Carol Adams’ article, “Five Myths About Vegans,” was recently featured in the Washington Post. The #1 myth about vegans, according to Adams, is that vegans have trouble getting enough protein. I don’t disagree. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to answer the question, “Where do you get your protein?” Adams clears up this popular myth, telling us that “protein doesn’t have to come from animals. Plant protein is neither incomplete nor inadequate — and it’s high-fiber, low-fat and cholesterol-free. Animal protein, which does not contain fiber, is high in fat and cholesterol, and it is associated with increased risk of heart disease, loss of calcium from bones and poorer kidney function.” I bet you’re craving some plant protein after hearing all of that. Here’s a protein-packed plant-based recipe to show all your friends (and your sceptical brother-in-law, perhaps) exactly where you get your protein from.
Lentils contain the second highest amount of protein of any legume and are among the easiest beans to digest (along with adzuki beans, split peas and white beans). You also don’t have to remember to soak the lentils ahead of time (I always forget to soak the chickpeas!). I especially like this for dipping raw carrots or Mary’s Gone Crackers for a quick, healthy snack.
Red Lentil Hummus — adapted from Get it Ripe by jae steele
- 1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
- 2 3/4 cups filtered water
- 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup olive or flax seed oil
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
- Add lentils and water to a medium size saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, skimming off any foam from the surface. Add cumin, turmeric and salt, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat, uncover and let sit for 20 minutes.
- Add lentils and remaining water, oil, tahini, garlic, cayenne and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth. If desired, add more lemon juice and/or spices. Let chill in fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.
Variations: use roasted garlic instead of raw, add roasted or raw tomatoes or red bell peppers, add fresh herbs