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Plant Protein Bowl

By Darla Leal

Plant foods actually contain large amounts of protein to support muscle growth. Vegetarian athletes are maintaining lean mass and improved athletic performance eating plant-based protein. This simple recipe contains superfoods that are nutrient-dense and full of muscle building protein.


1 cup cooked green #lentils

1 cup cooked or canned #chickpeas

1 cup fresh cooked or packaged @edamame seeds

1/3 cup raw #pumpkin seeds

Fresh spinach, chop large handful

1 large carrot, freshly grated

1 medium red pepper, finely chopped

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Fresh lime and lemon juice

Fresh ground pepper


This salad can be served room temperature or cold. All you need is a large serving bowl for the ingredients. Prepare all ingredients according to individual cooking instructions. If using organic canned produce, you will be ready to go.

Place drained lentils, chickpeas, edamame seeds, and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add fresh chopped spinach, grated carrot and finely chopped red pepper. Stir again until well combined. Drizzle ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil over plant food mixture. Squeeze juice from the fresh lime and lemon over vegetables. Add fresh ground pepper and stir to combine. Let the mix set for at least 30 minutes to absorb the citrus dressing. Taste for flavor. Add more citrus if desired or spice it up with a tablespoon of fresh chopped cilantro.

Side Bar: Best Plant Proteins for Muscle Growth

Building muscle is possible on a plant-based diet. The following is a great list of plant protein foods to support lean mass and muscle recovery.


Popular seed grain among athletes. This superfood contains all essential amino acids to create a complete protein at 8 grams per one cup serving.


Wide variety to choose from, and if a food allergy isn’t an issue, nuts are simple to incorporate into your diet. Nuts are nutrient-dense, full of healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Raw whole almonds contain 30 grams of quality protein per 1 cup serving.

Tempeh and Tofu

Plant-based meat alternatives made from soy. Tofu and tempeh are versatile, take on the flavor of sauces and excellent muscle building food. Tempeh provides 30 grams of protein per 1 cup serving.

Chia and Flax seeds

Athletes incorporate these popular seeds to boost protein and healthy fats. These super seeds contain Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and 7 grams of protein per 3 tablespoon serving.

Beans and Legumes

Combine beans and brown rice for a complete protein. Beans and legumes are full of quality plant protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Chickpeas contain 39 grams of muscle building protein per 1 cup serving.


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