15 Protein Alternatives for a Fuller Life

If you’ve ever contemplated cutting down on your meat intake, then this is the article for you! Cutting down on the amount of meat that you eat each week is something that’s easy as long as you find healthy, protein-rich alternatives to replace those nutrients in your diet. Even if you decide to make one day a week meatless, it will really help your resolve to stick with your new meal plan if you take the time to look up some delicious new recipes to try in place of meat. Check out the options on this list to make sure you’re getting enough protein, then pick a few favorites and experiment!

1. Lentils

Lentils are a wonderful source of protein as they contain almost 10 full grams of protein for every half cup, and 15 grams of fiber. Lentils are available in two different varieties, red and green, and although they can be used interchangeably, you may find that you develop a preference for one or the other. Lentils are super easy to make since they don’t require soaking, and you can keep them in the fridge for a few days if you find that making a large batch is easier. A great way to feature lentils is in a big batch of rich lentil soup.

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2. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are truly one of the most versatile legumes out there. They don’t take long to cook, and come either dried or pre-soaked in cans. Once they’re cooked through, you can turn them into any dish you want. Mix up a batch of fiery Indian channa masala, or spin them in your food processor with tahini and lemon to make some silky-smooth hummus. Chickpeas provide 12 grams of protein per cup.

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3. Beans

There are a ton of different varieties of beans out there, and there’s no limit to the different recipes that you can try. Each type of beans contains a different amount of protein, but the average is about 8 grams per half-cup. Beans also come either dried or pre-soaked in cans. If you’re using dried, it will cut down on your grocery bill, but it will add to your time in the kitchen. Shorten the amount of time it takes to make beans by using a pressure-cooker or getting a Crock-pot going before you leave for work. Then, use the cooked beans to make a delicious chili once you get home.

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