it out in this salad recipe. Imperfect Produce is a produce delivery service that also fights food waste by purchasing “ugly” produce directly from farmers that would otherwise go to waste because it didn’t fit grocery store standards. The produce is still totally edible, delicious, and priced really well. They currently offer delivery to the Bay Area in California; Los Angeles, CA; Orange County, CA; Portland, OR Metro Area; Seattle, WA Metro Area (includes Tacoma); and Chicago, IL Metro Area but hope to be expanding soon! 

If you are like me and haven’t really given fennel a try, you totally should! It looks a lot like celery with a wider bulb at the bottom and feathery leaves. The flavor tastes like anise which is a little like licorice. It works really well when paired with citrus in this salad. Since there are some concerns about romaine at the moment, you can also use another lettuce like green leaf lettuce or butter lettuce. For added crunch, I tossed in some salted, shelled pistachios which has been my go-to salad topper of late. If you aren’t a big fan of pistachios, chopped almonds would also work well in this salad. 

Print
Simple Citrus and Fennel Salad
  • Author: Dietitian Debbie
  • Prep Time: 10 Min
  • Total Time: 10 Min
  • Yield: 4 side salads
Description

Savor the last of winter’s citrus by whipping up this simple citrus and fennel salad with romaine, pistachios, and a simple vinaigrette. 

Ingredients Salad:
  • 1 large orange, segmented
  • 1 grapefruit, segmented
  • 4 cups chopped romaine
  • 1 fennel bulb, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 radish, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped pistachios
Dressing: 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Dash of salt and ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl. 
  2. Add the dressing ingredients to a jar, cover with lid and shake vigorously until well mixed. Drizzle over salad ingredients and toss to coat. Serve immediately. 
Nutrition
  • Serving Size: 1/4 Salad
  • Calories: 183 kcals
  • Sugar: 7.5 g
  • Sodium: 235 mg
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10.5 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Did you make this recipe?

Tag @dietitiandebbie on Instagram and hashtag it #dietitiandebbie

The post Simple Citrus and Fennel Salad appeared first on Dietitian Debbie Dishes.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Why Do We Need Protein?

As one of the 3 macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, and protein), it probably goes without saying that it is essential to eat enough protein. Most people probably know that protein plays a role in building/maintaining muscle, but did you know that it does so much more for us? In fact, almost every part of our body (skin, hair, enzymes, hemoglobin, etc.) is made up of protein, not just our muscles. Every protein is made up of a unique combination of smaller building blocks called amino acids. Our bodies use 20 different amino acids from the foods we eat to perform the different functions listed below. You need to consume all 20 amino acids on a regular basis to properly fuel all those different functions. However, 9 of the 20 amino acids are considered “essential” because the body can’t make them. The other 11 amino acids are “nonessential” because the body can make enough of them on its own as long as you consume enough of the essential amino acids and calories. For example, in order for your body to make the nonessential amino acid tyrosine, you need to consume enough of the essential amino acid phenylalanine. Also, your body can’t store essential amino acids so it is important to continually fuel your body with the protein it needs. 

Protein Functions: 
  • Cell Growth and Repair: Every cell in your body is in a constant state of growth (anabolism) and breakdown (catabolism). The food you eat supplies your body with the protein it needs to continue this process. 
  • Regulation of Body Functions:
    • Hormones: Hormones are essential for signaling certain processes to occur in different organs. For example, insulin is a protein-based hormone that plays a very important role in blood sugar regulation.  
    • Immune Function: Your skin, which is made of protein, is your greatest defense system against infection. In addition, the antibodies that run your immune system are protein-based. 
    • Transport Proteins: Proteins help carry nutrients around your body. For example, hemoglobin transports oxygen in your blood to cells.
    • Enzymes: Enzymes are essential for speeding up chemical reactions in your body. For example, the enzymes in your stomach are made from protein and are necessary for helping you digest food. 
  • Energy: The body’s preferred fuel is carbohydrate and fat, but if too little of that is available, protein can be converted into glucose. Like carbohydrates, protein provides 4 calories per gram while fat provides 9 calories per gram. 
How Much Protein Do You Need?

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8g per kg body weight. (1 lb = 2.2 kg) For example, if you are a healthy female who weighs 145 lbs (66 kg), you need at least 53 grams of protein per day. The Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) for protein is 10-35% of total calories for adult men and women. Protein needs are higher for some individuals like women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and some elite athletes. In addition to meeting your total protein needs, try to divide your total protein intake between each meal. Research shows that consuming 3 single meals containing at least 30 grams of high-quality protein each helps stimulate protein synthesis more effectively than meals with less protein. 

Can You Get Enough Protein on a Vegan/Vegetarian Diet?

Yes, according to the most recent Position Paper from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on Vegetarian Diets. “Vegetarian, including vegan, diets typically meet or exceed recommended protein intakes, when caloric intakes are adequate”. As you’ll see in the printable pdf, you can easily meet your protein needs with plant-based protein foods. 

What About Complimentary Proteins?

Plant-based protein foods like beans and legumes do not have all 9 essential amino acids, ie. they are “incomplete”. Essential amino acids commonly missing in plant-based foods include one or more of the following: cysteine, lysine, methionine, and tryptophan. On the other hand, meat like steak or pork provides all 9 essential amino acids and is considered a “complete” protein. (Soy beans and quinoa are the exception as these plants are “complete” proteins and provide all 9 essential amino acids.) It was once believed that vegetarians needed to pair foods with complimentary essential amino acids at a meal to get all 9 essential amino acids. (For example, pair beans which are high in lysine but limited in cysteine and methionine with rice which is high in methionine but limited in lysine.) However, the concept of consuming complementary proteins has since been debunked. As long as you are eating a variety of different plant-based protein foods throughout the day, you will get all the essential amino acids you need. 

As a Vegan,  How Do I Get Enough Protein If I Am Allergic to Soy?

Although soy is a great source of plant-based protein, you can still get all the protein you need from the other plant-based protein foods like beans, nuts, seeds, grains, etc. If you are not gluten-sensitive, seitan can be an option for you. Just make sure to check the label to make sure no soy has been added to the product. You can also make your own seitan at home from vital wheat gluten (Bob’s Red Mill carries it) and broth to ensure no soy is incorporated. As noted above, soy isn’t the only complete plant-based protein food. Quinoa also provides all 9 essential amino acids. Just like anyone else following a vegan diet, make sure to consume a variety of plant-based protein foods throughout the day.

Sources of Vegan Protein: Tofu: 
  • Tofu is made by curdling soy milk with a coagulant such as nigari, magnesium chloride, calcium sulfate, or magnesium sulfate and then pressing the solids into a block and cooling it. The longer the curds are pressed, the more firm the tofu. The process is actually very similar to making a dairy-based cheese. Also similar to diary cheese, the different types of tofu you find the store have different levels of firmness from silken to extra firm. You want to pay attention to what type of tofu a recipe calls for since they are not always interchangeable. 
  • Flavor: Tofu has little to no flavor which means it can be dressed up in any number of ways with marinades, sauces, etc.
  • Protein Content: The protein content of tofu differs slightly based on the type of tofu. A 1/2 cup serving of firm tofu has ~80 calories,  11 grams of protein, and 1 net grams of carbohydrate. 
  • Where to Find It: You’ll usually find tofu in the refrigerated section in sealed plastic trays. Some tofu is sold in a shelf stable pack and typically stocked in the international foods aisle. 
  • Preparation Suggestions: After opening, tofu should be drained and rinsed before prepping. Depending on the recipe you plan to make, tofu may need to be pressed to remove excess water. To press tofu, wrap it in a clean cloth or towel and sandwich it between two plates and stack something heavy on top. If you make tofu often, you can also invest in a tofu press. If you want to make crispy tofu, you’ll want to buy extra firm tofu and press it. Silken tofu works well in smoothies. Use firm tofu for dishes like tofu scramble where a crumbled texture is preferred. 
  • Diet Pattern: Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Keto, Low Carb, Low FODMAP (firm varieties only, NOT silken)
  • Favorite Brands: 
    • Phoenix Tofu is a smaller brand that makes delicious tofu but sales are limited to the Chicagoland area.
  • Recipe Suggestions: Teriyaki Tofu Sheet Pan Dinner // Vegan Curry Soba Noodles with Crispy Tofu // Vegan Ramen Soup with Crispy Tofu // Chipotle Tofu and Sweet Potato Skillet // Cauliflower Fried Rice with Tofu // Easy Tofu Pumpkin Curry // Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce
  Tempeh
  • Tempeh is a soy product that originated in Indonesia. It is made by taking whole soybeans, soaking them until softened, slightly cooking them, and then fermenting them so that they form a solid block. Unlike tofu, tempeh is minimally processed, so the soybeans are intact in the final product. The outside texture of the tempeh has a white film which is totally normal. 
  • Flavor: Tempeh has a mild, nutty flavor which works well in any number of savory dishes. 
  • Protein Content: A 3 oz serving of tempeh has 160 calories, 15 grams protein, 7 grams fiber, and 2 net grams of carbohydrate. 
  • Where to Find It: Tempeh is sold in the refrigerated section of the store near the rest of the meatless options and tofu. 
  • Preparation Suggestions: Use tempeh the same way you might use tofu or other meat alternatives in recipes like salads, casseroles, soups, etc. Tempeh holds its form well when sliced or cubed. You can also crumble it into smaller pieces and cook it up as an alternative to ground meat in dishes. 
  • Diet Pattern: Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Keto, Low Carb, Low FODMAP
  • Favorite Brands:
    • Lightlife carries a couple varieties of tempeh. We really like their organic flax one. 
  • Recipe Suggestions: Vegan Tempeh Nachos // BBQ Tempeh and Ranch Kale Bowl // Mexican Tempeh Skillet Casserole // Fall Harvest BBQ Tempeh Bowl // Spicy Tempeh Stuffed Peppers // Teriyaki Tempeh Bowl 
  Seitan
  • Seitan is made from wheat gluten, which is the protein contained in wheat. To isolate the gluten, wheat flour is washed to remove the starch so that only the gluten is left behind.  
  • Flavor: Seitan has a yeasty, nutty flavor that works well in savory recipes. 
  • Protein Content: A 2 oz portion of seitan has 100 calories, 15 grams protein, and 7 grams of carbohydrate. 
  • Where to Find It: Seitan is available in the refrigerated section of the store with the rest of the meat-alternatives. It is also often the main ingredient in many vegan sausages and some vegan burgers. 
  • Preparation Suggestions: Seitan has a very “meaty” texture so use it in recipes as a stand in for chicken, beef, or pork. You can also make your own seitan by purchasing vital wheat gluten and mixing it with vegetable broth to form a solid loaf that can then be chopped or sliced into smaller pieces for recipes. 
  • Diet Pattern: Vegan, Vegetarian, Low Carb
  • Favorite Brands:
    • You can purchase plain seitan in pieces or ground or make your own at home with a bag of wheat gluten and some broth!
    • Upton’s is a Chicago based brand that makes a variety of seitan products. 
    • Field Roast brand sausages are made from seitan; I usually rotate through their different flavors depending on the week, but I think the smoked apple sage sausages (25 g pro/sausage) are my favorite.
    • Tofurky is relatively easy to find at any grocery store. They make quite a few of their products from seitan. I really like their beer brats (24 g pro/sausage) and peppered deli slices (13 g pro/serving).
  • Recipe Suggestions: Quick and Easy Vegan Stroganoff // Vegan Sausage and Kale Pasta // Vegan Sausage Sheet Pan Dinner // Vegan Stuffed Seitan Loaf 
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
  • Textured Vegetable/Soy Protein (TVP) is made from defatted soy flour that has been cooked under pressure and dehydrated. All it needs is a quick soak in water or broth and it is ready to use in recipes. Even if you haven’t bought plain TVP before, you may have already tried it in a meat-free product from the store like Trader Joe’s vegan chorizo. 
  • Protein Content: A 1/4 cup (dry, uncooked) serving of TVP has 80 calories, 12 grams protein, 4 grams of fiber and 3 grams net carbohydrate. 
  • Where to Find It: Plain TVP can be found in the bulk bins at some health food stores. Bob’s Red Mill also carries TVP so you can purchase it wherever their products are sold. 
  • Preparation Suggestions: Simply soak 1 cup of TVP in a bowl with 1 cup of water or vegetable broth for 5-10 minutes until it has soaked up the liquid and softened. The crumbly texture of TVP works well as a substitute for ground beef in recipes like tacos, chili, stir fry, soup, etc. 
  • Diet Pattern: Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free
  • Favorite Brands:
    • Bob’s Red Mill carries a bagged TVP that runs from $2-4 depending on where you buy it.
    • Trader Joe’s Chorizo is made from TVP and a delicious way to try TVP for the first time!
    • Lightlife’s Gimme Lean Beef and Gimme Lean Sausage
  • Recipe Suggestions: TVP Stuffed Peppers // Vegetarian Lasagna Soup
Beans and Other Legumes:
  • Consuming beans and other legumes like lentils is a great way to incorporate vegan protein into your diet. Unlike seitan or tempeh, beans are easy to find at any local grocery store. In addition to protein, beans and legumes are also a great source of fiber, iron, vitamin B6, and magnesium. 
  • Protein Content: A 1/2 cup serving of beans has anywhere from 5 grams (chickpeas) to 8 grams (kidney bans) protein. Soybeans like edamame have  9 grams of protein per 1/2 cup serving. Lentils are similar and have about 9 grams of protein per 1/2 cup serving, cooked. 
  • Where to Find It: Look for dried beans in the bulk bins or purchase them by the bag. Canned beans are a convenient pantry staple. 
  • Preparation Suggestions: Beans and lentils are very versatile and you can likely find recipes using them in everything from savory dishes like chili to desserts like black bean brownies. We often make a large batch of dried beans on the weekend from scratch in the crockpot. Soak your dried beans overnight in the bowl of your crockpot by covering them with at least 1″ of water. The next day, drain the water and cover up to 1″ with broth and add salt, pepper, and spices. Cook on high heat for 6-8 hours in the crockpot until softened. We also keep a few cans of beans on hand in the pantry. Also, be sure to check out the newer pastas made from beans and lentils. If pasta is a staple in your diet, switching to a bean/lentil based pasta is an easy way to incorporate more protein into a meal. 
  • Diet Pattern: Vegan, Vegetarian
  • Favorite Brands:
    • We usually buy our beans or legumes from the bulk bins! I honestly don’t have a preference for any particular brand of canned bean, but if you need to restrict your sodium intake I would look for low sodium canned beans. 
    • Eat Banza Pasta is made from chickpeas; provides 14 g protein per 2 oz dry pasta
    • Trader Joe’s Red Lentil Pasta has 13 g protein per serving which is 3/4 cup dry pasta
    • Tolerant Black Bean Pasta has 22 g protein per 3 oz dry pasta
  • Recipe Suggestions: Vegetarian Black Bean Sweet Potato Burrito // Vegan Peanut Curry with Chickpeas and Sweet Potato // White Bean Meatballs // Chickpea Taco Salad // Vegan Burrito Bowl // Lentil Meatballs // Crockpot Vegan Minestrone Soup
Nuts and Seeds:
  • Nuts and seeds not only provide necessary protein, but they are also a great source of other nutrients healthy fats, vitamin E and magnesium. The standard portion size of a serving of nut is 1 ounce (ie. 23 almonds, 14 walnut halves) or 2 tablespoons nut butter. 
  • Protein Content: In general, a 1 ounce portion nuts has about 4-6 grams of protein. A 2 tablespoon serving of peanut butter has a little more, about 9 grams per serving. 
  • Where to Find It: It is easy to find nuts and nut butter in the store. I usually buy nuts from the bulk bins at the store since I like having control over how much I buy at once. For nut butters, I try to choose ones with no or little added sugar or other ingredients. Some supermarkets even have a machine that allows you to grind your own nut butter in the store. 
  • Preparation Suggestions: Nuts are a great addition to your morning oatmeal, salads, smoothies, and more. Nut butters are also great in oats and smoothies. I have also used nut butters in savory sauces like the soba noodles with peanut sauce recipe linked below. 
  • Diet Pattern: Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Paleo, Whole 30, Keto, Low Carb
  • Favorite Brands:
  • Recipe Suggestions: Vegan Peanut Curry with Chickpeas and Sweet Potato // Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce // Healthy Peanut Butter Granola // Peanut Butter Mocha Smoothie // Walnut Mushroom Enchilada Casserole // Honey Roasted Cinnamon Almonds 
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

I’ve been a vegetarian for years and for some reason I never tried cooking with TVP, ie. Textured Vegetable Protein. TVP is a by-product from the process of making soybean oil, which doesn’t sound very appetizing, but I promise it is good! In every 1/4 cup serving of uncooked TVP there is 80 calories, 12 grams of protein, and 3 net grams of carb which makes it a great plant-based meat stand-in for dishes. Will and I bought some ages ago from the bulk bins at Whole Foods and it was quickly forgotten in our pantry.  I decided to finally dig it out to figure out how to use it and I was so excited about how easy it was to use for these vegetarian TVP stuffed peppers! Since TVP is a dehydrated product, all you need to do is rehydrate it in some broth or water before using. I soaked it for just 5 minutes in hot water and it was ready to use! 

These vegetarian TVP stuffed peppers were super simple to whip up. I made the prep time even shorter by using instant brown rice that could be cooked up in the microwave. (Also, because I am terrible at cooking rice properly!) Otherwise, you could make some brown rice during meal prep and use it for this recipe later in the week. Other than the TVP, the ingredients in this recipe are ones that you likely already have at home. If you don’t want to try TVP or can’t find it, you can easily use 2 cans of black beans vs one in these. 

PS – It packs well for lunch at work!

Print
Vegetarian TVP Stuffed Peppers
  • Author: Dietitian Debbie
  • Prep Time: 10 Min
  • Cook Time: 55 Min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4
Description

Overcome any misgivings you may have about cooking with TVP and whip up these simple vegetarian TVP stuffed peppers for dinner tonight. 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup TVP
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese
  • 4 bell peppers, halved
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Add TVP to a bowl and cover with 1 1/4 cup hot water. Let sit for 5-7 minutes until water has been mostly absorbed and TVP has plumped up. 
  3. In a deep skillet, add the olive oil and onion. Cook over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes or until onion is translucent. 
  4. Add the garlic and taco seasoning. Cook for 1 minute. 
  5. Add the tomatoes, rice, beans, jalapeno, tomato paste, and TVP. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes allowing any excess moisture to cook off. 
  6. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese and cook another 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted. 
  7. Arrange halved bell peppers in a 9″x11″ baking dish. Divide billing up between peppers. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. 
  8. Remove foil and divide the other 1/2 cup of cheese onto the top of the peppers. Cook another 15-20 minutes or until peppers are tender and cheese has browned. 
  9. Serve with chopped cilantro, jalapeno, and/or sour cream. 
Nutrition
  • Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
  • Calories: 420 kcals
  • Sugar: 5.5 g
  • Sodium: 620 mg
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 7 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 55 g
  • Fiber: 14 g
  • Protein: 30 g
  • Cholesterol: 25 mg
Did you make this recipe?

Tag @dietitiandebbie on Instagram and hashtag it #dietitiandebbie

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

The post Vegetarian TVP Stuffed Peppers appeared first on Dietitian Debbie Dishes.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Have I told you that my husband is great cook? He’s often making dinner around here behind the scenes. I tell you, there’s nothing better than heading to the gym after work and then walking into the house where dinner is almost ready. (Seriously, I’m one lucky gal.) A couple weeks ago, he made this quick and easy stroganoff and I totally raved about it. I wanted to share it with all of you so I had him make it a second time just last week and write down the recipe.

I love this quick and easy vegan stroganoff because you can whip it up in one pan and you only need 10 ingredients to recreate it at home. I really made it a one pan meal by using a pre-cooked microwavable pasta that comes in a pouch for a really easy meal. You could also cook up your favorite pasta on the weekend and just reheat it when you make this recipe to save time. (Why does it seem like water takes forever to boil when you are hungry for dinner?) For those of you who may not be familiar with seitan, have no fear! It is a plant-based protein that is made from wheat gluten and has a chewy texture similar to beef or chicken. I promise it is not as weird as it sounds. This quick and easy vegan stroganoff is a good one to make when trying out seitan for the first time in a more familiar comfort food like stroganoff. Can’t find seitan? You could easily substitute with white beans or chickpeas in a pinch. 

Print
Quick and Easy Vegan Stroganoff
  • Author: Dietitian Debbie
  • Prep Time: 8 Min
  • Cook Time: 20 Min
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 2 Servings
Description

This quick and easy vegan stroganoff is the perfect weeknight meal for even the busiest of nights. If you haven’t tried seitan yet, this is a great recipe for trying it out in a dish that is familiar comfort food. 

Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 oz. package cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 8 ounce package plain seitan, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Add olive oil to a non-stick skillet and heat over medium-high heat for a minute. Add the mushrooms and saute until mushrooms have softened and released their moisture.
  2. Stir in the flour and saute until flour starts to lightly brown. 
  3. Stir in the broth 1/2 a cup at a time, stirring well and cooking for a minute or two with each additional 1/2 cup. 
  4. Stir in the seitan, rosemary, thyme and bring to a simmer until broth thickens to gravy consistency.
  5. Add the spinach. Cook another 2-3 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Season with the salt and pepper (adjust as needed to taste). Serve over cooked pasta. 
Notes

Use a low-sodium vegetable broth to reduce the total sodium in this recipe for those with reduced sodium needs. You can also adjust the added salt if needed. 

Nutrition
  • Serving Size: 1/2 Recipe
  • Calories: 519 kcals
  • Sugar: 4.5 g
  • Sodium: 1785 mg
  • Fat: 30 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 16 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 36 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Did you make this recipe?

Tag @dietitiandebbie on Instagram and hashtag it #dietitiandebbie

The post Quick and Easy Vegan Stroganoff appeared first on Dietitian Debbie Dishes.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview