“Adults in the U.S. are encouraged to get 10% to 35% of their day’s calories from protein foods. That’s about 46 grams of protein for women, and 56 grams of protein for men.”
It boggles my mind that people suddenly care about protein when I tell them I’m a vegetarian. I asked them, “Do you monitor your protein?” Respond: “I don’t have to, I eat meat every day.” I think to myself, if only that were true. I tell them that I probably have a better protein in-take than the average meat eater and I get a strange look. Most people don’t realize that our bodies digest vegetables easier than meat. I’ve hear people say that steak has so much protein. It does. HOWEVER, how much of the protein is our body really digesting? Do you know it takes 2 days for our bodies to digest that piece of beef? Can’t say the same for vegetables. I’m not telling you not to eat meat. I’m just giving you something to think about. If you don’t eat meat, like me, well kudos.
Another thing to consider- 1 cup of lentils has about 18 grams of dietary protein, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database. As noted above, we need 46 grams of protein (or 56 if you’re a male) each day. So 18 grams in this meal is looking pretty good right now! Pair with Broccoli or Spinach, you’re on your way to a healthier, protein packed diet. Enjoy.
- ½ cup green lentils
- ½ cup red lentils
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ¼ cup brown rice flour, or other GF flour
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, mashed
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 tbsp cilantro, chopped-divided
- 2 cup cooked brown rice
- In a large sauce pan add the coconut oil, cumin and flour. Toast together, mixing constantly, for 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Next, add the garlic and onions. Sauté for 2 minutes then ginger.
- After 3 minutes add the tomatoes and vegetable broth. Cover for 10 minutes on low heat.
- Uncover then add the tomato paste, turmeric, salt, pepper, parsley and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro.
- Finally, add the lentils.
- In a bowl add the cooked brown rice and top with lentil mixture and cilantro.
- Serve with peas, broccoli or a salad.
*Forgive the photo quality. This is an older recipe I created from the early days I learned how to properly photograph.*