Thursday, December 2

8 Satisfying Meat-Free Meals Packed With Protein


Meat-free Mondays – the one day we dedicate our daily meals to eating delicious meat-free dishes filled with planet-friendly awareness. And perhaps, through this conscious eating, we could extend it further into our lives and into the week. So, for the meat-lovers protein concerns, we’ve selected some yummy high-protein recipes to fill the tummy and ease the mind.

Pesto-Veggie Gyro (31-grams of protein per serving)

Pesto Veggie Gyro

*Recipe sourced from Better Homes & Gardens


  • 1cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4cup olive oil
  • 1/4cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
  • 2tablespoons pine nuts or chopped walnuts
  • 2tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2cloves garlic
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1pound zucchini or yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2medium red sweet peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 830ml packages Halloumi cheese, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
  • 68 inches flatbreads
  • Olive oil
  • 3cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1cup finely chopped red onion (1 large)

  1. For pesto vinaigrette, in a food processor or blender combine basil, 1/2 cup of the oil, the Parmesan cheese, nuts, vinegar, and garlic. Cover and process or blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cover and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl toss together squash, sweet peppers, the remaining 1/4 cup oil, and oregano. Thread vegetables onto 12-inch skewers,* alternating squash and pepper pieces.
  3. For a gas or charcoal grill, place skewers on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium heat. Grill for 12 minutes or until tender, turning once halfway through grilling. Meanwhile, lightly brush cheese slices and flatbreads with the additional olive oil. Place on grill rack; cover and grill about 2 minutes or until heated through and cheese is golden brown, turning once halfway through grilling.
  4. Fold flatbreads in half. Fill each with 1/2 cup of the lettuce, two grilled cheese slices, and the vegetables from one skewer. Top each with some of the onion and drizzle with some of the pesto vinaigrette.

From the Test Kitchen

If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling.

Vegetarian Shephard’s Pie (20grams of protein)

I know seitan feels like tofu's weirder cousin, but with about 20 grams of protein per serving, it's totally worth trying. Recipe available here.

*Recipe sourced from Epicurious


    • 10 ounces pearl onions (about 2 1/4 cups)
    • 9 tablespoon olive oil, divided
    • 1 1/2 pounds seitan, sliced 1/4 inch thick and patted dry
    • 3 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, sliced 1/2 inch thick, and washed
    • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
    • 3/4 pound carrots (about 4 medium), cut into 3/4-inch-thick pieces
    • 3/4 pound parsnips (about 4 medium), cut into 3/4-inch-thick pieces
    • 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
    • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
    • 1 (750-ml) bottle full-bodied red wine such as Burgundy or Côtes du Rhône
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 3 1/2 cups hot rich vegetable stock
    • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  1. For topping:
    • 2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
    • 3/4 pound celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • Equipment: a 3-quart shallow (2-inch-deep) flameproof baking dish; a potato ricer or a food mill fitted with medium disk

  1. Make stew:
    1. Blanch pearl onions in a 2-quart saucepan of boiling water 2 minutes, then drain and cool in an ice bath to stop cooking. Peel onions and trim, leaving root ends intact.
    2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown seitan in 3 batches, turning occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes (add 2 tablespoons oil between batches). Transfer to a plate.
    3. Cook leeks in remaining 3 tablespoons oil with 1/4 teaspoon salt in the pot over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
    4. Add mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to give off the liquid, about 5 minutes. Add carrots, parsnips, thyme, and rosemary and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a bowl.
    5. Add wine to pot and boil until reduced to about 1 cup, 10 to 15 minutes.
    6. While wine reduces, make a beurre manié by stirring together butter and flour in a small bowl to form a paste.
    7. Add stock to wine and bring to a brisk simmer. Whisk in beurre manié, then simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened slightly, 3 to 5 minutes. Add seitan, pearl onions, and vegetable mixture to pot and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
    8. Remove from heat and stir in parsley.
  2. Make topping while the stew simmers:
    1. Peel potatoes and cut into 2-inch pieces. Cover potatoes and celery root with cold water in a 4-to 5-quart heavy pot, then simmer, partially covered, until very tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain in a colander.
    2. Bring butter, milk, and cream to a simmer in the pot over medium heat, stirring until butter has melted. Stir in reserved cooking water, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Remove from heat. Force potatoes and celery root through a ricer into hot milk mixture and stir gently to combine.
  3. Finish pie:
    1. Preheat broiler. Put baking dish in a large 4-sided sheet pan and transfer stew to the dish.
    2. Spoon potato mixture over stew and spread evenly to cover. Broil about 3 inches from heat until top is golden, about 5 minutes.

Protein Monster Vegan Enchilada (20-grams of protein per enchilada)


*Recipe sourced from The Garden Gazer


  • 1 onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 15 oz. can black beans15 oz. can garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 Tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
    Salt to taste
  • 6 large tortillas
    Optional: spinach, chipotle, garlic

    {For the enchilada sauce}
  • 3 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 Tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 Tsp. onion powder
  • Salt/pepper
    Optional: cayenne pepper, ground chipotle, smoked paprika, etc.

  1. Dice onion and bell pepper.
    In a large skillet over medium heat, saute onion and bell pepper for about 8 minutes.
    Meanwhile, dice tomatoes and rinse beans.
  2. When onions are tender, reduce heat and add cumin, paprika, tomatoes, nutritional yeast, hemp hearts, garbanzo and black beans. Stir well. Heat for 4-5 minutes then set aside.
    Prepare the enchilada sauce. (*Directions below if needed.)
    Preheat oven to 350.
  3. In a lightly sprayed 9×13 baking dish, cover the bottom with a layer of enchilada sauce.
  4. Distribute bean mixture in the centre of tortillas. Roll up, tucking in both ends.
  5. Place in baking dish and top with remaining sauce.
    Bake for about 25 minutes.
    Can serve topped with avocado, cilantro, hemp hearts, nutritional yeast, etc.*Directions for enchilada sauce
    In a small bowl, add flour and spices.
    In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
    When hot, carefully add tomato paste, flour, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and chilli powder.
    Cook 1 minute, whisking continuously.
    Add broth and whisk well. Increase heat and bring to a light boil.
    Reduce to simmer and cook 8 minutes, whisking occasionally. Salt to taste.

Layered Roasted Veggie, Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tortilla Pie (18.1grams of Protein)

356 calories and 18.1 grams of protein per slice. HUNGRY YET? Get the recipe here, via Ambitious Kitchen.

*Recipe sourced from Ambitious Kitchen


  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 2 bell peppers, seeds removed and diced
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, sliced in half and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • pinch of cayenne pepper, if you like some heat
  • freshly ground salt and pepper

For the enchilada sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons chilli powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • 2/3 cup water
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15 oz) can vegetarian refried black beans (any kind will work)
  • 4 low carb or whole grain tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
  • Toppings, if desired: avocado/guacamole, cilantro, hot sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Add all veggies to a large bowl and drizzle olive oil on top. Sprinkle chilli powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper on top. Use your hands to toss the veggies to evenly distribute the spices and oil. Dump veggies onto a large baking sheet and evenly spread out to the edges. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Once done roasting, reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F.
  3. While the veggies are roasting, prepare the enchilada sauce: In a large saucepan or skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add in onions and cook, stirring frequently until they become translucent, about 5 mins. Add garlic, chilli powder, cumin, and oregano and cook for 30 more seconds. Add in tomato sauce and water; stir well to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer sauce for 20 minutes or until thickened up a bit. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Spray a 2-quart circular dish, cake pan or spring form pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add 1/2 cup enchilada sauce to the bottom of the pan and add a tortilla, spread about 1/2 cup of refried beans on the tortilla then top 1/4 of the roasted veggies, add 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce then sprinkle 1/3 cup of cheese on top. Repeat 3 more layers, then pour remaining enchilada sauce on top with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and a little golden around the edges. Let the casserole sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. I love topping mine with avocado or guac, cilantro and a little hot sauce. Serves 6.

Grilled Tofu Teriyaki with Spicy Spinach Udon (22grams of protein per serving)

Grilled Tofu Teriyaki with Spicy Spinach Udon

*Recipe sourced from Better Homes and Gardens


  • 118-ounce package firm tofu (fresh bean curd, not silken-style), drained
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2teaspoons Asian chili-garlic sauce
  • 27-ounce packages fresh udon noodles (broad white noodles)
  • 1/2cup vegetable broth
  • 3tablespoons peanut butter
  • 19-ounce bag fresh spinach
  • 1/2teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/3cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/4cup thinly sliced green onions (2)

  1. Line a tray with paper towels. Cut tofu into six 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange tofu on prepared tray. Top with more paper towels; cover with a baking sheet. Evenly weigh down the baking sheet with several cans or weights. Let stand for 10 minutes. Change paper towels and repeat. Place tofu in a dish and generously coat both sides with canola oil.
  2. For teriyaki sauce, in a small bowl whisk together hoisin sauce, 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, the ginger, and 1 teaspoon of the chili-garlic sauce.
  3. For a charcoal or gas grill, grease grill racks well. Place tofu on the grill rack directly over medium heat. Cover and grill for 3 to 4 minutes or until brown and tofu releases easily from the rack. Turn tofu over. Cover and grill for 3 minutes more. Brush tofu with some of the teriyaki sauce. Turn and brush again. Cover and grill for 3 minutes more, turning once halfway through grilling. Transfer tofu to a plate; cover and keep warm. Set aside remaining teriyaki sauce.
  4. Meanwhile, fill a 4-quart Dutch oven half full with water; bring to boiling. Add Udon noodles; cook for 2 minutes. Drain.
  5. In the same Dutch oven whisk together broth, peanut butter, the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and the remaining 1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce until smooth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to medium. Add noodles, stirring to coat. Stir in spinach; cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until wilted. Remove from heat; stir in sesame oil. Serve with grilled tofu, tomatoes, and green onions. Pass remaining teriyaki sauce.

Kale Goat Cheese Pizza (27.1grams of protein)

Pizza party, anyone? 314 calories and 27.1 grams of protein per serving.Get the recipe here, via Eat Good 4 Life.

*Recipe sourced from Eat Good For Life


  • 3 cups fresh kale, chopped
  • 5 oz goat cheese
  • 2-3 tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 lbs mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 lb tomato sauce, any favourite kind

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F.
  2. On a flat surface, like your kitchen counter, place some whole wheat flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Roll out your pizza dough with a rolling pin in a rectangular shape and place the pizza dough onto the rectangular baking cookie sheet making sure you reach the edges. My cookie sheet dimensions were 16.5 x 11.38 x 1 inches. Repeat this with the second pizza dough.
  3. Divide the sauce among the two pizzas making sure to spread the sauce to the edges. Divide the shredded mozzarella cheese between the two pizzas and top with the chopped kale and tomatoes followed by the goat cheese.


Cashew Noodles with Broccoli and Tofu

*Recipe sourced from Whole Foods Market


  • 1 large head organic broccoli, stemmed and cut into small florets
  • 3/4 pound enriched egg noodles
  • 3 tablespoons prepared ginger soy vinaigrette, divided
  • 1/4 cup roasted, unsalted cashews
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Thai or Teriyaki baked tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add broccoli and cook until al dente, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer broccoli to a large plate; set aside. Return water to a boil; add noodles and cook until al dente, 7 to 8 minutes; drain well. Meanwhile, put vinaigrette, cashews and 1/2 cup water into a blender and purée until smooth. Return hot noodles to the pot along with cashew mixture, broccoli and tofu and cook over medium heat, tossing gently, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more; transfer to bowls and serve.


Roasted Veggie Calzones (17grams of protein per serving)

Roasted Veggie Calzones

*Recipe sourced from Better Homes and Gardens


  • 1recipe Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
  • 1small eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1large red sweet pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1cup fresh cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2cup coarsely chopped red onion (1 medium)
  • 2tablespoons olive oil
  • 1teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4teaspoon salt
  • 1/4teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 ounces)
  • 1egg
  • 1tablespoon water

  1. Prepare Pizza Dough. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a 15x10x1-inch baking pan combines eggplant, zucchini, sweet pepper, mushrooms, and onion. Drizzle with oil; gently toss to coat. Roast on the centre oven rack, uncovered, for 15 to 18 minutes or until vegetables is tender, stirring once. Cool slightly.
  2. For filling, in a large bowl combine roasted vegetables, rosemary, salt, and black pepper.
  3. Lightly grease two baking sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal. Divide each half of the pizza dough into 3 portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of the dough into a 7×6-inch oval. Spread about 1/2 cup of the filling crosswise over half of the oval, leaving a 1-inch border. Top filling with 1/4 cup cheese. Fold dough over filling; pinch edges together to seal. Place on prepared baking sheet. Using a fork, poke a few holes in the top of calzone to allow steam to escape. Repeat with remaining dough portions and filling. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. In a small bowl beat together egg and water. Brush calzones with egg mixture.
  4. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden.

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