For the Soy-Free Vegan

I have mentioned previously that one of the best features on the backend of is the ability to see what people plugged into Google to stumble across us (and by us, I mean me!). To sample just a few, today I got “women flashing truck drivers,” “vegan nightmares,” “sex pesto” (mmm..?), “fat girl eating chocolate banana” and “crazy sexy dumper.” Funnies aside, I did get one person who was searching for “how to be vegan without tofu.”

This struck a real chord with me. I was a vegetarian for a very long time before I ever developed a taste for tofu, or any soy product really. I was also very young, and perhaps not very smart about how to successfully maintain a plant-based diet. Now that I am vegan (and a full supporter of the soy council!), I was interested in this mystery fan’s (okay fan is a bit much..) query of not only how to be vegan without tofu, but how to be vegan without soy at all.

With a family history of breast cancer, I used to think I should avoid eating soy on a daily basis, and therefore limited consumption of direct soy products (tofu, soy milk, edamame, etc.). However, my doctor recently told me that the avoidance of soy in relation to breast cancer—as it contains high levels of estrogen—is unnecessary. We produce far more estrogen in our bodies than we could possibly get from soy products (says doc!).

So often when I am on the hunt for a fast source of complete protein and too lazy to cook up some beans and grains, I grab soy. My preferred speedy soy sources are usually tofu, tempeh, or a soy powder added to a green smoothie. If I weren’t doing this—I would have to be a lot craftier in my quest for protein!

image by tteog

Here are a handful of vegan proteins that are also soy free:

Seitan-this chewy faux meat is made from wheat, not soy (sorry to any gluten-free soy-free vegans out there!)
Quinoa- Be still my heart! Quinoa is a complete protein, quick cooking and oh so nutty and delicious.
Beans: The magical fruit! Combine them with any grain for a complete protein and a tummy full of fibery goodness.
Greens: While veggies are usually overlooked as protein sources, when combined with a grain they can be an excellent protein source. Just make sure to pile them on high!
Grains: Combine them with beans for a match made in heaven.
Seaweed: Tastes a little fishy and full of not only protein but iron!
Nutritional Yeast: This stuff is golden..literally. It tastes salty, packs a nice b12 punch and offers a complete protein! I like it on my salads for a faux-cheese finish.
Nuts and Seeds: Everyone needs a little heart healthy fat, and when combined with a whole grain (like a piece of toast!) nuts and seeds offer the perfect blend of fat, protein and carbohydrates.

Can anyone think of any other vegan soy-free proteins I missed?


About SexyTofu

Good food. Good sex. Good fun.
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6 Responses to For the Soy-Free Vegan

  1. tokyovegan says:

    Too bad there is so much misinformation about soy out there. My sister was told to avoid it after breast cancer operation. Meanwhile, her doctor recommends drinking dairy milk and eating eggs because she needs protein.
    Soybeans have so many delicious and healthy derivatives that I don’t know what I’d do without it. I do favor non-GMO, especially after viewing Food Inc recently!

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  3. Pingback: For the Non-Committal Vegan | I Eat Grass

  4. JayKayTee says:

    It used to be thought that you needed to have complete protein at each meal. Not so. As long as you have complementary proteins (grains and beans) at some time during the day you should be fine.

    4.5 – 6 grams of protein are all we really need per day (

    Most every vegetable has protein in varying amounts (

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