Sample High-Protein Vegan Menu


Ever wondered what 70 grams of protein looks like on a plant-based vegan diet? I know I have!

After I wrote my Prenatal Supplement post, I received requests for a post on protein so I thought this would be a good follow up post. When I found out the recommended protein intake for pregnant women is 70 grams I worried how I would fit it all in, but after some trial and error I’ve found a pretty good system most days. In this post I’ll show you a sample breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2 snacks taken from my own diet. Keep in mind this is an “ideal” balanced day for me which doesn’t happen every single day and it definitely didn’t happen during the 1st trimester when I had zero appetite + loads of nausea! You win some, you lose some. This isn’t about perfection. Some days are lower, some are higher, but I like to think it all balances out for the most part.

Breakfast: High Protein Green Monster Smoothie {makes one 2.5 cup serving}

Lately, this is my basic, super creamy, go-to green smoothie. It’s rather effortless, the ingredients are always on hand, and I’m in and out of the kitchen in 5 minutes flat. Baby likes to dance after I drink this…it’s pretty cute!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Processed with VSCOcam with f3 preset

  • 1 large frozen banana
  • 1 cup almond milk, water, or coconut water (I like 1/2c water and 1/2c almond milk)
  • 1-2 destemmed kale leaves (or 1 cup baby spinach)
  • 1.5 scoops protein powder (Note: I no longer use Sunwarrior protein powder due to recent concerns about heavy metal content in protein powder, so I’m using hemp seeds instead. See smoothie recipe link below!)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chia seeds
  • pinch of cinnamon (helps balance blood sugar levels)
  • 3 ice cubes


Total protein @ breakfast: 30 grams – this smoothie takes a massive chunk out of that 70g protein requirement! Three cheers for that.

Protein powder-free smoothie: Not into protein powder? This veggie-packed Green Warrior Protein Smoothie using hulled hemp seeds is another great option and clocks in at a respectable 17g protein.


Mid-morning snack: 1/2 cup hummus + veggie sticks/crackers = my fav. snack ever. It tastes even better after a morning workout! Nothing beats crunchy, fresh, water-packed veggies. I feel pretty awesome when I eat this!


Prep time: 5 minutes

Total protein for AM snack: 10g {8g for hummus + ~2g for crackers/veggies}

Tip: To boost the protein of this snack even more, stir 1-2 tablespoons of hulled hemp seeds into the hummus. This boosts protein another 3.5-7 grams, respectively. I might stir in hemp seeds if my breakfast was lower in protein than normal. Or, if I know I have a carb-heavy meal coming up (for example, a pasta meal at a restaurant), I’ll try to boost the protein in my snacks throughout the day.


Lunch: ~2 cups Spiced Red Lentil, Tomato, Kale Soup, 1 slice bread or crackers, 1 cup fresh berries (or other in-season fruit).


You can play around with this soup recipe as much as you want. I’ve made it countless ways and it’s always turned out great. I added in a chopped zucchini into this batch and it was awesome. Nothing is better than a one pot meal!

Prep time: 20 minutes, Cook time: 20 minutes

Total protein @ lunch: ~20g

Tip: If it’s already too hot for soup where you are (jealous!), you can easily turn this meal into a big summer salad. I usually add 1/2 cup cooked French green lentils and 2 tablespoons hulled hemp seeds on top of the salad. This provides 16g protein from lentils and hemp seed alone. I also add sliced avocado, tomato, cucumbers, red pepper, etc. and my go-to Lemon-Tahini Salad Dressing to make one mind blowing salad. You can cook a big batch of lentils at the start of the week so you have some for lunches all week (and you can freeze them so they keep longer). Is it lunch yet??


Mid-afternoon snack: 1 apple with 2 tablespoons nut or seed butter (this snack never gets old either). I rotate almond butter, peanut butter, and sunflower seed butter. This homemade Maple Almond butter with hemp, flax, and chia is also incredible if you want something a bit more fancy pants. It probably goes without saying, but you can stir chia and hulled hemp seeds into your nut butter for a protein/omega-3 boost!


Prep time: 2 minutes

Total protein: 7-8 grams

Tip: Another great snack is 1/4 cup raw almonds (7-8 grams protein). Soak them in water overnight, then drain and rinse well in the morning.


Dinner: Quick & Easy Chana Masala (p.163 from The Oh She Glows Cookbook).


We are big fans of this quick and easy chana masala recipe. It requires just 15-20 minutes of prep time and it’s total comfort food.

Prep time: 15-20 minutes, Cook time: 20 minutes

Total protein @ dinner: 17g per serving (based on 4 servings)

Other high-protein dinner options: Protein Power Goddess Bowl. Another quick meal is my Marinated Balsamic, Maple, and Garlic Tempeh (p. 199 from OSG cookbook) with 1 cup cooked quinoa and 1 cup grilled/sautéed/steamed vegetables. Also check out my entire entrée category for other ideas!


You didn’t think I skipped dessert did you? Cue more baby dancing! For the first 4 months of my pregnancy, I couldn’t be bothered with sweets which was really strange because I usually love sweets. Nope, I was much more interested in salt and vinegar chips and dill pickles. However, over the past month I’ve had more cravings for chocolate so I think I’m going to be ok after all. This is a square of my Two-Layer Raw Chocolate Brownies (recipe coming soon). It’s an awesome way to end the day, all-natural, and there’s even protein snuck in there thanks to hemp seeds and walnuts! My rough estimate is that there is around 4g of protein per raw brownie. I’ll take it!

Protein @ dessert: 4g

TOTAL PROTEIN FROM ENTIRE DAY = approx. 88 grams (or 63 without protein powder)

As you can see, I blew by the 70g requirement on this particular day thanks in part to that high protein smoothie I started my day with. Even if I removed the protein powder from the morning smoothie, I would’ve still hit 63 grams which is very close. Some days I might only hit 50-60g of protein while others could be up to 90g…it totally varies (as I think it does for most people). We all have those days when life just gets in the way and it’s nearly impossible to eat balanced despite our best efforts so I try not to stress about it too much. As long as I’m mindful of my nutrition most days I think it all balances out in the end.


All of these recipes can be made in advance. An hour of prep work on Sunday goes a long way. You can make a double batch of soup and freeze half of it. Likewise for cooking lentils, grains, and beans! I’m trying to get into the habit of large batch cooking so it helps when the baby is here…I’m sure I’m going to need it.

And yes, the green smoothie can be made the night before. Store the smoothie in an air tight jar in the fridge (travel mugs work nicely and keep it cold) and just give it a good stir before guzzling.

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{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura May 7, 2014

This is awesome! I am always trying to convince meat eaters (which, I am, but I eat a heavily plant-based diet) that it really isn’t nearly as hard as you think to get a lot of protein from a plant-based diet. I have my veggies and hummus at my desk for a snack right now and that picture makes me want to get into them already (one of my favorites too!). I cannot wait for that Two-Layer Raw Chocolate Brownie recipe! I don’t like to turn the oven on much in the summer, but I need brownies year-round, so this is perfect. :)


2 Amber Shaus May 7, 2014

So I really struggled with freezer meals for after the baby is home. Please be sure to share what you do to prepare meals in advance of baby for those first few weeks with baby.


3 Em @ Love A Latte May 7, 2014

Great post! I’m loving my morning shakes and apples with peanut butter for snacks. I wasn’t sure how much protein I was getting when I found I was pregnant, so I started tracking, and turns out it’s very easy to get plenty of protein on a plant-based diet! Thanks for sharing these recipes :)


4 Ana May 7, 2014

This is awesome, thanks Ange! It’s great to see that it’s totally possible to get a lot of protein and no animals should be killed for that.

I’m not pregnant, however my husband has been wanting to gain weight (like muscle and stuff) and in order to replace the protein powder (or even hemp) from time to time, a cheap and wholesome alternative would be to add a cup of white beans to the smoothie. I know this takes it to another level, but it actually doesn’t affect the taste. We’ve also added frozen green peas and a couple of brazil nuts too (that selenium, eh?).


5 Angela (Oh She Glows) May 7, 2014

I’ve heard of people adding beans to smoothies and I’ve always been curious to try it out! So it doesn’t taste beany? Yes, frozen peas are also high in protein too – another good option to add to the plate.


6 Ana May 7, 2014

You can feel it slightly in the texture, it’s creamy but a TINY bit grainy (not gaggy though at all). We did have it just with fruits, so not sure if adding greens to it would make it into a stir fry :)

But really, try it! I made it with bananas, mango and almond milk. Oh and chia/flax for omega-3’s.


7 Angela (Oh She Glows) May 7, 2014

LOL…@ stir-fry!
Thanks for your tips :)


8 Katharine May 7, 2014

This is great! Wish I had it during my whole pregnancy (I’m due in 3 weeks!). Just wondering if you could estimate how many grams of protein are in your Glo Bars? Thanks!


9 Katy May 7, 2014

You are awesome! I am neither pregnant or have kids, but I was so excited to read this info! I am so glad we have vegan role models like you.


10 Health May 7, 2014

So glad you added the dessert… no meal is complete without chocolate :)


11 Emily @ It Comes Naturally Blog May 8, 2014

I always turn to your socca recipe for a high protein recipe. I’ve been enjoying it pizza-style all this week :-)


12 Ali May 8, 2014

I’m so thankful for this post! I’m about 10 weeks pregnant – still in the nausea + no appetite phase – and I’ve been at such a loss of what to eat, since I rarely want to! There are only so many spoonfuls of peanut butter I can eat in a day, so I’m excited to try out some ideas you posted! :)


13 Carrie May 8, 2014

This is great and looks so good! I’m currently nursing and eating meat again–about one serving a day–because of the whole protein thing. I love seeing that it’s really not difficult to do it on a vegan diet.


14 Julie May 8, 2014

Thanks for this post! I know I need more protein. As background, I’m pescatarian, though on a normal basis I don’t eat fish very often. I told myself I’d allow myself to eat meat during pregnancy if I really craved it, but so far (almost 11 weeks), not only have I definitely not wanted any meat (or eggs!), but I’m having trouble with protein in general. Beans and tofu cause me major bloat these days! Maybe I’ll try the Sunwarrior stuff.

I’m hoping I can catch up with my needs in trimester 2.


15 joshua May 8, 2014

Here is some ideas :-)


16 gittie May 8, 2014

I love “what I ate today” posts! please post more eating plans like this!


17 Ashleyy May 9, 2014

This post is so perfect and timely for me. I KNOW that I don’t get enough protien and have been trying to come up with ideas that don’t involve too many things like tofu or veggie ground round. Which I like, but definetly don’t love and I would much rather eat these yummy recipies! Thanks sooo much. You have been a huge inspiration to me on my vegetarian journey!!


18 Katie May 9, 2014

Thanks for the tips! I would have never thought to add hemp/chia into hummus or nut butters! Congrats on the baby! I am so excited for you (long time reader and have your book, it’s fabulous!). Looking forward to more baby posts!


19 Angela (Oh She Glows) May 9, 2014

Thank you for your congrats Katie! Glad you are enjoying the posts.


20 Chasity Dix May 9, 2014

Have you tried PlantFusion vegan protein powder? It’s got 21 grams of protein and I like it. Not sure if it’s available in-stores in Canada, but you could order it if you were interested in trying something new.


21 Sarah May 9, 2014

Thanks so much for doing this! Your entire day looks delicious. I’ve definitely been feeling much better the past few days about my protein intake (thanks to you!) and I’ve even been hitting almost 70g a day without my soon-to-arrive Sunwarrior. I think I’ll just use it as a backup, or just add a bit (not a full serving) to my smoothies as a boost. Good protein supplements are not cheap, so I suppose it would be good to stretch them further as long as I’m getting close to enough protein without their help :)

YES! Nut butter and apples have been a favourite snack of mine since I was a kid, so I’m glad to see you give that some credit. I don’t think I can even eat an apple without nut butter, I’m that conditioned to them being a combo, haha.

Oh, and I’m totally with you on pre-cooking legumes/grains and freezing as much as possible. My mission this weekend is to mass cook my protein sources; beans especially since I rarely buy canned… they’re such a pain to remember to soak/cook when needed on a whim! A GIANT batch of hummus to freeze into single servings is also on the agenda! There’s nothing worse than a sudden hummus craving (let’s be honest, that’s pretty frequent) and no cooked chickpeas in sight. Devastating.


22 Angela (Oh She Glows) May 9, 2014

heh I hear ya!
And you just reminded me to soak some chickpeas tonight. I’m already excited for freshly cooked chickpeas this weekend…they are just so much better than canned.


23 Katy P May 9, 2014

Angela, have you tried the Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powder? What do you think about it?


24 Angela (Oh She Glows) May 9, 2014

Hi Katy, I personally find the flavour of hemp protein powder to be quite strong (I tried some a few years back and never ended up buying any), but I do know people who do like it. I find with protein powder it’s such a personal preference thing. I would suggest trying some small samples before buying a big tub.


25 Ruth May 9, 2014

This is great! I’m a tall lady & thus healthfully weigh more like the average man, so my daily protein needs are on par with that 70g even while NOT pregnant. I am still learning how to get enough protein without relying on protein powder or “fake meats,” and these are excellent suggestions…that are even tasty!


26 Nicole J May 9, 2014

Thanks for the ideas! My midwife also has me on low glycemic diet, beside my normal vegan, so it’s nice to see that the recipes you posted also happen to be pretty good in terms of glycemic level! Well, maybe not the dessert, but that can be my one-a-day cheat.


27 Chana May 10, 2014

I am also expecting – 31 weeks now. The first dish I prepared after I got the OSG cookbook was the protein powered goddess bowl. I didn’t have cooked black beans so I replaced them with edamame and chickpeas that I had frozen in my freezer. It was delicious! My husband and I both really liked it. Unfortunately, my 3 children did not like it. I think the lemon-tahini flavor was too strong for my oldest son.


28 Olivia May 12, 2014

This is great, thank you!!! Why do you prefer hemp protein over rice protein?


29 Val May 12, 2014

Help! Trying to get back into starting my day with a green smoothie and thought I’d try Garden of Life RAW Protein, non flavored. It’s been really rough trying to find a good balance in my smootie–the powder is chalky and does not taste great even with some almond milk & banana. Don’t want this protein to go to waste, but want to keep the green nutritional punch, any suggestions?


30 char eats greens May 12, 2014

Love this, Ange!! I just assumed I was close to my protein requirements during pregnancy, and luckily i had a very healthy (err, heavy) baby, so that must mean something, right?!? I’ve fallen off the protein powder in smoothies wagon. I normally just add hemp hearts and call it a day! Maybe one day again!


31 Tara Mayfield May 14, 2014

Hi Angela! I hope all is going well! I am a newbie to your site, as well as to the Vegan lifestyle. I am always in search of ways to increase my protein intake throughout the day, as I am on a journey to weight loss after becoming a new mom, in order to lose the baby weight. I am so excited to try these recipes! One quick tip that I learned while I was pregnant: I am not sure if the Sunwarrior Protein Natural Blend has the plant FENUGREEK in it or not ( I have seen it present on some websites like GNC but not on the actual Sunwarrior website) but a word of caution about ingesting too much of it while pregnant: it can cause early contractions of the uterus-which is probably something you do not want unless it is happening naturally. I actually began to take lactation tea while pregnant that contained the FENUGREEK before I was aware of the possible negative side effects it has on a pregnancy! I just ask you to be careful! We need you and your little one to remain safe and healthy! Ok, I am done sounding like a mom now! Lol..take care!


32 Angela (Oh She Glows) May 15, 2014

Nope, no Fenugreek thankfully! That’s why I like Sunwarrior – very short ingredient list. Thanks for the tip :)


33 Charlie May 16, 2014

Hi Angela! I was wondering if the Sunwarrior protein powder has a grainy texture? I’ve bought vegan protein powders and they tend to add a grainy texture, and the plain ones taste like chalk so I have to add a lot of flavourful ingredients to hide it. I’ve seen a lot of good things said about Sunwarrior but it is so expensive I don’t want to buy it and be disappointed.

(and this is my favorite nut butter brand, so good! you should try their hazelnut butter it is a-m-a-z-i-n-g ;))


34 Matt G. May 20, 2014

FYI, these posts don’t show up on the RSS feed… I enjoy following them because my wife and I also have a baby due in the fall.


35 Kristin May 23, 2014

Wondering if you have any info on stevia/agave/brown rice syrup during pregnancy?


36 Rae May 26, 2014

Hi Angela,

I’m a vegan who recently started working out (for fat loss and muscle gain). My trainer told me I should aim for 100g of protein/day. While this IS feasible, she also advised I stay under 40g of fat/day which I am finding difficult. Nuts and seeds are extremely high in fat so my question is, how do you keep your fat low? Or I guess maybe you don’t have to worry about it so much because you’re at an ideal weight.



37 Sweetie Muckluck July 24, 2014

Hi Rae,

I’m also a vegan who’s embarking on a high-protein low-fat workout plan. My trainer said the same thing yours did- 100g protein, at least while keeping the fat intake on the low side. Easier said than done!

I’ve been eating a LOT of tofu, often just cut into small pieces and broiled so they’re golden brown. I like to snack on those just as they are. I also scramble it up with veggies for dinner. I wish I wasn’t eating so much tofu, but I’m not sure how else to do it. If you’ve learned any tips, please share! Good luck!


38 lisa June 4, 2014

Hi Angela

what type of crackers do you recommend???

many thanks and love


39 Angela (Oh She Glows) June 9, 2014

Hi Lisa, I’ve been loving buckwheat crackers lately. Mary’s are also great!


40 Eva June 18, 2014

Thank you for all these tips!
I’m still in my first trimester and struggling a lot to get some good nutrition into me. As protein powder and beans/lentils as well as my beloved peanut butter started making me sick, I got a bit desperate what to eat for protein. It’s nice to see I’m not the only one having issues. Hope it will get better in some weeks and I won’t have to resort to dairy anymore as the only protein-rich food that doesn’t make me gag ;__;


41 Erin June 28, 2014

Hello! Thank you for this wonderful post. I’m sorry if you’ve posted this before…but what prenatal vitamins do you use (if you use them)? Erin


42 Angela (Oh She Glows) June 28, 2014
43 lindsay July 5, 2014

I love your blog! and great post!

Just wanted to share information about the metals in protein powders. My mom sent me this article because I use a lot of the listed powders. Apparently the metals is more of an issue with the rice powders. She sent me this article from Natural News.

which then led me to these results.
Pea proteins:

Rice proteins:

I dont know how accurate they are but i tossed all my garden of life immediately! Ive used it for almost 5 years and was sooo stocked up on it. But luckily sunwarrior got a good rating.

Thanks for your blog you truly provide so much useful information and tips!

hope this helps!


44 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2014

Thanks Lindsay! I read these articles too and have since removed protein powders for the time being just to be safe. I did read that Sunwarrior committed to removing all heavy metals by 2015 so that’s a good sign! Many companies have not made the same commitment apparently. Either way, I’ve been using hemp hearts as my go-to protein in smoothies now. So creamy and delicious! I buy the huge bags from costco so it’s not too bad.


45 Jessica Jensen July 10, 2014

Thank you for this post! Just found it buried amongst the recipes, I don’t know how I missed it. My husband and I are expecting our first baby come December and eat a plant based diet as well, so this was extremely helpful. Good to know, I’m on the right track with what I’ve been eating so far. Thanks again! And best of luck to you through the rest of the pregnancy!



46 Lisa July 29, 2014

Hi Angela,

I’m ten weeks pregnant today and the nausea is fading slowly but surely.
I felt awful and hardly got anything healthy into me. I used to love smoothies but during those past nine weeks, it took me ages to swallow one glass in the morning and I had a hard time to keep it down.
Now that I feel better I am constantly worried about protein, too. I never was and usually was fine, but now being pregnant, I’m obviously over-worried. My fiancé is usually running to meet my cravings and I tried to stuff myself with any sort of beans lately which resulted in me looking like five months already, haha!
Now that things seem to get into a flow, I will try the smoothies again. I usually use hemp powder, but ordered hemp seeds… 30g already in the morning are AMAZING.
I wish you all the best for your last two months, so exciting!


47 Staci September 14, 2014

Thank you so much for posting this, Angela. We met at the Vida Vegan Gala in Portland and I am so happy you tracked your baby progress on your site. I am now 6 weeks pregnant and want to make sure I am on the right path for baby’s nutrition and health during pregnancy. I look forward to seeing photos of your little girl when she arrives.


48 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 14, 2014

aww yay congrats! So nice to hear from you Staci. Hope you are feeling well! :)


49 Clare September 17, 2014

Hello Angela, thank you so much for sharing this information. I wondered what quantity of hemp hearts you would add to this particular smoothie recipe in place of the protein powder? Would it be 3-4tbsp as suggested in your linked recipe? Thanks so much, and I hope the last couple of weeks of your pregnancy go well :)


50 Jen @ sweetgreenkitchen September 23, 2014

This is a great outline for how to get enough protein as a vegan. I do include dairy and eggs in my diet, but have more and more been trying to do vegan meals once or twice daily to cut back on animal proteins, some days I feel great eating this way and other days I feel I’ve missed the mark, always a work in progress! I’ve also been avoiding the hemp bandwagon based on the high price, although more and more I feel like I just have to go for it, thanks in part to all your great recipes including this protein packed superfood. Thanks for all the great inspiration!


51 lisa September 28, 2014

This is a GREAT looking meal plan Angela! What / how do you think it would adjust for non-pregnant women? Im trying to incorporate more healthy plant based proteins


52 Erika van Amerongen January 28, 2015

Hello! Very very nice recepies! Just one question….I didn’t quit believe the breakfast 30 proteins so I checked it with the and it is weigh beneath the 30 proteins. So….did I do something wrong? Is the chronometer not correct or did you do something wrong with checking out the protein levels?
I hope to hear from you…because I am trying to figure out how to eat enough proteins without eating meat/ fish and other animal proteins.
Greetings, Erika


53 Meg March 6, 2015

Did you consume chia seeds throughout your pregnancy? I have been adding them to my breakfasts but then read mixed things about if they’re “safe” during pregnancy (but I don’t have a sense for why they would be unsafe). Thanks!!


54 Susan June 26, 2015


Did you track your nutrition intake manually throughout your pregnancy, or do you use an app? I find that most apps are geared toward calorie counting. I would love to know what you have found helpful regardless of your method!



55 Kristen August 23, 2015

Angela, Hi…I just came across this post from last year. And I just wanted to Thank you! It’s great! I love the meal plan format! With back to school it’s sooo helpful to plan the day/ week! Do you think you will be doing more meal plan blog posts in the future? Or maybe a meal plan that we can subscribe to and pay for? Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication! I use your cookbook all the time and can’t wait for the next one! Kristen


56 Jessica November 2, 2015

Hi Angela! Do you advise not using a raw vegan protein powder during pregnancy? I just found out I’m pregnant and love Garden of Life’s raw protein powder but am wondering if it’s safe to use? Thanks so much for your help!


57 Jade November 30, 2015

Hey Angela! All of these look SO yum!
I am a newly turned vegetarian and am trying to ensure I am getting all of my protein and other nutrient needs. I am worried that my diet is always so high in carbs and fat as I am trying to build the protein levels but I feel like most vegetarian proteins are high in carbs and fat…do you have any info on this! Do you think carbs and fat are fine as long as they are healthy?!
Thanks heaps! I have your book and follow your blog. Love your work! x


58 parveen ahmad February 17, 2016

Thanks for the protein info. Just curious about the calorie content per meal?


59 Angela Liddon February 25, 2016

Hi Parveen, I haven’t calculated the calorie content myself, but free online calculators like Nutritional Data and Calorie will be able to help you find out the meals’ nutritional information. Hope this helps! :)


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