Dal Tadka
Packed with 18 grams of protein per serving, lentils are an excellent source of iron, folate, manganese and antioxidants. Image Credit: Shutterstock

More and more people around the world are substituting meat with vegetables. If you turn up your nose at veganism, you might want to think again – it’s not all green and bland.

Click start to play today’s Spell It, where ‘tofu’ is on the menu.

In 2020, plant-based dairy and meat sales hit $29 billion, and were projected to rise to $162 billion by 2030, according to an August 2021 report in the US-based news website Bloomberg. If trends point towards a meatless diet, and people seem to enjoy the taste of plant-based food (to the point of giving up meat completely), could they be on to something?

According to a report in Healthline, well-planned meatless diets can give you all the nutrients your body needs – including protein. Some foods, however contain considerably more protein than others, and incorporating them into your diet can help promote muscle strength, weight loss, and the feeling of having a full stomach.

Here are a few meatless proteins that you could start with, if you’re considering going vegan, or if you just want to eat more plant-based meals on a daily basis:

1. Seitan

You can grill seitan, soup it or stir-fry it, because like tofu it’s a bit of a blank slate, which means it can be marinated, scrambled or baked Image Credit: Shutterstock

No, it’s not a supernatural creature with two horns and a trident. Also called wheat gluten or wheat meat, seitan contains 25 grams of protein in a single serving, making it an excellent alternative to meat (which has about 26g of protein). You can buy it plain, or with a variety of seasonings at supermarkets that specialise in vegan foods. On its own, seitan has quite a bland taste, but it can be grilled, stir-fried, scrambled, baked or made into a soup – let your creativity take over!

2. Soybeans

Tofu is the perfect addition to salad bowls or stir fries. Image Credit: Unsplash/Anh Nguyen

A variety of vegan products, like tofu, tempeh and edamame, start out as soybeans. This powerhouse protein provides you with all the amino acids your body needs. Tofu, which is made from bean curds, is used in a variety of dishes, from stir-fry to curries. Edamame, which is usually steamed, boiled or cooked, can be eaten as a snack or with other components. Soy milk, too, is a great source of protein, so it can be added to your coffee or cereal if you’re looking for a protein boost.

3. Black beans

black beans
A bowl of hearty black beans is filling, delicious and nutritious. Image Credit: Unsplash/Frank Holleman

Who doesn’t love black beans with their burrito? These nutritious beans are often used in Mexican fare, as refried beans or in chili, and they’re packed with 15 grams of protein in a single serving. They are also full of antioxidants, calcium and fibre. Not to mention, they’re delicious and filling, and often a hit with little children, too.

4. Lentils

Indian cooking has mastered lentil curries or ‘dal’ for generations. If you haven’t tried these legumes, which come in green, orange and black varieties, they’re well worth it. Packed with 18 grams of protein per serving, they are an excellent source of iron, folate, manganese and antioxidants. They also contain a kind of fibre that supports gut health. Lentil soups or curries are warm and hearty meals, and great for lunch or dinner.

Have you tried any of these vegan products? Play today’s Spell It and tell us at games@gulfnews.com.