This 15-minute spinach pesto quinoa bowl is just as quick as boiling up a pot of penne, and the quinoa, which contains all nine essential amino acids, will give you eight grams of protein per cup. Recipe here.
Bonus: This breakfast will keep you fuller waaaaay longer than a bowl of Cap’n Crunch. You can make the CHOCOLATE quinoa ahead of time, and in the morning, reheat in the microwave or in a saucepan with a little bit of almond milk.
IT SOUNDS GROSS, yes. But these gluten-free brownies pack in 2.5 grams of protein a piece, and you really can’t taste the beans. Recipe here.
OK, fine: a lot of these powders do resemble the lovely texture of chalk. But most stores sell sample envelopes so you can try before you buy a ginormous container of powder. My personal favorite is the Vega Sport Performance Protein in chocolate, which turns all of your smoothies into a thick, milkshake-esque treat.
Once you find one you like, blend it up as part of a smoothie; protein powders ALWAYS tastes better in a blended shake than just shaken up with water. *shudder*
Nuts have a ton of protein naturally, and they taste FRICKIN’ GREAT. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds on salads, or toast them in your favorite granola recipe. Other high-protein choices include almonds, peanuts and pistachios.
One single container of Fage 2% yogurt has 20 grams of protein. 20 grams! Greek yogurt is strained during the manufacturing process to remove more liquid than normal yogurt, making it denser and more protein-packed.
Pro-tip: Use plain, unsweetened Greek yog in place of sour cream.
It’s an old bodybuilder trick, but if you don’t want to fuss with a blender in the morning, it couldn’t get easier than dumping a scoop of whey into your coldbrew. You can even take a small portion with you and add it to your Starbucks.
Just be careful adding protein powder to hot coffee, as it can coagulate and make for a not-so-pleasant texture.
If you’ve ever eaten a Quest protein bar, you have probably noticed that the texture can be a little bit, um, challenging to chew. The solution? Pop a bar (any flavor) in a 375 convection oven for five minutes, and it’ll turn soft and melty.
You can also cut a few bars into cookie-like shapes and bake them in a muffin tray or on a cookie sheet to make a portable cookie stash.
An unseasoned chicken breast and some limp steamed broccoli are the unfortunate stereotypical dieting meal. But when it comes to lean meats, turkey breast, pork, fish, and even beef (lean cuts like top round, sirloin, and flank steak) also pack a protein punch. You can also make chicken breasts NOT boring.
Some experts recommend eating half an avocado every day, especially if you use it to replace unhealthier foods. One avocado packs in 4 grams of protein, which might not sound like much, but the fruit contains all nine essential amino acids. Use it instead of butter on toast, or bake an egg in it for even more protein. (Here’s one recipe for baked eggs and avocado.)
A vegan staple, deactivated yeast has a nutty, cheesy flavor and can be sprinkled over pretty much anything. (Also, two tablespoons contain nine grams of protein.)
Try it over air-popped popcorn or in MAC AND CHEESE.
This protein pumpkin oatmeal uses either 1/4 liquid egg whites or 2 egg whites to make the oatmeal light and fluffy and deliver 14 grams of protein in one tasty bowl. (Stir the egg whites constantly while adding so that they blend in smoothly.)
For a super quick lunch, pop the can and top a salad with some fish, which can pack up to 17 grams of protein per serving. Bonus: It’s super portable!
Many canned salmon brands use wild salmon, not farm-raised, but be sure to check if that’s important to you.
Pop these in the oven and add whatever spices you’d like, from wasabi to rosemary. You’ll get about 15 grams of protein per half cup. Recipe here.
Or just, you know, buy a bag.
Counting protein grams every day can get super monotonous, so try to have some fun with it. This birthday cake protein shake is made with TWO SCOOPS of whey or other protein for nutrition, and sprinkles because SO FUN.
I also recommend the Oh Yeah! One birthday cake protein bar, which is the best protein bar I’ve ever tried.
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