In her new book Plant Power, Annie Bell tackles the much-asked question, long posed to those on vegetarian and vegan diets “But where do you get your protein from?”. Her view, in short, is that the ideal is to eat ‘a broad spectrum, being mindful of which ingredients are good sources, and broadening out how you use them”.
Thankfully her book provides us with simple, elegant recipes, full of delicious ideas and all with a view to packing in the plant protein we need in our diets. I tackled the Aubergine Brinjal with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds (pictured below), for a healthy and delicious supper, delicately spiced and layered with spiced pumpkin seeds and dressed broad beans. You can find the recipe here.
Animal proteins provide us with high quality protein in a complete form, containing all nine essential amino acids in addition to other nutrients such as iron and B12. Plant proteins on the other hand tend to have more diverse amino acid profiles, meaning in practice that they lack one or more of the essential amino acids. It is vitally important then to eat a diverse range of nutritious plant-based ingredients, gathering plant proteins from a wide range of ingredients.
In the introduction to her book Annie debunks some myths about eating proteins, shows you how to work out how much protein you need a day and has a useful section of “Hero Ingredients” – her list of the “best and most delicious sources of plant protein”.
I would highly recommend “Plant Power” for great everyday recipes full of plant proteins. You can buy it for £11.99 on Amazon here. I will be cooking many more recipes in the coming weeks!
PS. You can find many of these hero ingredients - such as chickpeas, spinach, sesame, broccoli, cauliflower, lentils, beans, quinoa and many more - packed into our PEP meals. Try our Mung Bean Moussaka as a great example!