Bismillahir rahmanir raheem
Moving towards a more plant based diet is good for the environment and for you. The Prophet’s (saw) diet was not only simple but nutrient dense. It included plenty of fruits and vegetables when they were available and meat, but only on occasion. Protein wasn’t really a concern like it is today and with Ramadan here and in full effect, switching out the meat for plant based alternatives will help you beat the iftar slump.
So here are some amazing plant based proteins for you to try this Ramadan.
A good source of: calcium, phosphorus, iron and B vitamins.
1 cup cooked lentils = 18g protein, 1 cup of green peas = 8g protein
Lentils come in so many different shapes, colours and sizes; their versatility in dishes is amazing. Whether they’re in soups, salads, side dishes, lentils can be used across the board.
Moroccan harira (usually made with lamb) is an amazing way to use lentils and because it’s a soup, it will be super hydrating for when you break your fast.
A good source of: vitamin E, dietary fibre and calcium.
100g quinoa = 14g protein
Pronounced ‘keen-wa’ it’s been a buzz food for a while and can be found almost everywhere. It’s a complete protein which means it contains all nine essential amino acids. Wherever you use rice in a recipe you can substitute for quinoa and it’s cooked in the same way too.
Quinoa isn’t just for lunch to dinner, you can eat it for breakfast too. Check out this Martha Stewart recipe for breakfast quinoa, make it ahead and enjoy it for suhoor the next day inshaAllah.
A good source of: iron, B12, chlorophyll and magnesium.
2 tablespoons spirulina = 8g protein
I’ll be honest and say it’s not the best smelling or tasting food but spirulina has amazign health benefits. As long as you don’t mind your food/ drink looking like it’s been touched by the Incredible Hulk it’s well worth buying some and giving it a try. I prefer to add it to smoothies to allow the sweet fruit to mask the taste.
Smoothies are soo simple to make just add your liquid of choice (juice, milk, dairy free alternative), fruit (fresh or frozen) and sweetener of choice (honey, maple syrup, agave) and BLEND.
A good source of: complex carbs, folate, potassium and zinc.
1 cup cooked beans = around 15g protein
Kidney, black beans, cannelini, borlotti, black eye, the list goes on and on. Beans are not only cheap (whether that’s canned or dried), they’re great to have on hand to bulk out meals and keep you fuller for longer.
Bean chillis and burittos are my favourite way to use them or simply just roasted and mixed in with some fresh salad.
This Jamie Oliver bean chilli recipe is not only fast, it can be thrown together with ingredients you may already have on your pantry.
A good source of: iron, calcium, selenium and vitamin B1.
100g tofu = 8.2g protein
My firs experience with tofu wasn’t a great one but the trick is using the right texture for the right dish. I prefer firm tofu when I do have it and love to make tofu scramble as an alternative to eating eggs.
The recipe is simple.
In a teaspoon of coconut oil sautee a small red onion and half a red bell pepper. When softened, add in your crumbled tofu and continue to sautee . Add your chosen spices, I chose tumeric (to give it the ‘authentic’ egg colour), salt and black pepper. Cook until hot all the way through.
Ramadan Mubarak to all. I pray that Allah swt accepts from us all and makes it a means for us to reach jannatul firdous, Ameen.