One of the fears meat-eaters have about cutting down on their consumption of animal products is that their bodies won’t be getting enough protein. How important is protein anyway? Let’s just say your body needs it just as it needs water. OK maybe that’s an exaggeration but it’s still essential nonetheless.
Protein is crucial to speeding the muscle’s recovery after exercise. It also reduces muscle loss, builds lean muscles, curbs hunger, and helps maintain a healthy weight.
If you’re trying to become a vegetarian but are hesitant on where you will get your proteins, fret not. This article will share high protein vegetarian meals that you can chomp on a regular basis.
Even more interesting is that these meals are all less than 400 calories. Most people can lose weight if they keep their daily diet to less than 1,500 calories. Having meals less than 400 calories can keep your diet on track, if you’re looking to lose weight.
1. Salsa Verde Lentil Tacos With Mango-Pomegranate Pico
This yummy treat consisting of two tacos should give you nearly 16 grams of protein and less than 390 calories in one serving. The secret is in the lentils, which is packed with protein, fiber, magnesium, as well as iron.
2. Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Omelet Sandwich
No need to drive-thru McDonald’s. Simply have this omelet sandwich that gives you 23 grams of protein at just 150 calories.
White egg omelets are not only tasty, but very low calories. Moreover, they are very nutritious especially when stuffed with vegetables, like in this recipe.
3. Cheesy Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes With Poached Eggs
Eggs with potatoes should keep you full, giving you the energy you need to last through the day. This recipe does just that, providing you with nearly 20 grams of protein for less than 365 calories.
And with four ounces of fontina cheese included in this meal, you should be looking forward to having this for lunch or dinner.
4. Baked Zucchini Fritters
Each fritter provides you 7 grams of protein and only 89 calories, making baked zucchini fritters ideal for breakfast or even an afternoon snack. Time should not be a concern in preparing this meal as these fritters are very simple to make.
5. Roasted Fennel, Asparagus, and Red Onions with Parmesan and Hard-Boiled Eggs
This is an ideal meal for lunch packing 33.5 grams of protein which should give you enough energy to last the day. It’s a bit over at 446 calories but the protein it packs makes the surplus of calories worth it.
6. Blackberry Yogurt Parfait
This makes for an excellent breakfast. It packs 30 grams of protein with just 315 calories, perfect for people who want to lose weight without losing the proteins they need for muscle building.
It is also pretty easy to prepare. Layer a cup of Greek yogurt in a bowl or jar with half a cup of roughly chopped blackberries, a couple of tablespoons of raw almonds, and sprinkle with two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds.
7. Cauliflower Steaks With Lentils
This dish packs 22 grams of protein with less than 350 calories. It’s great for dinner, when you are encouraged to eat less.
Aside from giving you enough proteins, this dish is also very nutritious. Give credit to cauliflower for that. The vegetable is known for being an antioxidant, and can boost heart health aside from promoting good digestion.
8. Thai Salad and Cauliflower Rice Wrap
This crunchy meal is ideal for people on the go as they can simply slip it inside their bag, or chomp while on their way to work. It is also very simple to make—you’d only be spending 20 to 30 minutes on this one.
And yes, it is very low in calories (330) and rich in protein (22 grams). This is the perfect meal if you want to get enough protein while minimizing your caloric intake.
9. Kale Goat Cheese Pizza
Who doesn’t like pizza? Granted, this recipe isn’t rich in pepperoni but at least, it is very healthy. And kale is arguably one of the best superfoods out there, known for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
You’d only need 20 to 30 minutes to prepare this pizza. For every serving, you will be getting around 300 calories and 27.1 grams of protein. This meal should be great for lunch or dinner.
10. Portobello Mushroom Caps With Feta, Tomato, and Mint
This recipe would only give you 390 calories and around 20 grams of protein. It’s a great alternative to unhealthy meals you often take for lunch and dinner.
These are just 10 of the healthy, high-protein meals that you can eat while minimizing your caloric intake to 400 calories. Why don’t you start incorporating them in your diet and see your weight gradually go down?