Protein plays an incredibly important role in our lives and bodies: it helps repair cells, builds tissues, promotes muscle growth, and takes part in many vital metabolic processes. It can be tricky to find ways of getting enough protein, especially for those on a plant-based diet. Here are some of my favorite snacks and meals full of plant-based protein to make sure I’m fueling my body and mind—made from my dorm!

(Disclaimer: I use the word “plant-based” to loosely describe my diet, which excludes red meat and dairy products, but I’ve used egg whites for one of the recipes. The egg whites are totally optional to the recipe, so please don’t let that discourage you if you don’t consume eggs!)

1. Deconstructed Oatmeal Bars

I usually have a bowl of rolled oats, frozen blueberries, and a generous dollop of peanut butter after I finish a bowl of oatmeal and realize I want more, but don’t feel like cooking some more oatmeal again. This ROFBPB (rolled-oats-frozen-blueberries-peanut-butter) bowl is a lot like a deconstructed granola or oatmeal bar— but you get to eat it in a bowl with a spoon! The carbs and fiber from the rolled oats and blueberries with the fats and protein in the peanut butter will make for a simple-yet-satisfying snack.

I love the ROFBPB because it’s the peak of lazy dorm meals, but if you want to make a no-spoon, snack-for-later version of it, you can roll up the oats, peanut butter, and frozen blueberries to make energy ball bites!

Ingredients: rolled oats, frozen blueberries, peanut butter

Appliances needed: freezer 

Isabelle Lee

2. Toast and Toppings

I love getting creative with my toasts, but I usually end up with a good layer of nut butter as a foundation for fruits, nuts, and seeds. I especially love sprouted bread for its increased protein, fiber, and vitamin content. Not to mention, it's delicious!

Peanut butter, banana, and a sprinkle of chia seeds is a wonderful combination for a sweet, filling, meal. If I'm craving something extra, I love creating a protein-rich yogurt topping to go along with it! I add some plant-based yogurt (I opt for the Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Yogurt) and two scoops of plant-based protein powder (I’m a fan of the Aloha Chocolate Protein Powder) to a bowl and mix until it reaches an icing-like consistency.

Sometimes, I’ll throw in some frozen blueberries into the protein yogurt, which freezes some parts of the yogurt and makes it almost like frozen yogurt!

Ingredients: sprouted sliced bread, banana, chia seeds, plant-based yogurt, plant-based protein powder, frozen blueberries

Appliances: freezer, fridge

Isabelle Lee
Isabelle Lee

3. A Classic Take

Sometimes, I know my days are too busy for me to catch the dining hall at the right times, but that doesn’t mean I skip my lunch!

I like to go for a simple, classic, old-school PB&J sandwich, except I use raspberry preserves instead of jelly (PB&P). The sweetness from the raspberry preserves adds some pep to the middle of my day, and that glucose is also a speedy source of energy. Sometimes, I’ll also add in a sprinkle of chia seeds to increase my fiber intake.

Ingredients: sprouted sliced bread, peanut butter, raspberry preserves

Appliances: N/A

Isabelle Lee

4. Overnight Oats

I wholeheartedly love the entire experience of overnight oats: making it the night before and excitedly thinking about how delicious it’s going to be the next morning, and waking up next morning remembering that there’s a delicious bowl of overnight oats waiting in the fridge. I love overnight oats for busy mornings, since all I have to do is take it out of the fridge and grab a spoon.

I like to add rolled oats, almond milk, and chia seeds for the base. I’m a huge fan of protein, so I also add in two full scoops of plant-based protein powder. For my toppings, I add in a medley of frozen kale, cherries, and berries for the antioxidants and vitamins. At this point, the bowl of overnight oats rests in the fridge for a night. Finally, a generous spoonful of peanut butter is added in the morning.

Ingredients: rolled oats, almond milk, chia seeds, frozen kale, frozen cherries, frozen berries, peanut butter

Appliances: fridge, freezer

Isabelle Lee

5. Daylight Oats

If you’re a fan of neither cold nor gooey oats, then this one’s for you. Daylight oats are basically the same thing as overnight oats, but just require a little bit more time and are eaten right away, which is why I love to make them for a chill morning.

It’s easy to sneak in extra protein for daylight oats: I just pour in some liquid egg whites while the oats are cooking on the stovetop. I still like to add in my plant-based protein powder for extra protein.

Getting creative with oatmeal toppings is always lots of fun, but granola is always a fun and delicious option and also adds some delightful crunchiness to the bowl.

Ingredients: rolled oats, almond milk, chia seeds, frozen kale, frozen cherries, frozen berries, peanut butter, liquid egg whites, granola

Appliances: freezer, stovetop

Isabelle Lee