The most commonly asked question I receive from people upon hearing I’m a vegetarian is “What do you do for protein?” (asked in horror, shock, and genuine concern). I’m happy to answer and inform people of the endless, endless list of ways we can all receive ample amounts of protein from plant-based sources. Protein is important in plant-based diets and I definitely don’t have it all figured out just 3 years into my journey as a vegetarian. So, I have turned to helpful resources (which I’ll note at the end of this blog post) and I’ve been able to determine my individual protein requirement each day is about 45 grams. This is based on my weight, age, work out activities, etc. This salad is almost half of the amount of protein I need daily. And it’s delicious, local, and in season right now! This salad should put everyone (you too, Dad) at peace that there are protein-packed vegetarian resources out there. I was able to curate most of the ingredients from my Bloomsbury Farms CSA (eggs, alfalfa sprouts, and their beautiful red oak leaf lettuce). It’s tangy, sweet, and perfect for the rising summer temperatures in middle Tennessee. Plus, the color. The color. I die. #sopretty .
INGREDIENTS: Creamy Avocado & Lime Vinaigrette (4 servings): + 2 tbs red wine vinegar + 7 tbs olive oil + 1/4 juice of an organic lime + 1/2 avocado + salt & pepper
In a jar, combine oil, vinegar, lime juice, and salt and pepper. Cut an avocado in half, lengthwise. Cut slices in both directions, to create little cubes. Scoop out and into the jar with the liquids. Smash rigorously with a fork until full blended and creamy. Add more salt & pepper to taste. Yields enough for roughly 4 salads.
20g Protein Salad (Single Serving): + 1 hard boiled egg, quartered and topped with cracked black pepper + 1/4 cup black beans (rinsed) + 1 cup blend of quinoa, millet, and buckwheat (Chilled. Trip-blend from Whole Foods 365 brand) + 2 tbs red onion, diced + 1/4 cup alfalfa sprouts + 2 cups (or more to liking) Red Oak Leaf Lettuce
For this salad, I made the quinoa/millet/buckwheat blend in advance and let it chill overnight. I also used eggs from Bloomsbury Farms that I boiled a few days prior. Because of this pre-prep work I was able to just throw everything onto my plate and top with my Creamy Avocado & Lime Vinaigrette in under 10 minutes!
You can find helpful tools from theholykale.com, McKel over at Nutrition Stripped, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at eatright.org. These people are nutrition experts, with professional training on this subject matter. They have become my best friends at night, reading their advice and helpful information. I hope you’ll check them out!