Jul 27

Vegan Protein Sources + Recipes

I’m not vegan…


…but I’ve dabbled in the vegan space, and I do acknowledge that my body loves a plant-based diet.

Since I’ve started training for a figure competition, I’ve introduced more diary, eggs, and fish into my diet.  I have to get ~150g of protein per day, so I felt it was the best decision for me to add those items back in.  (I have not added back in meat, which I think is the biggest offender when I felt like I was dragging in the past.)


That’s not to say that the average person can’t get enough protein on a vegan diet though!  Most people only need 0.7-0.8g of protein per pound of body weight.  If you are strength training to gain moderate muscle tone, try to get 1g per pound.


Much of my protein does still come from vegan sources, so I was excited to be asked by Kevin (@instagramfitness) to help put together a “clean eating” guide to vegan protein sources.  With input from myself, @_mr_nice_watch and @petitefi, Kevin designed this awesome chart:


Buckwheat clarification: 1C cooked = 6g protein. The 24g number is uncooked. Sorry!



Some of my favorite ways to incorporate the vegan proteins above:

Ginger-Lime Edamame and Black Bean Burgers



Cherry-Balsamic Chickpea Salad

Sweet Potato Asian Lentil Loaf

Seitan Chorizo

Salade Niçoise



Check out Kevin’s Tumbler site for more clean eating ideas – there are a few of great charts and info on the following topics:

  • Nuts & Seeds, Dairy, Oils & Fats and Condiments & Minerals
  • Veggies, Fruits, and Grains
  • Hydration and (Non-Vegan) Protein
  • How to estimate the protein, fats, carbs you should strive for each day


Happy Friday!!!


I would be remiss if I did give shout out to my favorite vegan protein powder, Sun Warrior, and my favorite protein-rich “condiment,” peanut flour.

What is your favorite plant-based protein source?  Do you have any recipes to share using these protein sources?

What are you most looking forward to this weekend? 



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  1. Khushboo

    Kevin couldn’t have asked a better person to share about vegan protein sources- each day I’m more amazed by the your meals on Instagram :)! Currently, my favorite plant-based sources are chickpeas, tofu & Sunwarrior

    1. Laura

      Thank you! Do you ever eat tempeh? Or can you get it you there?

  2. Tina @ Best Body Fitness

    This is GREAT!!! So much good info in one place. Thanks for sharing it all. :)

  3. Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers

    Me love lentil loaf. Nom nom nom. I haven’t made one in forever. Perhaps that’ll be Sunday dinner…

    This weekend, I’m most looking forward to not working. Cheers!

  4. janet @ the taste space

    Great chart, Laura! I didn’t know buckwheat had so much protein – there must be a typo??? I haven’t had tempeh in a while – I should remedy that! :)

    1. Laura

      I’ll have to let him know we need a clarification… that is the protein content in a cup on uncooked! Good catch – thanks! :)

  5. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

    That’s so great! Congrats on being asked to put that together…like I said yesterday: you are super creative (and also the protein monster. In a good way. Of course.)

    1. Laura

      LOL! Protein Monster. I like it…. and I kind of want to create a cartoon character for it.

  6. Danielle

    What a great post! I am not a vegan, I feel better when I eat meat, but it is always interesting to see the other side of this! It always amazes how individualized our needs are and this is a great example!

  7. Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    Wow, I didn’t realise how much protein some vegies had! That’s crazy!

  8. Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean

    love that little chart!!

  9. Alex @ therunwithin

    I have never had tempeh but really want to try it. I can’t way to start experimenting with new protein.

    1. Laura

      It’s really good! Make sure to steam it the first time you eat it – some people find it to be sour/bitter.

  10. Parita

    Love this post! As a vegetarian, I’m always thinking about protein to make sure I’m getting enough. And now that Vishnu’s diet is less meat centric, I think about him too! This is great, Laura. VERY helpful!

    1. Laura

      I’m glad we could help out the newlyweds. :)

  11. Allie

    Great list! Always nice to get new ideas for adding more protein, as it’s easy to get stuck in a rut (*cough* chickpea flour flatbread *cough*). I need to buy some tempeh this weekend–I love the stuff, but always forget about it.

    1. Laura

      That’s such a tasty rut though… LOL!

  12. Cait's Plate

    Definitely edamame! One of my absolute favorites :) I love that list – thanks for sharing!

  13. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

    Beans are my go to plant based protein! Peanut flour and chickpea flour are my favorites to play with in the kitchen!

    Oh I’m going on the lake! It’s calling my name already!

  14. Brittany and Julie @ twosaucysisters

    We are also not vegan, or even vegetarian, for that matter, but we love pretending that we are on a frequent basis! We get really tired of the whole meat-and-potatoes thing, and vegan/vegetarian food is much more interesting, creative, and allows vegetables to be the star of the show! All of your stuff looks delicious, we’ll definitely be trying them out! :D

    1. Laura

      Ha! I like to pretend too. :)

  15. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    Peanut flour is by far my FAVORITE source of plant based protein…can’t even believe I went so many years without it! And seitan….love love love me some homemade seitan! I need to try your chorizo recipe for sure!

    I’m looking forward to doing absolutely NOTHING this weekend! I’m on call so I’m hoping and PRAYING that I don’t get called in, but other than that I just want some chill time in my kitchen. I’ve been dying to try out some recipe ideas of my own and then of course the 2 dozen of yours that I’ve been drooling over! ;)

    1. Laura

      Peanut flour should be it’s own food group.

      I hope you achieved your goal of doing nothing! (Selfishly because I want some new recipes from you. :) )

  16. Carol @ Lucky Zucca

    I had no idea figs had protein!! This is such a great list. Thanks for compiling it!

  17. Lindsay @ Lindsay's List

    I’m so proud of you and this chart!! To work with PetiteFi would be a dream – she’s amazing!

    1. Laura

      Isn’t she?! I drool over her pics on IG.

  18. Jed Gray (sportsglutton)

    Too much plant based healthy talk for me today….I’m outta here. ;-) Have a great weekend my friend!

  19. Min @ savortherainbow

    Ooh!! That sweet potato Asian lentil loaf sounds amazing!! can’t wait to make it
    I’ve never had seitan before. Is it similar to tofu? I think, no I know that I need to incorporate more protein into my diet. I LOVE quinoa, beans of all kinds, tofu…You’re so organized and just to top of things! Good for you!!

    1. Laura


      Seitan is made from vital wheat gluten, so it is different from tofu. I think it makes “meatier” creations… I really like it!

  20. Laura

    What a great resource! I love the round up of all those yummy recipes, too. And the final peanut flour reminder. :)

  21. CocoaGeek

    Is there a typo on the “Wheat Germ” as well? 33g of protein seems a lot …

    1. CocoaGeek

      My bad, it’s not a typo! :-)


      1. Laura

        Yeah, it’s higher because it’s a flour-like substance. You wouldn’t want to actually sit down and eat a cup of it, but we wanted to keep the measurements consistent.

  22. Ashley @ Freckles & Spice

    Most of my sources are vegan/vegetarian as well. I love black beans and edamame – need to make those burgers you listed. I’m also a really big fan of lentils, especially in a mujaddara preparation. And hemp seeds!

    bb is leaving for 2 months tomorrow morning – so this weekend is looking down for me. But I’m going to try and cheer myself up with my fav yoga studio and coffee shop.

    Happy Friday!

    1. Laura

      Mujaddara is the best! :)

      Hope the yoga a coffee worked. If all else fails, get some fro-yo. ;)

  23. Calee (@chimes)

    Your peanut butter and jeggs convinced me to pick up peanut flour.

    Also, how is your total calculated (for protein) and can I ask how many calories you’re supposed to be on now (you can e-mail me if you don’t want to share with the world). I’ve been on 98 g protein for a while, but I use MyFitnessPal to track and I add my exercise in, which makes my goals for everything go up. I try to stay within the original calorie, fat and carb goal, but I usually end up between 100-120 g of protein.

    I, on the other hand, am not trying to gain weight. I would like to lose about 10 lbs (I know I know, vanity weight) but it needs to be FAT. And if the stuff I want to get rid of looks like it’s gone after 5 lbs, then I’m going to quit at that. Anyway, I’m trying to find a balance between maintaining my muscle and losing weight.

    and yet another long disjointed comment from me. :)

    1. Laura

      Yesss! Welcome to the dark side. :)

      If you are trying to build a lot of muscles, you want to try to get 1.5g of protein per pound of body weight. For a casual lifter just looking to tone, 1g/lb is fine. For the “normal” person, 0.75g/pound is the rule of thumb.

      I don’t actually have a calorie goal. I’m jut suppose dot get the protein in and keep the sugar, salt, and fat to a minimum. If you’re interested check out the calculation steps in the Instragm Fitness link above. I did it for myself and it actually is close to what I get without counting.

      Let me know if you have more questions. :)

  24. Kierston

    Great list!

    I’m definitely looking forward to some sun and relaxation :)

    Have a great weekend!

  25. Jill @ Fitness, Health and Happiness

    How ironic that you posted this today. I switched to a vegan diet about 2 months ago and was positive I had found the way I was meant to eat. The difference was amazing. This week I’ve been questioning whether or not I’m getting enough protein. Sure I can up my proteins but so many of the plant based options are also high carbs. I come from a long history of being a carbphobic :) So much so I even thought about giving up the vegan diet. Fortunately for me giving up is not in my nature. I’ll figure it out :)

    Sorry for the long ramble!

    I’m blogging new vegan recipes next week using many of the ingredients you listed.

    1. Laura

      Oh cool! It is incredible, and it gets easier once you get in the habit. If you aren’t training for some crazy competition, you can get than enough protein on a vegan diet. (Not that it isn’t possible on a competition diet, but it’s not easy!)

      A couple of other vegan protein sources not on the list are TVP and vital wheat gluten. The vital wheat gluten is what I used to make the chorizo.

  26. Ellie@Fit for the Soul

    Wow, I had no idea you were training for a figure competition! That is pretty crazy..you go girl! And I looove seitan although I haven’t eaten it in a while. I remember I fell in love with it when I used to eat at Native Foods Cafe very often. And for plant based protein, I’d have to go with nuts and beans! My ultimate favorite nuts are peanuts, almond, and walnuts.

    1. Laura

      Thanks! I think it’s a little crazy too some days. ;)

  27. Chelsey @ Powerhouse Fit Foodie

    I love that you posted this. I have some clients that ask about vegetarian/vegan protein sources and this is a great list!

    1. Laura

      Thank you! I hope they find it useful :)

  28. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    Mmm….lentil loaf. I love your version & LOVE this graphic! :)

    1. Laura

      Awwww… thanks! I still miss you.

  29. StoriesAndSweetPotatoes

    This is great info and all the food looks delicious! I could not live this way though. My body (and my taste buds) thrive on meat, and my stomach would literally die from so much fiber. But that’s just because my stomach has problems, not because high fiber diets aren’t great ;) Although they can be TOO high, I marvel at vegans who manage to balance everything out. PEANUT FLOUR FOR LIFE.

    1. Laura

      Diet is so personal. But yeah, vegan completely impress me. Especially the hard core athletes! :)

  30. Lisa

    Thanks for the awesome info!! Such a great post.
    I definitely admire anyone who can go fully vegan, but I’ve learnt that my body does the best when I eat a little meat and animal products.
    Right with you on loving sun warrior and peanut flour! I always have an extra bag on hand because I’m obsessed!

    1. Laura

      Yep – the most important thing ti to figure out what works best for you.

      Ummmm… I have several bags stockpiled. You know, in case of emergency. ;)

  31. purelymichelle

    great info here!! we get a mix of protein sources.

  32. Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count

    All of those dishes sound delicious!!

  33. Hannah

    Hey wow! A week or so ago I did a rough mental calculation of my protein intake and thought I was utterly failing, but now I see that my broccoli and brussels sprouts intake gives me magic boosts! Awesome!

    1. Laura

      Sweet ! I was really surprise about the artichoke, too!

  34. Holly

    Great chart. I didn’t know some of these had so much protein. It will come in handy in September when I’ll be a poor college student again! Thanks for putting it together.

    1. Laura

      Oh yeah – lentil are a student’s savior.

  35. Marla-Deen

    LOVE the chart! How easy is that to access and check – great share!
    I’m thinking the Olympics are the hot thing for my weekend. And the rest of my family is having way more fun than I am, so I’m looking for the Athletes to entertain and inspire me!

    1. Laura

      Thank you!

      I’m the same way about the athletes and inspiration . They make me want to work harder!

  36. Debra

    I’m not vegan either, but I too feel much better with a plant based diet. (That doesn’t keep me away from the bacon, though.) Love the chart and pinned it for future reference. Diggin’ that chickpea-cherry salad too!

  37. Meg

    Oooooo I still have to make your sausage :D

  38. Corrie Anne

    That’s an awesome list!! So helpful. I want to try that cherry chickpea salad.

  39. Parsley Sage

    Umm…does peanut butter count? ;)

    Very cool list! I’m happy to say I’m doing pretty good on the veggie protein side of things. This meal plan I’m doing from Healthful Pursuit has taken all the guess work out of it and I’m being a really good girl!

    Except when you suggest putting chocolate syrup on a slice of coconut pie…then I cave and go pig out on the best idea ever.

    1. Laura

      For sure! It’s made from peanuts.

      I wonder how much protein the coco bean has… ;)

  40. Brittany @ Delights and Delectables

    This is great girl! I’m totally putting this on my fridge! :) I love me some sunwarrior!!

    1. Laura

      I’m doing the same thing! Kevin did a great job on the design. :)

  41. Lindsay @ Fuel My Family

    I made lentil tacos recently that were great. That reminds me I still have some left in my cabinet I want to use up! I have a new love for lentils!

  42. Joe M

    Wow those luck positively delicious! I will be trying some of these this weekend… so glad I found this blog!

    I have so many favorite protein sources… I just can’t pick one! I found pretty much all of them through http://veganproteinsources.net and just searched for the ones with the highest ratings… hasn’t failed me yet!

    Thanks for the post Laura, looking forward to more!

    1. Joe M

      Sorry it was http://veganproteinpowders.net… DUH! That one doesn’t even exsist! haha.

      1. Laura

        Thank Joe! That is a great site. I love my Sun Warrior protein powder!

  43. Joe Malone

    It can be difficult to find vegan friendly foods. I love what you have on this site. For your vegan readers, check out http://www.superveganprotein.com/ I hope it is something that they find helpful!

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