A Vegan Guide For a Gluten-Free & Soy-Free Diet

Yesterday one of our Ordinary Vegan facebook community members reached out to me for help. She wants to embrace a vegan diet, but cannot eat soy or wheat. She needed help finding the right foods to eat. I believe it is extremely easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein, vitamins and minerals even if you are gluten and soy free. Nearly all vegetables, beans, grains, nuts and seeds contain protein and the essential nutrients your body needs. I recommend including high protein grains, legumes, nuts, fruits and veggies to your diet everyday. There are many opinions on how much protein a person needs, but I suggest 50 grams a day for a woman and 60 for a man. You can always make adjustments to that. So here are some good rules to follow and a mix and match list of high protein foods to enjoy on a soy-free, gluten-free vegan diet.

Rule #1

Never believe anything on the front of a package. As we have all learned recently, natural does not mean organic.

Rule #2

Always read the nutritional facts and ingredients list. Some natural gluten-free products can be contaminated by wheat. Check that label to make sure.

Rule #3

Stay away from all processed foods even if they are vegan, soy and gluten-free. Processed foods are full of unknown ingredients and high levels of sodium.

Rule #4

Watch out for too much saturated unhealthy fat from cooking oils, vegan butters, processed crackers, bagels, cereals and tortillas even if they are vegan. Use veggie broth instead of oil when sauteing.

Rule #5

Mix and match high-protein foods everyday from the list below. Try to include sources of protein in every meal and snack. Get your vitamins and minerals from leafy greens, veggies and fruits. ps The wonderful thing about a plant-based diet, you can eat all the natural foods you want without counting calories.

LIST OF HIGH PROTEIN, SOY-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE FOODS

LEGUMES (one cup)

BAKED BEANS ….12.2 grams of protein

BLACK BEANS ….15.2 grams of protein

CHICKPEAS………11.9 grams of protein

KIDNEY BEANS….15.4 grams of protein

LENTILS…………..17.9 grams of protein

LIMA BEANS……..14.7 grams of protein

NAVY BEANS…….15.8 grams of protein

DRIED PEAS……….8.6 grams of protein

PINTO BEANS……14.0 grams of protein

SPLIT PEAS……….16.4 grams of protein

BLACK-EYED PEAS…11 grams of protein

WHOLE GRAINS  (one cup cooked)

QUINOA………………..8 grams of protein

BROWN RICE……..5 grams of protein

AMARANTH…………9 grams of protein

BUCKWHEAT BERRIES…10 grams of protein

MILLET………………6 grams of protein

POLENTA………….5 grams of protein

POPCORN (one ounce)….3 grams of protein

SORGHUM…………10 grams of protein

WILD RICE…………..7 grams of protein (*Bob’s Red Mill makes many gluten-free grains and available on-line)

SEEDS AND NUTS (1/4 CUP)

ALMONDS………………….8 grams protein

CASHEWS…………………5 grams protein

WALNUTS…………………5 grams protein

PISTACHIOS……………..6 grams protein

PINE NUTS……………….4.5 grams protein

SUNFLOWER SEEDS….6 grams protein

PUMPKIN SEEDS……….3 grams protein

VEGETABLES (1 CUP)

SPINACH………………….5 grams protein

BROCCOLI……………….4 grams protein

PEAS………………………..9 grams protein

POTATO (MED)……….4 grams of protein

CORN……………………..5 grams of protein

KALE………………………2.5 grams of protein

SWEET POTATO……4 grams of protein

BRUSSEL SPROUTS….4 grams of protein

SWISS CHARD……..3.4 grams of protein

ASPARAGUS………..4.6 grams of protein (Eat all and any veggies you want)

FRUITS

APPLES, BANANAS, ORANGES & STRAWBERRIES are packed with essential vitamins and approximately .5-1 gram of protein.

DRIED FRUITS

FIGS (10 dried)………….5.7 grams of protein

RAISINS……………………4.8 grams of protein

NOODLES

ASIAN NOODLES are delicious and mostly gluten-free. They are made from ingredients like acorns, mung beans and sweet potatoes. Rice noodles are made from rice flour. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat.

PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS (always check with your doctor and have blood tests to check for deficiencies)

B-12 SUPPLEMENT IRON SUPPLEMENT PROTEIN SHAKES –  I personally forgo the pills and powders and consume fresh whole foods instead, but here are many plant-based, gluten and soy free nutritional powders you can buy.

FORTIFIED FOODS

ALMOND MILK (one cup)………………………1.5 grams of protein

COCONUT MILK (one cup)……………………1 gram of protein

TIPS

1. Use vinegars on greens and nutritional yeast on popcorn to add flavor.

2. Hummus is a wonderful high-protein snack. Serve with carrots, cucumbers,  cherry tomatoes or spread on pita bread with cucumbers & sprouts.

3. Make lots of salads and top with high protein nuts.

4. Use frozen fruits for topping almond milk yogurt, oatmeal or for smoothies.

5. Make a vegan, gluten-free banana bread for quick and easy snacking.

6. Use organic maple syrup as a sweetener. Delicious on baked sweet potatoes.

7. When you crave ice cream – try some almond milk ice cream. Equally as delicious.

8. Call ahead to restaurants to make sure they have gluten-free, vegan meals.

9. If you live in an area where stores aren’t carrying many gluten-free, vegan products and grains, shop on-line for products.

10.When someone asks what you want for xmas, tell them gift certificates to plant-based stores like Whole Foods or Bob’s Red Mill online store.

Hope  this information helps our new vegans on-board and anyone with food allergies. Please share this list with everybody you know, and encourage them to embrace a plant-based diet for the planet, for the animals and most importantly for their health.

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Comments

  1. Your list overall is good. I would add that many asian noodles DO contain wheat flour-soba noodles are often mostly wheat flour with a small amount of buckwheat so only buy them if they say 100% buckwheat. Ramen, udon, and many others are wheat, so always read the ingredients!

    • Yes, so true! It’s not easy finding wheat free sobo or Asian noodles. When you look at the majority of their labels, you will find wheat flour (not even whole wheat, in most cases) is the first ingredient, buckwheat is second.

    • Check out pancit bihon noodles at the asian market (used in Filipino pancit). There are two different kinds that I use. One is made of rice and corn starch and the other is made of mung bean and potato starch. Both of them are super yummy. I soak them in water for a bit. I sautee veggies with a little garlic. I then toss them in wet and add a little more water and a sprinkle of salt. It’s a stir-fry without the soy sauce, gluten packed noodles, and meat. :-)

  2. Good job on this post. Very informative. Mahalo!

  3. Thank you very much for sharing some great and useful information. I am a vegan, and I find it nice to know that there are health-conscious bloggers like you. Keep em coming!

  4. Love this post! I too am sensitive to gluten and soy, as well as trying to adopt a plant based diet. One small concern about your Whole Grain list. Celiac & Gluten sensitivity means no wheat, barley or, rye. You have barley is on your list!

  5. Thank you!! I have been vegan for nearly a year now, and I am soy intolerant. It gets difficult to figure out what to eat occasionally, but finding posts like this make things that much easier! My friend has celiac disease and has been vegan for about 3 years now, so I’ll also pass this along to her!

    • Hi Alex: I think many people are surprised that they can be vegan and not eat soy. I only eat it a few times a month and could easily go without it. Thanks for the feedback and Happy New Year!

  6. Thanks for helping us out! Just wanted to be sure to point out that if one eats wheat-free, the grains above are okay. If one is gluten-free, as a celiac must be, the spelt, barley, and kamut are also out. Also rye would be and regular oats as they get contaminated with gluten during processing. Gluten-free oats are okay though.

  7. Nicholas says:

    Thank you for this handy list – but must warn that both BARLEY and KAMUT are NOT gluten free.

    • Nancy M says:

      Thanks for the heads up Nicholas – You inspired me to do some more research and you are correct. They are coming off the list.

  8. I’m in exactly the same boat – gluten-free, soy-free, peanut-free, (gmo-free) vegan. And I thought your post was awesome. I do need to tell you that spelt does contain gluten. It’s not gluten-free. But other than that – great post!

  9. Just so you know…..I bought several packages of Asian noodles, soba noodles made with buckwheat and one of the ingredients is wheat , so they have gluten. I could not find soba noodles made 100% of buckwheat . Also if you eat hummus with pita bread , the bread has gluten unless it says gluten free.

    • Wheat flour is a major source of gluten, so yes most traditional pita bread made from wheat flour are not low in gluten. You can replace the soba noodles for other kinds of Asian noodles like acorn noodles, harusame, kelp noodles, buckwheat vermicelli, rice noodles, tapioca noodles and sweet potato noodles. Always check the ingredients. Thanks for the info Miri!

  10. I have been struggling with many food allergies. I have celiac and besides wheat I am also allergic to all stone fruits ( peaches, cherries, plums, apricots, nectarines, etc… Also apples, pears and raw onions). I can only have soy in very small doses and many other foods cause severe inflammatory response in my body. Let’s just say it can be overwhelming. I am so grateful for wonderful people like you who take the time to share their knowledge with others. Thank you!

    • Jen, have you riled out a systematic Candida infection? It can cause many food allergies and maladies in the body. You do not need a doctor to diagnose yourself either. What I basically did was stay away from high sugar fruits, breads, dried fruit and beans for 1 month, and ate steamed protein ( vegan obviously for this site), raw and cooked veggies, herbal teas or water ( I did cheat with coffee and tea no sugar, stevia instead). Also use grapefruit seed extract tabs and olive leaf capsules (if your not allergic to them) as candida and fungal killers. After a month, start testing certain foods back in to see how you react., and add probiotics back in. This may just do the trick…..does not reverse gluten sensitivity or soy sensitivity though.

  11. love your articles and recipes !!!! merci…day 696 for me ;)

  12. I’m just now trying to figure out how to get enough daily protein w/o soy or wheat. I’m reading the above which states that there is 18 grams of protein per cooked cup of quinoa. Every other resource I have found says there is 8 grams. (Also quinoa is not a grain, it’s a seed). I’m very interested in switching to vegan, at least for much of the week, but I have problems absorbing protein so…which is it? 18 grams, or 8?

    • Hi Julie – Thanks for stoping by and congratulations on your goal to switching to a more compassionate diet. Quinoa is the seed of the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant. It is frequently called a grain because it is used and cooked like one and is often called an “Ancient Grain”. Since it is recognized as a grain, I put it on the grain list, but any way you look at it, it is a gluten-free super seed grain with lots of protein.

      As far as the protein amount goes, I used the amount of protein in an uncooked cup of quinoa instead of cooked. So a cup of cooked quinoa is 8 grams of protein and a cup of uncooked quinoa is 24 grams.

      Hope that helps and Happy New Year!

  13. Hey there! Great list! I’m writing a blog post on soy-free vegan protein options soon and was wondering if you’d mind if I referenced your list. Of course, all research credit would be given to you. Can I ask where you found the source for these numbers? When I tried researching online, I got mixed results.

    Thanks!

    • Yes Shannon you can use the list and link back to this site. I did a lot of research to come up with correct numbers and I agree on the mixed results on the web. Thanks for being part of our community!

  14. BrittanyDavid says:

    This is SO helpful. I am allergic to soy, grains (except buckwheat and millet), dairy, honey, etc. etc. I am at my wits end of how to remain vegan and stay away from animals, when my diet is so restricted. You have just given me hope!

  15. I’m with you on almost everything you wrote about in this post. My only bone of contention is where you warn against saturated fat. Actually saturated fat from foods like avocado, walnuts, and coconut are very beneficial to you, considering your body needs them for healthy function of the liver and other organs.

    In years past saturated fat has gotten a bad wrap because it was said to cause heart disease by raising cholesterol, but that not true. Cholesterol is produced in the body to heal internal wounds, particularly in the heart. These little cuts are not caused by saturated fat from healthy sources. They are caused by free radicals that are floating around in the body from consumption of grains (particularly wheat, rye, and barley), dairy, soy, and corn. So eat the saturated fat daily as long as you’re getting it from quality sources like the avocados, walnuts, and coconut. You’ll reap the benefits, I promise!

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