Tag Archives: protein

Split pea soup ingredients

Easy split pea soup

Yoga Kitchen – Simple, healthy and vegan

Anyone on a purely vegan diet would do well to keep a close eye on the proportion of protein. Peas and split peas are an excellent and very cheap source of high-quality plant protein with a rich and varied amino acid spectrum. They also contain a lot of complex carbohydrates and a good deal of valuable fibre.
Dream food, really!
What could be cozier and heartier than a good bowl of steaming hot pea soup in the cold season? And you can do that right from breakfast!

What you need for about 1 litre of freshly made soup:

  • 150 gr split peas
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • eventually a piece of green celery
  • one to one and a half tablespoons of good olive oil
  • Herbs such as: cumin seed, savory, fennel seed …
  • pepper and salt to taste

You can also add vegetable stock cubes to give extra flavour to the soup, but I’m not a fan of that myself.
Picture of split pea soup with its ingredients

Step by step

  • Allow the split peas to soak in water for a few hours until they are swollen
  • Rinse them in a sieve under running water
  • Gently heat the olive oil on low fire, sprinkle in the herbs (cumin seed, savory, fennel, or others, according to personal taste …) and let them fry softly in the oil for a few moments allow them to release their flavour
  • Add the finely chopped onion and carrot and fry until they become a little glassy
  • Pour in the split peas, stir and briefly fry
  • Pour 1 litre of water over the vegetables, bring to the boil
  • The cooking time depends on the type of pan: approx. 35 minutes in an ordinary pan. If you use a pressure cooker, reduce the cooking time to about 15 to 20 minutes.

Extremely important

When cooking legumes, add the salt only after the cooking process.
This applies to sea salt, salted soy sauce as well as any salty stock cubes or stock in powder.
Finally, you might add some extra pepper to taste and finely mix the soup with a handheld mixer or in a blender.
Serve nice and hot!

Enjoy this delicious, simple, fortifying soup with its respectable protein content!
Nutritional values split peas

When is the best moment to eat protein?

Opinions differ.
Some people claim that you benefit more from protein in the morning and at noon than in the evening. They claim it would be best to go to bed “light” with a digestive system that has finished its day job so that all the energy can be put into recuperation at night.
On the other hand, the night is precisely the time when protein synthesis and muscle recovery and building also take place. So according to other authors, it is a good idea to include protein in your last meal so that it enters the bloodstream at night and is available for protein synthesis.
That seems to make good sense.

Picture of visual fat loss progress

Halfway through

Four out of eight weeks of fat loss challenge are already a thing of the past.
And, how are things going?

What I’m actually doing

(What is it all about?)
I want to make a conscious change to my body.
To do so, I am stepping out of my comfort zone.
I put myself into a conscious calorie deficiency of about 20% for a period of 8 weeks.
In addition, I am following a progressive power training programme.

The first experiences

The centimetres are disappearing, slowly but surely.
I was not overweight in the classic sense of the term, and yet I saw and felt that I was walking around with too much fat. Even in places where I would rather not see it. For me these are the legs and in the waist.

In figures there is little spectacular to report compared to those who really want to get rid of a lot of overweight or centimetres. And then: that’s the way it should be. Every body is unique. Comparing with others often marks the end of joy. So it is better to look at what’s on your own plate.
Each Monday I can take off with a lower starting weight.

Physically speaking, it was not easy at first:

  • There were days when I felt weaker and my voice sounded weaker too
  • The first weeks my sleep was significantly worse in quality
  • The higher protein intake did not feel completely OK during the first weeks. Now it does.
  • The power training sometimes felt heavy, especially in combination with eating less

Forward … march !

Mentally I feel strengthened. The challenge, together with the corresponding assignments, diagrams and tables:

  • help me to structure
  • challenge me to be more thorough
  • confront me with my inferior sides, such as laziness, procrastination, lack of consistency
  • Inspire me to clean up and get along with business in other areas of my life, just like “cleaning up” my body
  • challenge me and make me curious to learn more and understand more
  • ensure that I also make commitments in other areas of my life

Emotionally it is sometimes a bit difficult:

  • For the first few weeks I was often in a bad mood, I was walking on the tips of my toes
  • A couple of times I succumbed to the temptation of eating more than I was allowed that day, and then I was disappointed and a little angry with myself
  • Some existential doubts are still gnawing at me. Like: Why am I doing this? Isn’t this just belly-button staring?

The first benefits show up and let them feel

There is a clear visual result and from the inside it feels very different.

  • Round my waist and on my belly the underlying muscles become visible
  • I get more strength in my legs and mobility in my hip joints
  • I am more stable
  • In my yoga practice I feel the extra space and the lightness around my belly

There is, physically speaking, less ‘stuff in the way’.

The most important learning points

What I have learnt about myself going through this process:

  • The power of calorie management and monitoring the ratio of the three macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats)
  • All excess weight and fat can be traced back to “too much”. Systematically eating too much than you need in relation to your activity level
  • Even with a full stomach, just after a meal, I am still hungry for “something extra”. At that moment it is neither physical hunger nor a necessity. So what is it? What do I do with it?
  • I understand now that I generally drank too little water. Drinking more water is more beneficial than I thought

What I am not yet on good terms with

The whole protein story is still dubious. As part of these eight weeks of conscious fat loss, with the combination of calorie calculation and moderation plus the strength training, I am also expected to eat a lot of extra protein.
Is that really necessary? Or is that part of the famous protein myth? The myth that protein deficiency lurks around every corner. While the reality is, that the majority of westerners take in far too much protein … . To be continued.
I now play the game according to the rules of the challenge.

What the real challenge will be

Maintaining this beautiful result (which will only be better in 4 weeks) and to stay ahead of the seemingly random fluctuations of the past.
Counting the calories requires work and discipline. I find it very useful. It pushes you with your nose upon the facts, it’s done with guessing, fantasizing and wet fingerwork.
But maybe I won’t always be able to make time for it. So maybe I would like to evolve to a slightly more intuitive way of eating.
And still be able to maintain and master body weight and body constitution, without daily food tracking.

I realize this is about much more than just making a selfie of progress. It’s a picture of the inside as well as the outside. Changing your body equals changing your mind and vice versa.

A sweet spicy dish with seitan

Sweet and spicy seitan

Yoga Kitchen – Simple, healthy and vegan

Have you switched to a vegan lifestyle and feel nostalgic for something like “meat stew”?
Then you must consider seitan.
Seitan has been known in oriental and more specifically Japanese cuisine for centuries. It is made of gluten powder. Gluten is the protein found in wheat and in plenty of other cereals. There is nothing wrong with that in itself. It is simply a powerful plant based source of protein.
Today, it is available in many forms as a standard meat substitute in organic shops and increasingly in other shops as well. Pre-cut in slices, in pieces or minced.

“Stoverij” is a typical Belgian (Flemish) dish people traditionally prepare with beer.
Seitan lends itself very well to this. But you can really do anything with it.
Take a look at this example of an oriental style spicy-sweet preparation:

For about two servings of vegan stew:

  • 200 gr seitan “suprème” or ordinary seitan
  • 50 gr onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 150 gr red and/or yellow bell pepper
  • 3 full tablespoons red madras curry paste (or any other curry paste of your choice)
  • a teaspoon of cumin seed
  • a teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tamari, or sea salt to taste
  • 200 ml of water
  • One tablespoon of wheat flour or spelt to thicken the sauce. Corn starch (maizena) or kuzu will do the trick just as well.

Picture featuring a seitan dish and its ingredients

This is how to prepare:

Ready-to-use seitan does not require any pre-treatment. If it is a large piece of seitan, cut it into smaller pieces with a pair of scissors or a good knife.

  • Chop the onion and garlic and cut the sweet bell pepper into pieces
  • Let a tablespoon of olive oil warm up in a pressure cooker or in an ordinary pan over a low heat
  • First sprinkle the herbs in the warm oil. The oil absorbs the flavours.
  • Add onion and garlic and briefly fry.
  • Stir in the pieces of seitan and fry briefly.
  • Add the curry paste and the tamari and mix well.
  • Add the bell pepper and mix with the seitan
  • Finally pour in the water, close the pan


Preferably use a pressure cooker. This allows you to retain much more of the nutritional value. Also, the cooking process will take much less time and energy.
In a pressure cooker the whole thing is ready after about 15 minutes of simmering under steam pressure.
Count on 25 minutes for a classic pan.
Afterwards you can thicken the sauce by diluting the flour with some cooking liquid and then adding it to the preparation.
That’s it.
I guarantee you will be tempted to eat it all at once, it’s so tasty! The “suprème” version of seitan simply melts on the tongue.
Of course, nothing stops you from adding other vegetables or using other or additional herbs. Your taste is the norm.
Enjoy it fully !

Gluten or no gluten

Because more and more people are allergic to gluten, a phenomenon whose cause is exclusively attributed to gluten, eating wheat protein is more and more generally discouraged.

Personally, I think it is wrong. It is true that gluten, like other proteins, for example from animal origin, is relatively hard to digest. But if you are healthy and do not suffer from gluten intolerance, there is no reason to avoid it.

What is also true is that modern wheat has evolved genetically over the decades and is therefore no longer the same as the wheat that our ancestors knew. That may also have an impact on the digestibility of modern wheat. There are other cereals on sale in organic shops that are close to the structure and composition of the primeval wheat. Examples are kamut and spelt or emmer.

Thirdly, modern industrial bread is not as fair as the bread of yesteryear. For tasty, basic, fair bread you only need 4 ingredients:

  • flour (ground cereal)
  • water
  • yeast or leaven
  • (sea) salt

Modern industrial bread sometimes contains up to 20 different ingredients, mainly to make it leaven and ready to bake faster, and to influence its flavour and aroma.

Leaky gut

There is certainty that gluten, when it passes undigested or only partially undigested through the intestinal wall, cause damage further down the body, including allergic reactions.
On the other hand, there is no conclusive indication that the same gluten is also responsible for the deterioration and degeneration of the intestinal wall and the protective intestinal flora. For the latter may be due to other causes. Such as a diet that is too monotonous, with too many refined carbohydrates, too much added sugar, too many bad trans fats, too little fibre and, above all, industrially processed foods. The intestinal flora wears out, the intestinal wall slowly leaches out due to a lack of minerals and loses its protective effect: as a result too large openings appear. This is called “leaky gut” syndrome.

Picture of green protein smoothie

Green protein bomb

The big issue for people considering switching to plant-based food is: will I get enough protein?
Meat, fish and eggs are “easy” sources of protein, which have a relatively high protein content.
But ethically speaking, they are very tricky.

A plant-based diet has everything to provide us with sufficient protein, and is respectful of animals, people and the planet.

Let’s cite a few good sources:

  • peas, including soya, peas, and the dozens of varieties of beans and lentils
  • nuts and seeds
  • cereals (such as wheat, oats, rice, rye, barley, millet, amaranth …)
  • pseudocereals (such as quinoa, buckwheat)
  • vegetables (yes! Every vegetable contains protein)
  • algae and cyanobacteria such as spirulina
  • vegetable protein powder (of soy, rice, hemp, pea, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed or combinations thereof)

Anyone who takes a balanced and sufficiently varied plant diet will under no circumstances suffer from a protein deficiency.

And what about active sports and power training ?

But if you’re a strength athlete, or like me, have stepped into a fat loss challenge, along with purebred meat eaters and omnivores ? A challenge that expects you to eat almost twice as much protein as normal ? Up to more than 150 grams a day ?
How about that ?
Can you do that?
Can you provide meals and snacks that contain much more protein and at the same time keep your fats and carbohydrates under control?

Yes, it’s possible.
Let’s be honest: you’ll also need an addition of vegetable protein powder.
But that’s the same for meat and fish eaters. They only use concentrated milk protein, also called whey.

Here is an example of a vegetable “protein bomb”, which I prepared as a separate meal. With lots of greens, so also rich in vitamins and minerals.

These are the ingredients for the smoothie:

  • 200 gr peas
  • 70 gr spinach
  • 25 gr mixed vegetable protein powder of hemp, pumpkin and sunflower
  • 3 gr spirulina (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 3 gr chlorella (about 1 teaspoon)
  • about a tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 150 ml of unsweetened calcium-fortified soy milk

This was for the topping:

  • 70 gr fresh white or red currants
  • 100 gr soybean cottage cheese alternative (Provamel or Alpro)

Energy and macros

This one nutritious and filling meal with a total of almost 600 kcal contains no less than 49 grams of vegetable protein.
That’s a bunch!
The vegetable protein powder accounts for 14.6 grams of that. The rest comes from the other ingredients.
You could also use the same combination in smaller quantities as a nutritious “post-workout” snack.

Plant Power

I was relieved.
Yes, this kind of special diet for sports or fat loss it is also feasible with only vegetable ingredients.

It’s time we built a society on the power of plants instead of the misery of animals. Don’t you think so?