If you’ve cut back on meat consumption in your home, or if you’re a vegetarian family, you may be wondering whether or not your children are getting enough protein. Here’s the good news: Protein is in all whole food, not just meat and dairy. That’s right, your salad and the fruit bowl are both full of healthy vegetable protein.
Not only are veggies, fruits, nuts, and legumes full of protein, they also contain healthy micronutrients, something not found in animal products but very much needed in the human diet for optimal health. For instance, did you know peas, beans, and green vegetables contain even more protein per calorie than meat? Put that in your salad and chew on it!
Here are some healthy sources of protein for you and your family:
Almonds (3 oz.) 10 grams protein
Broccoli (2 cups) 10 grams protein
Brown Rice (1 cup) 5 grams protein
Lentils (1 cup) 18 grams protein
Peas (1 cup) 9 grams protein
Tofu (4 oz.) 11 grams protein
Every now and then my husband finds himself in the kitchen with an idea and some slightly funky ingredients. Usually the ideas come out great. (I don’t really like anchovies on my pasta, but otherwise I welcome his experiments.) He made a really great salad twice now, so I just had to share it with all of you. I’m not putting ingredient amounts down. That always seems a little silly for a tossed salad. Toss in however much you like, that’s my rule!
Oh, and with the cabbage, it softens it up a bit more if after you rinse it, you sprinkle a little sea salt on there and scrunch it well with your hands. You know, like you did with your hair back in the ’80s. If you’re that old, which I am.
Finely cut savoy cabbage
Grape tomatoes, cut in half to let all the flavors meld (important says man-cook)
A little chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground pepper
And voila, you have a really healthy cabbage salad. The nice thing about savoy is that it’s not too tough, so even my 21-month-old with only a couple molars to his credit can mash on it pretty easily. (In fact, he loves the salad too but manages to spit out just the parsley. It’s really something to see, if you’re not in charge of after-dinner cleanup.)