3 high protein vegan recipes from the vegan athlete’s recipe book
Food photography: Claire Winfield
The food industry has become obsessed with protein in recent years and there are good reasons for this. It’s important for maintaining and building muscle mass, and like fiber, it keeps you feeling full longer than other macronutrients.
This is not the end, however, as we were reminded when telling Anita Bean about her new sports nutrition cookbook. The vegan athlete’s cookbook. Bean told us about the evidence that shows the performance benefits athletes get from a vegan diet, which boils down to higher intake of plant nutrients and improvements in the gut microbiome. And that’s on top of the fact that you can get all the protein you need from plants – if you know what you’re doing.
âIt’s true to say that most plant foods have a lower protein content than foods of animal origin,â says Bean, âbut I wrote the book to dispel the myths surrounding vegan diets, including that vegans can’t get enough protein. The book shows people how they can get enough protein from a plant-based diet. All of the main meal recipes in the book contain a minimum of 20g of protein, which is the magic number that all athletes aim for. â
To get you started, Bean shared three recipes. Click on the links to access each recipe.
- Chickpea omelet
- Spicy chickpea pilaf with almonds and coconut yogurt
- Super risky bars
If you thought egg dishes like omelets were off the menu on a vegan diet, then think again! With a few tweaks, it’s perfectly possible to recreate your favorite breakfast dish. This omelet is made with chickpea flour (gram), which is widely available in supermarkets. It’s a great egg substitute for vegans because it’s high in protein, fiber, and iron. I filled the omelet with tomatoes and spinach, but you can add chopped red onions, mushrooms, red peppers or peas.
Ingredients (for one person)
- 60 g of chickpea flour (gram)
- tsp of salt
- c baking powder
- Pinch of turmeric
- pinch of paprika
- Pinch of nutritional yeast flakes
- 125 ml alternative to vegetable milk (any type)
- A small handful of chopped fresh herbs (e.g. parsley, chives or basil) or 1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
- 2tsp olive oil
- 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
- A handful of baby spinach
- Â½ small avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
- Pinch of chili flakes
- Combine chickpea flour, salt, baking powder, turmeric, paprika, yeast flakes and milk alternative in a bowl until smooth. Add the herbs, mix, then let stand for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the garnish: heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat, add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes. Add the spinach, then remove from the heat and set aside.
- Wipe out the pan and heat the remaining oil over medium heat. When it is hot, pour the dough and invert the pan so that it spreads thinly on the bottom. Cook gently until the top hardens and bubbles appear on the surface. Pour the filling over one half of the omelet, then fold the other half with a spatula. Press down with the spatula to seal it and cook for another minute.
- Slide the omelet onto a plate and serve with avocado slices and a pinch of chili flakes.
Nutrition per serving: 463 calories | 20g of protein | 22g of fat (4g of saturated fat) | 40g of carbohydrates (8g of total sugars) | 11g of fiber
This tasty combination of rice, chickpeas and almonds is an ideal pre-exercise meal that will support you throughout your workout. Chickpeas are nutritional powerhouses, rich in carbohydrates, protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, zinc and magnesium. They are the perfect nutritional supplement to rice, compensating for the lack of essential amino acids and increasing the overall quality of protein. Carrots and butternut squash are both high in beta carotene, while green peppers and peas are high in vitamin C. Almonds add extra protein, healthy fats, calcium, and vitamin E. If you prefer, replace pecans or cashews. If you don’t have all the individual spices, use 2 tablespoons of mild curry paste instead.
Ingredients (for two people)
- 1 tablespoon olive or light rapeseed oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- Â½ green or red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 cm of fresh ginger root, grated
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1tsp ground coriander
- 1tsp garam masala
- Â½ teaspoon of turmeric
- tsp dried pepper flakes
- 1 large carrot, diced
- Â¼ butternut squash (about 250g), peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
- 100g of basmati rice
- 300 ml hot vegetable broth or water
- 400g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 25g of raisins
- 75 g frozen peas
- 25 g of toasted and crushed almonds
- Small handful of finely chopped mint
- 2 tablespoons of coconut yogurt alternative
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet and sautÃ© the onion and green pepper over low heat for five minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin seeds and the rest of the spices and continue cooking for one minute.
- Add the vegetables and rice. Stir until coated with spices, then add vegetable broth or water, chickpeas and raisins. Mix well, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 10 to 12 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice and vegetables are tender. Make sure the mixture does not boil dry; add additional water, if necessary. Add the peas for the last three minutes of cooking.
- Serve topped with chopped almonds and mint, and a dollop of coconut yogurt alternative.
Nutrition per serving: 652 calories | 23g of protein | 18g of fat (2g of saturated fat) | 91g of carbohydrates (25g of total sugars) | 18g of fiber
I wanted to create a snack bar that had the maximum amount of nutrients and tasted fantastic and here is the result: delicious bars, super seeds, crunchy, nutty and high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins. B, in vitamin E, magnesium, iron and zinc. Nuts and seeds are true sources of nutrients and therefore form the basis of these bars. They pair wonderfully with dark chocolate, which contains a powerful polyphenol punch. Perfect after exercise or whenever you want a nutritious treat.
Ingredients (for eight bars)
- 125g mixed seeds (any combination of sunflower seeds, pumpkin, sesame and flax)
- 100g mixed nuts (any combination of almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts and pecans), coarsely chopped
- 25 g ground flax seeds
- 25g oatmeal
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- Â½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- 75 ml of gold, agave or maple syrup
- 50g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
- Preheat the oven to 180 Â° C / heat 160 Â° C / thermostat 4. Meanwhile, line a 900g (18 x 6cm) cake mold with baking paper.
- Place the seeds, nuts, flax seeds and oats in a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon and syrup and mix. Pour into the prepared pan. Press down firmly, making sure there are no gaps, and bake for about 30 minutes until lightly golden but not brown around the edges. Take out of the oven and press again with a large spoon. Let cool completely.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces, place in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on full power for two to three minutes, stirring at 30 second intervals, until almost melted. Stir again and let stand a few moments until it is completely melted. Alternatively, place the chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water and heat until the chocolate begins to melt, then stir until completely melted. Drizzle with cooled nut mixture.
- Place the mold in the freezer for the chocolate to set. Once cooled, cut into eight bars. They can be stored for up to seven days in an airtight container.
Nutrition per bar: 266 calories | 8g of protein | 18g of fat (4g of saturated fat) | 16g of carbohydrates (12g of total sugars) | 4g of fiber
Recipes from The vegan athlete’s cookbook: high protein recipes for training, recovery and performance by Anita Bean (Bloomsbury, Â£ 16.99). Outside now