Saturday, April 21, 2007

"So, how do you get enough protein?"

"How do you get your protein?"

"What do you eat for protein?"

"You can't get enough protein on a vegan diet."

Do you get these question asked of you by well-meaning (or just plain nosey) omnis? I know I do - repeatedly. Hello? It's not that difficult! Makes me want to wave peanut-butter in their pseudo-worried faces... Today, for no particular reason, the whole "vegans don't get enough protein" myth really bugged me, so excuse me if I vent...

Supper tonight (I just went to Trader Joe's) was a great example of more-than-adequate protein, PLUS, not an animal product in site, and an easy, tasty, meal too! Maybe I'll just take this picture and hand it to those unsuspecting omnis when they ask this question again.

Roughly, (from I estimated about 23 grams of protein, or: 9 gr. in the chickpea curry, 6 in the Trader Joe's "Green With Envy" vegetable blend with edamame (SO yum!), 6 in the pumpkin seeds and oddly enough, 2 grams in the Trader Joe's Micro-Greens salad.

Most of us get more than we need anyway, but try telling a steak-eater THAT! And I, for one, definitely do NOT look like the imagined stereotype; starving, weak, pale, sickly or wasting away...

Before I vent further, here's the Eggplant-Chickpea Curry recipe.

Eggplant-Chickpea (Garbanzo) Curry
(Channa Masala with Eggplant)

1 med eggplant
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons curry powder of your choice, to taste
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
3 cups water
3 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas drained (garbanzo beans)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Poke a few holes in the eggplant and cook in 450 degree oven until soft, about 30 - 40 min. When cooled enough to handle, cut in half, drain on paper towels for a while and then scoop out chunks. Discard peelings.
Heat oil over med. heat. in nonstick pan.
Add onions and saute approx. 2 mins, until golden brown.
Remove from heat and stir in eggplant, garlic, ginger, jalapenos, curry powder and garam masala. Stir over med. heat for several minutes until spices are fragrant.
Remove from heat.
Add tomato paste, stir well. Add water, return to heat. Simmer for a while until vegetables are well cooked. (I'm not sure exactly how long here - 15 min. maybe?)
When everything is thoroughly heated and cooked together, stir in chickpeas and lemon juice.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Taste for seasoning, adding salt if necessary.
You can serve this immediately, but the flavors are much more enhanced if you allow it to sit for a few hours before you reheat it to just below a simmer.

This is also good served over rice, and garnished with fresh cilantro! Yum!


Twisted Cinderella said...

Looks great! It really isn't hard to get enough protein. My problem with eating isn't getting enough, it is getting too much. LOL.

Susan said...

I hate that question, too! That, and when my mother, who seemed to be so good with the whole vegetarian thing this time, said to me tonight, "Are you hungry? We have steak." Maybe she forgot...

Anonymous said...

yeah i hate the queastion at this point of my life, is like you try to explaing and at 5 minutes later..
do you want some chicken... lol

Neva Vegan said...

That looks so good!

There are so many misconceptions out there. I mean, you never hear a news story about people sick from lack of protein (in the US I mean) but every other day it's heart attacks, strokes, blood pressure. And what do people worry about? How do you get protein?

Anonymous said...

What about the 'calcium' question? That one drives me nuts as well.