Variety and Culinary Uses of Plant Proteins in the Mediterranean Diet

  1. Lentils and Chickpeas: Used in soups, stews, salads, hummus, and falafel. Rich in protein, fiber, iron, and essential for heart and digestive health.
  2. Beans: Various types, like kidney beans, navy beans, and black beans, are incorporated into dishes, providing substantial protein, fiber, iron, and folate.
  3. Peas & Edamame: Used in soups and stews, rich in fiber, protein, vitamins A and C, and lutein for eye health.
  4. Tofu and Tempeh: Increasingly popular in modern Mediterranean cuisine, adaptable for grilling, sautéing, and stir-fries.
  5. Seitan: A wheat-based protein, popular as a meat substitute, high in protein.
  6. Quinoa and Amaranth: Non-traditional but popular for their protein content and versatility.
  7. Seeds: Chia, flaxseed, and hemp seeds are high in omega-3s and beneficial for heart health.
  8. Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and pine nuts are used in salads, pastas, and as garnishes, providing protein and healthy fats.
  9. Whole Grains: Farro, barley, and bulgur wheat offer protein and fiber, used in salads, soups, and sides.
  10. Green Peas: Regular green peas are used in rice dishes, soups, and stews, providing protein, vitamins, and fiber.
  11. Soybeans and Soy Products: Soy milk and soy yogurt are protein-rich dairy alternatives.
  12. Nutritional Yeast: Adds a cheesy flavor to dishes, a good source of protein and B-vitamins, especially B12.
  13. Mushrooms: Often used as a meat substitute for their savory flavor and texture.
  14. Spirulina: A blue-green algae supplement, added to smoothies or salads for protein.