Summer Recipes That Prove Vegetarians Get Enough Protein

Tasty cookout recipes that prove vegetarians get enough protein.
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Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Think the peeps following a vegetarian diet are getting the short end of the stick at the summer get-together? Think again! Here are seven protein-packed recipes that will convince you otherwise.

Corn and Black Bean Salad (pictured above)

Canned beans can be added to salads and salsa, and used as a topper for nachos and other favorite summertime appetizers. Worried about sodium? According to research, draining and rinsing canned foods with water can reduce sodium by as much as 41 percent.

Quinoa is another high-protein plant-based option. This beautiful salad packs a double punch of protein from quinoa and beans, adding up to 10 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber per serving.

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Let’s give some love to one of the most-underappreciated legumes around! Lentils are not only delicious but also versatile and easy to prepare. These burgers have more than 20 grams of protein per serving and will please even the most-devoted meat eater.

Giada De Laurentis's Grilled Salmon and Pineapple Avocado dressing as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Don’t forget the pescatarians (vegetarians who eat fish). Salmon is always a smart choice, since it’s low in mercury and filled with heart-healthy Omega-3 fats. Want to save some money? Try canned salmon; it’s just as nutritious, and perfect for burgers and salads.

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Instead of boring, tasteless frozen versions, try making your own custom veggie burger, filled with veggies, beans and nuts.

Edamame Dip, as seen on Food Network's Trisha's Southern Kithcen.

Photo by: 0 ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

0, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Move over, guacamole — it’s next to impossible to find a dip that’s as high in protein as this one. Soybeans are also unique because they’re one of the few plant-based sources of protein with a full profile of amino acids (the building blocks of protein).

Adding nuts to a pasta salad boosts the protein, flavor and healthy fat! Since many vegetarians are OK with eating cheese, this salad is a wonderful option for a cookout side dish.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

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