ISO tasty veggie protein recipes..

Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 10 years 22 weeks ago.

Hey guys,

Having a lot of trouble over here finding recipes for vegetarian proteins that taste good being cold. I just recently cut out all meat products, although I do still eat eggs and milk, so I have retained a lot of recipes that call for meat dishes, which I'm working into converting over to vegetarian-friendly.

A lot of my veggie-friendly recipes call for tofu which I tend to like moreso when warm or hot, but.. I'd rather not have to heat up any bentos if I can help it. I love tamagoyaki and boiled eggs, so I'm using those mostly, but.. I can't live off that forever, lol. Any ideas for tasty cold veggie proteins? I've also been using the Quorn products in place of meats and veggie meatballs and that seems to be working out fairly well also, but again I have to change up my meal plan once in a while. Any ideas?

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Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
Joined: 24 Jan 2007
User offline. Last seen 6 weeks 3 days ago.
Re: ISO tasty veggie protein recipes..

Hi madame kira,

You may find this useful as a starting point: Time-tested vegan proteins (also lists lacto-ovo proteins too).

I'm not a vegetarian, but I am always looking for interesting vegetarian or vegan meals. I think that the best course really is to think beyond the idea of finding meat substitutions, and instead look for whole-vegetarian meals where you get protein from more than one ingredient. So for instance, you might make a bento with brown rice, beans, and some sesame seeds, or quinoa salad with edamame, and so on. Here's a bento that takes that kind of approach as an example. Or try things like these muffins with protein rich ingredients. You can look at the cuisines with a lot of traditionally vegetarian or vegan meals (Indian, some Japanese, SE Asian, Mediterranean etc.) for inspiration . Take a look through the vegetarian and vegan categories here too.


The Big Onigiri.

- Wherever you go, there you are. -

Bento-ing from: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 8 years 11 weeks ago.
Re: ISO tasty veggie protein recipes..

Thanks for making this post, Madame Kira! 2 days of the challenge down, and I'm already keen to find out what I can pop in my bento for protein other than tofu, soya mince or eggs... I like all of those things, but I think I need some specific recipies to vary things a bit. Maki's vegan proteins list is very helpful, but if any fellow veggies out there come up with any veggie protein bento dishes they would like to share, it would be much appreciated. If I do have any brainwaves I'll share them in this thread, too!

Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 9 years 50 weeks ago.
Re: ISO tasty veggie protein recipes..

Maybe it's a bit old and tired, but I'm a big seitan fan. Check out the cookbook "La Dolce Vegan" by Sarah Kramer...there are q few good broth recipes for seitan, as well as a BUNCH of amazing veggie protein recipes. I'm far from vegan, but I use this book again and again.


Joined: 10 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 8 years 42 weeks ago.
Re: ISO tasty veggie protein recipes..

This is always a problem for me too and I have found so many great recipes on
they have many videos so you can see how to make the mock meats from scratch (which is much cheaper than buying expensive brand names). I hope these help!

Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 10 years 22 weeks ago.
Re: ISO tasty veggie protein recipes..

This is a massive helps, thanks to everyone who posted, I am eagerly checking out everything. XD

Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 10 years 18 weeks ago.
Re: ISO tasty veggie protein recipes..

If you can find Braised Tofu (it comes in a tin), try a not-tuna salad by draining it, flaking it, mixing with mayonaise (or vegan mayonaise) and some nori seaweed sprinkle. It's nice as a sandwich filling, or to fill cellery sticks. I don't know how well this lasts, as I never have left-overs.

Another protein we like is fried chickpeas. Drain a tin of chickpeas, and fry in a bit of oil on medium heat. When they start getting light spots, take them off the heat, add spices (cumin, or harissa) if you want. I like them in pasta salads, but also good with sandwiches and salads.

Both these suggestions are high in grease, so they may not be to your taste.

I follow a mainly vegan diet, and something else I do is replace meat with vegetables- use spinach or brocolli instead of minced meat, or potatoes or aubergines instead of fish. If you feel your diet needs more protein, consider a nutty dessert, like peanut butter cookies or baklava.

Joined: 8 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 9 years 51 weeks ago.
Re: ISO tasty veggie protein recipes..

Try marinated then fried or baked tempeh. It has a much chewier texture and stronger taste than tofu which I think holds up better to room or cold temperatures.

I sometimes shred tempeh on a grater and then treat it like hamburger (though you will need to add a little oil) for, say, tacos or chili.

It's by far my favorite soy product. I do not understand why tofu is so popular and tempeh...not.


My flickr photostream:

All my bentos appear on flickr, but not all on my blog, which is here:

Bento-ing from: Minneapolis › Minnesota › USA
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 10 years 21 weeks ago.
Re: ISO tasty veggie protein recipes..

How about cold bean salads? I like to mix canned black beans with corn, diced red pepper, avocado if I have it, and lime juice, salt and pepper. You could also do white beans with vinaigrette, etc.

Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 6 years 14 weeks ago.
Re: ISO tasty veggie protein recipes..

Not vegan, but I sometimes make little things that would be quiches if they had pastry. Beat up some egg and mix in a bit of feta and some cooked spinach, salt and pepper and whatever else you like, then cook it in those little silicon cupcake cases. You can then either pop the whole thing, case and all, into your box, or peel the case off first. You could use whatever tasty vege and cheese you like - asparagus bits, or tomato, for instance. Your protein dish doesn't have to be all protein.



My blog is Food and Shoes

Bento-ing from: › California › USA
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 10 years 7 weeks ago.
Re: ISO tasty veggie protein recipes..

Freezing tofu changes the texture. When it thaws, squeeze out the water (discard) and crumble the tofu into a bowl. The texture will be very spongy. This is an excellent substitute for ground beef or pork in almost any recipe. It soaks up sauce flavors a lot more readily than non-frozen tofu.

Bento-ing from: Colchester › UK
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 6 years 32 weeks ago.
Re: ISO tasty veggie protein recipes..

Not in the slightest bit Japanese, but I make little chickpea bhajis by frying a small finely chopped onion and mixing with a couple of boiled potatoes, a tin of drained chickpeas and some curry powder in the food processor. then I stir a beaten egg into it and form into little balls. Bake in a hot oven for 20 mins and serve with a yoghurt, mint and cucumber dip. I manage to fit more than I should in my bento box!

I also make the same kind of bhajis but out of red lentils and cous cous instead of chickpeas and potato. They are ones I adapted from the hungry tiger blog snacks.

I haven't found good Japanese ones yet as I really only like tofu hot. I can stomach a cold hard boiled egg, but that's about it!

Bento-ing from: Chicago › Illinois › USA
Joined: 5 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 9 years 46 weeks ago.
Re: ISO tasty veggie protein recipes..


sometimes my husband goes crazy when i make japanese style bentos as im still practicing. But when i do make our cultural foods ( we're both Persian) i make chickpea chaat. I get the chickpea masala seasoning from indian stores which looks like this:

1 Large can of chickpeas (29 oz) or two small cans
1 onion finely chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons of Chaat masala (more or less of your choice as its spicy)
1 tomato chopped into cubes
1 teaspoon of dried mint (optional)
2 medium sized potatoes
Juice of 1 lemon

Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters. Put potatoes into a pot and cover with 1 inch of water above the potatoes. Add salt (1 quart of water = 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 15 to 20 mins until potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, drain the chickpeas and put into a large bowl. Add all the ingredients. Once the potatoes are done, cool and cut into cubes, and add to the chickpea mixture. Done!

Now i do this the night before and refrigerate it. The next morning i put it into the bento box and done! Hopefully i helped!


syema ailia

Re: ISO tasty veggie protein recipes..

Lentil-kashi fritters are always a good option as well. Cook the kashi as directed, adding a handful of dried lentils when the kashi has about 10 minutes to go. I use a packet of instant oatmeal to bind the ingredients and shape into patties, then use the tiniest bit of olive or sesame oil to fry. These are great because you can also add nuts or seeds as well as any lingering vegetable leftovers into them as well (squash, broccoli stalks, carrots, mushrooms) to make them tastier and add a bit of variety.

Re: ISO tasty veggie protein recipes..

i use seitan, tempeh, dry tofu strips (the ones that resemble beef jerky, and the chinese noodlelike ones), tvp (ie, in curries), farinata (italian dish with chickpea flour), all kind of beans (combined with cereals), quiches made using silken tofu instead of eggs/ricotta cheese...

there are plenty of possibilities :-)
you can see a few of them in action on my flickr, it's in italia, but i always add a brief english translation :-)

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