Five Easy Ways To Add Protein To Your MealPresident's Blog
As Canada’s Food Guide suggests, it’s important to ensure that you fill a quarter of your plate with protein at every meal. Many people hear the word ‘protein’ and immediately think of a nice juicy steak (yum). But that’s not the only way to fill your plate! Here are five protein-rich foods that I often put on my plate. These are all complete proteins, which means they carry all of the amino acids that your body requires for proper functioning.
Eggs: No surprise here! I love eggs at breakfast, lunch or dinner because they are so versatile. They can be the star of the plate – in a frittata, omelette, quiche or fried egg, or they can be part of a dish, such as in a Chicken ‘N Egg Cobb Salad , New “Fried” Egg Clubhouse , or an Egg and Salsa Wrap . My current go-to egg recipe is this Greek Egg and Lemon Baked Chicken which cooks up in one pan, and is perfect with a side salad and crusty whole grain baguette. And when I don’t feel like cooking, I turn to hard-boiled eggs, which I always have on hand thanks to EGGS2Go! Hard Boiled Eggs (2 eggs = 12 g of protein).
Yogurt: Not just any yogurt! I’m specifically talking about Greek yogurt or Icelandic skyr because they have double the amount of protein compared to regular yogurt. (Protein per ¾ cup = 17 g) How does that happen? It’s strained an extra time so there is more solid (protein) and less liquid, which also means it’s really thick and creamy. Sometimes I use it with savoury dishes: I add salt, chives, mint, garlic and shredded cucumber to make a Mediterranean-style tzatziki dip which I pair with vegetables sticks and whole grain pita. And sometimes I use it on the sweet side. I match it with pancakes or in Fruity French Toast Sandwiches with lots of fresh fruit and a drizzle of pure Canadian maple syrup.
Chicken: A source of B-vitamins, iron and other minerals, chicken is also protein rich. ( Protein in 75 g chicken breast: 21 g ). Dark meat tends to be slightly higher in iron than white meat, so make that a factor if you’re looking to boost your iron intake. A whole chicken takes time to roast, but the end results are so worth it. When you’re short on time, thin chicken cutlets or chicken strips are easy to toss into a stir-fry or grill for fajitas. And in under 15 minutes, you can prepare this amazing Chicken Broccoli Rice Skillet.
Tofu/Soy: Some people hear the word ‘tofu’ and turn the other way. But it’s time to embrace this easy-to-use blank slate that’s made from pressed soybeans. ( Protein per 1 cup: 22 grams ) It can take on the flavour of anything you pair it with – from piquant tamarind sauce in classic pad Thai, to teriyaki in a Japanese-inspired bento box, to barbeque sauce on the summer grill. I always choose the firm or extra firm tofu, rather than the soft silken tofu. The firm variety has a meatier texture, and is higher in protein. And sometimes I opt for green soybeans or edamame , which are perfect in this Asian Sesame Energy Bowl .
Fish: Have you heard about omega-3 fats? In addition to omega-3 enriched eggs, these heart-healthy fats are abundant in fish. Choose salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and tuna for the highest levels of omega-3 fat. ( Protein per 75 g cooked salmon: 16 g ) But all fish and seafood have smaller amounts, too. I love the combination of salmon and egg in this Savoury Salmon Frittata , and think that smoked salmon is an elegant way to top scrambled eggs. Sometimes I use canned tuna for the ultimate in convenience.
So, there you have it! Five ways I add protein to my plate, which allows for the perfect balance of variety, convenience and nutrition.
President, Burnbrae Farms
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