Protein is the powerhouse behind your gains. When you lift heavy, protein repairs the tiny tears that strength training creates in your tissues, which helps your muscles grow bigger, faster. You already know that meat is your friend here: chicken, beef, and fish are all packed with the filling macronutrient.

But what if you prefer tofu over turkey? Or beans over beef?

No sweat, you can absolutely build and maintain a built physique on a vegetarian diet. In fact, a recent Arizona State University study found no difference in measures of strength or endurance — or levels of lean body mass — in vegetarian athletes compared to meat eaters.

The caveat? Because animal-based proteins tend to be higher in the essential amino acid leucine (the most important for triggering your gains), you’ll need to eat a wide variety of foods — like Greek yogurt, tempeh, and lentils — to make sure you’re getting enough without meat. (Here’s everything you need to know about gaining muscle on a vegetarian diet, including the foods that will help you get there.)

Not sure where to start? Here’s how you can serve up a day’s worth of protein-packed vegetarian meals and snacks that won’t leave you feeling like your muscles (and appetite) are taking a hit.

PB&J; Overnight Oats

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Peanut powder is a stealth way to infuse oatmeal with an extra shot of protein and nutty flavor.

What You Need:

  • 1/3 cup steel cut oats
  • 2 Tbsp peanut powder, such as PB2
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup raspberries
  • 2 Tbsp chopped almonds

How to Make It:

In a wide-mouth glass jar or cereal bowl, stir the oats, peanut powder, chia seeds, vanilla cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Add 1/2 cup boiled water; stir again. Top with raspberries and almonds. Seal jar or cover cereal bowl and let soak overnight.

Serves 1 / 26 g protein

Maximize Your Protein Intake:

Hummus Bowl

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Made by roasting green (immature) wheat, Middle Eastern freekeh (like this one from Bob’s Red Mill) has more protein than quinoa.

What You Need:

  • 3/4 cup canned chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup cooked freekeh
  • 1 cup baby spinach or mesclun
  • 1/2 cup cooked cubed sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 scallion (green onion), sliced
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled feta
  • 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts

How to Make It:

1. In a bowl, layer the chickpeas, freekeh, spinach, sweet potato, cucumber, sun-dried tomatoes, and scallions.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, 1 Tbsp warm water, paprika, and a pinch of salt. Drizzle this over the freekeh mixture and sprinkle on feta and walnuts.

Serves 1 / 28 g protein

Related: Here’s Exactly What This Ripped Vegan Bodybuilder Eats In a Day

Curry Mango Yogurt

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Packing more protein than other seeds, hemp seeds make this savory-sweet bowl of yogurt an even bigger muscle builder.

What You Need:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1/2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1/2 cup diced mango
  • 1/3 cup diced avocado
  • 3 Tbsp hemp seeds

How to Make It:

In a bowl, stir together the yogurt, honey, lime zest, curry powder, and cayenne. Top with avocado and hemp seeds.

Serves 1 / 34 g protein

Related: 5 Diet Changes You Need to Make to Build Muscle

Bean Ricotta Salad Sandwich

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Creamy ricotta is made using the liquid whey leftover from other cheese production, so it’s a reliable source of leucine.

What You Need:

  • 1 (14 oz) can navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 8 slices whole grain bread, toasted
  • 1 cup sliced pickled beets
  • 1 cup sliced roasted red pepper
  • 2 cups arugula

How to Make It:

1. Place beans in a large bowl and roughly mash. Stir in the ricotta cheese, parsley, shallot, garlic, lemon juice, cayenne, salt, and pepper.

2. Top 4 slices of bread with equal amounts of the bean mixture, beets, roasted red pepper, and arugula. Top with remaining bread slices.

Serves 4 / 22 g protein

Related: Whole or Skim Milk: Which Is Healthier?

Pesto Stuffed Tofu Steaks

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When you sear tofu to crispy perfection and stuff with a punchy pesto, you’ve got a meal that won’t leave you craving beef.

What You Need:

  • 1 block extra-firm tofu
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp canola or grapeseed oil
  • 4 Tbsp pesto
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

How to Make It:

1. Line a cutting board with a couple sheets of paper towel. Top with the tofu and a couple more sheets of paper towels and another cutting board. Press firmly to extract excess liquid from tofu. Slice the tofu along its width into 2 slabs and then cut each slab in half. Season each piece of tofu with chili powder, salt, and black pepper.

2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu squares to pan and heat until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes. Flip and heat until golden on the other side.

3. Spread pesto on two pieces of tofu and top with remaining tofu. Serve with quinoa.

Serves 2 / 36 g protein

20 of the Best Vegetarian Meals for Meateaters

Think you’re going to suffer if you give up meat? Worried that being vegetarian means you can only eat salad? Think again my friends. This list of the best vegetarian meals for meateaters will prove you wrong and make you wonder why you ever ate meat in the first place. Not only are these completely meat-free, and many are even fully vegan, but they will fill you with such comfort and warmth that you will lose yourself in food heaven. So grab those stretchy pants and lets get eating!

Warning: You may want to grab a bib because drool is sure to escape your mouth.

Vegan Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni // Nothing screams meat-eater like Hamburger Helper! Now you can enjoy it in a healthy vegan way. Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite.

Vegan Mushroom Philly Cheese // Now this gooey cheesy amazingness has got to get that drool going. Recipe by Kathy Patalsky.

Thai Style “Crab” Cakes // Not into real seafood but love the idea? Not a problem, because these mouthwatering crabless cakes will fill that craving like no other. Recipe by A Virtual Vegan.

Spanish Beans with Tomatoes // I call this warmth in a skillet. I kind of want to snuggle up right in the middle. Recipe by Veggie Desserts.

Black Bean Salsa Burgers// There’s no way you can pass up a good burger, and these take only 15 minutes to make! Sounds like a double win to me. Recipe by Veggie Inspired.

Amazing 3 Bean Sweet Potato Chili // Chili just screams meaty comfort, especially loaded with delicious ingredients. You won’t be missing the meat in this amazing recipe! Recipe by My Whole Food Life.

Twisted Mushroom Reuben Sandwich // I’m just going to let that drool drip a little first. Now run to this recipe and make this sandwich. Insanity at it’s finest. Recipe by My Goodness Kitchen.

HAUTE Coconut Chicken’ played by Mr. Maitake Mushroom // I can’t even with this incredible photo. There’s no way you’ll miss the fried chicken here. I can hear the crispy bite just looking at it! Recipe by Wicked Healthy.

Vegan Beanball Sub // Typically for meat lovers only, this deliciousness in a roll satisfies the bellies of even the least meat centric eaters! Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite.

Jackfruit Pulled “Pork” Sandwich// You will be blown away by both the flavor and texture of this sandwich. Pulled pork just got even better, meat free and healthy! Recipe by Vegan Heaven.

Homemade Italian “Meatballs” // A staple in many households, you can now devour spaghetti and meatballs no matter what your diet needs are! I’m drooling just looking at it. Recipe by The Vegan 8.

Vegan “Clam” Chowder // Creamy, rich, thick and flavorful. This amazing soup will warm you from the inside out! Bonus: no chance of getting bad seafood. Recipe by Fork and Beans.

Smoky Southern Style Meatless Meatloaf // Yep, you read that right! With all the flavor and amazing ingredients, there is no reason to miss the meat! Recipe by Veganosity.

Vegan Jalapeño Chickpea Mac and Cheese // This is mac and cheese taken up at least four notches. If I had to pick a last meal, this would be a top contender. Recipe by Cotter Crunch.

Lentil Walnut Burgers // The perfect all american patty, all the flavor but none of the meat. Fire up those grills, vegetarian style! Recipe by Vegan Richa.

Mushroom Stroganoff // If you’re a mushroom lover then this pasta is for you! Simple, yet packed with flavor this meal will fill your belly like no other. Recipe by Natural Girl Modern World.

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower// Chinese take out no more! Now you can indulge on your favorite sticky delicious meal at home, and meat (but not flavor) free! Recipe by Yup It’s Vegan.

Chestnut Mushroom Bourguignon// I bet you never thought you’d see this French favorite in a vegetarian line up. This traditionally meat filled dish has been revamped to fit the veggie category and oh it looks amazing! Recipe by The Veg Space.

Mini Vegetable Pot Pies // Our favorite buttery rich savory pie with a vegetarian makeover. These little pots of deliciousness will satisfy even your biggest meat eater! Recipe by Cadry’s Kitchen.

Buffalo Chickpea Burgers // Buffalo sauce, piled high with onion rings and finished off with a tangy Buffalo cream…anyone even remember what meat is? I don’t. Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite.

Manly Vegetarian Meals

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OK, so here’s the situation: You want to cook for your buddies for no other reason than to show them that having a vegetarian meal doesn’t have to be an exercise in self-denial. Of course by now your vegetarian habits are well known to them and you still receive a regular ribbing, and you don’t really mind that, but you feel like it’s a somewhat unfounded belief that vegetarian food isn’t tasty or that it’s always insufficient in substance. We all know the most common critique about veggie food from meat-eaters is that it’s too light; the absence of meat means it can’t possibly fill the gap. In that case, just try serving up one of these manly vegetarian dishes below and see if your pals even notice the fact they’re eating a meat-free dish.

The Conquistador

This Spanish staple, called tortilla de patatas in some parts of the world, is heavy enough to satisfy a crew of hungry guys and it’s also a cinch to make and requires only very basic ingredients: potatoes and eggs. Does it get more manly than that?
Key Ingredients
– 4 large potatoes
– 6 eggs
– 1 green pepper (chopped)
– 1 onion (chopped)
– Salt
– Olive oil
Basic steps: Cut the potatoes up into chunks and steam them for 5 minutes. Set them aside. Heat up some oil over medium heat and stir in the chopped onion and pepper. Add the potatoes and cook for a few minutes until tender, but not crispy. Whisk the eggs in a bowl with a bit of salt and pepper. Pour the eggs over the evenly laid-out potatoes in the pan, cover, and cook over low heat for 7-8 minutes. Next, place a plate over the pan, flip and then slide the potato/egg patty back into the pan to cook the other side. Serve hot or cold.

John Deere Sandwich

This might not be the healthiest option, but it’s delicious and guaranteed to fill the belly of any meat-eating skeptic. It doubles as a mighty hangover cure, an added bonus to be sure. Warning: This sandwich has been known to induce the food coma.

Key Ingredients
– 1 avocado
– 1 tomato
– Slices of provolone cheese
– Sourdough bread
– Tabasco

Basic steps: Make it like you would a grilled cheese sandwich, but coat the bread with olive oil rather than butter to make it slightly healthier. Add the sliced avocado and tomatoes, and grill only till the cheese is partly melted. Splash on a bit of Tabasco for an extra kick.

Two more manly vegetarian meals follow after the break…

Hearty Vegan Meals For The Man In Your Life

The way to man’s heart is through his stomach so why not feed him ALL THE PLANTS with these man-friendly vegan meal ideas. Recipes even the carnivore in your life will love.

Roses are red, violets are blue, you are vegan and you want your boyfriend to be just like you!

It’s February, the month of pancakes, fashion and most importantly (depending who you ask) love! Cliché tells us that the best way to celebrate is with chocolate, something bubbly and all things pink, red and fluffy. But really, how CLICHÉ is that?

This year, skip the cheese (literally), and celebrate with a very vegan Valentine’s Day!

There is no doubt that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so we have rounded up our favorite vegan recipes to wow that special carnivore in your life. Nothing say’s I love you like a bowl of beans (wink face emoji)!

*sidenote: before you jump on us for making gender stereotypes, know that I totally asked Jess to put together this round-up for entirely selfish reasons. C and I have transitioned to a plant-based diet and I’ll admit it’s been a bit of a struggle to find meals that suit my carnivore man. Of course, not all men are carnivores and I love me a good herbivore, male or female! Read on…

1. Tofu Scramble from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

2. Red Velvet Waffles with Vegan Cream Cheese Icing from Pickles & Honey

4. Cranberry Cheese Cake & Pistachio Stuffed French Toast from Connoisseurs Veg

8. Crowd Pleasing Caesar Salad from Oh She Glows

10. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches from Vegan Yumminess

12. Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta Salad with Kale and Artichokes from The Healthy Maven

17. Thai Quinoa Casserole from The Healthy Maven

19. Tempeh And Kale Enchilada Casserole from Hummusapien

21. Cajun Chickpea Sweet Potato Burgers from Peas and Crayons

23. Baked Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese from The Healthy Maven

Are the men in your life carnivores, herbivores, omnivores?! Feel free to drop a link to your favorite plant-based meal recipe below!


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    12 Hearty Vegan Meals For Men. Vegan Food For Dudes Or How To Convert Your Man

    Statistics I have read show that there may be as many vegan men as there are women. Yet, I often get e-mails and messages from women asking for help in getting their guys to eat vegan food. Many of these women write that their boyfriends, husbands, and sons won’t even try the plant-based dishes they make. They are often distraught that their men are bringing animal-based foods into the house or worse, want the women to cook it for them.

    It’s wonderful when couples and families make the vegan journey together, but often, one person learns about veganism first and then wants to share it with his or her loved ones. When the people closest to you are not as enthusiastic about living a plant-based life as you are, it can be downright frustrating. However, my readers also often write and tell me that my recipes help get their guys on the vegan bandwagon. Whether you’re trying to introduce plant-based eating to your boyfriend, husband, son, or even a male friend or co-worker, here are 12 recipes that will just do the trick.

    1. Simple Tofu Scramble

    Sometimes the best way to start the day off is with some hearty, cooked food. And what better than a tofu scramble and some filling potatoes? With its added veggies and ‘tater carb load, it’s a serious breakfast that will keep him going strong all day. I predict men from all walks of life will enjoy this dish.

    Get the recipe here.

    2. Herby Sausage Breakfast Hash

    This breakfast hash is so quick and easy to make but will look like you slaved away in the kitchen for much longer, earning you some serious brownie points. I highly recommend serving this with a pot of tea and some warm whole grain toast.

    Get the recipe here.

    3. Vegan Bacon, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich

    Hope we don’t get sued for saying so, but this looks like the breakfast McMuffin you’d find in McDonalds. But surprise! This one is 100% vegan! And doesn’t it look delish?

    Get the recipe here.

    4. Portobello Mushroom Bacon Sarnie

    The next best thing to bacon (if you’re into that salty, meaty taste) could well be Portobello mushrooms. And if you haven’t yet heard of or used liquid smoke, you should think about investing in some. It gives food that smoky taste that foods like bacon have. Save the pig! Try Portobello. (Hmm…not sure that slogan will catch on…?)

    Get the recipe here.

    5. Vegan Turkish Pizza

    Hands up if you love pizza? Well, I certainly do and I was so thrilled to find this recipe. It looks like its packed full of meat, but there’s actually none in it. Yep, that’s right. That topping that looks like spicy ground beef is actually ground mushrooms and walnuts. Mind blown? Mine definitely is!

    Get the recipe here.

    6. Mushroom Schnitzel

    Yes, I know frying isn’t the healthiest way to cook. But it is possibly the tastiest! And this meaty, hearty ‘schnitzel’ can be made even tastier with some nice mashed potatoes (recipe below)…or if you want to go a bit healthier, mashed sweet potatoes. Add a salad, and voila!

    Get the recipe here.

    7. The Best Damn Vegan Mashed Potatoes

    It’s a universal favourite, and a delicious comfort food. But mashed potatoes usually include a mother load of butter, milk or cream…thankfully, they’re easy to make vegan!

    Get the recipe here.

    8. The Best Vegan BLT

    The BEST vegan BLT? That’s a pretty boastful title, but I’m 100% confident that this recipe lives up to it. The BLT has been a popular sandwich for years, and I’ll let you into a little secret – before going vegan, I used to DEVOUR these bad boys! There’s just something about a BLT that works, and this recipe doesn’t miss out on the goodness just because it’s vegan. The crisp lettuce is still there, the chunks of juicy tomatoes and this even has a spicy cashew mayo for a little bit of an edge. And what is being used instead of bacon do I hear you ask? Wait for it . . . eggplant.

    Get the recipe here

    9. Gluten Free Vegan Mac’n’Cheese

    Whaat? This recipe looks sooo good, so creamy…and yet it’s gluten and dairy free! How is that possible? Well, the Minimalist Baker has used garlic, nutritional yeast and olive oil to make this amazing creation.

    Get the recipe here.

    10. Reuben Sandwich

    Don’t be put off by the fact this isn’t a strictly vegan recipe. A quick switch to vegan cheese and you’re good to go! Who doesn’t love a great big whopper of a sandwich? Treat Dad to a delicious vegan take on the meaty Reuben sandwich and you could even make some sweet potato fries to accompany it.

    Get the recipe here

    11. BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich with Avocado Slaw

    I’ve mentioned before the wondrous ways in which jackfruit can be used to replicate a vegan friendly pulled pork, and this recipe looks insanely look. Make the man in your life this BBQ sandwich this Father’s Day and I can almost guarantee he’ll love you forever. And the base is this delicious and creamy avocado slaw.

    Get the recipe here

    12. Beer Battered Onion Rings

    Take onion rings to the next level this year and treat dad to some of these beer battered ones. They’re everything we love in an onion ring with a little bit of a beer coated twist. You could cook a batch of these up to go with pretty much every dish here. Yeah, I know these are far from healthy, but who doesn’t love an onion ring, seriously?

    Get the recipe here.

    If you wish to take vegan living to a whole new level, download The Complete Vegan Recipe Solution, featuring 145 scrumptious, perfectly balanced recipes for optimal health, performance and strength! Your man and whole family will thank you for this!


      When you think of Sakara, you may remember the incredible protein donut recipe we brought to you from them last year. But, the plant-based eating meal delivery service has so much more to offer. And while they’ve always served up the healthy good stuff to both men and women, this month, they’re seriously focusing on you, dudes.

      Starting October 31, SakaraMAN includes five days of plant-based Sakara breakfasts, lunches, and dinners delivered to your doorstep—plus an additional Snack Pack of protein-packed snacks for a little extra plant-based power, at no additional cost. So, no need to worry about “feeling hungry.”

      “The benefits of eating a plant based diet (improved digestion, increased energy, better moods, younger-looking skin and a body that feels—and looks!—GOOD) are not just for women; men can experience the same amazing results from tapping into the powers of food as medicine, and throughout the month of November, we’re celebrating these Sakara Men,” a Sakara spokesperson told us.

      In fact, research shows that—among the many benefits of eating a plant-based diet—is reducing your risk for diseases like prostate cancer and heart disease. So, a portion of the proceeds from SakaraMAN will go to men’s health research and initiatives via the Movember Foundation.

      Sakara has a lot of men on the plan all the time—this is just an activation to increase that number and to benefit a great cause at the same time, Sakara told us. So, they’ll also be featuring a few of their dedicated dudes on throughout the month.

      Whether you want to get a head start on clean plant-based eating or want to sample a recipe or two before committing, here are eight recipes to whip up yourself, courtesy of Sakara.

      For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!

      Vegan meals for men

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