I have never been a vegetarian (well apart from that one time for about 3 months when I was 10, to experiment), but I have always enjoyed vegetarian food options – bean burgers, veggi sausages, cheesy bakes and carb loaded staples like pasta.
Unfortunately as much as it is possible to eat well as a vegetarian (or vegan, or any other dietary restriction for that matter), the more you miss out (in this case meat & fish), the more you have to purposefully make sure you get all the bits you’re missing from the bits you’re cutting.
In this case I was making the classic mistake I see so many vegetarians do which is to eat way to many carbs in relation to protein.
Yes cheese and pulses have protein, but cheese is also part carb, part fat, and pulses like chickpeas and lentils are largely starchy carb.
Not as much as you’ve probably been lead to believe, unless your have Coeliac Disease, then you can never eat wheat bread.
Wheat flour used in bread is fairly processed and low in nutrients, but it’s not the devil. I rarely eat bread but that’s because I prefer other starchy carbs that are more nutritious – oats to make post workout protein porridge, some sweet potato with a Sunday roast, banana pancakes (bananas are higher in carbs than other fruits), and even on occasion a proper, non-healthy piece of chocolate cake, but that’s because I’m not having it every day like so many people do with bread. Toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and wheat pasta for supper does not a balanced diet make.
So the problem is more with the sheer amount of bread and other wheat products people are eating, and that this, especially in the case of non meat eaters, often comes at the price of skimping on protein.
This bread ticks all the boxes for a nutritious alternative; high protein, wheat flour (gluten) free, with some bonus healthy fats from the seeds and nutrients in spinach.
Serve it topped with some of my high protein hummus here and a side salad for a tasty protein packed vegetarian lunch!
100g baby spinach leaves
50g butter melted (or coconut oil)
30g pumpkin seeds
20g ground flax
25g coconut flour
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a 20cm x 10cm loaf tin with baking paper.
Blend everything together in a food processor, or if making by hand whisk the eggs with the melted butter or oil and whisk thoroughly by hand. The mix will be pretty runny.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean (meaning the egg is cooked).
Allow to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.