“Would you like some protein with that?”
Have you been hearing that question lately?
It seems every time I order a meal in a restaurant these days, I immediately get that question.
My reply? Blink, splutter, sheesh, huh?
First, my brain starts running numbers:
US RDA: 46 grams of protein for a woman
Spinach: 9 grams per cup
Quinoa: 9 grams per cup
Avocado: 3 grams per cup
Pepitas/Pumpkin seeds: 6 grams per cup
Navy beans: 46 grams per cup
My beloved mung beans: 49 grams per cup
And, have you heard? Lettuce is the new chicken!
Second, since my order is already so full of protein, I wonder, what does this question really mean? Are they asking if I want a piece of animal with my meal?
Finally, why is the question suddenly so ubiquitous?
That’s when sheesh happens. The question that seemed “ignorant” suddenly seems craftily intelligent. Is it possible that an entire industry has dropped a euphemism suggesting plants are lacking, when they are not? Weak, when they are engines of solar power? Skimpy, when they are actually sumptuous?
Not to mention hearty, comforting and absolutely more than enough.
Next are we going to be asked if we want fiber with our flaxseeds, beta carotene with our carrots, vibrant energy with our greens?
It’s a question that drove me to the kitchen to pull together this three-part series devoted to high powered, high protein, high fiber, high value, multi-fabulous, plant-fueled, heavenly delicious summer meals; specifically lunch, and more specifically, the sandwich. Because I want to show you, and everyone I love, that summer meals can be sumptuous and easy, hearty and meaty, suitable for everyone, and absolutely more than enough – without adding… oh what shall we call it?
Sandwich #1: Curried Cannellini with Crunchy Persian Cucumbers
Delicious, easy, hearty, this can be completely vegan with a vegan Mayo, gluten-free with a GF Bread + super quick to prep with pre-cooked organic beans.
1 cup cannellini (or any white bean)
1 T your mayo of choice
1/2 t curry powder
little bit of juice of one lime
lots of fresh or dried dill
sprinkle of sea or pink salt
dusting of fresh ground pepper
fresh, whole grain bread
your favorite mayo
1 persian cucumber
2-3 leaves of red lettuce
In a bowl, mash beans with a fork. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and adjust to taste. Slice the cucumbers.
Assembling the sandwich: Spread a little mayonnaise on one piece of bread. Layer it with lettuce. On the other piece of bread, spread the curried cannellini, and cover evenly with cucumbers. Close up the sandwich, press gently, enjoy.
Instead of chips, serve with cucumbers drizzled in lime and dusted lightly with sea or pink salt. It’s a great refreshing crunch, easier to digest than even the healthiest of chips, plus cucumbers are one of summer’s great food medicines.
So, do you want to add protein to that? How about we add love to that, and to everything we eat?
What would that look like for you, for all of us?
Thanks for comments, and for sharing. I wish you love always, and that with every meal you know ~ you are already strong, smart, beautiful, loved, in tune with everything great and good, and absolutely enough – just like mother nature and the bounty she provides.
***Next week: Why summer craves meaty + the Avocado Macadamia Mash