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
Meal Planning For Your Best Health
My weeknight dinners run smoothly when I have a plan in place. So, on Sunday nights, I take a few minutes to sit down and plan out what we’ll eat during the upcoming weeknights. I get input from my family to see if there’s something their craving, and we sync calendars to see how many people will be home for dinner each night.