Cooking with plant based protein

Cooking with plant based protein

How much protein do we need?

The nutrient reference values of the Australian and New Zealand government give the following averages for adults.

  • 0.75 g/kg for women
  • 0.84 g/kg for men

There are varying amounts for children, pregnant women and older people.

Protein in normal foods

There's protein in all plant based foods. There are varying amounts of course, but here are some commonly eaten foods and the amount of protein in them according to Food Standards Australia/New Zealand.

For comparison MacDonalds Australia lists a Big Mac as having 12g of protein per 100g.


Food Protein per 100g
Seaweed/Nori 46.7g
Wholemeal Bread with Seeds 16.5g
Peanuts 25.1g
Broccoli 5.7g
Pasta 6.9g
Muesli 16.2g
Hummous 6.7g
Mixed Seeds 29g
Cashew nuts 17.3g

Nuts, seeds, all good sources of protein.

Protein deficiency rare in people getting enough calories.

High protein diets can be dangerous.


Domesticated 1100BC in China.


Food Protein per 100g
Edamame 11g
Soya flour 46.5g
Tofu 17.3g

Tofu first recorded around 2000 years ago in China.

Possibly spread with Buddhism as important source of protein in East Asian diet.

Variety of types according to water content and preparation.

  • Extra soft
  • Soft, Silken (has soft and firm varieties)
  • Firm
  • Frozen - hardens texture
  • Pressed
  • Smoked
  • Marinated
  • fried


23.2g per 100g.

First recorded in Indonesia in the early 1800s.

Cultured and fermented soy.


12g per 100g

Invented in the 1960s.

Usually made from Soy.




Food Protein per 100g
Kidney bean 7.9
Red lentil 7.7
Chickpea 6.3

Different types of lentils. Australia one of the world’s leading producers.

One of the first crops domesticated, between 9500 - 13000 years ago.

100g of lentils rich source of nutrients including folate (120% DV), thiamin (76% DV), pantothenic acid (43% DV), vitamin B6 (42% DV), phosphorus (40% DV), iron (50% DV) and zinc (35%).


Vital wheat gluten flour up to 74.9g per 100g.

First recorded in 600Bc in China, in the west in the 1700s.

Used in products such as Tofurky, Sanitarium.


  • Food Standards Australia/New Zealand.
  • USDA