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How to Eat More Protein: Delicious and Nutritious Ideas

by Mara Welty November 09, 2023 7 min read

 how to eat more protein

When you think of protein, you probably think of hunky steaks and slabs of chicken on rice. But actually, protein comprises many foods outside of meat, or animal protein for that matter. Those little amino acids are present in legumes, dairy, vegetables and fruits, making it easy to incorporate protein into your breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

If you’re wondering how to eat more protein, we have you covered with 10 protein-packed meal ideas. Without further ado, let’s dig into some healthy eating.

#1 Cottage Cheese Veggie Omelet

Cottage cheese is a type of curdled milk that’s creamy in texture and relatively mild in taste, making it a perfect mix-in for various recipes. It’s also an incredibly high protein food. One cup of cottage cheese contains 28 grams of protein, which is equivalent to a helping of turkey.

Combined with eggs, another rich protein source that pack in 6.3 grams of protein per egg, this omelet is a high protein breakfast option that’s relatively easy to make.

First, whisk your eggs in a bowl with milk (milk also contains 8 grams of protein per cup), until it’s well-mixed. Then, add high-protein veggie options to a pan to cook, such as:

  • Spinach
  • Sweet corn
  • Broccoli

Then, pour your egg mixture over your veggies. Once the egg has solidified, you can add a few dollops of cottage cheese onto one side of the omelet. Fold, salt and pepper and serve!

#2 Whole Grain Tuna Noodle Casserole

For those looking for a hearty, comfort food option that’s perfect for when cooler weather sets in, there’s the tuna noodle casserole. Rich and creamy, this casserole is just as delicious as it is healthy.

Your ingredients list includes:

  • Tuna: 28 grams of protein per 85 grams
  • Whole grain rotini pasta: 7 grams of protein per ⅔ cup
  • Broccoli: 2.6 grams of protein per cup, chopped
  • Peas: 8.6 grams of protein per cup
  • Cream of mushroom soup: 2 grams of protein per ½ cup

If you make a large batch, it’s the perfect opportunity to meal prep for the entire week, too.

#3 Chicken Veggie Bowl

Bowls allow you to mix and match your favorite ingredients for maximum variety. When it comes to creating a hearty and nutritious chicken lentil bowl, here’s a list of recommended ingredients:

  • Chicken breast: 26.7 grams of protein per every 86 grams
  • Lentils: 9.02 grams of protein per ½ cup
  • Chickpeas: 7.05 grams of protein per 100 grams
  • Edamame: 17 grams of protein per cup
  • Spinach: 1 gram of protein per cup
  • Sweet corn: 5 grams of protein per cup

To balance your macros, consider adding in healthy fats like olive oil and/or avocados. Sweet potatoes are also an excellent carb option that contain micronutrients like vitamin C, calcium, Vitamin B6 and four grams of dietary fiber.

#4 Steak Burrito

You can start with a flour tortilla or a whole grain tortilla, depending on your taste. Although, a whole grain tortilla is higher in protein. But, that isn’t of much consequence considering the main star: steak.

One steak (251 grams) contains 62 grams of protein, which satisfies the recommended daily protein intake for a 170-pound individual. To add some flavor (and additional protein) to your burrito, consider incorporating:

  • Black beans: 8 grams of protein per ½ cup
  • Pinto beans: 41 grams of protein per cup
  • Sweet corn: 5 grams of protein per cup
  • Avocado: 3 grams of protein per avocado
  • Mexican rice: 1.6 grams of protein per cup
  • Mexican cheese blend: 6.6 grams of protein per ¼ cup

And, of course, don’t forget the pico de gallo, complete with tomatoes, onions, peppers, cilantro and lime juice.

#5 Cobb Salad

The Cobb salad is a timeless dish that brings together a delightful mix of fresh ingredients to create a satisfying and flavorful meal. For this long-lasting recipe, you’ll need:

  • Four hard-boiled eggs: 25.2 grams of protein
  • One avocado: 3 grams of protein
  • Eight slices of bacon: 24 grams of protein
  • Two cups of cubed chicken: 76 grams of protein
  • ½ cup of crumbled blue cheese: 14.5 grams of protein

Place all the ingredients atop a bed of romaine lettuce. Then, drizzle the salad with a homemade dressing made with red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

#6 Baked Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia

Tilapia is a freshwater fish that contains 23 grams of protein per filet. And they’re delicious when crusted in panko bread crumbs, parmesan, Dijon mustard and olive oil. To make the meal more filling, add a cup or two of quinoa.

One cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein, and you can combine it with several nutrient-rich vegetables, such as zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, asparagus, corn or avocado.

#7 Chickpea “Tuna” Salad

People who are plant-based can still enjoy the texture of a tuna salad without the inclusion of the tuna itself. To make this salad, combine cooked chickpeas with white bean hummus, dill, pickle relish and celery.

Chickpeas are an excellent plant protein option, packing in 39 grams of protein per cup, while white bean hummus contains 11 grams of protein for every ¼ cup.

Sandwich the chickpea “tuna” salad between high protein slices of whole grain bread (like Ezekiel bread) or sourdough. Or, dig into it with carrot sticks, celery and cucumbers.

#8 BBQ Tempeh Sandwich

If you're on the hunt for a satisfying and flavorful plant-based sandwich option, look no further than a BBQ tempeh sandwich. This creation is perfect for lunch or dinner, combining the smoky goodness of BBQ tempeh with crunchy veggies and a creamy slaw.

Tempeh, which is made from fermented soybeans, is an excellent protein source at 31 grams of protein per cup, and it has a meaty texture that works as the perfect meat alternative.

You’ll want to cut the tempeh into thin slices, then mix it with BBQ sauce, olive oil, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Place the smothered tempeh slices on a heated pan and cook for about five minutes, making sure to flip the slices.

For a side of slaw, combine shredded cabbage and carrots with vegan mayonnaise and apple cider vinegar. Place the slaw on top of the tempeh for a packed sandwich, or scoop it into a bowl for a fresh side salad.

#9 Roast Pork Tenderloin With Potato

To craft a supple pork tenderloin, you’ll want to create a rub with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and dried coriander. Before adding the rub, drizzle some avocado oil over the pork, then coat it evenly with the spices.

Pour oil on a cast iron pan, and then add the pork tenderloin once the oil is hot. Cook it for about 15 minutes. A pork tenderloin contains 22 grams of protein. For a heartier meal option, add a medium-sized potato to the mix and top it with sour cream (or a high protein alternative like Greek yogurt), as well as cheese and chives.

#10 Garlic Salmon Over Rice

This dish seamlessly combines the rich, buttery flavor of salmon with the robust, aromatic essence of garlic — and salmon contains 17 grams of protein per every 85 grams. Your ingredients list includes:

  • One salmon filet
  • One clove of garlic
  • 1.5 teaspoons butter
  • 1.5 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup jasmine rice
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemon wedges

Begin by rinsing the jasmine rice under cold water, then drain it well. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil, add the minced garlic and sauté it for a minute until it’s fragrant and nearly browned.

Then, you’ll want to stir in the jasmine rice and cook it for about three minutes. Add water and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to cook the rice until it’s tender. While the rice softens, season your salmon filet with salt, pepper and other spices of your choosing. Then, place it in a separate butter-filled skillet and cook the filet for about five minutes until it’s flaky.

Place the salmon atop your rice, squeeze some lemon juice onto the filet and enjoy.

How Much Protein Do You Need Daily?

Protein is critical to your body’s muscle growth, maintenance and development. It also provides your body with energy and facilitates various biological functions, including:

  • Digestion and metabolism
  • Muscle tissue repair
  • Hormone production
  • Immune function

As such, it’s critical to eat adequate servings of high protein foods daily. People who are deficient in protein may experience brittle hair and nails, feelings of weakness, low energy levels and hunger. If you find yourself in this situation, check out our guide on how to increase protein intake.

The recommended daily protein intake is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you likely need 54 grams of protein daily. People who are older, breastfeeding or expecting also require extra protein. You can learn more about daily protein intake for women if you want to dive deeper into more specific situations as mentioned above.

INVIGOR8: A Convenient Protein Shake

Cooking delicious, high protein food is always rewarding. However, if you don’t have time to shop for ingredients or spend a few hours in the kitchen, there’s an alternative way to get your daily protein.

The INVIGOR8 organic superfoods powder can act as a meal replacement, and it delivers 21 grams of whey protein per serving. You may be asking yourself, “Can a protein shake replace a meal?”. Well, in addition to its creamy whey protein supplement contents, the Superfood Shake protein powder ingredients also include essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes to support full-body wellness, making it far different from a simple protein shake.

Explore our delicious flavors and order yours today.

But it doesn’t just stop there. If you’re someone who’s looking to both increase their protein intake and lose body fat simultaneously, you can explore our signature weight loss kit. Experience our superfood shake, appetite control support supplements and unflavored collagen peptides together so that you can build lean muscle, burn fat, and conquer your fitness goals at once.


Sources:

  1. Healthline. 16 Delicious High Protein Foods
  2. Harvard Health Publishing. How much protein do you need every day?

 

About the Author

 Mara Welty
Mara Welty

Mara Welty is a copywriter who specializes in health, wellness and CBD topics. With a background in journalism, she aims to deliver engaging, research-based content that builds trust and engages readers through informative storytelling.

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