How to Sneak More Protein Into Your Diet

How to Sneak More Protein Into Your Diet

Fortify your meals in a tasty way with these 8 protein-packed foods.


By: Monica Gullon

Protein is essential for building and repairing the tissues within your body, so it’s important that you and your family get the right amount of protein in your diet. From meats and fish to nuts and dairy, there’s a variety of ways to ensure that you get what your body needs.

From cutting back on carbs to simply wanting your family to eat a healthier and more balanced diet, see our easy and delicious tips below on sneaking healthy protein into your meals.

1. Switch Your Morning Orange Juice for a Lassi
This refreshing Indian drink is a lighter cousin to the smoothie. Mango lassi is the most well-known variation, but you can also use papaya, cantaloupe, peaches, berries and other soft fruit.

Blend 125 mL (1/2 cup) peeled fruit (fresh or frozen) with 125 mL (1/2 cup) plain yogurt, a pinch of ginger or cardamom, a drizzle of honey and a splash of ice water until desired consistency is arrived.

2. Update Traditional Mashed Potatoes
This carb lover’s favourite dish can be fortified with protein, and no one in your family will be the wiser: In a blender, combine 125 mL (1/2 cup) of milk with 175 mL (3/4 cup) cottage cheese and 1 clove of garlic. Blend until smooth and stir into mashed potatoes.

3. Give Sandwiches a Protein Makeover
Trade 100 per cent whole-wheat bread for white bread, switch from mayo to hummus (a chick pea spread) and layer bean sprouts instead of lettuce. 

4. Make it Pasta e Fagiole
Italians know that combining pasta with beans makes for a protein-rich dish that’s also economical. Add one large can of drained white beans to a pound of cooked penne and toss with pesto.

Try chickpeas with rotini, sun-dried tomatoes and chopped parsley. For an Asian style noodle dish, combine angel hair pasta with stir-fried bok choy, carrots, edemame (soy beans) and diced tofu. 

5. Fortify Broths with Legumes
Blend a cup of cooked legumes with a quart of chicken or beef broth for a hearty soup base. Try white beans with chicken stock and lentils with beef stock. Once blended, use broth as you would regularly.

6. Make Side Dishes Whole Grain
Barley, quinoa, bulgur, faro, sorghum and wild rice provide about as much protein per serving as an egg. The easiest way to cook these is to boil until tender and drain like pasta. Stir in minced fresh herbs like parsley and sage and finely chopped sautéed mushrooms for an easy pilaf. 

7. Go Nuts
Add pecans to green salads, sprinkle a spoonful of slivered almonds on your hot cereal and stir 125 mL (1/2 cup) of chopped walnuts into your favourite banana bread or muffin recipe for an instant protein and texture boost. 

8. Dip Raw Veggies in a Spicy Peanut Sauce
Swap out ranch dressing for peanut butter, or try this spicy peanut sauce:

Ingredients
125 mL (1/2 cup) natural, salted creamy peanut butter
1 mL (1/4 cup) rice wine vinegar
30 mL (2 tbsp) sesame oil
15 mL (1 tbsp) honey
15 mL (1 tbsp) hot sauce
2 mL (1/2 tsp) minced garlic
125 mL (1/2 cup) hot water

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients into bowl and whisk until smooth
  2. Adjust seasonings to taste
  3. Chill before serving
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