Meat-free protein sources - KMSP-TV

Meat-free protein sources

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More and more people are going meat-free, but how do you reach your protein intake goal without trusty chicken or fish?

FOX 9 Fitness Expert Ali Holman from stopped by to give us seven choices for MEAT FREE protein sources!

To find out more about Ali's Online Workouts and Meal Plans, visit


Protein: About 8 protein per ½ cup. These little superfoods are full of fiber, protein, and magnesium and are also low in cholesterol, making them an exceptional replacement for that sirloin. Beans of all kinds work best in soups, salads, veggie burgers, dips, and burritos.


Protein: 7g per ½ cup Perhaps the most famous meat-free protein, tofu is made from soybean curds .Tofu can be baked, grilled, fried, steamed, sautéed, or eaten raw. Since it absorbs the flavor of whatever it's cooked with (and doesn't provide much pizzazz on its own), tofu tastes best paired with bold- flavored foods (think onions, garlic, Swiss chard, curries and sauces).


Protein: 4g per ½ cup, cooked It's a tiny little seed that's gained tremendous popularity in the health-food world . One of the only grains and seeds providing the nine essential amino acids our bodies can't produce on their own, quinoa deserves a spot on this list for being a complete protein. It's also full of fiber, iron, magnesium, and manganese . Quinoa is a great alternative to grains or meat, and can be substituted for pasta, rice, and couscous or added to soups or salads for an extra protein boost.


Protein: 20g per ½ cup Also known as "wheat meat," seitan (pronounced say-tahn) is made from wheat gluten (obviously, this one is not gluten-free friendly!). Chewier than tofu, the vegan meat alternative has a texture pretty similar to that of meat and absorbs the flavors of whatever it's cooked with. The stuff isn't very appealing when raw, but it can be baked, grilled, braised, boiled, or fried for a tasty substitute to meat.


Protein: 9g per ½ cup, cooked, lentils are also high in foliate, iron, potassium, and antioxidants, and they've even been linked to reduced inflammation. Lentils come in red and green varieties, and can be used in soups, stews, salads, veggie burgers, dips, and nearly any type of Indian cuisine.


Protein: 15.5g per ½ cup A popular Japanese breakfast staple, natto is derived from fermented soybeans and is similar in appearance to overgrown kidney beans. The texture tends to be chewy and a bit stringy, and the stuff is known for its "pungent" smell (to put it nicely). This is most often eaten with sushi rice but can also be used in baked goods, stir fries, dumplings, curries, and rice and pasta dishes. It's difficult to find in the average U.S. grocery store, but for those willing to track it down in an Asian grocery, the protein payoff is mighty.


Protein: 11g per ½ cup, cooked. Made from fermented soybeans, tempeh is similar in texture to seitan and firmer and chewier than tofu. Tastes best when stir-fried, baked, steamed, broiled, seared, or grilled. Just like seitan and tofu, it tends to absorb the flavors of whatever it's cooked with, making it a versatile alternative protein.


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