If you're a vegetarian or vegan or even if you just explore meatless meals from time to time, you've likely heard the same refrain from curious friends and family members. "But how will you get enough protein?" The truth is, according to many nutrition experts and registered dietitians, most Americans get plenty of protein easily, even if they're not eating meat. For people who prefer chickpeas to chicken, keep in mind you still need 2 to 3 servings of protein per day. These foods are high in protein and will help to keep your body strong and healthy, sans the meat.
Protein: 12 grams per 1 cup (for black beans)
Dried black beans, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, and pinto beans are all delicious choices for low-fat, fiber-filled protein. Using dried beans allows you to control the sodium and additives that go into the dish. Soak dried beans overnight in a large bowl of water, rinse until the water runs clean, then simmer for 2 hours on medium/low heat to enjoy. Spice with cumin, garlic, red pepper, or other spices.