Last year, my guilt about climate change and niggles about animal welfare finally got too loud to ignore. So I resolved to turn veggie as much as I could.
At first, I did the obvious thing: I extracted the meat from my meals, and increased my starch and vegetables to the same volume of the missing meat. However, starches and veggies are not as protein-dense as meat. Consequently, I was not meeting my RDA of protein, and I was not a happy camper: I was consistently grumpy and hungry.
Then I hit gold… a little bird (who happens to be a professional dietician) told me of a magical index which listed the macronutrient composition of all foods available in the UK. And – this fact makes me so happy to live in the 21st century – this incredible resource is publicly available!!
The amazing index is the “McCance and Widdowson’s composition of foods integrated dataset” . It’s available in both .pdf and Excel format here.
Me being me (i.e. a total nerd) I downloaded the magical Excel file, and calculated veggie food combinations that would give me 20g protein per meal.
At the moment I don’t have a lot of time for cooking. So I’d describe my creations as ‘how to quickly throw quantities of food together’, rather than ‘haute cuisine recipes’. But, in case you, too, are a busy bee who wants to lessen their ecological footprint, I share my fave food combos below.
Or … why not download the McCance and Widdowson dataset yourself, and design your own protein-rich veggie food combos? And then … share them with me? 😉
Also, in future I’d love to try making a second draft of these food combos which uses the amount of food in a single packet (e.g. broccoli comes in packets of 907g. So it would be really handy if my tofu recipe used exactly 907g of broccoli, rather than its current 880g.!) Less measuring = fasterrrr!
And I’d also love to try pairing foods which are in season at the same time. So watch this space…. !
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