Adding Non-dairy Protein To Your Diet

Illustration by Joella Almeida

Whether you're paleo, vegan, or count macros, everybody needs protein to build and maintain muscle as well as to control hunger. Eating enough is key, but so is variety, since each protein has its own combination of amino acids.

So, how much protein should you eat?

In summary, we are being told to eat 0.8g/kg of protein per kg of bodyweight. We’re also being told that nearly 60% of our dietary intake of protein should be in the form of dairy or soy milk products. But studies aren’t considering people with allergies.

It seems that 100g of protein on a 2,000 calorie diet is a very reasonable amount, and many of you are eating much more than 2,000 a day, so, keep this in mind, and add up a few more good quality protein.

Also, if you are an athlete or just exercise regularly, don’t forget to consume some source of protein that includes between 20-30 grs. post after work-out (30-90 minutes later), since this will help you to gain or maintain muscle mass, depending on your goals. Shakes are always a great and easy go-to.

Here are the top 20 sources of non-nut/dairy sources of protein:

Beef (steak or ground) - 28 g per 4 oz. serving
Eggs - Protein Power: 6 g per 1 large egg
Pork Chops (Boneless) - 26 g per 3 oz. serving
Yellowfin Tuna - 25 g per 3 oz. serving
Octopus - 25 g per 3 oz. serving
Chicken Breast (Boneless and Skinless) - 24 g per 3 oz. serving
Turkey Breast - 24 g per 3 oz. serving
Sockeye Salmon - 23 g per 3 oz. serving
Anchovies - 24 g per 3 oz. serving
Corned Beef - 24 g per 3 oz. serving
Halibut -  23 g per 3 oz. serving
Light Tuna -  22 g per 3 oz. serving

Vegetarian sources:

Lentils – 18 g. per 1 c. cooked
Black beans – 15 g. per 1 c. cooked
Kidney beans – 13 g. per 1 c. cooked
Chickpeas/Garbanzo – 12 g. per 1 c. cooked
Pinto beans – 12 g. per 1 c. cooked
Black-eyed peas – 11 g. per 1 c. cooked
Green Peas - 7 g per 1 cup serving
Quinoa - Protein Power: 8 g per 1 cup serving

Here, one of my favorite Chicken recipes from Nourishing Meals cookbook, ideal for the Winter that is not only allergen-free if not also delicious.

Balsamic roasted Chicken with figs and sweet onion (makes 6-8 servings)

You’ll need:

·         1 organic chicken, 3 ½ to 4 pounds
·         Sea salt
·         Freshly ground black pepper
·         1 large sweet onion, chopped
·         8-10 fresh figs
·         ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
·         ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
·         1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
·         Spring of fresh rosemary


1.    Preheat the oven to 450` F. Rinse the chicken under cold running water, pat it dry, then place it in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish or other roasting pan. Generously sprinkle with S&P. Put some of the chopped onion in the cavity of the chicken and some on the bottom of the pan. Place the figs around the chicken.

2.    Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, and maple syrup in a small bowl or cup, then pour over the chicken. Place the rosemary springs on and around the chicken. Add about ½ cup of water to the bottom of the pan. Roast the chicken for about 20 minutes to seal the juices, then reduce the temperature to 325` F and roast for another 1 ½ hours, or until the juices run clear.

3.    Remove the chicken from the pan and place it on a platter. Wait 10 minutes, then carve as desired. Place the cooked figs and sweet onions on the platter with the sliced chicken. Drizzle the pan juices over and serve.