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Complementary Proteins

Friday, June 07, 2013

I fixed a pot of black eyed peas the other day - soaked them earlier and they cooked in the crockpot all night long and were basically perfect today. I just needed to season them - put in about a tablespoon of ghee for the entire crockpot full (I probably have 3-4 quarts of beans in it, all cooked and yummy), shook in some of that Tony C .... someone's creole seasoning, comes in a green canister but I'm too lazy to go bring it here and type in the name... and some sea salt.

Wasn't sure if I wanted to try to make a Hoppin' John kind of thing but didn't feel like messing with making rice before going to my Tupperware Party (I know, right? quaint! was a fun "retro" look too.). Looking at cupboard, I decided to cook up a mess of canned turnip greens, a can of yellow hominy, and a can of tomato paste, and about a teaspoon of Bragg's liquid aminoes for extra seasoning.

I thought that way, my son could have some beans by themselves and skip the veggies if he didn't want to try it (but I wouldn't be "ruining" the entire crockpot - plus, I wasn't really sure how the combination would actually taste.).

My husband got home from work just in time for me to suggest that he could whip up a pan of his cornbread (he cooks it in his mama's old square cast iron skillet, makes the BEST. CORNBREAD. EVER!).

I got home and my little bowl of beans really took the edge off and kept me from going face down in the homemade salsa and beefy quezo (sp?) cheese dip that the Tupperware Lady made with her various Tupper products (okay alright already, I'm not advertising Tupperware, it was just part of the day's events.). But I wanted to try his cornbread and try the veggies with the beans. I took just a tiny slice of cornbread (1" wide by 2" long, maybe more like 3/4" wide.), drizzled the turnip greens/hominy/tomato sauce combo on top and topped it with a scant serving spoon full of the beans, into my little tiny dessert bowl (way smaller than the soup/cereal bowl). Ahhh it was all so satisfying, as if I'd had a slab of meat, but there's no meat in it (oops, well a couple packets of the chicken broth concentrate that comes in little mylar type squeeze packages inside of a cardboard box, which I had put into the black eyed bean broth earlier in the day.).

That made me wonder if there was a "protein combination calculator" where one could plug in the vegetarian food options they had eaten and it would tally up the proteins and the various amino acids and tell you how much protein you had actually consumed, and how many of which amino acids you actually got, so you'd know what to eat to balance out the amino acids you might be "low" in (Keep in mind, hominy is a type of corn, and of course, cornbread is made with ummm corn meal, so I really did have some complementary protein going on there.).

Anyway, I found these links, will go back and finish reading them. I don't think they actually demonstrate what I have in mind, so far as an online interactive protein calculator counter thingamajigger dealie whopper whatchacall it...
Now this one has some interesting charts, and a Calorie & Protein Calculator - not quite what I visualized, but looks handy to have it around. Just plug in the age and weight and height, gender, body fat, activity level and while you are changing it, the box in the right changes, with little green highlight bar to illustrate the energy needs at the level of activity you are at. This makes it handy to play little "what if"... as in, how much protein would I need at this age, weight, etc if I increased my activity level for the week. Yea, I think I'll keep this website...

(EDITED: WOW this website just goes on and on - basically the VEGETABLES themselves are all COMPLETE proteins. He's got this chart saying it, and it's evidently online from the USDA website. He has a list showing many common vegetables - corn, green peppers, pinto beans, cucumbers, oatmeal, rice, tomatoes, lettuce, potatoes, and they EACH have ALL of the Amino Acids!

Then he launches into a discussion about how the "myth" of incomplete proteins can be traced to the book "Diet for a Small Planet" published in 1971 by Frances Moore-Lappé (which I have heard of forever but have yet to actually read.).

WOW. Well the website is very long, very detailed, very interesting. I'm not even done reading it.

Okay, editing over, back to the original blog material... I'm definitely keeping this website!}

Has interesting charts with "Group A" and "Group B" - and what amino acids each group is low you can see the relationship to each other. Basically -

Group A: [Deficient in lysine. High in methionine and cysteine.]
Grains: barley, buckwheat, cornmeal, oats, rice, rye, wheat.
Nuts and seeds: pumpkin, sesame, sunflower

Group B: [Deficient in methionine and cysteine. High in lysine.]
Legumes: beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas, peanuts, soybeans

Also gets into a discussion of Complementary Protein Powders - one based on pea protein and one on rice protein. Interesting.javascript:void(0)
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A search for Proteins Complementary etc will bring up gobs more so who knows, maybe I'll find the calculator that I'm wishing for eventually. Not gonna have time to get to them all today!

But... I should sleep pretty good tonight!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Well, not being a vegetarian, I guess I don't worry about complete proteins too much, but I do have Bragg's Amino Acid spray which I use to add amino acids-just in case I'm not getting enough!
    1782 days ago
  • MJ7DM33
    1782 days ago
    As a long time vegetarian who grew up in the '70s, I have a copy of Small Planet and worried about "complete proteins" for years. I still have my original Small Planet but I don't worry about "complete proteins".

    A more recent book, shows that the author revised her beliefs. The more recent info confirms what you found. There is quite a bit of protein in LOTS of veggie foods. Complete proteins do NOT have to be combined in EACH meal --- although they most likely will be if you have some variety in that meal. You get complete protein by mixing up some traditional meals --- like rice and beans --- over the course of a day's meals.
    1782 days ago
  • CARMEN327
    Interesting! I know that "complementary pairs" are often found in traditional foods all over the world, so you will run into them more often than not. Great news about vegetables being full proteins. Thank you!
    1782 days ago
    Wow! Interesting information and thanks for sharing. HUGS!
    1782 days ago
  • 123ELAINE456
    Enjoy the Beans and Corn Bread. God Blessings to You and Everyone. Have a Delightful Day. Take Care. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    1783 days ago
    so maybe my red beans and rice is a good meal instead of a treat meal. nice to know.
    1783 days ago
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