We are now beginning with challenge #5. This is our version of “meatless Monday” but applies to Tuesday and Thursday.
Drum roll please…………..this week’s challenge is:
Eat no poultry, pork or beef Tuesday and Thursday
I have to admit – this is going to be a challenge for me especially since I am constantly told to consume protein to better round out my diet and to feel full longer. What this challenge should do is challenge us to find protein alternatives for those two days.
I did not include eggs, fish or shellfish in this challenge which can be viable sources of protein (especially fish) so have it!
Below are some ideas to source protein for those couple of days.
1. Beans/Lentils: Examples include kidney, garbanzo, white, black, pinto, edamame (green soybeans), and lentils. “Buy lots of cans of beans, rinse, and drain them to remove 40 percent of the sodium, and use them in everything,” suggests Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, author of The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to Your Life. “White beans taste delicious in pasta; garbanzo or edamame in stir-fries; black beans and pinto in burritos, tacos, and quesadillas; and lentils or kidney are great in salads and whole grain pita lunches.”
To avoid bisphenol A, or BPA, a hormone-disrupting chemical, found in metal canned foods (except the Eden Food line), favor frozen beans, or buy dried ones and cook them accordingly.
2. Nuts/Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews, and pine nuts are all good protein sources for vegetarians. “Try a sprinkle of chopped nuts on everything from oatmeal to yogurt to salad, and nut-based dressings are healthy and delicious,” says Blatner. On the seed side, she recommends pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower. “I particularly like seed butter, such as sunflower seed butter, on toast with an apple for breakfast,” she says.
3. Faux Meats: Veggie burgers, chicken patties, and other nut- or soy-based fake meat products often have more fiber and lower saturated fat than the real thing. Beware, though, they are often highly processed and can contain a lot of sodium (don’t exceed 350 milligrams per serving). And most soy comes from genetically modified (GM) crops.
4. Tofu and Tempeh (tofu’s cousin). “I call tofu the veggie white meat…anything chicken can do tofu can do, too,” says Blatner. “Tempeh has a fabulous texture and is a great burger stand-in or perfect crumbled in chili or seasoned or broiled into a high protein crouton on a salad.” Look for organic products to avoid eating GM soy.
5. Dairy/Eggs/Fish. As mentioned, dairy and eggs are good protein sources. Fish isn’t technically a vegetarian choice, but some otherwise vegetarians do eat it. If you eat fish, look for ones that are low in contaminants and that are harvested responsibly, without decimating populations or hurting other sea life. Alaskan wild-caught salmon, anchovies, and mackerel are good choices for healthy vegetarians who don’t have a problem eating aquatic animals.
Source: Rodale: 5 Protein-Packed Foods for Non-Meat-Eaters, Leah Zerbe
ENJOY and Let’s GO!