Food & Wine

Add vegetable proteins to your weekly diet

Updated: 18 Nov 2009
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 Three-Bean Salad with Quinoa
When you think of protein, do you automatically picture meat? Well, meat is definitely protein, but there are also vegetarian sources of protein with a valuable supply of nutrients that your body craves. I’m talking tofu, whole grains, edamame, quinoa, beans, nuts, seeds, etc.
A recent study published in the journal Circulation found that the nutrient glutamic acid can help reduce blood pressure and risk of heart disease and stroke (Ref: Women’s Health Mag, Dec. ‘09, p. 30). This amino acid is found in those vegetarian protein sources I mentioned above (as well as meats and cheeses).
Try to add more vegetarian protein sources to your weekly diet. Edamame are a great snack to have after work when you’re really hungry and need something to munch on before dinner. You can buy packages of them frozen in most grocery stores (look in the organic/natural section if you can’t find them next to the other veggies).
Also, I found a wonderful Three-Bean Salad recipe with quinoa on the Whole Foods site. You don’t even need their store brand salad dressing (although it’s probably delish), just mix together some olive oil, vinegar, and cracked pepper for an easy substitution.
Three-Bean Salad with Quinoa
Summer green beans are here! Perhaps other beans, too, so substitute any of the three beans with what you can get on sale or from your garden...or the neighbors'. Canned garbanzos, pintos or black beans are fine, too, in this beautiful and delicious summer salad that works as a side dish or protein-filled vegetarian entree. Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is a light, whole grain with plenty of protein itself; once you try it, you'll invite it back to your table again and again.
1 cup uncooked quinoa
Salt and ground black pepper
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces, cooked and rinsed in cold water
1 1/2 cups frozen 365 Everyday Value Shelled Edamame, thawed
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1 (15-ounce) can 365 Everyday Value Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup 365 Everyday Value Organic Italian Dressing
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
Rinse quinoa under cold running water and drain. Bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil in a small pot. Stir quinoa and a pinch of salt into water. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender and liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and let cool. Put cooled quinoa, green beans, edamame, peppers, kidney beans, dressing, tarragon, salt and pepper into a large bowl and toss well. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Per serving (about 9oz/244g-wt.): 270 calories (70 from fat), 8g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 460mg sodium, 33g total carbohydrate (8g dietary fiber, 4g sugar), 17g protein
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