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Denver restaurant trends make it pretty clear that more and more often, people are choosing vegetarian options for their meals. Whether Denverites are going full vegetarian, or just eating meat less is hard to say, but either way, there’s no questioning the increased demand. Some individuals remain skeptical that a vegetarian meal can be as filling as one with a meat based entree, but there are so many non-meat protein rich options out there, that a hearty meal is possible no matter what your dietary choices.

Here are five foods that are high in protein that we recommend checking out!

1) Edamame
Edamame is one of the highest protein plant options out there. Most people associate it with their favorite local Asian restaurant as a side dish, but edamame is versatile and makes a great addition to salads or other dishes. As the least processed form of the soy bean plant, it’s a healthy option that packs a solid protein punch.

2) Nuts
Peanuts (although technically a legume and not a nut) and peanut butter top out the popular nut options for protein content, but walnuts, almonds, and other nuts also make a great addition when trying to up your protein intake.

3) Chickpeas
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are best known as the primary ingredient in hummus. Chickpeas have a long history as a staple in the Middle East, and those of us in the US benefit from the popularity hummus has gained here too. Another legume, chickpeas are very high in protein, and in my not-so-humble opinion, hummus is very high deliciousness too.

4) Quinoa
This ancient grain is not only high in protein, but also fiber, antioxidants, and minerals, all of which are necessary for healthy body function. Try it as a pilaf entree to really max out it its health benefits!

5) Whole grain bread
Gluten may get a bad rap these days, but for the 99% of the population who doesn’t have Celiac disease, whole grains are an important dietary staple, and much healthier than their additive-laden gluten-free counterparts. Now, carbo-loading at every meal may not be the way to go, but in addition to having plenty of protein, whole grains also reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and some kinds of cancer.

So join the rising Denver trend, and give some healthy, high-protein, vegetarian options a try for your next meal!


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