You don't have to follow a strict plant-based diet to get its benefits.
Cutting back on carbohydrates is easy, but it’s challenging if you’re following a vegan or plant-based diet. Many plant-based sources of protein (like quinoa, beans, and legumes) are naturally high in carbohydrates. In fact, many vegetables have a lot of carbohydrates, thanks to their high fiber content. We’ve found that the carbs in high fiber foods don’t pack on the pounds like refined carbohydrates, but we still wanted to offer a few options for those of you looking to reduce your carb intake. So we made a list of high-protein and low-carb flexitarian dinner favorites.
This list is also fantastic if you’re not ready to cut out the meat from your diet. That’s the great thing about plant-based diets: You don’t have to follow the rules as strictly as a vegan diet, for example. You can eat meatless dinners and consume some meat for breakfast and lunch, or you can choose several days out of the week that are dedicated to plant-based meals. To that effect, we included a plant-based protein and a meat, poultry, or seafood option in the list below. And because we’re all about empowering you to create your own meals, we made this list all about mix and match options.
We’ve taught you how to build your own skinny dinner, and you also learned 21 ways to make a power bowl without a recipe. Now, it’s time to pair your favorite low-carb vegetable dishes with plant-based or animal-based proteins to create these flexitarian dinner favorites.
High-Protein and Low-Carb Flexitarian Dinner Favorites
Pick and choose from the lists below. We recommend choosing one low-carb vegetable and either a plant-based or an animal-based protein. Top it off with a healthy fat, and you’ll have a filling, well-rounded, deliciously healthy meal!
For example, you could pair roasted asparagus with our vegan “chicken” salad or broiled salmon and serve it with toasted pumpkin seeds. Or, make cauliflower stir-fry with tofu or pork tenderloin and top it off with diced avocado. The possibilities are endless when creating high protein and low-carb flexitarian dinner favorites!
- 3-Ingredient Spicy Roasted Broccoli – 1 carb, 1 gram protein
- Cauliflower Stir-Fry – 3 carbs, 1 gram protein
- Easy 5-Ingredient Garlic Herb Sauteed Mushrooms – 5 carbs, 4 grams protein
- Quick and Easy Roasted Veggie Kebabs – 5 carbs, 2 grams protein
- Dijon Roasted Garlic Asparagus – 6 carbs, 3 grams protein
- Spicy Broiled Green Beans – 9 carbs, 2 grams protein
- Balsamic Glazed Whole Roasted Cauliflower – 10 carbs, 3 grams protein
- Maple Glazed Tempeh – 31 grams protein and 15 carbs per serving (6 ounces)
- Seitan – 21 grams protein and 4 carbs per serving (1 ounce)
- Baked Tofu Chunks with Star Anise Marinade – 19 grams protein, 8 carbs
- 5-Ingredient Vegan “Chicken” Salad Recipe – 11 grams protein, 6 carbs
- Herb-Roasted Nuts – 5 grams protein, 6 carbs
- Chia seeds – 5 grams protein and 12 carbs per serving (1 ounce)
- Plant-Based Ground Beef Recipe – 4 grams protein, 13 carbs
- Instant Pot Sunday Pot Roast – 45 grams protein, 4 carbs
- Super Easy Pork Tenderloin With Garlic and Rosemary – 35 grams protein, 0 carbs
- 3-Ingredient Tender Broiled Salmon – 34 grams protein, 1 carb
- Slow Cooker Everything Chicken – 29 grams protein, 2 carbs
- 15-Minute Spicy Garlic Ginger Shrimp – 23 grams protein, 2 carbs
- Canned tuna fish – 9 grams protein, 0 carbs
- Poached Eggs – 5 grams protein, 0 carbs
- Olive oil
- Chia seeds
- Nuts or nut butter
- Sunflower or pumpkin seeds