Going Vegetarian?

How many of you have thought of going vegetarian or considered eating vegetarian for a day, as in Meatless Mondays but don’t know where to start? Beans are a great way to start with hundreds of varieties to choose from! Black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, white beans, along with lentils and many others provide plenty of fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar stable and satisfy your hunger throughout the day.

Perhaps you are considering vegetarianism but are concerned with protein. Do beans provide enough? How much do I need in a day? Many people think they may not get enough protein but may actually be getting too much. In order to determine your protein requirements for the day, you take your weight in kilograms and multiply it by 0.8 grams. For instance, a 120 pound women requires 44 grams of protein a day, (120 # / 2.2 = 54.5 kg * 0.8 = 44 g), while a 160 pound male needs 58 g of protein a day. Other considerations may be a factor including your physical activity level, age, and your overall health.

Here is a quick and easy recipe using beluga lentils. At the time, I didn’t have any tomatoes or red bell pepper to add but feel free to experiment with the ingredients and let me know what you like best. If you like cheese, a sprinkle of feta would go well or if you are dairy free, try nutritional yeast flakes and see what you like!

  •  1 ½ cups cooked beluga lentils
  • 2 cans quartered artichokes, rinsed & drained, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 leaves Swiss chard, rinsed and chopped
  • Brown rice vinegar, to taste
  • Sea salt & pepper, to taste

Combine ingredients in a large bowl, stir to combine, and enjoy!

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