The Top 4 Vegan Protein Meals for Serious Gym Gains – John Henderson

But where did you get your protein from? Is possibly the most asked question when you go vegan. It’s actually not a worry however with plenty of plant based sources available. Everything from tofu to beans to broccoli contain the vital macronutrient which will mean you are never caught short on the protein front on a vegan diet. Without doubt when working out you will need to up your protein content so here are 5 meals packed full of protein to help you make some serious gains!

Vegan Sweet Potato Smoothie Bowl

I think lots of people these days have become accustomed to downing a shake mixed with milk or water immediately after workout and whilst you might get some benefits i.e protein what about everything you are not getting such as carbs, fats and other vital micronutrients which will assist further in recovery? This bowl is my take on a post workout meal, still using a protein powder but it’s not your typical shake.

Would you believe me if I said there was sweet potato in this smoothie bowl? Well that’s exactly what’s in there and it tastes delicious! Sweet potatoes are rich in fibre along with an array of vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium and selenium. They’re also a good source vitamins B and C.

Sweet Potato Smoothie Bowl

Along with the sweet potato there is also banana and mango giving this bowl a beautiful sweet taste.

I add some granola, peanut butter, desiccated coconut and pumpkin seeds on top for added omegas.

Ingredients for 1 serving
Blend up:
125g frozen banana
100g frozen mango
230g frozen (cooked) sweet potato
8g maca powder
33g plant protein
Add toppings of your choice.

The good thing about smoothie bowls is you can literally put whatever you like in. Just stick with banana as a base and then add whatever fruit it is that you love.

Thai Salad with Peanut Butter Tempeh

Vegan Thai Salad with Peanut Butter Tempeh

For anyone unaware tempeh is like tofu’s healthier and less processed big brother. It packs a punch when it comes to protein too. Per 100g it has over 20g of muscle building protein and its also fermented. This means it’s easier for our bodies to digest, making the protein more readily available for our bodies to absorb.

This dish is straight up delicious too. If you are not really a salad lover then this one is for you. I love my fruits and veggies but a salad usually does nothing for me… that was until I made this one.

This meal is packed with loads of colourful veggies and also has the most amazing peanut flavoured tempeh.

Ingredients for 1 serving.

Tempeh ingredients:
100g tempeh
8g peanut butter
7ml tamari (or soy sauce)
7ml lime juice
11g maple syrup
Chilli flakes (optional)

Salad ingredients:
45g of brown rice noodles
35g spinach
30g ribboned carrots
1 spring onion
1/2 red bell pepper

Dressing ingredients:
15g peanut butter
11g tamari (or soy sauce)
11g maple syrup
1/4 lime juice
Chilli flakes (optional)

Simply marinate your tempeh from 1-24 hours (the longer the better, but can skip process and just put straight in the oven when coated) and cook in an oven for around 20-25mins.

Cook your noodles following the packet instructions and rinse after to cool.

Use a peeler to ribbon the carrots and put together your salad. Spinach first, followed my noodles and then everything else.

Make your sauce simply by whisking the ingredients in a bowl.

Add the tempeh and combine it all together and add the sauce on top.

And that’s it! 5 simple steps to a delicious and gut friendly meal. You can of course add in any other veggies you fancy.

Vegan Lentil Pasta with Hidden Veggies

If you haven’t come across red lentil pasta yet you are missing a trick. A typical 75g serving will get you around 20g of plant based protein as well as getting you over 50% of your RDA of Iron.

This makes a perfect lunch or dinner and is also great for kiddies as it has hidden veg.

Ingredients for 1 serving

75g red lentil pasta

2 cloves garlic

10g nutritional yeast

130g broccoli

140g carrots

175g passata

Lentil Pasta

Grate the carrot and add to a pan along with the garlic with a small amount of water to fry it in. Cook for about 5-10 mins, adding more water if it sticks.

Boil up the red lentil pasta based on the packet instructions.

Next add to your carrot and garlic pan the remaining
ingredients followed by the pasta once cooked.

Give it a good stir around to coat all the pasta and serve once combined.

And that’s it! Super simple. The grated carrot surprisingly almost becomes a part of the sauce and you don’t even know it’s there. It’s such a great way to get some extra veg in your diet.

Vegan High Protein Chilli Con Carne

High Protein Vegan Chilli Con Carne

With a whopping 38g of plant based protein this one is a real winner!

Beans are super versatile and really simple source of protein. This recipe calls for black beans which have more protein than all other beans. From those alone you will get 15g of protein in this meal. Most of the remaining protein comes from tofu which is fundamentally another bean source.

It’s also a super simple one pot dish and can even be made in the slow cooker.

Ingredients for 1 large serving.
1/2 diced red onion
2 finely diced cloves of garlic
1 finely sliced celery stick
1/2 diced red pepper
150g crumbled tofu
300g chopped tomatoes
200g black beans
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp jalapeño juice (from jar)
Chilli powder (your choice how much)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Salt and black pepper to taste

Simply throw it all in the pan and cover with the lid on for a minimum of 20 minutes. The longer you leave it the more the flavours will infuse.
If using a slow cooker follow the exact same method and leave on high for around 6 hours.

I topped mine with some soy yogurt and served with some homemade sweet potato fries.


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