Different strokes for different folks — true in all aspects of life and especially so when it comes to food. Whatever your dietary path, one thing’s for sure: you need quality protein — whether from a plant or an animal — for optimum health. So let’s talk great tasting, protein-packed recipes designed to satisfy a variety of tastes and preferences.
Protein can be derived from many sources:
Cheese and other dairy products
Beans and peas, including soy
Nuts and seeds
You can combine two sources in a dish, too. For example, Veggie-Packed Meatloaf with Quinoa opens in a new tab delivers protein from lean turkey and whole grain quinoa – 21 grams of protein per serving. Quick Chicken and Chickpea Caesar Salad opens in a new tab gets its protein from chicken and garbanzo beans — 18 grams of protein per serving.
Whatever your dietary preference, you’ll find some protein-centered recipes below to suit our needs and tastebuds. Click through to the recipes to see the grams of protein per serving in our Nutritional Info.
Seafood lovers will appreciate King Crab Legs with Spicy Garlic Oil opens in a new tab, great for a party or an appetizer. Tangerine-Roasted Tuna with Green Olives opens in a new tab can be served over spaghetti squash or with roasted cauliflower mash for a wonderful meal. Lemon-Marinated Fish with Onions and Carrots opens in a new tab is inspired by a similar dish made in Senegal and can be served over baked or roasted potatoes instead of couscous.
“Surf and Turf” doesn’t get any better than Creamy Cajun Shrimp and Steak Linguine opens in a new tab. If desired, substitute the cream with non-dairy milk or a little Cashew Sour Cream opens in a new tab.
For a lasting, protein-packed breakfast, Mushroom and Spinach Breakfast Puffs opens in a new tab is a great idea and perfect for weekends. If desired, unsweetened almondmilk can replace dairy milk, and coconut or extra-virgin olive oil can replace butter. Another breakfast idea is Cauliflower and Parsley Omelet for Two opens in a new tab. Cheese is optional. If desired, serve with almond flour muffins opens in a new tab in place of toast.
Crock-pot recipes are in high demand due to busy schedules. Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Stew opens in a new tab is flavored with red wine and pearl onions and Slow Cooker Cinnamon Pot Roast opens in a new tab has a wonderful cinnamon essence with fresh herbs.
Protein from plants is most concentrated in the form of soy beans and other legumes. Grains, nuts and seeds also contribute protein in varying amounts. Combining legumes with whole grains forms a complete protein. Adding nuts and seeds, cheese or yogurt gives the dish an extra boost. Lentil Curry with Cashews and Yogurt opens in a new tab is a good example. These recipes pack plenty of pure plant-protein:
Sonoma Tofu Salad opens in a new tab is made with white beans, pecans and tofu. Serve with crusty sprouted whole grain bread!
Creamy Tahini and Broccoli Pasta opens in a new tab gets protein from tahini and garbanzo beans. Don’t forget the fresh green salad.
Lentil Sloppy Joes opens in a new tab are super filling and satisfying on a whole grain bun or stuffed into tortillas or whole grain pita bread.
Best Black Beans Ever opens in a new tab is flavored with white wine and bay leaves. Serve over brown rice, quinoa or millet.
With layers of sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and tempeh this Tempeh Rueben opens in a new tab is a hearty, protein-packed sandwich that you’ll return to often. If desired, omit the cheese or replace with your favorite non-dairy alternative.
Winter Four-Bean Salad opens in a new tab uses lentils, edamame, kidney beans and cannellini beans for a bright, protein-packed winter side.
Remember, you can boost your protein intake with one of our many varieties of protein powders, too. We have versions made from whey (dairy-based), egg, pea protein, hemp or rice protein. Ask about them in our Whole Body Department.
What’s your protein of choice? Got an idea or a recipe? Let me know.