Don’t read this until after your 4th of July cookout

I love a good hamburger or pork rib BBQ, but with the escalating prices on meat, I began looking for other sources to get my protein. Plus, recent health reports suggest less meat and a more plant-based diet of vegetables & fruits offer a healthier lifestyle.

In my research, legumes (beans, peas, lentils, soybeans & peanuts) provide another protein source. Lentils and soybeans may have about half as much protein as meat, but because they are low in fat and calories and high in fiber- they are a perfect option. When combined with whole grains, like brown rice, you can get the same “quality” of protein as meat. Plus, they are gluten-free, which may interest people who want gluten-free food choices. These things add up to a healthier option for your body. I found lentils to be
very filling & satisfying as well.

If you buy dried legumes, be sure to wash them thoroughly in case of stray hulls. If you buy them in a can, always drain the juice and rinse them as well. Dried beans & peas can be counted as both a protein and a vegetable. I also found they give me more energy, I feel less ‘heavy,’ and I sleep better; plus, I am happy to report that I lost pounds!

Surprisingly, these vegetables are also a source of protein: watercress/alfalfa sprouts / spinach / Bok choy / asparagus / collard greens / broccoli / brussels sprouts &
cauliflower. So, mom did know best, telling me to finish all my veggies.

I will continue eating hamburgers and making my famous ribs in a crockpot, but it will be less frequent. I even found a recipe for “Apricot Lentil Soup,” which initially I thought, “ugh,” but wow, what a delicious surprise.

So, experiment for yourselves! Happy and healthy eating. (BTW, you can disregard this for summer cookouts. LOL).

Information sourced from: WebMD/Harvard EDU/ Clinic