Protein-Filled Plant-Based Dinner Recipes - dummies

Protein-Filled Plant-Based Dinner Recipes

By Marni Wasserman

If you’re just starting out on a plant-based diet or simply don’t have time to spend all day cooking dinner, consider cooking more food than you need for one meal and then building your next dinner around the leftovers. Following are some protein-filled dinner options:

Tangy Tempeh Teriyaki Stir-Fry

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Marinade (see the following recipe)

10.5-ounce package of organic tempeh or tofu

1 onion, chopped

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery

1 head (about 2 cups) broccoli or cauliflower, cut into florets

1 head (about 2 cups) bok choy, chopped

1/4 cup sesame seeds

  1. Cut the tempeh or tofu into small cubes.

  2. In a medium saucepan or wok, combine the tempeh or tofu with 3/4 of the marinade, along with the onions, carrots, and celery. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes.

  3. Place the broccoli in the wok and cook until just tender.

  4. Combine the bok choy with the tempeh or tofu and stir with the remaining marinade until the bok choy softens a bit.

  5. Make sure everything is well coated. Top with sesame seeds and serve with brown rice, soba noodles, or quinoa.


2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1/4 cup tamari

1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced ginger

juice of 1 orange

1 to 2 tablespoons brown-rice vinegar

1 tablespoon brown-rice syrup

  1. In a bowl, combine the marinade ingredients and set aside.

Per serving: Calories 129 (From Fat 63); Fat 7g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 551mg; Carbohydrate 11g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 6g.

Black Bean Cumin Burgers

Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus soaking time

Cook time: 40 minutes

Yield: 8–12 servings

1 cup black beans, soaked overnight and rinsed, or 2 cans organic black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup grated sweet potatoes

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup diced red onion

1/4 cup brown-rice flour

2 tablespoons tamari

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon cumin

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Place the soaked beans in a pot with water (cover the beans by 1 to 2 inches). Bring the water and beans to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1-1/2 hours. Remove from the heat and drain.

  3. Place the beans in a bowl and mash. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

  4. Scoop 1⁄3 cup of the batter to form a burger patty and place on the baking sheet. Continue until all the batter is used.

  5. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Per serving: Calories 217 (From Fat 81); Fat 9g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 405mg; Carbohydrate 26g (Dietary Fiber 7g); Protein 9g.

Garlic Oregano Yam Fries

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 35–45 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

6 to 8 medium yams or sweet potatoes

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon oregano

1-1/2 tablespoons basil

2 to 4 tablespoons coconut oil

sea salt to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

  2. Cut the yams into wedges or chunks and set aside. In a bowl, combine the garlic, pumpkin seeds, oregano, basil, coconut oil, and sea salt.

  3. Add the yams, stirring with your hands to make sure all of the pieces are covered with the mixture.

  4. Spread the yams on a baking tray lightly oiled with coconut oil. Bake for about 45 minutes, or, if you prefer them crispier, leave them in the oven for an extra 10 to 20 minutes.

Per serving: Calories 254 (From Fat 81); Fat 9g (Saturated 6g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 235mg; Carbohydrate 40g (Dietary Fiber 6g); Protein 4.5g.

Kale and Cabbage Slaw Salad

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Yield: 10–12 servings

1 head red cabbage

2 carrots

1 beet

1 head fennel

1 bunch kale (about 3 cups)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 to 4 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons raw honey or coconut nectar

2 tablespoons hempseeds

  1. Shred the cabbage, carrots, beet, and fennel in a food processor with a shredding blade, or use a mandolin, or hand slice into thin strips.

  2. Remove the stems from the kale, and then chop the kale into thin strips or bite-sized pieces.

  3. In a mixing bowl, mix together the olive oil, apple-cider vinegar, lemon juice, and raw honey or coconut nectar to make a vinaigrette.

  4. Combine the vinaigrette with the shredded vegetables and toss until the cabbage and kale are well-coated.

  5. Allow the salad to marinate in the fridge for 30 to 60 minutes.

  6. Mix in the hempseeds just before serving.

Per serving: Calories 178 (From Fat 117); Fat 13g (Saturated 3g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 58mg; Carbohydrate 16g (Dietary Fiber 4g); Protein 4g.

Warm Festive Farro Salad

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

1 cup farro (spelt), soaked overnight in enough water to cover it completely

1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons, divided

1 clove garlic, minced

1 red onion, chopped

1 cup portobello mushrooms, chopped

1⁄3 cup currants or dried cranberries

1 cup thinly sliced rainbow chard or spinach

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon oregano

dash of herbes de Provence

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup toasted walnuts, or pine nuts

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Rinse the farro and place it in a pot with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer 30 to 45 minutes. Set aside the cooked farro.

  3. While the farro is cooking, place the butternut squash on a baking tray and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and bake for 30 minutes.

  4. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the garlic over medium heat and add the onions, mushrooms, and currants; sauté until softened.

  5. Add the chard, sea salt, dry herbs, and balsamic vinegar. Let sit for a few minutes to let the flavors combine and the chard wilt.

  6. Place the cooked farro in a large bowl and add 2 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil to taste. Add the butternut squash and the onion, mushroom, and chard mixture. Stir to combine. Top with walnuts.

Per serving: Calories 306 (From Fat 153); Fat 17g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 251mg; Carbohydrate 31g (Dietary Fiber 4g); Protein 6g.

For an extra dose of protein, add 1 cup of cooked white beans at the end of Step 6. This gives this dish a richer texture.