LOOKING for: Vegetarian High Protein Sides

blueiris24April 23, 2007

I'm not very fond of meat but I really need to incorporate more protein into my diet - I've made a couple recipes the past couple weeks but am out of ideas -- any low-fat ideas for high protein sides or main dishes? TIA

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Will you eat cheese? Eggs? That makes it easier.
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 11:11PM
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Yes, eggs are fine and low fat cheese is ok too.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 11:27PM
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This makes a lot but it reheats fine in the microwave.


1/ 2 cup whole barley
1 cup boiling water
2 tsp. butter
1/ 2 lb. fresh mushrooms , sliced
3/ 4 tsp. lemon juice
1 large egg
3/ 4 cup kasha (toasted buckwheat groats)
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
3/ 4 cup long-grain white rice
2 medium onions, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 cups beef broth or stock (can use vegetable broth)
1/ 4 chopped fresh parsley
Salt & pepper

Put the barley in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Let soak for 1 to 1 1/ 2 hours. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over moderately high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute, stirring occasionally, until browned. If the pan seems too dry, add a Tbs. of water to encourage the cooking. The mushrooms will be dry at first but then release their juices. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the lemon juice; reserve.

In a small bowl, stir the egg with a fork. Stir in the kasha until coated and then dump into the pan you just used. Stir constantly over moderately high heat until dry and lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn out onto a plate and reserve.

Spoon the vegetable oil into the same pan and stir in the white rice. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring, to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer. Add the drained barley, kasha and mushrooms to the pan. Add the beef broth and bring to a boil, stirring, over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and simmer, stirring gently once or twice, until the grains are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Stir in the parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. Makes 10 servings of slightly under 1 cup each.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 6:49AM
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I'm not sure what you mean by "high" protein. Your body has a certain level of need for this building block, and doesn't store any excess.

The potential problem with a vegetarian diet is that, with the exception of soy, individual vegetables do not supply complete proteins. One of more of the essential amino acids is always missing.

However, there is an easy cop out. Any combination of a bean and a grain will provide the same complete protein as is found in meat. So all you have to do is assure that there's one such combo; either as the main dish or as a side.

You don't have to physically combine them. Just so you eat both.

Thus, you could have Ruthana's pilaf (which sounds great, btw) but you should have a bean dish to accompany it.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 7:40AM
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And on that same thought red beans and rice would be perfect.
Or that southwestern salad:
1 can of black beans drained
Equal sized can of corn, drained
3 green onions choppes with stems
2 T diced green pepper
2 T diced red pepper
2 chopped fresh cilantro
1 T white wine vinegar
1 Tsp sugar
3 T olive oil
Pour over veggies, add salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate at least 2 hours.Linda C
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 9:44AM
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I could have just said protein I guess - I'm not completely vegetarian, but I prefer meatless meals and after changing my diet in the past couple weeks I realized I have not been getting enough protein in my diet and was just hoping to get some new inspired ideas for using beans, etc.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 10:58AM
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There's a whole great world of grains out there as well as beans, Blueiris. You might want to start exploring some of them: quinoa, amaranth, spelt, buckwheat, all sorts of rices, barley, millet, etc. Don't forget that corn and cornmeal is a grain. And there are an incredible number of legumes and pulses in addition to beans as such: lentils, split peas, cowpeas, etc. Lots and lots of possibilities.

A new book you might find helpful is Heidi Swanson's "Super Natural Cooking," which is a good introduction to cooking with whole foods. Trust me, this is not your grandmother's vegetarian cookbook. Her introductory chapter on building a natural foods pantry is worth the purchase price alone.

Here's one example of a beans/grains dish you might like. Just leave out the bacon if it doesn't appeal:

Black-Eyed Pea & Millet Medley

4 cups cooked millet
2 cups black-eyed peas, cooked
6 strips bacon, cooked
1 onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup celery, chopped fine
1 cup white cabbage, chopped fine
2 1/2 cups whole canned tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup parsley, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tbls ghee or melted butter
1 1/2 tsp flavored salt sub (i.e., Spike, Mrs Dash, etc.)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup grated cheese

Coat a large skillet with the oil and saute onions and garlic until soft. Add cabbage & celery, sauteeing until tender. Stir in tomatoes, black-eyed peas, seasonings, and half the parsley. Let simmer a bit to meld flavors. Add ghee and millet to pan and toss all together. Heat through.

Garnish with crumbled bacon, if using, remaining parsley, and grated cheese.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 11:35AM
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Here are a couple I used to fix for my son when he was a vegetarian:
Best Lentils
1 1/2c lentils
2c water
1c chopped onions
1clove minced garlic
1/4c olive oil
1 1/2c grated cheese
1 beaten egg
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/4 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
Rinse lentils and simmer in water til soft (about 25 minutes). Do not drain.
Saute onion and garlic in oil til soft. Mix all ingredients together and pour
into a sprayed baking dish. Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes.
Lentil Cheese Supper
1# lentils, rinsed
2c water
1 14 oz can tomatoes, undrained
1c chopped onion
2cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp each marjoram, sage, thyme
2T chopped parsley
2 sliced carrots
1 green pepper chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced
2c shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375°
Combine all ingredients down to carrots in a sprayed casserole dish.
Stir well, cover and bake for 30 minutes. Add veggies and bake 30 minutes
longer (until carrots are tender). Top with cheese and bake til cheese melts.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 11:53AM
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Do you like ricotta cheese? A 1/4 cup serving of whole milk ricotta has:

108 calories
8 g fat (5 grams of that is saturated)
31 g cholesterol
52 g sodium
2 g carbohydrates
7 g protein

I just made this today. It was fast, simple, looked pretty, and tasted very good even though my tomatoes were not the best (alas, wrong season LOL).

Slice a whole tomato, and cut each slice into 4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle on some minced red onion. Place a dollop of ricotta on each piece. Use a good, fresh ricotta cheese (no fillers or gums or anything for the best results). The best I can get is bought by the pound at a gourmet deli. If you like, tear up a few basil leaves and distribute among the tomato pieces.

This can be served as a light lunch, a salad course, or a cold side dish to a meal. I had it for lunch with some red bell pepper strips and two slices of roast turkey.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 2:04PM
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Vegetarian Cashew Chili (source: Cooking Light)
(1-1/2 c. = 15.6g protein)

3 c. chopped onion
2-1/2 c. chopped red bell pepper
1-1/2 c. chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1 T. molasses
1-1/2 t. dried basil
1-1/2 t. dried oregano
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 T. olive oil
2 (15.5-ounce) cans red kidney beans, undrained
1 (28-ounce) can pinto beans, undrained
2/3 c. cashews, coarsely chopped

1. Heat the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic; saute 8 minutes or until tender. Add vinegar mixture, kidney beans, tomatoes, and pinto beans; cook 20 minutes, stirring often. Discard bay leaf. Stir in cashews. Yield: 7 servings (1-1/2 c. per serving).

Calories: 350 (28% from fat)
Fat: 10.9 g (sat. 1.9 g, mono 6.6g, poly 1.7g)
Protein: 15.6g
Carb: 51.7g
Fiber: 13.4g
Chol.: 0mg
Iron: 5.3 mg
Sodium: 882 mg
Calcium: 178 mg

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 9:58AM
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We like these peppers better than those made with ground beef...

* Exported from MasterCook *

Rice Stuffed Green Peppers

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Vegetarian

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
6 large sweet green peppers
1/4 cup oil
1 small onion -- finely chopped
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup chopped nuts -- (we like cashews)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 cups cooked brown rice
salt -- to taste
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese -- or cheddar

Cut slice off top of pepper and remove seeds and membrane. Chop usable trimmings.

Saute onion in oil until tender. Add chopped green pepper, celery and mushrooms and cook 5 minutes.

Stir in nuts cheddar cheese rice and salt. Stuff peppers with mixture and set in oiled baking dish. Sprinkle tops with 3 tablespoons cheese.

Pour 1/2" water in baking pan. Bake at 375F for 35-35 minutes or until tender.

"New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 331 Calories; 19g Fat (48.9% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 35g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 12mg Cholesterol; 127mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 3 Fat.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 10:26AM
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