High Protein, Low Carb, Vegan Ideas?

Looking for ingredient ideas for foods that are high protein, low carb, and (preferably) vegan. Can be a complete dish, or a foodstuff I can incorporate into a dish.

Been doing a lot of tofu-based foods, which are okay, but becoming somewhat monotonous. (I need to go dig up some new recipes using tofu, I think.)

I’ve not cooked - at all - with tempeh. Any guidance along those lines would be welcomed.

Am fine using the faux meat substitutes, so long as they’re tasty and not filled with carbs.

Living in an area with access to diverse grocery stores (yay!) and more than happy to go exploring.


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I know you’re bored with your tofu dishes, but this one is a favorite at casa lingua. Really fast & delish.

Mix together 1/2 TS of sesame oil, 1 TS of maggi sauce, 3-4 TBS of oyster sauce, 2 TBS of soy sauce, hot sauce (I use sriracha), and a dash of rice vinegar. TBH, I never really measure these out. It’s by taste for the most part.

Dice a pack of firm tofu and zap in the MW for 3-5 minutes. Poor out any liquid the tofu might have sweat out. Heat up 2 TBS of cooking oil (I use peanut oil, but you can use any oil you like) until it smokes, then pour over nuked tofu. Add aforementioned sauce. Add chopped scallions, a heaping helping of cilantro, and toasted sesame seeds. Inhale.

Super-low cal, super-tasty. Serves 2. I’d just use half a pack for one person.


If it’ a new way to use tofu, I’m totally game and this looks really good. Do you do any veggies with it?

The only thing I’ve done is actually layer the bottom of the bowl with scallions. They kinda steam under the tofu and are a great addition.

I think mushrooms would work really well, or pea shoots.

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What about a vegetarian nut loaf?

If you could sub something for the cottage cheese (tofu?) this would be vegan-

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I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I’ve never attempted any sort of “loaves” that weren’t meat-based. I think that this is an avenue I need to explore (especially as my significant other LOVES meatloaf and such - and he’s the one who went veggie before me).

I love pea shoots and never cook with them - mushrooms I’m feeling burned out on, at the moment, but I’m sure I’ll bounce back in a bit. Thank you!

I eat meat and enjoy the nut loaf very much!

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Hemp seeds: use for pesto, add to salads, sauces, etc
Nutritional yeast: surprisingly high in protein, use for simple sauces, in salad dressing, on roasted veggies
Peanut flour: also very high in protein yet low fat, use as you would protein powder, also makes for a great peanut sauce (like for tofu), i whisk it into almond milk for chia pudding
Tempeh: it’s delicious!! Lots of different varieties available now too
Dry roasted edamame: great for snacking, i buy the black ones with a crunchy rice coating from amazon
Primal strips vegan jerky: another great snack, 10g protein, I have omni friends who tried mine and now prefer it :))
Faux meats are a great source of protein, my favorites are the meatless balls from trader joe’s and TJs soyrizo and their vegan italian sausage.
Newer companies like Beyond Meat, field roast, and upton’s naturals all have a variety of products made with real ingredients
Tofu: look for smoked tofu (soyboy brand on the east coast, or westwood on the west coast are both excellent), as well as expanding your recipe selection for other varieties

A bunch of recipes:
Loved this version of baked tofu

Great saag soy paneer

One of my favorites with peanut buttery sauce

Tofu and veggie frittatas are really easy, basicyuse whatever veggies you want- this recipe is a good starting point

I have never steamed tempeh before then sautéing or baking it- some people do because tempeh tastes bitter to them without that step. I’m lazy and have never tasted that bitterness. More often than not i’ll just cut into cubes or slices, add some soy sauce/sesame oil/mirin sauce and then bake it.
This version with chimichurri is great

There are also a ton of recipes for tempeh “bacon” , i never found a favorite though.

Haven’t tried this myself but sunflower seed “risotto” had a moment a while back


Trader Joe’s sells a great Soyrizo – I like to scramble it with eggs and make breakfast burritos with cheese on low carb flour tortillas.


Great suggestions, Trockwood!

I thought of some other ideas-

Vegan pesto with zuchinni noodles and nutritional yeast.
Tofu pad Thai with zuchinni noodles.

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Farinata is made with chickpea flour, olive oil and salt – and nothing else – baked in a hot oven. It is extremely satisfying. I like to eat it with a melange of slow-cooked red, yellow and orange peppers on the side. The secret to an excellent farinata is letting it sit long enough before baking.

One thing I might try someday making it is to use sparkling water rather than still water.


Yes, but chickpea flour is not low carb by any means.

Black bean pasta isn’t low carb, but it does have 25g protein and a ton of natural fiber per serving. You could do a half serving of the pasta (10g carbs) and add to spiralized veggies for an easy meal.
This is one of the more popular brands (sold at WF but cheaper online at thrive market)

I can’t believe i didn’t mention my favorite crackers! They’re like mary’s gone crackers or those dr krackers. I’ve made these a ton of times- do NOT use the dried figs she recommends! They get really hard and burn quickly. I just use whatever seeds and nuts i have on hand, and usually a lot more flax than the recipe says. My favorite combo is with fennel seeds, generous salt, and lots of black pepper.

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I don’t know what the strike zone is for ElsieDee, or why the interest in limiting carbs, but diabetics and other people who restrict their carb intake (especially refined carbs) often opt for chick pea flour

From Livestrong:

It has fewer calories and carbs than either whole-wheat or all-purpose white flour, yet it’s a better source of protein. Chickpea flour has double the amount of protein than whole-wheat flour and six times more than all-purpose flour. It’s an excellent source of folate, containing seven times more folate than whole-wheat flour. It even has more folate than enriched all-purpose flour. It also provides vitamin B-6, iron, magnesium and potassium.

and this from SFGate:

But I don’t trade in chickpea futures, and if farinata doesn’t work for Elsie Dee or others limiting carbs, for whatever reason, so be it.


I should have explained this in my OP; I’ve been moving toward a more plant-based diet for sometime (for ethical reasons). In doing so, I came upon a rather unpleasant realization that I was gaining weight. A significant amount. So I talked with my GP and journaled my food intake for a week and discovered that:

A. I wasn’t getting enough protein each day (sometimes less than half what’s recommended for a woman of my age)
B. I was consuming a LOT of carbs (by the way, I love carbs - breads, pastas, rices, potatoes are some of my favorite foods) through beans and the aforementioned foods
and, following some basic bloodwork, that
C. My blood sugars were significantly higher than they’d been before the change in my eating habits.

Hence, my looking for vegan, high protein and low carb food ideas.

@Ttrockwood - thank you for all these links, leads, and suggestions. I’ve everything bookmarked and have been exploring some of the sites (I’m loving the OhMyVeggies.com!).

I’ve looked at some of the Soyrizo products but haven’t experimented with them. I’m now thinking about maybe using this with tofu and doing some sort of a scramble / frittata dish.

Actually, I need to look at more of the Trader Joe’s faux meats - I seem to recall liking their vegan Italian Sausages.

I’ve never used nutritional yeast or protein powder. There’s so much for me to learn! For that matter, I need to go read about zucchini noodles, too!

Trader joe’s makes some great faux meat products that are definitely high protein- my hands down favorite is the frozen meatless balls, they are always in my freezer. The soyrizo is awesome for tacos, and would be a great addition to tofu scramble or soups. The italian meatless sausage is a really good one too. I’m not the biggest fan of the frozen breaded faux meats (chickenless fingers, mandarin chickenless orange one, etc…). Oh, and the tempeh at TJs is about $2 less than any other stores near me and I can’t tell it apart from other brands.

Usually whole foods has individual packets of various protein powders which is a great way to try several before committing to a larger container. WF is also going to have nutritional yeast, smoked tofu (i like to just slice and snack on it like others would cheese :slight_smile: )

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There are some great nut roast recipes from british sites- the recipes are very forgiving so you can likely cut back on breadcrumbs or swap in oats so they can contribute some fiber. This article has links to several as well as a recipe at the bottom- you can just use whatever nuts you prefer if chestnuts don’t appeal


Sounds like you are on the right path to achieve what you want to achieve, but you might also find it worthwhile to consult with a professional nutritionist, one very sympathetic to vegan eating. They might have lots of recipes or specific recommendations for boosting protein while elminating carbs. Also, they might raise useful red flags about processed meat substitutes that could be too salty in their view or have other unwelcome preservatives.

If you don’t live in an area with a lot of professionals, many of these people do consultations via e-mail and Skype. But even local GPs who aren’t themselves vegan can often track down recommendable nutritionists, or you can ask at the local hospital.