Born and brought up in India, I was raised a vegetarian and have never tasted meat in my life. In India, with a population of over 1.1 billion, more people are vegetarians than anywhere else on earth. Vegetarianism is more than a way of life; it is a kind of tradition.
You might be surprised to know that vegetarians can get more than enough protein from many sources, such as black beans, kidney beans, lentils, split peas, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), etc. Pick one and watch the protein grams add up.
To get my daily protein, I add one of the above sources to my diet and make sure that I get my required amounts.
Here is one of the quick recipes I usually make with garbanzo beans/chickpeas. I always keep canned garbanzo beans (use ones marked low sodium or no added salt) in my pantry. We call it “chole” in India.
- 1 can (15 oz.) Garbanzo beans
- 1 Roma tomato, chopped
- 1 English cucumber, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped red onions (optional)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper and salt (to taste)
- In a large bowl, gently toss together all the ingredients and serve.
- One cup of cooked garbanzo beans contains about 15 grams of protein.
– Pooja Rampal is a Beaumont Dietetic intern with the Beaumont Health Center’s Weight Control Center. Learn more about the Weight Control Center.