Essential Amino Acids

Please skip this if you’re already in the know

As the blog is also for meat-eaters who want to understand veggie cooking here goes, in a nutshell

Proteins are made up of amino acids arranged in chains

There are 20 amino acids which can be combined to make hundreds and thousands of proteins

The body is unable to synthesize nine essential amino acids and these must be present in our diet

Vegetable sources are rich in essential amino acids BUT they are usually NOT present in the same plant. So to get full protein you have to combine foodstuffs


  • a grain plus a pulse = complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids


Here are a couple of examples

  • beans and rice – a staple of the Caribean and Central America
  • daal with chapati – a staple in India
  • Corn tortillas with black beans – a staple in Mexico and Guatemala

Eggs and dairy provide complete protein

The quinoa family (quinoa, amaranth and others) & soy are the only known plant sources providing all 9 essential amino acids


So now you can cook any vegetarian meal and get all the protein you need

This brings us neatly to our collection of taster dishes to introduce Spanish tapas as a complete and balanced meal

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