by Charles Weller

Whether you are joining the vegan bandwagon to lighten your carbon footprint or you simply want to lose the weight you’ve gained from eating too much meat and animal products, these top 20 veggies and plant-based foods will help you achieve your goals.

By avoiding animal products, you will not only lose weight and positively impact the environment you will also crowd out the processed crap that is only causing harm to your health.

But how do you replace the protein from animals? What foods should you add to your diet to get the protein your body needs to build muscle and provide energy? Consider eating more of the following veggies, meat alternatives, and legumes:

1. Organic Edamame

Organic Edamame

Protein Amount: 18g per 1-cup serving

One of the healthiest appetizers you’ve never tried, a single cup of organic edamame (cooked soybeans) contains healthy proteins. The organic variety is better for your health since most of the soybeans you’ll find at any local store is probably genetically modified and treated heavily with pesticides.

Recipe Suggestion: Stir fry edamame with egg, scallions, and asparagus for a delectable appetizer.

2. Organic Tempeh

2. Organic Tempeh

Protein Amount: 16g per 3 oz. serving

At its most basic, tempeh is a dense cake made by fermenting cooked soybeans. Like tofu, you can slice and pan fry it. This is another healthy alternative to animal products if you are looking for vegan protein.

Chewy and nutty, tempeh contains more fiber and protein than tofu. Since it is fermented, it is also easier to digest for most people.

Recipe Suggestion: Swap out your beef meatballs for Tempeh Meatballs.

3. Organic Tofu

Organic Tofu

Protein Amount: 8 - 15g per 3 oz. serving

Tofu is the classic vegan blank slate. Made using curdled soymilk, you can eat it scrambled, sautéed in a stir fry or simply pan-fried. Although it doesn’t pack on the same amount of protein as tempeh, it has a more tolerable taste.

To avoid pesticides and genetically-modified soy, always go for organic tofu.

4. Lentils


Protein Amount: 9g per  cup serving

High in protein and fiber and low in calories, lentils are versatile. You can morph them up into a veggie burger, a nutrient-dense side dish, or a hummus-like dip. Additionally, this plant-based food also reduces the risk of heart disease and lowers cholesterol.

Recipe Suggestion: Instead of processed meat, use lentils and wild mushrooms for a deliciously meat-tasting burger.

 5. Black Beans

Spicy Black Beans

Protein Amount: 7.6g per  cup serving

Black beans also pack on a wide range of phytonutrients, folate, potassium, vitamin B6, and heart-healthy fiber.

Recipe: Use black beans in your brownies for a healthier dessert.

6. Lima Beans

Lima Beans

Protein Amount: 7.3g per  cup serving

Apart from the filling protein, these beans also contain Leucine, an amino acid that promotes healthy muscle synthesis, especially among older adults.

7. Peanuts/Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

Protein Amount: 7g per ¼ cup serving of peanuts or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter

Apart from the comfort foods you can make with these two, peanuts and peanut butter are also versatile. Add them to your breakfast and you’ll end up eating less during the day.

8. Wild Rice

Wild Rice

Protein: 6.5g per 1 cup serving

Wild rice packs more protein than other carbs, making it a suitable replacement for quinoa and white rice. What is more, you’ll soon fall in love with the chewy texture and nutty taste, all the while feeling more satisfied.

Recipe Suggestion: Make a casserole with wild rice, goat cheese, and cranberries.

9. Chickpeas


Protein Amount: 6g per  cup serving

The combination of fiber and protein in chickpeas makes for a healthy dip.

Recipe Suggestion: Replace mayo by slathering chickpeas on your sandwich bread. Alternatively, chop up your favorite vegetables and serve them with hummus made from chickpeas.

10. Almonds


Protein Amount: 6g per ¼ cup serving

Almonds are a good source of protein and vitamin E (good for hair and skin health). They will also provide you with 61% of the daily recommended intake of magnesium – which will help curb those sugar cravings, boost bone health, ease muscle spasms and soreness, and smooth PMS-related cramps.

11. Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds

Protein: 6g per 2 tablespoons

Although these seeds are pint-sized, they pack tons of protein. Chia seeds are also a good source of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) that stimulates the satiety hormone leptin, leading to more fat burning and less storage.

12. Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Protein: 5g in ¼ cup serving

Apart from the protein, oats also have a low glycemic index. As such, they won’t spike blood sugar, meaning you’ll experience fewer cravings and feel more satisfied after each oatmeal serving.

Recipe Suggestion: Whip them up into a peach crumble or mix the oats with chickpea for a healthy veggie soup.

13. Cashews


Protein Amount: 5g per ¼ cup serving

Cashews will deliver 20% of the magnesium and 12% of the vitamin K intake your body needs. Both of these nutrients are good for overall bone health.

14. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpking Seeds

Protein Amount: 5 g per ¼ cup serving

Apart from delivering protein, pumpkin seeds are also nutrient-rich, providing good magnesium, zinc, omega-3s, and tryptophan.

15. Potatoes

Potatos Wedges

Protein: 4g in a single medium white potato

Another healthy protein source, potatoes pack potassium.

Recipe Suggestion: Mash them up or toss them into the oven with a spray of olive oil for a delectable side dish.

16. Spinach


Protein: 3g per  cup serving

To further boost the protein you’ll get from spinach, always cook them instead of adding them to your salads.

17. Organic Corn

Organic Corn

Paired with other protein-rich legumes and veggies, organic corn will deliver even more protein to your body.

Recipe Suggestion: Try an easy butternut squash and sweet corn succotash tonight.

18. Avocado


Protein Amount: 2 g per  avocado

Super filling, dreamy and creamy, avocado combines protein with monounsaturated fatty acids.

Recipe Suggestion: Swap out your guacamole with an avocado mojito smoothie.

19. Broccoli


Protein: 2 g per  cup serving

Broccoli supplies healthy fiber and proteins. It also contains sulforaphane to help your body fight off cancer.

Recipe Suggestion: Combine peanuts and broccoli into an irresistibly scrumptious salad.

20. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Protein: 2g per  cup serving

Although the taste isn’t inspiring, Brussels sprouts are nutritional superstars that will provide you with the protein, vitamin K, and potassium your body needs on a daily basis.

Concluding Thoughts

With the above suggestions, you’ll never have an excuse to not go vegan. Try the recipes for each veggie/plant-based food and your body will start showing it in the form of a smaller waistline, healthier activity, and general good feels.

Charles Weller
Charles Weller