Myth: You need to eat meat in order to get enough protein in your diet

07 Jun 2019 - Jillian Daly

No. No, no…no. How many times do I need to say no? One more, NO.

Too often, plant-based eaters are asked the infamous question, “How do you get enough protein?” Well, truth be told, vegetarians meet their protein needs the same way that everyone else does—by eating food. The difference between protein in meat and protein in vegetables is that animal protein is complete, while plant protein is incomplete. All this means is that animal protein contains all 9 essential amino acids, while plant protein varies in its amino acid content. To get complete protein from plants, all you have to do is eat a variety of plant-based foods. For example, you can have a complete protein snack of whole grain toast with peanut butter. The amino acids in the whole grains and those of the peanut butter combine to create complete protein. Varieties of whole grains, legumes, beans, nuts, and seeds are all rich sources of amino acids that work to create a perfect complete protein…no meat required!

You can prepare complete protein meals—including dessert ;)—from plants grown in your backyard, right here in North Carolina! Please enjoy these recipe ideas using vegetables that thrive in North Carolina, depending on the season. 😄

Cool Season

(using plants planted in early spring or fall)

Something savory: Cauliflower and Potato Soup with Parmigiano

Click here to see the full recipe.

Something sweet: Plant-Based Carrot Cake

Click here to see the full recipe.

Warm Season

(using plants planted in late spring)

Something savory: Grilled Veggie Taco Bowl

Click here to see the full recipe.

Something sweet: Watermelon Sorbet

Click here to see the full recipe.