The eternal question posed by people following a plant-based diet is “what are alternative sources of protein?” Once animal protein sources have been removed from their diet, most people feel at a loss as to where they can find protein-rich food. However, protein can be found in an abundance of plant-based foods that should be a staple in every plant-based kitchen. Here are 10 sources of plant-based protein that you should keep handy in your kitchen at all times for a quick protein-packed meal:

Sunflower seeds

201986-675x450-sunflower-seedsSunflower seeds are perfect for a quick snack or sprinkled on salads, smoothies or oatmeal, as they are both rich in protein and minerals.

Nutrition: 1 cup = 10g protein


hummus-1058000_1280Hummus is a perfect snack as it is low in fat and high in fiber and protein. Dip some veggies, such as cucumbers and carrots in hummus or spread it on whole wheat bread to create a complete meal.

Nutrition: 1 cup = 19 grams of protein.

Cooked lentils

f6fdc816e0ed0d27929bfe485a11b18add09fc84Lentils are a rich source of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. Keep a stock of cooked lentils in the fridge and all you have to do is heat it up and add some veggies or keep chilled and make a salad!

Nutrition: 1 cup cooked lentils = 18g protein


high-protein-veggies_0Spinach is a very versatile food that needs to be a staple in any plant-based kitchen. Whether fresh or frozen, spinach can be used in salads, soups, in a stir-fry, on a sandwich or in a smoothie.

Nutrition: 100g of cooked Spinach= 5g protein


broccoli_625x350_41422365508Broccoli has more protein than beef per calorie, 30 calories of broccoli has about 4.5 grams of protein. Keep broccoli in your kitchen and be sure to include it in your salads, smoothies, in a stir-fry for a few extra grams of protein in your meals.

Nutrition: 1 cup = 2.6 g protein

Cooked beans

20160901-baked-beans-vicky-wasik-11-thumb-1500xauto-434215Beans are a great source of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. Keep cooked beans in the fridge and use just like lentils, heated with veggies, chilled in a salad, or in a sandwich.

Nutrition: 1 cup cooked beans = 15g protein

Nut Butters


Nut butters are a great source of vegetable protein, but it’s important to consume in moderation as this food is high in fat (the healthy kind!). Keep a jar of all-natural almond butter in your pantry at all times for a 2-minute meal! Spread on bread, in smoothies, on oatmeal, use as a dip, or out of the jar; the options for this one are endless!

Nutrition: 1 cup almond butter = 52 g protein


quinoa-3-1024x682Quinoa is a grain that is used just like rice, and is a good source of carbohydrates, protein and fiber. Keep cooked quinoa in the fridge as this versatile food can be used to whip up a quick breakfast, lunch or dinner. Heat up and add fruits and cinnamon for a flavorful breakfast or add veggies and herbs for a nutritious lunch or dinner.

Nutrition: 1/2 cup cooked quinoa = 8 protein

spirulina-1829077_1280Spirulina is a powder that is very rich in protein and contains all the essential amino acids that we need. Spirulina can be added to smoothies, salad dressings or sprinkled on foods.

Nutrition: 2 tablespoons spirulina = 8g protein

Nutrtional yeast

Nutritional yeast flakes in a wooden spoon isolated on white with clipping path included.

Nutritional yeast is the perfect cheese-replacement in a plant-based diet due to its cheesy flavor. Keep nutritional yeast in your kitchen at all times to sneak in protein with any meal. Whether it’s a salad, veggies or grains you can simply sprinkle nutritional yeast to up the flavor ante.

Nutrition: 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast = about 12g protein