Being powered by plants has plenty of amazing performance benefits and can significantly improve many health factors. Plants are incredibly nutrient dense and provide a lot of energy. Athletes who eat a well-balanced, plant based diet are able to perform just as well as those who consume animal based foods. Any athlete (vegan or not) who consumes a colorful variety of produce will see positive health benefits such as increased energy, glowing skin, and improved mental acuity.

 

A struggle for athletes eating a primarily plant-based diet is that it takes a lot of plant matter in order to meet the caloric needs of a training athlete. Properly balanced vegan meals have more than one source of protein blended together with healthy fats to supply sustained energy, better nutrient absorption, and additional calories to support training.  

 

This vegan protein recipe can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. Surprisingly easy and flavorful meals such as this appeal to, and benefit, non-vegan athletes as well.

 

Protein Penne Pasta

protein penne pasta

[Photo credit: Kari Lund]

 

Calories: 524, Protein 28g, Carbohydrates 74g, Fat 14g

Prep time: 10 min, Cook time: 15 min

Serves: 4-5

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg (10 oz) lentil bean penne pasta (like Pow! Pasta or Modern Table)
  • 1/3 cup creamy almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Lime wedges

 

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Prepare pasta according to instructions on package.
  2. While pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce.
  3. Add almond butter, tamari, rice vinegar, and chili garlic sauce to a blender and puree until smooth.
  4. Heat sauce in a small saucepan until warmed.
  5. When pasta is cooked, drain pasta and toss with almond butter sauce, onion, bell pepper, cucumber, and cilantro.
  6. Garnish with lime wedges.

 

More vegan goodness:

Vegan Protein Meal: Cilantro Lime Quinoa Bowl

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