High-Protein, Veggie-Based Meals You’ll Love

Chickpea Salad with Grapes and NutsIf you’ve ever thought of going meatless—whether it’s just to eat healthy on Mondays, for a short-term cleanse or for a lifestyle change—here are some veggie-based meals you’ll love.

No worries about getting your protein. With so many alternatives to meat available, from eggs and dairy, to beans and tofu, you can satisfy both your nutritional requirements and your hunger for tasty foods with vegetarian dishes like these. The recipes are delicious, and you won’t need to resort to imitation meat products, either.

Chickpea Salad with Grapes and Nuts

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, form the basis of this quick salad which also derives extra protein from the addition of your favorite tree nut. Serve it on a bed of salad greens, or in a wrap or sandwich.


  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained (about one can)
  • 4 Tbs mayonnaise (can substitute vegan mayo)
  • 1/4 tsp ground sea salt
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/3 cup raw nuts, toasted (walnuts, pecans or cashews work well)
  • 2 Tbs red onion, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup red grapes, sliced in half
  • 2 Tbs fresh herbs, chopped fine (parsley, thyme and chives work well)
  • Ground black pepper or crushed red pepper to taste

  1. Add the chickpeas, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, lemon zest and juice to a mixing bowl. Smash lightly with a potato masher or large fork, leaving some beans whole.
  2. Fold in the nuts, red onion, celery, grapes and herbs. herbs. Add pepper to taste, and then rest salad in refrigerator for at least one hour. Store covered in refrigerator.

Green Huevos Rancheros

This meatless recipe works for breakfast, of course, but the spicy satisfaction is a great choice if you like breakfast for dinner, too. Protein comes from the black beans and the cheese, and creamy avocado makes it extra filling.


  • 1 can of spicy organic black beans or beans in chili sauce
  • 1 cup of your favorite mild salsa verde from a jar
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and cubed
  • 1 lime, cut in six wedges (save four for garnish)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 medium jalapeño, deseeded and roughly chopped (save some for garnish)
  • Big handful of fresh cilantro, chopped (save some for garnish)
  • Dash of salt
  • 4 – 8 eggs, to be fried in a dash of olive oil
  • 4 – 8 corn tortillas, warmed to soften at assembly
  • Small packaged of cotija cheese, crumbled (may substitute feta)
  • Several large radishes, thinly sliced
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  • Sour cream or crema (optional)

  1. Warm the beans and salsa verde on the stove top or in microwave.
  2. Lightly smash avocado with juice from two lime wedges, garlic, about half the chopped jalapeno and half the cilantro, plus salt.
  3. Fry the eggs (1 or 2 per serving)
  4. Assemble the huevos rancheros: On each plate, top tortilla(s) with black beans, avocado mix, egg(s) and salsa verde. Garnish with crumbled cheese cilantro, chopped radishes and jalapeño. Serve with a bottle of hot sauce and sour cream on the side.

Broccoli Cashew Noodles with Baked Tofu

Most of us crave pasta now and then, and this easy recipe proves you don’t need meatballs to get your fill of nourishing protein. And if you think you don’t like tofu, bet you haven’t tried it baked—great texture and yummy flavor will change your mind.


  • 2 cups of broccoli cut into small florets
  • 12 oz package of enriched egg noodles (or your favorite pasta shape)
  • ¼ cup ginger soy vinaigrette dressing (or other Asian vinaigrette)
  • ¼ cup roasted, unsalted cashews
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Teriyaki baked tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbs sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • ¼ of green onion, chopped

  1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook broccoli until just tender and bright green, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer broccoli to a large plate with slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Return water to a boil; add noodles and cook until al dente, 7 to 8 minutes; drain well.
  3. Meanwhile, add vinaigrette, cashews and 1/2 cup water into a blender and purée until smooth.
  4. Return noodles and broccoli to pot, add cashew mixture and cubed tofu, and cook over medium heat, tossing gently, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Transfer to bowls and serve with sesame seeds and green onions sprinkled on top.

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