High Protein Plant-Based Foods You Need To Know About

Vegan Meal
Vegan Meal
Vegan Meal
Vegan Meal

It seems that everyone is jumping on the high protein bandwagon these days. Some people may even hesitate to opt for a whole food vegan diet plan due to concerns about ensuring enough protein. However, you can rest assured that a whole food plant-based diet can offer you more than enough protein, whatever your reasons for needing protein are.

You might already be knowing high protein plant-based food items like tofu, legumes, and nuts. Here we discuss three high-protein plant-based foods that you might not be familiar with. These are seitan, tempeh and edamame. The good news for all following special vegan meal plans is that edamame and tempeh are gluten-free and seitan is soy-free. Let us see them in detail.


As per health experts, a cup of seitan has 60 grams of protein. Seitan is a Japanese word that translates to “made of protein.” The origin and the first-ever use of seitan date back to several years ago when China and Japan-based vegetarian Zen Buddhist monks began to prepare it.

Seitan is low calorie, free of fat, and very high in protein. It has more protein than lean beef and has a dense and chewy texture. This makes it the perfect substitute for a duck as well as chicken meat. It is made from washing wheat flour dough until the starch is removed completely and only the gluten remains. Seitan should be cooked before eating. It can be broiled, baked, boiled, or sautéed and then sliced, cut into cubes, or served as a log. Seitan slices can be used in sandwiches, and the cubes can be used on soups and stews. There can be endless options while using seitan.

If you are following a salt-restricted vegan diet, you can make your seitan at home. This is because commercial seitan is often seasoned with soy sauce that is high in sodium. To make your seitan, you can boil wheat gluten that can be easily bought from online retailers and natural food stores.


This is the name for young soybeans that can be eaten whole. These young green soybeans are soft and tender, unlike the mature beans that are dry and hard. The mature beans are used to make tempeh, soymilk, tofu, and other types of soy products. Some types of edamame come in the pod and others are hulled. Frozen edamame can be used as a side dish or in the edamame salad. It can also be cooked as you would cook other frozen legumes like green peas and lima beans.

Skinned edamame is a great add-on to vegetable dishes, rice quinoa salads, and green salads. Roasted edamame can be found in high protein snacks or you may also roast them at home. If you avoid oil from your diet, you can go for dry roasted edamame. You can roast edamame with salt to have dry roasted oil-free edamame. You can also make low-fat edamame dips if you are looking to have a high protein dip. If you are concerned about GMO foods, you need to ensure that you buy organic edamame. This is because conventional soy is usually GMO.


Tempeh is the core of Indonesian cuisine, while tofu has its roots extended all the way to China. Some people find tempeh easier to digest than tofu as tempeh is usually made from fermented soybeans. Fermentation stimulates the production of enzymes that will break down the fat, carbohydrates, and protein in food. This can increase both digestibility and absorption of nutrients in foods. As commercial tempeh available in the country is pasteurized, you will not get the benefits of naturally available probiotics from the Lacto-fermentation process. Making tempeh at home can help overcome this situation.

Tempeh is usually less processed than tofu and is believed that it can help increase the production of progesterone inside the body, which can support the balance of female hormones during menstruation. From the viewpoint of preparation, tempeh can be very much versatile. However, it should be cooked before consuming and cannot be eaten straight from the package, unlike tofu. Tempeh is chewy and dense like seitan and is available in the form of rectangular cakes.

Tempeh can be a great plant-based meat substitute not just because of the protein content, but also for its mouthfeel and appearance. This is why many people following vegan meal plans use tempeh as a meat substitute. You can find pre-seasoned tempeh in the form of burger-shaped patties or tempeh bacon. Tempeh burgers can be easily made at home by slicing rectangular tempeh bars in half and broiling, sautéing, or baking them. You can also marinate the tempeh in rice vinegar, garlic, tamari, and ginger to increase its flavor and appeal. It can also be paired with barbeque sauce to make sloppy joes or used in chili in place of meat.