If you have ever experienced non-vegans questioning where your protein comes from or whether you are getting enough, Protein Ninja: Power through Your Day with 100 Hearty Plant-Based Recipes that Pack a Protein Punch by: Terry Hope Romero will definitely extinguish the fire in all those lengthy questions. The book contains tasty recipes that are healthy and are a great source of protein for people with active lives, who don’t want to necessarily rely on using powders to make a great meal or snack.
Out of all the cookbooks I have read, I learned the most about vegan protein from this book because it breaks down everything from the types of plant-based proteins, such as hemp and pea to the most beneficial way to use it with other ingredients.
Don’t get me wrong store bought protein powders are easy to make with little to no time or effort, and protein bars were my friend when I was healing from a long wrist surgery recovery, but both always seemed to fall short and were lacking flavor. I wondered if there was a more creative way to integrate protein into my diet using simple ingredients that I could find at my local grocery store.
If you are like me, once you read this book you will realize there is no need to rely on store bought protein powders or bars anymore and satisfying protein packed meals are only a page turn away.
Below is one of my favorite recipes from the book.
Falafel Bowl with Lemon
Roasted Potatoes, Basil Lemon
Cashew Dressing, & Chopped
TIME: 1 HOUR
A beautiful bowl of toothsome baked falafel nestled on
tender lemony marinated potatoes alongside cool, succulent
cucumber salad and drizzled with bright basil
lemon cashew dressing. Serve with warm thick pita bread
if you desire a little something extra to sop up the juices
from the salad and the potatoes. Consider serving with
your favorite chili sauce, too!
- Make the falafel balls and keep warm or, if they have
been prepared in advance, reheat on a griddle or wrap
in foil and heat in the oven for about 10 minutes while you
prepare the dressing and potatoes.
- Make the dressing: Combine the warm water and
cashews and set aside to soak for 20 minutes (but
stay away from Tumblr; get to work on the potatoes while
you’re at it instead). After a brief soak, blend the cashews
and water with the remaining dressing ingredients until
smooth. Chill until ready to use.
- Roast the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400ÅãF. In a
3-quart ceramic or glass baking dish, use a fork to
whisk together the broth, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and
salt. Dice the potatoes (leave the skin on) into 1-inch pieces.
Toss to coat in the marinade and cover the baking dish
with foil. Seal the edges tight and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the foil, stir the potatoes, and bake, uncovered,
for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned but
still a little bit saucy.
- Make the salad: Combine all of the chopped veggies
and the lemon juice in a bowl. Season with salt and
pepper to taste.
- Assemble the bowls: Scoop a generous portion of
roasted potatoes into a wide serving bowl. Top with the
chopped salad, then arrange a few falafel balls on top.
Drizzle some dressing on top and pass around the remaining
BASIL LEMON CASHEW
3/4 cup warm tap water
1/2 cup cashews
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
LEMON DILL ROASTED
1/2 cup vegan vegetable broth
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
4 garlic cloves, peeled
and finely minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano, or 1 heaping tablespoon chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds russet or other starchy potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 pound cucumbers, preferably Persian
1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 large red onion, peeled and diced
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground
Courtesy Images: Terry Hope Romero