Getting Protein As A Vegetarian

By mahir | March 9, 2011

Vegetarian Column By Marcus Samuelsson

If you’re a vegetarian or considering making a dietary change in the veggie direction, getting the protein you need may seem like a challenge. Fortunately, nature has provided many protein-rich vegetables and legumes and some of man’s own advances can supplement a nutritious vegetarian diet.

Many grains, such as quinoa, are really great sources of protein. Quinoa is actually a pseudo-grain, as it is a not a grass and actually produces edible leaves as well. It is commonly known as a superfood since it has fantastic levels of protein and amino acids, magnesium and iron. Quinoa is a good carb-type base for cold salads or can be used as a substitute for rice.

Nuts and legumes, such as beans are more great contributors to a healthy meat-free diet. These two foods shine as sources of fiber, healthy fats, and protein. Beans are even comparable to meat in their caloric content. Nuts are a great snack and condiment, while beans can be added to many carb-based dishes to round out a meal.

Spinach, a green that is a major source of iron and protein, is a perfect base for salads and a delicious side dish when sauteed with olive oil and garlic.

A great contribution that ancient food science has made to the vegetarian diet is tofu, a soy-based bean curd best known in block form. A great substitute for meat in many dishes and a great food in and of itself, tofu has been around for thousands of years.

Protein-deficiency can potentially be a problem if a vegetarian diet is not managed properly, but let these protein-packed foods help you out! Try out Portobello Mushrooms with White Bean Dijon, Tofu Dinners, or Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese Vinaigrette to start.

More about: , ,

You Might Also Like:


Featured Recipe

More Recipes

Meet the Team

About The Team

Whether it’s finding the best goat tacos in LA, spotting a well-worn vintage bag in Sweden, or interviewing the “crab man” selling seafood on a corner in Harlem, we tell stories seen from Chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s point of view. strives to create conversations about food, nutrition, culture, art, and design. We want to find Read More


Streetbird Rotisserie
Marcus’ Bermuda
Eatery Social Taqueria
Red Rooster Harlem
Ginny’s Supper Club
Uptown Brasserie
American Table Cafe and Bar
Kitchen and Table
American Table Brasserie and Bar
Marc Burger