Eating as a vegan most of the time, I often ask myself if I am getting enough proteins... And what kind of protein is good for our bodies? I have already mentioned the role of proteins in my previous blog posts, but wanted to summarize a few key things that vegans need to keep in mind:
1. Proteins are so-called building blocks, made of more than twenty different amino acids (Harvard Medical School, 2017). Proteins are responsible for the development of new cells in our body and are very important both in early and older age.
2. There are two things to keep in mind, when planning your daily protein intake: 1) we do not store amino acids in our body and need a nearly daily supply of protein (7g of protein per 9kg/20lb of weight); 2) there are two types of amino acids that can build a protein: complete, which come from meat, fish, dairy, and contain all essential amino acids to build protein in our body; and incomplete - vegan source of amino acids, which contain only some of the essential amino acids (Harvard School of Public Health, 2018)
3. In fact, the truth is that there are a lot of sources of amino acids in vegan food, but only two of them include all nine essential amino acids to build new complete protein in our bodies. These are chia and hemp seeds. So how about the rest? The vegan world is full of healthy amino acid sources. Some of them are soy, beans, peanuts, lentils, almonds, tofu, quinoa, brown rice, tofu, walnuts, broccoli, spinach and many others. But if you decide to go vegan, you have to mix these foods in order to get all nine essential amino acids. This is very important and something that most of the articles about vegan proteins forget to tell us.
Today is one of my vegan days. I had a home-made vegan muffin for breakfast (with coconut flour and milk, oats, blueberries and chia seeds). After the gym I had a delicious smoothie made of spinach and pineapple (50/50) and now I am going to eat a jacket potato stuffed with white beans in tomato sauce. Both baked potato and white beans are a great source of amino acids, while together with spinach, chia seeds, pine nuts and coconut - they are a great boost of proteins for my day.
And these potatoes are just soooo delicious, warming up, spicy and super fragrant! I tend to avoid potatoes, as they are full of starch and sugar, but I can hardly resist my favorite baked jacket potato!
Jacket Potato with White Beans and Tomato Sauce Recipe
Serves: 2 people
Cooking time: 90 minutes
2 super-mega big jacket potatoes
240g (8.47oz) canned tomatoes
240g (8.47oz) canned white beans
4 tbsp coconut milk
1 tbsp pine nuts
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp ginger
1/3 tsp black pepper
lots of parsley
pinch of salt
Making the dish:
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/392F/fan.
2. Wash your potatoes very well. I actually use a potato scrub to make sure I washed away all the dirt from the skin. Dry potatoes with a kitchen towel. Then make a lot of deep holes in your potatoes with a fork. This way they will cook quicker and better, letting the steam come in and out of the potatoes. Place them in the form, sprinkle with olive oil and put into the oven. Leave your potatoes in the oven for 1-1,5 hours (depending on the size of the potatoes).
In the meantime, we will cook the beans...
3. Preheat a saucepan (close to maximum heat), add some olive oil, chopped onions and garlic - let them cook a bit until gold. Add chopped tomatoes, parsley and all spices.
4. When the mixture start boiling, add white beans (without liquid from a can), 4 tbsp of coconut milk and pine nuts. Bring the mixture to the boil again. Then low down the heat (to almost zero), close your pan with a lid and let everything simmer for 30-40 minutes. You can literally leave your beans on the hob until your potatoes are ready.
The Finishing line...
5. When potatoes are ready, take them out and cut them in two halves. With a fork numb the inside of the potatoes to make them more like a puree. What if you discover, that potatoes are still not ready? Not a problem! Add a bit of olive oil on top and put them back into the oven for 10-15 minutes.
6. Now that the potatoes are definitely ready, place them on the plate and add the beans with lots of yummy sauce on top. Serve straight away with some freshly chopped parsley or chives. Yumminess!