Originally Posted by tpkyteroo luebeck
Iron - in your case, I would get a caste iron pan and cook in it.
Good iron sources are
blackstrap molasses (2 TB, 7.2mg)
soybeans (1 cup, 8.8 mg)
lentils (1 cup, 6.6 mg)
chickpeas (1 cup, 4.7 mg)
1 cup, 4.0+mg found in:
tempeh, lima beans, black-eyes peas, swiss chard.
My source is vrg.org
Welcome and Best Wishes!
I eat many of these foods and they are my daily staples. I use blackstrap molasses in hot cereals, in stir fry sauces, in baked breads, in smoothies. I average about 1.5 cups of beans each day. I also average about three or four cups of leafy greens each day, which are also high in iron, calcium (some low oxalate ones like collards, bok choy, kale), and some protein. I had my hemoglobin checked along with other routine blood work at five years vegan and it was 13.7 (smack in the middle of normal range).
I would also mention that adding a concentrated source of vitamin C (example: strawberries in a leafy green smoothie; or red bell peppers in a stir fry with beans; or a fresh orange as a side dish with scrambled tofu) helps increase absorption of plant based nonheme iron. Avoid drinking coffee while eating a meal high in iron also, to maximize absorption.
A meal made up of brown rice (at least a cup), some beans, a cup of steamed broccoli or kale, and some spices or sauce (I like coconut milk, ginger, and curry powder simmered with this) will add up to quite a bit of protein and iron, since all of the foods I mentioned have some protein in them. Likewise, a sandwich made up of whole wheat bread, a banana, and peanut butter, along with a glass of soy milk and a salad on the side (with a variety of leafy greens, tahini based dressing, bell pepper etc) will add up to a good bit of protein as well (an average slice of whole wheat bread has about 3 to 4 grams of protein; 2 tablespoons of peanut butter have about 8 grams of protein; a glass of soy milk has 4 to 8 grams of protein depending on the brand). If you average 20 grams of protein per meal (as the above examples show) and eat three meals a day that is about 60 grams of protein per day which is a fair amount. A snack of roasted pumpkin seeds and raisins, or hummus and raw veggies, or a bowl of mashed sweet potato, black beans, and fresh pineapple for example, can add more protein to that daily total. If you are into hardcore weight lifting or still feel you need more protein, some commercial plant "meats" as someone else mentioned, or homemade seitan (made up of vital wheat gluten), or plant protein powders are more concentrated sources of plant protein that can give you that edge.
Personally I find the idea of breeding insects to feed a large population of people and animals a little disturbing. Insects are already used in many food products and food dyes, and the process to make them into these products is not pleasant. :/ I just don't see a need to continue to exploit animals for food and other products when plants can provide what we need, and simple supplements like B12 can fill in the few gaps.