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Golf Balls & Eggs: What's Missing From my Plate?

Updated on June 12, 2015

Vegetables... Gross!

Growing up dinnertime could go from peaceful to World War 3 as soon as one dish was set on the table. Vegetables! “Blech!” “Aww Mom!” “I HATE those!” – you know how it is. Mom would battle with each one of us, and the harder we fought her the more we got served on our plate. Now she laughs at me when I tell her how much I miss eating vegetables.


Before the surgery, as we all know, I could eat whatever I wanted. Vegetables were a pleasant side dish, a refreshing cold meal on a hot day, or a topping for my sandwich. After… well that all changed!


A carnivore, meaning 'meat eater' (Latin, caro meaning 'meat' or 'flesh' and vorare meaning 'to devour'), is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of animal.



So what do we all eat once we are back on solid food after having the surgery? Protein!

What’s the highest source of protein? Meat! Fish, Chicken, Beef (after the standard six month wait of course) … Yummy!

Eggs for breakfast. Tuna for lunch. Chicken for dinner… Repeat

At first it’s great! You start by altering your cooking methods and then playing with a variety of spices and flavors. Eventually you start searching for something different, something new. But, inevitably, you realize that something is missing. ‘What could it possibly be?’ you wonder. Oh yeah… Vegetables!


An omnivore is an animal whose species normally derives its energy and nutrients from a diet consisting of a variety of food sources that may include plants, animals, algae, fungi and bacteria.



SO I finally began to realize that I was actually MISSING my veggies. (This was when Mom got to smile with that knowing ‘mom’ smile) But what could I do? In the nutrition class they told us that eating vegetables and protein together would push the protein through faster and lessen the amount of protein that was digested. To add to that problem vegetables just take up valuable space with little or no protein value! What to do?

This is when trial and error will take over. I started with an easily digestible protein, like fish and seafood, and kept the ratio of protein to vegetable high in favor of the protein. From there, based on how I felt and how everything went through my system, I started to play around with the protein to veggie ratio. By playing around with it I was able to find my perfect ratio that would allow me to have my veggies and my protein too. One of my favorites is hot chicken on a cold salad – Yum!

Another way to incorporate more vegetables and less meat is found below in the recipe for Veggie Meatloaf Cupcakes.


A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example foliage, for the main component of its diet. It is derived from the Latin herba meaning a small plant or herb, and vora, from vorare, to eat or devour.



Now there was a point in my post-surgery life when I contemplated going vegetarian because I was so tired of eating meat. I swear I never thought that day would come, but come it did and mind-blown I was. Problem was the only protein that I knew of that wasn’t meat was cheese and beans. Well, this was a problem. I am Lactose Intolerant (this means my body can’t process dairy well) so dairy is out as a protein source. As for beans… yeah, not gonna happen outside of the house. I am not a musically inclined person but give me some beans and I’ll play you a pretty little tune!

So what to do? Research!

I went online and looked for high protein non-meat food sources. What did I find?

Tofu: Average Protein 8g for 3oz

Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. Basically on its own it has little or no flavor so it has to be spiced or flavored by something. The firmer the block the higher the protein.

TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein): Average Protein 12g for ¼ cup

Textured or texturized vegetable protein (TVP), also known as textured soy protein (TSP), soy meat, or soya chunks is a defatted soy flour product, a by-product of extracting soybean oil. You can buy in little granular pieces or in bigger nugget size pieces. Sometimes it will come flavored as beef or chicken but usually it is unflavored. Simply rehydrate it and use it as you would any ground meat.

Tempeh: Average Protein 16g for 3oz

Tempeh is a traditional soy product originally made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, similar to a very firm vegetarian burger patty. Most of the time it comes already flavored.

Seitan: Average Protein 18g for 3oz

Wheat gluten, also called seitan, wheat meat, gluten meat, or simply gluten, is a food made from gluten, the main protein of wheat. It is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch granules have been removed, leaving the sticky insoluble gluten as an elastic mass which is then cooked before being eaten. Sounds nasty I know but having had it homemade and cooked into a rib style dinner I can tell you, while it is a little on the chewy/spongey side, when done right it is delicious!

Peanut Butter: Average Protein 8g for 2tbsp

We all know what this is but just in case… Peanut butter is a food paste made primarily from ground dry roasted peanuts. Now after comparing labels I found that the lower the fat content on the peanut butter the higher the protein count was. However the sugar levels tend to go up the more the fat goes down.

Nut Butter: Average Protein 2-4g for 1tbsp

Very similar to Peanut Butter. A nut butter is a spreadable foodstuff made by grinding nuts into a paste. This can come in a variety of different nuts like almond, cashew, soybean, hazelnut. However, over all, the protein level is lower than regular peanut butter.

Veggie Meatloaf Cupcakes

No one will know you've slipped a little veggie's in the mix!

Cast your vote for Veggie Meatloaf Cupcakes

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 50 min
Yields: 12 servings


  • 1 cup TVP, granules
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and shredded
  • 1 packet dry french onion soup mix
  • 2 egg
  • 1 cup quick cooking oatmeal, plain
  • 4 large russet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 2 tbsp margarine
  • salt & pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Bring beef stock to a boil in a small sauce pan with lid. Add TVP to stock cover with lid and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Remove lid and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Prepare carrot, onion, sweet potato as needed.
  4. Combine beef, TVP, carrot, onion, sweet potato, egg, dry soup mix, and oatmeal in a bowl. Mix thoroughly (using hands to squeeze it together works best)
  5. divide mixture evenly among the 12 cups of a greased standard sized muffin tin.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until internal temperature comes to 165 degrees.
  7. Meanwhile peel and chop russet potatoes. place in a large pot and more than cover potatoes with water. Salt the water if desired. Bring to a boil and allow to cook until potato chunks are fork tender.
  8. drain and place into a clean mixing bowl. Mash potatoes, mixing in the milk and butter as doing so. Season to taste.
  9. When veggie meatloaf cupcakes are done, carefully remove them from the muffin tin and place on a serving platter. Using the method of your choice (see tip) divide the mashed potato evenly among the 12 cupcakes.
  10. Serve and Enjoy!


When topping the cupcake with the mashed potatoes there are several options...

  • Pastry Bag and Piping Tip - this will give it a proffessional bakery look
  • Ice Cream Scoop - this makes for a rounded edge and is the easiest to do
  • Spoon or Knife - just slather it on for a 'home-frosted' look

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1
Calories 224
Calories from Fat72
% Daily Value *
Fat 8 g12%
Carbohydrates 23 g8%
Sugar 4 g
Fiber 4 g16%
Protein 15 g30%
Cholesterol 56 mg19%
Sodium 550 mg23%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


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