For some people, being vegan is a necessity because of a food allergy or illness. For others, it is a choice. Luckily, there are some excellent vegan foods for muscle building.
With the ever-changing health and fitness industry, the vegan lifestyle is still developing in many areas. For example, in traditional muscle building, what foods do you think of when talking about diet? Chicken, a sizzling steak, etc… right?
However, there are more ways to get protein than just eating meat. For example, what if I told you that you can get the same amount of protein on a vegan diet as you would on an animal protein diet? With so many sources of protein in a vegan diet, there have been bodybuilders who have turned to this diet to gain muscle. Even for people just looking to lean out or build lean muscle, a vegan diet has many benefits.
Below, I have compiled some of the best vegan foods for muscle building and I’m excited to share them with you!
1. Vegan Protein Breakfast Shake
This is one of my personal favorites, because I have it almost every morning for breakfast. My husband calls it a “gainer shake”.
Look for a vegan protein shake powder that is a superfood powder instead of just a ready-to-drink protein shake. This will give you more nutrients and fill you up for longer.
Ingredients include: Vegan protein powder, almond milk, almond butter, ice, and banana. Just blend all the ingredients in a blender and enjoy!
2. Red Lentil Pasta Salad
What you need for this meal is red lentil pasta (doesn’t matter what kind; rotini, penne, etc.)–I normally use the Ancient Harvest or Explore Cuisine brands. Other ingredients include: avocado, chickpeas, garlic salt, EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), white onion, tomato, and vegan Parmesan cheese.
Cook the pasta while you dice the tomatoes and onion, cut up the avocado and mix it in with the tomato and onion. Set those aside. Once the pasta is cooked, strain and pour in some EVOO, then add some garlic salt for taste (as desired).
I don’t use specific measurements on this dish because I’m either making it for myself or for the family. Most of it is to your specific taste anyway, so just add in the amount that you want. If you’re counting macros, do your amounts that way. Once that is done, add in the avocado, chickpeas, tomato, and onion. Top with vegan Parmesan cheese. Yum!
3. Meatless Balls and Lentil Spaghetti
This one is like the red lentil pasta salad, but this is served hot.
Ingredients include: meatless meatballs, lentil spaghetti, vegan Parmesan cheese, EVOO, and marinara sauce.
What you’ll do for this recipe is, cook the spaghetti and meatless meatballs. The meatballs I buy are usually from Trader Joe’s or the Gardein vegan brands, which can be found in most grocery stores.
Once both the spaghetti and meatballs are cooked, add them together and mix in the EVOO and pasta sauce. Once you have done that, add the desired amount of vegan Parmesan cheese.
Fun fact: I don’t usually cook the marinara from scratch because I don’t have the time. So for busy parents like me who don’t have the time to make homemade pasta sauce, Trader Joe’s and Raley’s have great selections!
4. “Egg” and Sausage-less Breakfast Sandwich
Everything you need for this meal is vegan eggs, vegan sausage, vegan mayo, avocado, and vegan English muffins. Follow the instructions for the sausage. Once the eggs and sausage are cooked, stack them together on one side of the vegan English muffin. On the other piece of bread, spread 1 TBSP of vegan mayo (or to taste). Add a couple of slices of avocado to that side and put the sandwich together.
You can buy vegan eggs in pretty much any health food store. I usually cook them “sunnyside”. Gardein makes a delicious vegan sausage patty that goes great with this meal.
This is a fantastic breakfast or post-workout meal!
You can definitely use vegan food as a way to fuel your body and build muscle. If you’re just starting out, those simple, easy recipes don’t require a lot of preparation. Not only that, but they are fantastic family meals that are great for building muscle.
I hope you enjoy these vegan foods for muscle building as much as I do!