Cottage Cheese Filled Dates


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Image by David R. Blume goo.gl/vxxn1w

By: Nikki Nies

Whenever you’re pairing foods, you want to make sure they have the right balance of sweet and savory. The overpowering of one ingredient can lead to the

For as little in size that dates are, they’re nutrition powerhouses, containing fiber, the antioxidant tannins, beta carotene, vitamin A, potassium and iron. While the peanut butter stuffed dates trend has been going around, I’ve been trying to incorporate more cottage cheese into my meals as it is great to pair with savory or sweet foods. Pairing dates and cottage cheese is a great way to maintain protein content, but the added benefit of cottage cheese’s healthy fats. While low in calories, cottage cheese and dates are great spin on the traditional peanut butter stuffed dates.

IngredientsIMG_9084

  • ½ cup cottage cheese
  • 5 dates
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Sprinkle of  cinnamon

Instructions

Slice dates lengthwise, stuff with cottage             cheese. Drizzle honey and sprinkle cinnamon on top of each date. Eat up!

What additional toppings would you add to this easy, delectable snack?

Sources: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-dates.html

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/dates.html

Health Benefits of Dates – Promoting Heart, Brain, and Digestive Health

Cast Iron Skillets


castironBy: Nikki Nies

While cast iron skillets may be “heavy” in weight, they require a lot of tender loving care (TLC)! Not only do these skillets require special attention while cleaning, but they need to be seasoned properly to be used at optimally. Okay, they’re kind of high maintenance, but the care that is required is well worth it. As one of the oldest forms of cookware, they’re durable and reliable, heating evenly and retaining heat amazingly!

Tips for using cast iron skillet:

  • Oil skillet generously to limit sticking. Olive or coconut oil will do.
  • Before placing any food in skillet, let the skillet preheat
  • Limit use of metal utensils
  • Since the entire skillet’s made out of iron, the entire skillet will get hot! Out of habit, you may find yourself touching the skillet, but only do so with a pot holder
  •  “Seasoning” is oil baked onto the iron at a high temperature, not a chemical nonstick coating. Seasoning creates the natural, easy-release properties. The more it’s used, the better it gets
  • Dry thoroughly after each wash.
  • If you can’t part with the thought of cleaning without soap, wash with mild soapy water and dry and oil immediately.
  • Dishwashers, strong detergents and metal scouring pads are not recommended, since they remove seasoning
  • Do not place in microwave scraping-burnt-bits-off-skillet
  • If rust appears, scour rust, rinse, dry and rub with some vegetable oil
  • Cover it with a paper towel to stack in cupboard to absorb moisture and prevent scratches
  • When first cooking with a cast iron skillet, stick with skillet staples, such as fried chicken and/or homemade pizza
  • Don’t try to make eggs, fish or cook tomatoes with a cast iron skillet, as the eggs can be hard to remove from skillet, fish is too delicate and better off being steamed.  Lastly, the acidity of the tomatoes can cut through the seasoning!
  • The most renown line of cast iron skillets are, Lodge, the United States’ major cast iron cookware manufacture

After a few rounds of using the cast iron skillet, you’ll be itching to experiment with your new skillet. How many of you have a personal history with your cast iron skillet? Was it passed down to you from your mother and/or having a history of stories behind it?

Photo Credit: Pioneer Settler and Fine Cooking

Sources: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/11/the-truth-about-cast-iron.html

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/preparation/cleaning-seasoning-cast-iron-skillet

http://www.tampabay.com/things-to-do/food/cooking/how-to-season-use-and-love-cast-iron-skillets-with-recipes/2213344

http://www.finecooking.com/articles/four-ways-to-cook-in-a-cast-iron-skillet.aspx

http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/cast-iron.html

http://www.thekitchn.com/dinner-in-a-skillet-10-recipes-to-make-right-now-184297

http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/cooking-tips/article/how-to-use-a-cast-iron-skillet

Milk Substitutes


By: Nikki Nies

For hundreds of years, milk derived from animals only, such as cow’s, sheep and goat. Yet, with lactose intolerance, maldigestion and the preference for non-dairy sources of milk emerging in recent years, the market and need for milk substitutes as increased multifold. Like there are differences in whole milk, 2% and skim milk, the nutrition content, flavor, color and texture of non-dairy milks–soy, rice, oat, 7 grain, hazelnut, hemp, almond and coconut vary.

 

Milk Type Description Texture/consistency Nutrients–1 cup Use
Whole great source of vitamin D, B12 and calcium 147 calories; 8.1 g fat; 98 mg sodium; 12.9 g carbs; 12.9 g sugar; 7.9 g protein; 276 mg calcium; 349.4 mg potassium; 98 IU vitamin D
1% great source of vitamin D, B12 and calcium 91 calories; 0.7 g fat; 130 mg sodium; 12.3 g carbs; 12.3 g sugar; 8.7 g protein; 316.2 mg calcium; 419.1 mg potassium; 98 IU vitamin D
Soy–plain obtained from soy bean; closest option to cow’s milk; contains vitamin B12 and D; processed; can be high in sugar; comes in sweetened, unsweetened and flavored varieties such as chocolate and vanilla creamy 100 calories; 4 g fat; 120 mg sodium; 8 g carbs; 6 g sugar; 7 g protein; 300 mg calcium; 300 mg potassium; 119 IU vitamin D vegan–baking, coffee, as is, cereal
Almond made from ground almonds, water and sweetener; has ⅓ of calories as 2% milk; magnesium and protein content is good for bone strength; contains less sugar than soy or rice milk; tends to be high in sodium; contains vitamins A, D & E; low in protein; higher in fat than skim milk thick 60 calories; 2.5 g fat; 150 mg sodium; 8 g cars; 7 g sugar; 1 g protein; 200 mg calcium; 180 mg potassium; 100 IU vitamin D cereal, coffee, sipping, baking
Coconut richest, creamiest of all milk alternatives; when purchased in a carton, tends to have a lower fat content and is not as creamy as in can form; high in saturated fat and calories thick, creamy 80 calories; 5 g fat; 30 mg sodium; 7 g carbs; 6 g sugar; 1 g protein; 450 g calcium; 40 g potassium; 100 IU vitamin D ice cream, Thai curry, moistens cakes; coffee; tea
Hemp best for those with nut or soy allergies; rich in omega 3 fatty acids; low in saturated fat; mixture of hemp seeds  and water; contains essential amino acids; fortified with vitamin D and A; low in protein thick, creamy; “earthy” 100 g calories; 6 g fat; 110 mg sodium; 9 g carbs; 6 g sugar; 2 g protein; 300 mg calcium; N/A potassium; 100 IU vitamin D smoothies; porridge; baking; cereals
7 Grain–original Oats, Brown Rice, Wheat,  Barley, Triticale, Spelt and Millet thin 140 calories; 2 g fat; 27 g carbs; 3 g protein; 115 mg sodium; 125 mg potassium biscuits, smoothies and cereals
Hazelnut considered “more agreeable” in flavor with coffee; supposedly “froths” better thin 110 calories; 3.5 g fat; 120 mg sodium; 16 g carbs; 0 g sugar; 2 g protein coffee, baking, vegan cooking
Oat Void of cholesterol and saturated fats; high in fiber, iron; contains phytochemicals, which can protect against heart disease and some cancers; must be avoided by those that need to adhere to gluten free diet thick and grainy 130 calories; 2.5 g fat; 24 g carbs; 110 mg sodium; 19 g sugar; 120 mg potassium on its own as a beverage, cereal, gravy, cupcakes, hearty cookies
Rice most hypoallergenic option of all milk alternatives; good for blood pressure due to niacin and vitamin B6 content; low in protein; not recommended for diabetics; highly starchy; often enriched with calcium, vitamin A & D watery, thin 70 calories; 2.5 g fat; 80 mg sodium; 23 g carbs; 10 g sugar; 1 g protein; 300 mg calcium; 0 mg potassium; 100 IU vitamin D oatmeal, smoothies and cereals–not recommended to be used in baking or cooking due to watery texture

With cow’s milk allergy reported to be the largest allergy in infants and children, it’s safe to say that these milk substitutes are a valuable resource. What’s your experience with these different milks? Have a particular preference you want to share? If you’re up to the challenge, why not make your own milk?
Sources: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/273982.php

http://www.eatingwithfoodallergies.com/milksubstitutes.html

http://www.wellnesstoday.com/nutrition-recipes/which-nut-milk-is-right-for-you

http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-is-hazelnut-milk-the-new-almond-milk-20140416-story.html

https://www.behance.net/gallery/2681739/Primer-Milk-Alternatives

http://www.pacificfoods.com/food/non-dairy-beverages/nut-grain-beverages/organic-7-grain-original.aspx

https://www.behance.net/gallery/2681739/Primer-Milk-Alternatives

Making Matcha Tea


By: Nikki Nies

Original Image by Jigme Datse Rasku via Flickr
Original Image by Jigme Datse Rasku via Flickr

In an article written by Kristen Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD, she discusses the 15 Foods to Add to Your Diet in 2015. Since I’m always interested in learning about the latest food trends and current recommendations, I had to learn more! The first food listed was matcha tea. While, I’m a fan of green tea ice cream, which contains matcha powder, the health benefits of matcha tea has eluded me. Therefore, today we’ll be discussing matcha!

Matcha tea, also spelled as maccha, is finely milled or fine powder green tea. This type of tea derives from Japan, ubiquitously present in tea ceremonies. Prior to the milling of matcha tea, it’s shaded for at least a month to increase chlorophyll production. The entire tea leaf is used, with increased chlorophyll content found in matcha tea is exorbitantly healthier than water that is brewed and diluted from a tea bag or strainer.

Original Image by Rowan Robinson via Flickr
Original Image by Rowan Robinson via Flickr

To obtain all the benefits of matcha tea, opt to keep it plain. It naturally contains vitamin C, potassium, iron and fiber. Additionally, it can boost one’s metabolism, fights against bacteria and virus, does not raise insulin levels and does not raise one’s heart rate or blood pressure. 10 glasses of green tea is equivalent to 1 glass of matcha tea. When one adds milk to matcha tea, it slightly decreases catechin, which is an antioxidant rich component of cancer fighting properties.

Presently, matcha is commonly used to add flavor and dye to foods–mochi, soba noodles, green tea ice cream and a variety of wagashi, a confectionary sugar, yet in its purest form, as tea, one can obtain optimal benefits!  The flavor of matcha tea can vary, depending on the strength of the amino acids used.

What’re you waiting for? Put down the black, jasmine and oolong tea and get yourself some matcha!

Sources: https://www.yahoo.com/health/15-foods-to-add-to-c1418437164158/photo-1-matcha-tea-photo-1418436495156.html

http://www.matchasource.com/matcha-tea-health-benefits-s/14.htm

http://www.teavana.com/the-teas/green-teas/p/matcha-japanese-green-tea

Black Bean Brownies


IMG_8358By: Nikki Nies

What would you say if I told you that to make brownies I need chocolate AND black beans?! Shocked? Surprised? Agreeable?

I admit, the first time I heard about this combination, I scrunched my face. Like many, I head to the dessert section of the restaurant menu to satisfy my sweet tooth, not for BEANS! Yet, during my latest rotation at Illinois’ Will County Women, Infants and Children Clinic, I had the opportunity to not only do a food demo, but to show women and children how they can use their dried beans that they may receive with their coupons in a guilt free, delicious manner!

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Preparing: place black beans in a colander, sort thoroughly and remove any tiny pebbles; rinse under cold water

How to soak: the larger the bean, the longer they need to soak. The longer you soak the beans, the faster they cook.  Soaking beans allows dried beans to absorb water, which begins to dissolve the starches that causes intestinal discomfort. Soak beans in 3x their volume of cold water for 6 hours before cooking.

  • 1/3 cup dry beans=1 cup cooked beans
  • 1/2 cup dry beans=1 1/2 cup cooked beans
  • 2/3 cup dry beans=2 cups cooked beans
  • 1 cup dry beans=3 cups cooked beans
  • 2 cups/1 lb. dry beans=6 cups cooked beans

Black Bean Brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Servings: 12 Serving: 1/12 of recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Mash  beans, 1/4 cup chocolate chips and oil with a fork

2. Add eggs, brown sugar, cocoa, vanilla, baking powder and salt; cover and process until smooth.

2. Transfer to a 9-in. square baking pan coated with cooking spray.

3. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips. 3. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Adapted from TasteofHome

Nutrition Facts per serving: 115 calories; 2.6 g of fat; 15 g carbohydrates; 2.9 g of protein

Black Bean Brownies with Mix

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Servings: 12 Serving: 1/12 of recipe

Ingredients:

  • ½ 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ package brownie mix
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup chocolate chips, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish
  2. Mash black beans and water together until smooth.  Pour into a bowl.
  3. Stir brownie mix into black bean mixture until batter is smooth; fold in ¼ cup chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips over batter.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted two inches from side of pan comes out clean, 25-27 minutes. Cool brownies completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Adapted from AllRecipes

Nutrition Facts per serving: 150 calories; 5.6 g of fat; 25 g of carbohydrates; 2.3 g of protein

Nutrition Benefits of black beans:

  • ½ cup serving contains 113 calories
  • 1 cup serving of black beans ~15 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein
  • Boost iron intake: 3.6 mg iron per cup
  • Folic acid, magnesium and potassium rich
  • 0 saturated fat

While the black bean brownies with mix recipe is great to have to have on hand with a time crunch, do you see a difference in nutrients between the black bean brownie recipe made from scratch and from the box? Have you tried black bean brownies before? What other ways have you added black beans into your dishes?

Photo Credit: Health and Happy Herbivore

Sources:http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/eating-black-beans-good-you-3605.html

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/beans-protein-rich-superfoods

http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/6-health-benefits-of-black-beans.html

http://www.healwithfood.org/health-benefits/black-beans.php

Sprinkles Fortified Supplement


packages_sprinklesBy: Nikki Nies

Nearly 300 million children are impacted anemia, with parents finding their children listless and prone to illness.   With damage in the first 1000 days of life to a badly malnourished child is irreversible. In the late 1990s, UNICEF introduced Sprinkles, which were created by Dr. Stanley Zlotkin. Dr. Zlotkin is a professor of pediatrics, nutritional sciences and public health.  Sprinkles is an innovative treatment for the treatment of anemia in children under the age of five, formed of zinc.

Prior to the creation of Sprinkles, the normal treatment was the unpleasant, unflavorful iron supplements via pill or syrup.  Sprinkles is a specially coated, powdered supplement in the form of rice or corn porridge without the untasty flavor.

Regulation of iron absorption is two fold: dietary and store regulator.  There is a short term increase in dietary iron that’s not avidly absorbed and while iron stores increase in liver, hepicidin is released.  Hepcidin is a hepatic peptide that diminishes intestinal mucosal iron ferroportin release.  As body iron stores fall, hepcidin decreases and intestinal mucosa’s signaled to release absorbed iron into circulation.  Dietary citrate and ascorbate from citrus foods can also impact absorption, by forming complexes with iron that increase abruption while tannins found in tea decrease absorption.

The supplements are provided through UNICEF and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Sprinkles fortified food supplement is provided to those between the ages of six months to two years old and to all pregnant and lactating women.  Those younger than six months are encouraged t be exclusively breast fed in accordance with WHO guidelines for breast feeding. In the past, Sprinkles was delivered in the form of drops, but due to complains of stain to teeth and inability for many parents to “know” how many drops to use due to illiteracy, these supplements are provided in the form of a pap for infant and in drink form for women This is supplement is designed to treat and prevent anemia.  In addition, the amount of vitamin D in Sprinkles is meant to meet the RDI for vitamin D, which in turn is able to prevent rickets.

Additionally, stool color in infants that use Sprinkles are known to change to a dark or black color as iron itself is dark in color.  Sometimes some quantities are left unabsorbed and the iron is excreted in the stool, causing the change in color.

Therefore, due to the positive impact of the Sprinkles implementation into children’s nutrition profile, iron is my favorite micronutrient as it can mean the difference between life or death.  Iron’s mainly absorbed in the duodenum and upper jejunum, with divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1) facilitating the transfer of iron across epithelial cells.  With the help of ferroportin in the bloodstream, this is released within the enterocyte and is bound in bloodstream by transferrin, a transport glycoprotein.  There is an equal balance of storage and use of iron, with half of absorbed iron put into storage pool in cells, while other half is recycled into erythropoiesis.

Photo Credit: SGHI

1. Worldwide programs. Sprinkles Global Health Initiiative Web site. http://www.sghi.org/worldwide_program/mexico_pg1.html. Accessed 10/24/14, 2014

2. Loewenberg S. Easier than taking vitamins. NYTimes Web site. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/05/easier-than-taking-vitamins/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0. Published 9/5/12. Updated 2012. Accessed 10/21, 2014

3. O’Brien TX. Iron metabolism, anemia, and heart failure. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011;58(12):1252-1253.

4. Rambousková J, Krsková A, Slavíková M, et al. Trace elements in the blood of institutionalized elderly in the czech republic. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2013;56(2):389-394.

Legume Land


intro-legumes-photo2By: Nikki Nies

Often times, it’s recommended to get your fair share of beans and legumes.  Every one knows what beans are: black, kidney, lima, pinto and garbanzo.  Yet, how quickly can you roll of your tongue legumes? I sure have to think about it for a second.

Legumes deserve the acclaim they receive next to beans.  Beans are part of the legume family, yet there are more to the legumes than beans.  Make sense?

They’re low in fat, high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium and contain no cholesterol!  Additionally, they’re a great filler upper instead of meat,which can be high in fat and cholesterol.

Yes, legumes are often associated with soups and stews, they do play a great part, but tossing some edamame (yes it’s a legume) on your salad is always a plus.

Common Legumes: edamame, peas, peanuts, lentils, beans,

Legumes are great for salads, casseroles, snacks, stews, soups and rice dishes.Legumes are often canned or dried, which are great to have on hand at all times for last minute additions to your meals. Now that you’re well versed in legumes, why not try your hand at Lentil Soup with Spicy Italian Sausage.  Let me know what you think!

Sources: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/legumes/art-20044278

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/foods/legumes/

http://www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/legumes.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11718588

Refreshing Summer Salad Dressings


By: Nicole Arcilla

Some of the greatest summer recipes out there are for salads — they’re light, refreshing, and cool. It’s just what you need for those summer get togethers, or even if you’re having a solo meal! But be careful what dressing you use — those cream based dressings, like ranch, can easily turn your salad to an unhealthy dish.
 
So how do you avoid it? Go with an oil and vinegar-based dressing instead! Here’s how these kinds of dressings can be healthier for you:
 
1. The oils used are typically high in mono- and poly-unsaturated fats. These are good fats to consume as they have protective effects, and can even combat the bad cholesterol in your body.
2. Depending on the spices you use, these oil and vinegar-based dressings can be low in sodium – a bonus feature for those with high blood pressure, and great for everyone in general.
3. It’s true that dark green leafy veggies are much healthier for you, but its nutrients, mainly iron, are not always accessible to your body. Adding something acidic, like vinegar or citrus fruits, can activate the iron so your body can absorb and use it properly.
 
There’s plenty of these out in the grocery store, but why not make it yourself and make your own uniquely flavored dressing recipe? Just follow these simple steps:
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What salad recipe are you going to be showing off to your friends and family this summer?
 

Redefining Refined Grains


Original Image by Prem Sichanugrist via Flickr
Original Image by Prem Sichanugrist via Flickr

By: Nikki Nies

When I say we’re redefining refined grains, what I mean is today we’re explaining what it means again.  While I provided a post on Whole Grains previously,I never really followed up on whole grain competition, refined grains.

If you’ve ever felt bombarded in the grocery aisles, trying to compare different brands or types of breads, don’t worry, I’ve been there too!

Refined grains have been milled, which removes the germ and bran of the whole grain.  So, what does that leave? The endosperm.  This removal provides a finer texture to products and extends shelf life.  However, when the bran and germ are removed, the nutrients that are found in there are often not restored.  This means the fiber, B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, B6, niacin), chromium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, essential fatty acids, calcium, protein, and iron found in the germ and bran are no longer present in refined products.

Original Image by Meal Makeover Moms via Flickr
Original Image by Meal Makeover Moms via Flickr

Refined grains include: corn bread; corn tortillas; crackers; pastries; desserts; couscous; grits; noodles; pretzels; macaroni; spaghetti; pitas; white bread; white sandwiches and rolls; white rice and/or flour tortillas.

It should be noted that fiber is located in the bran, but products with bran added back into the product doesn’t necessarily mean it’s whole grain (i.e. oat bran).  It’s important to read labels and decipher if what’s being advertised is really what’re you getting!

I hope this run down on refined grains helps you decipher what to buy at the grocery store.  While reading the ingredient list can be time consuming, the more you find yourself reading the lists, the quicker you’ll become at deciding you want to buy a product or not.  Happy shopping and eating!

Sources:http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/whole-grains/art-20047826

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/grains.html

http://wallstcheatsheet.com/life/10-foods-to-cross-off-your-healthy-list.html/?ref=YF

http://www.joybauer.com/food-articles/refined-grains.aspx

http://www.thelimitedlivewell.com/2012/09/03/7-steps-away-from-refined-grains/

http://maryrodavichwvudietetics.wordpress.com/tag/whole-grain-benefits/

Meatless Proteins


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By: Nikki Nies

With healthy eating constantly on the brain, it’s constant job to ensure balanced meals are consumed.  Meatless proteins aren’t for vegetarians and vegans any more, with more and more opting for meatless proteins.  Meatless proteins are often low fat, low calorie, with the added protein punch!

Meatless Protein Description Protein Amount per ½ cup How to Eat Tips
Quinoa Packed with fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and folate, low cholesterol; contains all essential amino acids 7 g Stir Fried Vegetables and Quinoa, Black Bean Quinoa Salad with Basil Lemon Dressing; Toasted Quinoa with Chiles and Corn Drain in a fine mesh strainer after cooking; add to soups, hot breakfast cereal or tossed with vegetables
Edamame Have as much fiber as 4 slices of wheat bread; great as an appetizer or within an entrée 8 g (shelled) Edamame with sesame, scallions and almonds; Roasted Edamame Steam instead of boil, which will preserve nutrients; can be served hot or cold
Chia seeds Great source of brain boosting omega 3 and fiber rich; contains great source of iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc; plump up and take on gelatinous texture when soaked in a  liquid 9.4 g in 2 tablespoons Mango Coconut Chia Pudding; Clementine Chia Pudding Use in jams, smoothies, oatmeal, salads, soups, etc.
Lentils Packed with B vitamins, folate, fiber, protein and are heart healthy 9 g Italian Lentil and Broccoli Stew Limit salting or using acidic items to lentils until cooked
Greek Yogurt Low in calories, protein packed; great substitution for sour cream or mayo; less sweet than some regular varieties 14.5 g Grilled Tropical Fruit with Greek Yogurt; Greek Yogurt with warm black and blueberry sauce Be wary of flavored containers that are packed with added sugar
Tempeh Soy bean based ingredient has great texture; firmer than traditional tofu 15.5 g Tempeh Burger; Miso glazed tofu On it’s own, tends to be quite bland, but is great with a marinade
Seitan Made from wheat gluten; has familiar texture of a piece of chicken or beef; brings out any flavors paired with it; looks like duck meat 21 g Mock Peking Duck; Seitan Stir Fry with Black Bean Garlic Sauce No need to add salt as many packaged varieties can have nearly 13% of daily intake
Peanut Butter Contains 2 g of fiber and heart healthy monounsaturated fats per serving 32.5 g Peanut Butter Banana Raisin Sandwich; Peanut Butter Caramel Corn Opt for reduced fat or natural peanut butter and “no stir” to limit messes
Chickpeas Aka garbanzo beans; fiber rich; can help cut LDL levels; low calorie 7 g Chickpea Stew with Eggplants, Tomatoes and Peppers; Cumin Spiced Chickpeas Look for chickpea flower, which is a great alternative to those that can’t eat gluten
Eggs When in moderation, can be great protein source; low in calories; may improve HDL levels 7 g/egg Baked Eggs with Cheese and Zucchini, omelettes, quiches, hard boiled, scrambled, sunny side up Choose cage free variety since they’re nutritionally superior and more humaneFound to have 2.5 times more omega 3 and twice amount of vitamin E in eggs of pasture raised hens
Cottage Cheese Affordable, can be eaten with reduced fat, calcium rich for bones, 13 g Combine with fresh veggies or with fruit and cinnamon Can be used as a replacement for ricotta cheese or sour cream in certain dishes
Pumpkin Seeds Great grab and go snack 7 g/1 oz. Pepita Corn Bread In fall, roast fresh seeds; be mindful of serving as seeds can be high in calories
Dried Black  Beans Low fat, fiber filled protein 6 g Cuban Black Bean Soup Opting for dry beans allows one to control sodium and additive intake; soak in large bowl overnight in water and rinse clean afterward, simmer on low heat and enjoy; make with cumin, garlic, red pepper, etc.
Soy Milk Convenient and versatile; often fortified with calcium and 4 g Espresso Soy Milk Shake Vanilla’s great in cereal and coffee; chocolate flavor’s great as a regular treat
Almonds Contains monounsaturated fats which are considered heart healthy 6 g/1 oz. Chili Spiced Almonds Sliced almonds are great over a salad

Sources:http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/10-best-meatless-protein-sources?s=5&?cm_mmc=Facebook-_-Prevention-_-food-healthyeatingtips-_-10meatlessproteinsources

http://neolovesoulchild.com/tag/protein

http://www.cookinglight.com/food/vegetarian/protein-for-vegetarians-00412000078915/

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20718479,00.html