Thursday, August 5, 2010

Where do you get your protein though?

I probably get asked this question every day. I would say people ask about my protein sources more often than they ask me what my name is.

When people structure arguments against my vegetarian diet, they inevitably invoke the almighty protein. The cornerstone of any sound diet, they say. And, they conclude confidently, it is impossible to intake enough of the stuff without meat. Or fish. Or eggs. Especially impossible without dairy.

The problem is that I can never prove them wrong. I can't, with 100% confidence, show to them that I'm getting enough of the right nutrients without an animal-based diet.

Well, to show everyone where I get my protein from I'm going to start including recipes, and then looking up the nutrition data in these meals.

To kick things off:
Pasta with Pesto, Onions, Olives
Mango Smoothie
Total prep time: 30 minutes

One box of pasta
One onion
Chopped Olives
Pesto Sauce
One mango (sliced and frozen)

1. Boil a pot of water.
2. Saute onions in olive oil for 10 minutes on medium heat. Add olives. Simmer on low heat until pasta is done.
3. Add pasta to water when water is boiling. Cook until al dente.
4. Add sliced, frozen mango to a blender. Blend until homogenous.
5. Drain pasta. Mix with pesto, and onion/olive mixture.

Nutrition data for eating a little less than half of the the pasta and the entire smoothie:
[culled from nutrition facts on package or]

Calories: 1000
Total Fat: 21 g
Total Protein: 24 g
Total Carbohydrates: 78 g
Vitamins/Minerals with more than 10% dv: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Copper, Thiamin, Niacin, Iron, Folic Acid, Riboflavin

The pasta and mango provide the vast majority of nutrients and the rest of the ingredients are mainly for flavor.

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