Plant-Based Proteins & Salad Prep

It is very easy to consume enough nutrients though eating a wholefood plant-based diet. 

To ensure that you’re consuming all of your essential amino acids from plant-based proteins, select one of the food sources from Group 1 then combine it with at least one food from either Group 2, 3 or 4.

You can add others from the groups for extra nutrients Just vary the quantities based on the needs of the recipe.

Group 1 – Carbohydrates

  • Breads:  whole wheat, rye
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Noodles
  • Quinoa
  • Oats

Group 2 – Legumes

  • Peas

  • Beans: black, kidney, pinto, baked beans

  • Lentils

  • Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

  • Soya beans

  • Peanuts

  • Alpha-alpha (alfalfa)

  • Broad beans

Group 3 – Vegetables

  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes

  • Carrots

  • Pumpkin

  • Butternut

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Onion

  • Lettuce

  • Pepper

  • Squash

  • Spinach

  • Cabbage

  • Turnip

  • Mushroom

  • Tomato

  • Celery

Group 4 – Seeds and nuts

  • Walnuts

  • Pistachio nuts

  • Cashew nuts

  • Macadamia nuts

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Brazil nuts

  • Hemp seeds

  • Almond

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Chestnut seeds

  • Pecan nuts

  • Sesame seeds

  • Pine nut seeds

The two protein sources marked in blue indicate what I usually include in my salads each day, and I ensure that I eat rice with all of my vegetable and chick pea curries.  I eat a variety of nuts and seeds each day, and of course my diet is full of veges and fruit.

Fruits also have amino acids (protein) in them, but they are not represented in this document.  I eat a fresh fruit salad with cereal 6 days a week.

The rule of thumb is to not over think it, because if you’re eating a varied plant-strong diet, then you will most likely be consuming enough protein.

Eating healthy takes preparation.  The above image shows one of my salad preps, which I put together on a Sunday, ready for my working week. Always keep the salad ingredients in separate sealed containers, and simply dish up what you want each day into a separate container, before heading to work.  I prepare the Avocado just before eating. 

My salad generally consists of:

  • rocket,
  • tomato,
  • red onion,
  • carrot,
  • cucumber,
  • red capsicum,
  • mixed sprouts,
  • seeds,
  • beetroot,
  • avocado,
  • mushrooms,
  • red cabbage,
  • chick peas,
  • quinoa,
  • hommus/tahini  or other plant-based dressing,

I eat salad at least 6 times a week, and I sometimes add Sauerkraut.  I, however, generally eat Sauerkraut with my evening meals.

When I start to get a bit sick of salads, I do up a carrot, beans, capsicum, garlic, onion and zucchini peanut satay, and take it in a separate container to work.  I then heat it up before mixing it through my salad, and I hold off on the dressing  

It’s delicious, and makes the salad taste so different.