Corny as it sounds, this creamy lemon orzo is a legitimate one pot wonder. I generally love to complicate the heck out of my recipes and add a bunch of steps/ingredients for the sake of building flavour, texture etc., but this! This is different. It’s a complete meal that cooks in less than 30 minutes. The texture is super creamy and comforting. It has that most undoubtedly excellent flavour combination of lemon, garlic, and parsley. The remaining ingredients are also pretty chill and accessible!
The broccoli is browned up a bit and left alone for a few minutes, and then the creamy orzo and chickpeas are pumped up with flavour assists from shallots, garlic, lemon, and thyme (and some chili flakes if you love a bit of heat–you all know that I do!). A dreamy drizzle of cashew cream smoothes it all out and makes our finished orzo SO. LUSH.
This one is hard to mess up, and it’s so satisfying and delicious–it doesn’t matter what kind of eater you are. As always, I’m trying to make beautiful vegan food for everyone. I know and feel these strong shifts toward plant-based food happening in our world lately. It’s powerful! But I also recognize that some people are slow to change because of convenience, accessibility, and just personal preferences. Meeting halfway can seriously make a world of difference in terms of resources used. We need millions of people trying to change a few small things in their life; not a handful of people doing everything perfectly.
Hope you enjoy this pot of creamy carbs! 😀 Sending a big hug this week.
CREAMY LEMON ORZO WITH CHICKPEAS & BROCCOLI
NOTES: As with any recipe on my site that requires vegetable stock, I’d highly recommend making your own using my method.
-This recipe may behave differently with a gluten-free orzo or other tiny pasta. Regular wheat-based pasta lets off a lot of creamy starch. If you’re using GF pasta, I’d start with only 1 ½ cups of the vegetable stock and add more as it cooks if necessary.
-If you’re allergic to nuts, you can substitute the cashew cream with ½ cup of any unsweetened non-dairy creamer/rich milk. Coconut milk might be a bit weird here, so soy would be preferable.
-Definitely make some vegan “parm” to go with this!
¼ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
⅓ cup filtered water
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
4 cups small broccoli florets
sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
1 shallot, finely diced (about ¼ cup diced shallot)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
pinch of chili flakes, optional
½ lb (227 grams) orzo pasta
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed (from about one 15oz can)
2 cups vegetable stock, plus extra
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
big handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
In an upright blender, combine the drained cashews, filtered water, and nutritional yeast. Blend on high until you have a smooth cream and set aside.
Place a braiser-style pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil.
Add all the broccoli to the pot and scatter it out into a single layer. Press it down and leave it for 4 full minutes, or until browning occurs on the underside of the florets and broccoli is turning bright green. The exterior should be ever-so-slightly softened. Season the broccoli with salt and pepper, lightly toss, and then transfer to a bowl and set aside. It will continue cooking and this is totally fine.
Wipe out the pot and return it to the heat. Add the remaining olive oil and swirl it around. Add the shallot to the pot and stir. Cook shallots until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, lemon zest, and chili flakes (if using). Stir and cook until the garlic is quite fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the orzo pasta and stir to coat in the seasoning and shallots. Add the chickpeas, stir to combine, and then season the mixture liberally with salt and pepper.
Add the vegetable stock to the pot and stir. Bring the creamy lemon orzo to a boil and then simmer until orzo is soft, about 8 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot often. The orzo will want to stick to the bottom of the pot! Just keep stirring and adding more vegetable stock if necessary. You want to keep the consistency nice and fluid.
Once the orzo is soft and the mixture is starting to get creamy, add the cashew cream to the pot and stir to combine. Add the lemon juice to the creamy lemon orzo and stir. Add the broccoli back in and stir. Bring the creamy lemon orzo back up to a simmer. Check the dish for seasoning and adjust if necessary (more salt, lemon etc). Stir in the chopped parsley and serve immediately with vegan “parm” and extra chili flakes.
63 High Protein Vegetarian Recipes: Focused on Fitness
In this post we’ve put together 63 vegetarian recipes to help you get enough protein into your diet.
We vegetarians often run into the trap of turning into a “carbatarian” – someone who mostly eats foods high in (refined) carbohydrates. This often happens when we replace meat with the “wrong” stuff.
Simply put: too much white bread, pasta, rice and heavily processed foods like breakfast cereals, frozen pizzas and other snacks.
But fret no more!
Whether you’re on a weight-loss journey or building muscle programme, these well-tested recipes will help you achieve your goal. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, we’ve covered it all!
Before we dive into the recipes let’s quickly answer how much protein we actually need and what vegetarian foods provide a proper amount of protein.
How much protein do we need?
The RDA, recommended daily allowance, is at a minimum of 0.36g of protein per pound of body weight (0.8g per kg bodyweight).
By percentage that would be roughly 10% of your daily caloric income. Note that is the minimum requirement for a non-active sedentary person to avoid a protein deficiency and get sick as a result. That means a full-on couch potato would just get by on that daily intake.
But how much protein does an active person need?
Of course this depends on your goals. But in general you can safely say if you want to build muscle you need more protein than that basic daily recommended allowance.
A higher protein intake is also likely to be beneficial for weight loss.
So, if you’re an active person, who does sports regularly, a healthy recommendation would be between 0.75g-1g of protein per lb of bodyweight per day (about 1.6-2.2 grams of protein per kg bodyweight).
By percentage that would be roughly 20-30% of your daily caloric income.
This is based on studies that have investigated the rates of something called muscle protein synthesis (essentially, new muscle being created) and how it differs depending on protein intake.
How much protein per vegetarian meal is realistic?
For most people, reasonably sized healthy meals have around 600kcal, give or take 200kcal.
If we want to hit protein requirements and aim to eat a wide variety of foods (not just cheese and processed meat replacements), here are the protein amounts we believe a vegetarian meal should at least have to be considered “high protein”:
NOTE: high-protein vegetarian meals can easily go up to 35g+ protein per 600kcal, if using cheese, eggs and processed meat replacements.
We purposefully took lower numbers per meal as a benchmark, because it allows for a wider variety of foods while still hitting protein goals even for sporty people.
And let’s be honest, to make protein account for 20%+ of your daily caloric intake, you have to make compromises as a vegetarian.
This means either a heavy focus on eggs, cheese, soy, seitan and other meat replacements or including protein shakes in your diet.
Make sure to check out our free meal plans, where all the calculations are done for you:
We created them with “protein in mind” 🙂
What vegetarian foods are high in protein?
Cheese, eggs, yogurt, lentils, seeds, nuts, quinoa, tofu and seitan are all high in protein and make excellent vegetarian choices.
Below is a table full of even more high protein veggie foods.
|High Protein Veggie Foods||Protein per 100g||Kcal per 100g|
|Black beans, cooked||8.86||132|
|Seitan (vital wheat gluten)||75.2||370|
|Chicken egg, medium||12.6||143|
|Mozzarella, whole milk||22.2||299|
|Cottage cheese, lowfat, 2% milkfat||11||82|
|Whole milk yogurt, plain||3.47||61|
|Whole milk, 3.25% milkfat||3.15||61|
As you can see there are many protein rich vegetarian foods around. But notice that some foods also come with a high amount of calories, like seeds and nuts.
But this list should help as a rough guideline. So, if you’re prepping a meal without a recipe make sure to use one or more of these ingredients for a protein boost.
How can I add protein to my vegetarian meal?
To an already-finished meal think of sprinkling nuts, cheese or nutritional yeast over the top. To replace meat within the meal try tofu, seitan, lentils or different types of cheese.
You can also add chia seeds to virtually any pancake batter – you’ll get a nice omega-3 boost, too!
Of course, the recipes below can use all types of the food in this list.
Recipe by: HurryTheFoodUp
Bonus: works as a breakfast or snack
Boasting 22 grams of protein per serving due to the smoked tofu, cheddar cheese and eggs. Ever had a French Tarte Flambee? That’s what these egg muffins taste like!
Bonus: Swap Greek yogurt for “skyr”, if you have it available in your location for an extra protein boost.
This yogurt dish is relatively low in calories at roughly 303 kcal per serving. That’s enough to make a filling breakfast and still leave you plenty of calories left for the rest of your meals, if you are on a weight loss diet.
Bonus: works well for breakfast, lunch or dinner 😉
Hearty and filling Farmer’s Breakfast. Full of protein and energy to keep you going. Perfect any time of the day. Ready in 30 mins. Embrace your rustic side.
Bonus: very quick and easy, can be stored for a while in the fridge, sooo yummy 🙂
This deliciously smooth cashew milkshake can be made any way you like – just follow the simple instructions and you’ll be drinking a mega shake in five minutes!
Bonus: many different protein sources
Spinach, chickpeas, eggs and feta make this dish a premium protein source for vegetarians. On top it’s easy, delicious and super healthy- a breakfast your body will thank you for!
Bonus: great way to use up old bread
Looking for a new breakfast treat? Try our bread pudding breakfast – a healthy, high protein take on the classic dessert!
Bonus: vegan, quick and something different
This tempeh sandwich is THE new vegan sandwich. Mega tasty and super nutritional, it sets the new bar for all sandwich lovers out there. Whole grain sandwich bread is a great option to increase protein a little more.
Bonus: flax seeds for some omega 3
After a cool and refreshing summer drink that is healthy too? Try our pineapple and spinach smoothie with fresh mint! Greek yogurt, flax seeds and cashews give this smoothie a serious protein boost!
Bonus: new take on pancakes
Love pancakes, but looking for something new? Try our couscous kaiserschmarrn recipe- healthy, delicious shredded pancakes!
Bonus: nutritionally rich and super quick
Not sure whether lentils really work in a pancake batter? We’ve tried and tested this recipe and can say these pancakes are not only delicious, but this is also a clever way to increase the amount of protein per serving.
Bonus: works nicely with any fresh fruit
This yogurt parfait is rich with fruits and nuts and is a deliciously quick way to start the day. Never get bored of breakfast again!
Bonus: eggs and beans for breakfast are an excellent weight loss dish
Try breakfast beans and eggs, for a hearty breakfast that will satisfy you until lunchtime, and quench the urge to snack!
Bonus: chia seeds for some omega 3, perfect meal prep recipe
Oats, soy milk and nuts make for a powerful natural vegan protein punch! High in fiber, great against diabetes and heart disease.
Bonus: very quick and nutritious, suitable any time of the day
Make the best scrambled eggs you’ve ever had with our quick & easy but simple to follow recipe – so good you’ll never look elsewhere again!
Bonus: omega 3 kick due to the chia seeds!
Blueberry Banana Protein Smoothie. A superior blueberry and banana smoothie with a huge protein kick! Try it, love it. And thank us later.
Bonus: great way to use up old bread
This simple vegan recipe works very well as a quick lunch or dinner. It features cashews, lentils and whole grain bread, all great sources of protein!
Bonus: simple ingredients and quick to make
Red lentils belong to the legumes with the highest amount of protein. They’re also super quick to cook making them one of the “most efficient” plant based protein sources out there. Luckily, this soup is a staple in the Turkish cuisine, not because of its high protein content, but because of its good taste.
Bonus: suitable for a quick lunch, nice party snack
If you are looking for a satisfying high protein alternative to hummus and give this recipe a bash. This dip is also very versatile. Out of black beans? Use white or kidney beans instead!
Bonus: works as a side, but excellent as a main dish for a quick lunch
With feta, spinach, and chickpeas, this salad features a few of the best high protein ingredients the vegetarian diet has to offer. But not only that, the dressing is the secret star of this recipe. I was hooked for months!
Bonus: excellent time-protein-taste ratio
Looking for a high protein meal that’s easy and vegan? Try this tabbouleh with lentils – a protein packed take on the classic dish!
Bonus: gluten-free and versatile
This tangy tempeh salad is quick, tasty and packed with protein. And better yet – use whatever you have in the fridge!
Bonus: great for any time of the day
Upgrade your vegetarian sandwich offerings with this chickpea salad sandwich! It’s simple and speedy with 20g of protein!
Bonus: light, creamy and versatile
Fresh, easy and delicious vegetarian wedge salad with creamy cashew dressing makes a perfect high protein lunch in a jar.
Bonus: easy to make and flavourful
Greek Pitas Recipe. Ready in 10 minutes. High in vitamin A, C and iron. Bursting out with delicious ingredients, perfect as a snack or healthy meal.
Bonus: very versatile lunch or dinner classic
With some mozzarella, spinach and whole grain tortillas you’ll get in a proper amount of protein. Granted, not the healthiest of all dishes in this list, but delicious nonetheless.
Bonus: a recipe with history!
Need a tasty sandwich that’s healthy too? Try our vegetarian banh mi, a light and healthy take on the Vietnamese classic!
Bonus: very simple, but very satisfying soup
This ramen soup comes with a proper amount of vegetarian protein (egg, tofu, edamame, sesame seeds). What I really like about it though is the versatile spicy Thai style broth. Try it out with any veggie combo you like! Delicious.
Bonus: colourful, full of flavour and filling
Looking to up your salad game? Try this healthy egg salad recipe with quinoa and beets – the perfect weight loss lunch!
Bonus: light, colourful and easy
Looking for a light lunch or snack? Try our vegan lettuce wraps, inspired by Korean ssam & filled with crispy tofu!
Bonus: full of veggies, simple and tasty
Need a new couscous recipe? Try this Mediterranean couscous bowl with a soy yogurt dressing. The perfect lunch, side or dinner!
Bonus: very quick, tasty go-to lunch recipe
The real star of this recipe is the honey mustard dressing! It’s such a good fit for the red onion, red bell pepper and lentils. Make this dish vegan by using maple syrup instead of honey. Wanna add some carbs? I love adding some simple microwaved potatoes as a side!
Bonus: easy, healthy and flavourful
Indulge with this smoky and savory Buddha Bowl. The combination of smoked tofu, hummus, and turmeric rice makes for a perfect vegan lunch (or dinner!)
Bonus: new, fresh, tangy, works as a side dish or main meal
With beets and oranges as main ingredients this dish is best eaten in autumn and winter. Chickpeas and sunflower seeds contribute as a protein source. But hey, a salad is only as good as its dressing and this parsley dressing kicks ass, if I may say so!
Bonus: easy and very healthy meal, simple ingredients
These feta and spinach pancakes are quick and easy – and cover a whole range of important nutrition and health topics!
Bonus: super quick preparation, delicious and healthy, enjoy it 🙂
20 g protein per serving
This low-carb pie that’s keto-friendly is incredibly tasty – and the best thing – it takes only five minutes to prep! Seriously!
Bonus: quick and nutritious, easy to make, full of health benefits
Full of protein, fiber and loads of other nutrients this halloumi salad will keep you feeling full for hours – and you’ll secretly be looking forward to more!
Bonus: healthy and tasty, super versatile meal, full of health benefits
The beets are bangin’ in this eye-catching dish. Highly nutritious, beetroots are an awesome addition to any pasta meal – including this beauty!
Bonus: tasty and nutritious, can be stored for a while in the fridge
Vegetarian toad in the hole paves the way for a meat-free future – why eat meat when you can have this instead?
Bonus: amazingly tasty and nutritious, can be stored for a while in the fridge
This is the perfect vegetarian food for a busy weeknight dinner. 10 minutes prep time, then for 20 minutes in the oven. High in vitamins A, C and B6, protein and fiber.
Bonus: delicious meal for the whole family
These veggie lentil tacos are our new go-to meal. SO TASTY and stacked with lentil protein and fiber, it’s time to take dinner up to the next level.
Bonus: can easily be made vegan, just swap Greek yogurt for soy yogurt.
In this healthy burrito bowl we’ve got quinoa, black beans, avocado, pineapple, tofu and Adobo sauce for a sizzling taste bud fiesta!
Bonus: filling and flavourful
Vegan stuffed peppers featuring tempeh, nutritional yeast and quinoa, three vegan sources high in protein. Quinoa is particularly cool, because it’s one of the few vegan foods that contain all nine essential amino acids!
Bonus: super healthy and interesting
Vegan Bolognese. It was about time we veganized the Italian classic. And we’re proud to say we were successful. Please welcome, the amazing Anti Bolognese!
Bonus: comforting, filling and flavourful
Fill up and power up on our hot vegetarian kale and white bean soup. It’s an absolute pearl for your healthy slim down diet.
Bonus: healthy, satisfying and low effort
A dump and bake dish that will please everyone, this bean and pasta vegetarian casserole makes a perfect healthy dinner.
Bonus: fun, versatile and creative
These pizza pancakes are perfect for lunch or dinner – super simple and full of the most exciting base and taste combos make it the best of both worlds!
Bonus: only one casserole dish needed to make this dish
This healthy high protein vegetarian moussaka is a true veggie delight with Greek soul and full of flavour and texture!
Bonus: healthy and low effort
This traybake meal features two of my favorite ingredients, quinoa and halloumi. The latter is not only tasty but works as a pretty good meat replacement due to its consistency.
Bonus: juicy, flavoursome and healthy
After the perfect cauliflower steak? Try this simple & delicious roasted cauliflower steak with ricotta and pepper sauce!
Bonus: high in both protein and fibre, comforting
Dal khichdi is a very traditional Indian dish that works nicely as a weight loss dinner! It’s healthy, light but still filling, and a source of complete protein.
Bonus: Super versatile dish: don’t have kidney beans at home? Just use black beans.
Who said meat-free recipes can’t deliver? This meatless (aka vegan) chili proves that you can still enjoy your favourite meals, but in a new, animal friendly way.
Bonus: simple, healthy and delicious
Another healthy vegetarian traybake dinner with plenty of protein featuring broccoli, lentils and halloumi. So easy to make and 32 grams of protein each serving!
I think you should give this recipe a shot, how about writing the ingredients onto your shopping list right now? The recipe is right below! 🙂
- Preheat the oven to 430 F / 220 C.
- Cut the broccoli into big florets and slice the red onion in half and then each half into four pieces lengthwise. Thinly slice the chilli pepper if using.
- In the food processor add the cashews with 5 tbsp of water, basil, garlic, juice from ½ lime, ½ tsp salt, black pepper, and process until you have a pesto like texture (not fully smooth). Taste and add more salt per taste. If necessary add a little extra water too.
- 1 chili pepper,2 tbsp cashews,2 handful basil, fresh,2 clove garlic,½ lime,1 tsp salt,¼ tsp black pepper
- In a baking sheet place the lentils and thinly sliced chilli pepper if using. On top add the red onion, broccoli florets and halloumi.
- Drizzle the pesto seasoning on top of the veggies and sprinkle remaining ½ tsp of salt + black pepper per taste. Brush the broccoli florets and halloumi with the olive oil.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the broccoli florets are tender. Turn on the grill or broiler of the oven at the highest temperature and bake for 3-5 minutes, until the veggies are golden brown.
- Top with chopped fresh parsley or dill and serve immediately. Serve with a side of ciabatta bread.
Unlock 11 More High Calorie Versions for Sporty People!
Alright, that’s it for this post!
If you’re still on the recipe hunt, check out even more high protein recipes over here.
Let us know how you liked this collection of high-protein vegetarian recipes! Was there anything you liked and want to see more of? Leave us a comment below 🙂
The post 63 High Protein Vegetarian Recipes: Focused on Fitness appeared first on Hurry The Food Up.
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