Tag Archives: complementary protein

Cooking Coach Case Study

from left: White Beans w/ Zucchini, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Grape Tomatoes & Olives; Sauteed Red Cabbage w/ Craisins & Fennel Seed; Zucchini Salad w/ Lemon Parsley Vinaigrette.

Case Study A:  I’ve been cooking for client Michele for several months. She has several parameters:
It’s a big challenge to shop & cook.  She lives by herself. She eats vegan only, cannot tolerate gluten, and avoids processed sugar, making it hard to eat out. She needs more protein in her diet.  

She’s on a weekly schedule for my Delivered Dish of the Week and on occasion I also deliver additional dishes and organic foods. Fortunately for her, about 75% of DDoW dishes are gluten-free, and each week always features a protein-rich bean dish.

Since I’m taking vacation, I am stocking up her refrigerator & freezer. At left are 3 dishes I dropped off today, freshly made, all vegan, gluten-free and low-fat. In addition, she got a quart of frozen quinoa pilaf and several packets of Simple Organics brand seasonings that she can add to canned beans, such as Jambalaya, Red Beans & Rice, and Black Bean Salsa.

Adopting a vegan diet means one has to be be consistent about adequate sources of protein. An adult doesn’t need a lot — only 46 gms protein daily for women — but vegans & even vegetarians often don’t hit that mark. They tend to eat more carbs than necessary. Prepared vegetarian food such as from restaurants and deli counters are mostly carbs, so they’re no help. A Subway veggie sandwich? Cheese pizza? Puh-lease.  You’d be better off with a peanut-butter sandwich, or in Michele’s case, a bag of nuts.

In order to get enough protein, Michele has to make sure she’s eating complementary proteins. This means legumes + a starch, or veggies + a starch. She doesn’t even have to eat these in the same meal, but just over the course of one day. All starch or even all veggies do not deliver the right chemical combo. This is why my 2 weekly dishes always comprise these combinations. See Delivered Dish of the Week Menu Archive page for a million examples.

Fresh edamame (soy beans) have a firm texture and nutty taste.

So besides beans & more beans, I am also introducing Michele to soy products, which are  packed with protein. Edamame are fresh soy beans that many people like steamed in the pod as snacks. You can also buy them shelled in the frozen vegetable aisle of some grocery stores. They’re a lot like fresh green lima beans and have a great firm texture. I like to use them in both salads and sautés.

Next, I’ll teach her to prepare tempeh, an excellent, hearty soy product that’s much like veggie burger in texture. She can easily pan-fry or bake these slices with some sauce. Gado-Gado Tempeh (Indonesian peanut sauce) would be a snap to make and exotic, too.