Sunday, October 16, 2011

10 Protein-Packed Plants and Ajvar

Food Diary (October 16, 2011)
Breakfast: Missed
Lunch: Rice and yellow peas
Dinner: Pasta salad
Baking/sweets: Ajvar, chocolate coffee cookies

Ajvar is a relish/spread from the Balkans made from red bell peppers (aka capsicum or paprika), eggplant and a few other ingredients. Ajvar is sort of like tomato sauce/ketchup, but much more. You can use it in place of tomato sauce/ketchup such as with burgers and sausages. You can also use it in ways that you may not normally use tomato sauce/ketchup like as a spread on bread or crackers. Once you taste ajvar there is a risk that you will not go back to tomato sauce/ketchup again. However I am definitely not trying to discourage use of tomato sauce/ketchup.

The world can work in mysterious ways sometimes. I’ve always bought ajvar from the supermarket, it is widely available in Sweden due to a relatively large Balkans community. My friends from Balkans never inspired me to make ajvar , instead pings pickings from Malaysia inspired me. And ping got inspiration from me, from my jarred ajvar. Bit of a circular reference here, it probably proves that the world is round! The recipe is available here.

Today's Favourite Photo
Source: Smoky Wok
Thai Spicy Pasta Salad

Today’s Favourite Blog
Source: Care2
In case you are looking for plant based proteins, here is a list of “10 Protein-Packed Plants”:

Pumpkin seeds: One ounce of pumpkin seeds contains 9.35 grams of protein! That’s over two grams more protein then the same quantity of ground beef
Asparagus: Eight spears of this delectable veggie has 3.08 grams of protein
Cauliflower: One cup cooked has 2.28 grams of protein
Peanuts: One ounce (approximately 28 peanuts dry roasted without salt) has 6.71 grams of protein
Oats: One cooked cup has 6.08 grams of protein
Mung Bean Sprouts: one cup contains 3.16 grams
Almonds: One ounce (approximately 24 nuts) contains 6.03 grams of protein
Spinach: One cup cooked contains 5.35 grams of protein
Broccoli: One cup of chopped broccoli has 5.7 grams of protein
Quinoa: It has the highest percentage of protein content at 16 percent per volume. ¼ cup (dry) quinoa has 6 grams of protein

Some of the items above surprised me, such as spinach and broccoli. We may have to think more creatively and be adventurous with cooking and eating if we are to use plant based proteins to substitute for animal proteins. 

There is also the issue of ‘complete proteins’. Animal proteins are complete proteins whereas plant based proteins may not be complete on its own, its needs to be supplemented with other ingredients. For example chickpeas on its own are not complete but the addition of sesame seeds completes it.

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  1. The internet works in mysterious ways! And yes, it's pretty much impossible to go back to plain old tomato sauce after tasting Ajvar! I have a jar in my fridge all the time!

  2. Ajvar makes the world go round! Hey, thanks for the link back.
    Like you, I'm just as surprised that asparagus, broccoli and spinach contain protein and even more surprised to learn that just some sesame seeds will work to complete the chickpeas. I can just see the chickpea saying to the sesame seed, "You, complete me". Hahahaha! Sorry, brain malfunction there. You do know where that came from, I hope, otherwise, oh well .....

  3. Never heard of ajvar. I'll have to seek it out.

  4. I have not seen ajvar here, but am curious to try it as I am a fan of ketchup. Interesting list of plant based proteins...I was surprised that pumpkin seeds are so high in protein. Also, surprised about broccoli and spinach.

  5. Oh my golly! I've been eaten at least 300g of broccoli and cauliflower (together, not mixed) every night for the past few weeks, I had no idea they were rich in protein!

  6. So you have finally made Ajvar too! It looks wonderful!
    I have already heard about the fact that plants are incomplete proteins. The scary thing is some vegetarians and all my partly-vegetarian friends are completely unaware of this... (I have asked). Since I rarely have meals without meat or fish or seafood (or at least cheese), I never pay attention to make the vegetable proteins complete and apart from tofu, I always feel hungry if I don't have animal proteins.

  7. ajvar is totally new to me but so is alot of stuff you have on your site- which is why I LOVE to visit- always something new to see and learn about!

  8. Martyna: it does! Glad to hear ajvar has found its way down under!

    ping: no I don’t know where that came from. A talking chickpea? That’s new to me:) About ajvar – the homemade and store bought ones differ slightly and I like them both! The store bought one has peppers, eggplant, vinegar, oil, tomato puree, salt, sugar, spices and fefferoni (don’t know English translation – it’s the stuff that they serve with kebabs, its either mild or hot). There’s no preservatives but the store bought one was more pureed, mine was chunky. Also since the one from the store was made sometime ago I presume the taste developed more.

    Yummychunklet: you should be able to find it otherwise its not difficult to make at home

    Elaine: you should be able to find it otherwise its not difficult to make at home

    Hannah: that’s a lot of broccoli and cauliflower

    Sissi: yes, finally made it, and pleased that I did. Its quite simple. Mixing a few vege stuff completes the protein, eg rice and beans, peanut butter and whole grains bread, hummus etc

    Kitchen Belleicious: thank you

  9. well, I HATE ketchup so I think it's highly possible that ajvar is the way to go for me!

  10. It was from the movie "Jerry McGuire", where the guy told the girl "You complete me" and then they lived happily ever after.

  11. I didn't know spinach and broccoli has protein! I think I'd love ajvar (not sure how to pronounce it) more than tomato sauce. I always love paprika even I have slight indigestion problem with it. Ajvar looks really good - thanks for the recipe!

  12. I really have to try ajvar as it's something you seem to rave about...

    the search of quinoa recipes continues.... ;)

  13. Joanne: its quite probable

    ping: thanks for that. This evening I started watching the movie, haven't seen it before. Watching it in bits and haven’t reached the part where they say "You complete me". So strange but I will think of hummus when I hear that part, so strange.

    Nami: its pronounced ayvar (j becomes y)

    Sylvia: ajvar and quinoa would be great together

  14. Hi There, This is looking so delightful and appetizing. A very well made post with beautiful pictures.Loved. I've bookmarked this special recipe of urs and wud love to give it a shot asap. Have a wonderful week ahead. Thanks & Regards, Sonia !!!

  15. thank you for pointing out that not all plant proteins are created equal!! I think many people get zapped by the marketing of proteins. Like for example, sheryl crow's cookbook - she is all " I don't eat gluten because it increases inflammation and decreases digestion" but then later in the book on another recipe she says " gluten is 95% protein, protein is needed for our strength..."

    some of the conclusions people draw are just not cool..

    I see you posted about roadkill again.

  16. quinoa is a plant based complete protein! :D

  17. not sure if I ever tasted ajvar but I have heard of it and I am all for tossing ketchup in the can. I love pumpkin seeds!