Think meat is the only way to get protein? Think again!

Beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and even vegetables contain protein. In fact, it’s possible to consume all the protein you need from plant-based foods alone. This veggie bowl recipe is a perfect example of how you can meet or even exceed your protein requirements through plant-based foods.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.36 grams per pound, which averages out to about 56 grams of protein a day for the average sedentary man, and about 46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman.

Most Americans are getting more than enough protein, and typically get the bulk of it from animal-based sources, including red meat and chicken. High intakes of animal-based foods have been associated with increased risks of various cancers and heart disease, so it’s wise to incorporate more plant-based protein into your diet.

More Protein Than a Steak!

The suggested serving size for steak is 3-4 oz, which would be either 22 or 30 grams of protein, respectively.

This green veggie bowl recipe contains 32g of protein!

1 cup chickpeas = 15 g protein

1 cup peas = 8 g protein

1 cup broccoli = 3 g protein

1 cup kale = 3 g protein

1 Tbsp. tahini= 3 g protein

veggie bowl maria marlowe

Veggie Bowl / / image:

Add that all up, and BOOM, this veggie bowl gives you 32 grams of plant-based protein.

Protein Veggie Bowl Recipe

Total Time: 25 minutes  / / Serves: 1


1 cup of frozen or fresh peas

1 cup of broccoli florets
1-2 tsp. olive oil + additional for greasing pan
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. + 1/4 tsp. + 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced and kept separate
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne or chipotle powder or 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 cup of chickpeas
1 cup of curly kale (about 1 stalk)

1 Tbsp. tahini

2 Tbsp. water
salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. If using frozen peas, pour them into a bowl with room temp water to defrost while you prep remaining ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, toss broccoli with 1-2 tsp olive oil, garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes. Lie out flat on a baking sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes until bright green yet still slightly crisp. When done, remove to your bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, drain the peas and saute: heat a pan over medium heat — add just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan (about 1-2 tsp.), then add 1 clove minced garlic and 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, and peas. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until thoroughly warmed through. Remove to bowl.
  5. Next saute the chickpeas: You should still have a little oil / water from the peas in the pan, so there’s no need to add more if this is the case. (If your pan is dry, add a touch of olive oil). Add 1 clove minced garlic, turmeric, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne. Allow to cook about 30 seconds until fragrant, than add the chickpeas and stir well. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, until thoroughly warmed through. Remove to bowl.
  6. Next, quick saute the kale: Add just enough oil to cover bottom of pan, then add 1 clove minced garlic, 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, and kale. Saute until bright green, about 2-3 minutes. Remove to bowl.
  7. All your veggies should be in your bowl now.
  8. To make the dressing: in a small bowl, whisk together tahini and water with a fork for about 1 minute, until it becomes a uniform, creamy dressing consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Pour dressing over the contents of your bowl, and enjoy!
*To save time, you can cook the chickpeas, peas, and kale together at one time. Just add all the garlic and spices at once, with those 3 ingredients and stir well.
For a printable recipe card, see the original recipe, here.

Author: Maria Marlowe is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who helps people lose weight or clear up their acne by switching to a real food diet. She posts healthy recipes and meal plans at  She has been featured in Vogue, The New York Times, NBC, Well + Good, and more.

Follow Maria for more healthy recipes on Instagram @MariaMarlowe and Facebook.