Ideal Protein Recipes
10 Ideal protein meals to trim, tone and feel terrific!
It is has been said that protein is “The King of Nutrients”! Proclaimed to support weight loss, supress appetites and help tone and build muscle. Is Protein really as great as it is made out to be? Short answer is…… YES!
So what is the deal with protein?
Protein is a macronutrient that is converted into amino acids which are the body’s building blocks to make muscle, bone, tissue, and skin. We also need amino acids to make enzymes, hormones and even our DNA. Our body does not store a lot of protein, so we must constantly replace it by eating in our diet. Many people today do not get enough protein in their diet and get too many calories from sugar and carbs. If we do not have enough protein in our diet we start to break down muscle to obtain it.
Some sources of dietary protein include:
Lean meat, poultry and fish
Dairy products like milk, yoghurt and cheese
Seeds and nuts
Beans and legumes (such as lentils and chickpeas)
We recommend the following to ensure you are getting your ideal daily protein requirements:
Have a serve of good quality protein per day – from lean chicken, fish or free range eggs.
Limit red meat only once or twice per week. Choose lean cuts and preferably wild sources e.g. kangaroo. Red meat is very "acidic" and can compromise the bodies "alkaline" environment. A high acidic diet can contribute to fatigue, compromised immune system and make us vulnerable to illness.
Make some sources of protein vegetable based – lentils, beans, chickpeas, quinoa, chia are all good options. Aim for at least one "meatless" day each week, this will give your digestive system a rest.
A serve of protein should be present in every meal each day – such as eggs for breakfast, nuts and seeds in a salad for lunch and lean meat for dinner.
If you are looking to trim down and tone up it is time to consider to start replacing some of the carbohydrates and fats on your plate with quality, lean protein sources. To do so, we’re helping you out with these awesome, ideal protein meals! Which one will be your favorite?
Pork Loin Chops With Bean Cassoulet
This meal is packed full of protein from both the succulent pork loin chops with an extra boost from the cannellini beans! Most people consider plant based protein sources such as beans a little dull and boring…. We guarantee you this is not the case with this recipe! This bean cassoulet is so tasty and delicious, it is sure to impress! Plant based protein such as cannellini bean are also a powerhouse of nutrition. They are a great source of vitamins, minerals and particularly fiber which is essential for good digestion.
1 lbDried Cannellini beans (or kidney beans)
1CupChicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 MedOnion, peeled and chopped
1/4 Cup Molasses
15 OzTomato Puree
1/4 tspDry mustard
4Pork loin chops
4CupCollard greens, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
In a slow cooker or crock pot, soak beans in water overnight (no need to turn it on, at this stage you are just soaking the beans).
After they have soaked, cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or until tender, drain and set aside beans.
Combine the stock with onion, molasses, tomato puree, salt, mustard, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix with drained beans in slow-cooking pot.
Cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours or on high for 6 to 8 hours.
Just prior to serving cook the pork chops and greens.
Rub the olive oil on both sides of the pork chops.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium to high heat and cook the chops for approximately 7 minutes on each side.
Once cooked, remove from skillet and set aside to rest.
Add the butter the skillet (don’t worry about wiping clean, the juices from the meat will add flavour). Add the chopped collard greens are sauté for 2-3 minutes or until wilted.
Serving the pork alongside the slow cooked cassoulet and braised greens. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste.
Coconut Curry Soup Explosion
Protein meals don’t always have to be a plate of your typical “Meat and Veg”. This coconut curry is truly a flavour sensation and is well balanced meal of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats. We have substituted regular wheat based noodles with soba noodles instead. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat which is a fantastic source of plant-based protein. Simple swaps like this can be great way to boost your protein intake each day.
1/4 lb Soba noodles
2 tsp Coconut milk
2 CupChicken bone broth
1 Lemongrass stalk (no leaves), cut into 1-inch lengths
4 slices Fresh galangal thinly sliced, (or ginger)
3 TabFish sauce
1 TabCurry powder (or more)
2 tsp Grated lime peel, (or finely minced)
2 TabLime juice, freshly squeezed
4 Hot red chilies, seeded and slivered
1 lbChicken breast halves, skinless and boneless
1 TabSesame oil
8 Button mushrooms, sliced
½CupBeans, trimmed and cut in half
½ CupBroccoli florets
Salt; to taste
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Bring 5 quarts of water to a rapid boil.
Add the noodles and cook until just tender in the center, about 5 minutes.
Immediately drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Mix in the olive oil and set aside.
In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the coconut milk, broth, lemongrass, galangal or ginger, fish sauce, curry powder, lime peel and juice, and chilies or chili sauce. Set aside.
Cut the chicken into very thin bite-size pieces, then mix with the sesame oil and set aside.
Bring the soup to a simmer and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.
Add the chicken and stir gently with a spoon to separate the pieces. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the chicken changes color and is not pink anymore.
Add the mushrooms, broccoli and green beans. Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes or until the broccoli and beans have turned bright green.
Add the noodles and salt, heat noodles through.
Turn into a serving bowls and garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve at once immediately.
Crockpot Sweet and Sour Meatballs
These crockpot sweet and sour meatballs are super juicy and tastes amazing. For this recipe we have used turkey meat. Turkey is rich in protein as well as a great source of iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorus. This protein rich meal is going to keep you feeling full for longer along with helping boost your metabolism, all of which will support healthy weight loss. Who would have thought delicious meals like this is in fact full of awesome health benefits!?
1 lbGround turkey
1 Egg, slightly beaten
4TabTapioca flour, divided
1TabDried onion flakes
1 TabOlive oil
3 TabRice wine vinegar
1xCanned pineapple chunks in juice (15 oz)
1 TabTamari sauce
1 LgRed bell pepper, deseeded and cut into pieces
In a bowl, combine ground turkey, egg, 1 tablespoon tapioca, salt, pepper, and onion flakes.
Shape into 1 1/2-inch balls.
In a large skillet, lightly brown the meatballs in oil. Drain fat from skillet. Transfer meatballs to any size Crock-Pot.
Stir together in a small bowl the vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, remaining tapioca, and red pepper. Ensure you stir well ensuring there are no lumps of tapioca flour.
Pour over meatballs, cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 2 to 4 hours.
In the last 30 minutes of cooking stir in the can of pineapple.
Serve over either cauliflower rice or steamed long grain rice.
Ideal Protein Smoothie Bowl
Looking for a quick and easy protein hit to start your day? This is it! Not only full of amazing protein sources, this smoothie bowl comes with the added benefits of rich sources of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and plenty of fiber. Smoothie bowls are a fantastic option to have both before and after a workout and will definitely help to promote muscle growth along with supporting weight loss. Use your favorite protein powder, we prefer to use a quality plant based protein powder such as hemp protein or a pea based protein powder. You can also mix it up by using whatever fruits or vegetables you have on hand.
1 – 2 TabRaw honey (to taste)
1/3CupMilk (of choice)
Fresh season fruits
Mixed nuts and seeds
Place all the smoothie bowl ingredients in to a high speed blender or food processor.
Blend on high speed for 1 minute or until smooth, scrape down sides during process if needed. You may also require a little extra liquid.
Pour in to a bowl and decorate your smoothie bowl with any of the suggested toppings or toppings of your choice.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Protein Packed Squash Amaranth Patties
Amaranth is an ancient grain that is gluten free, high in vitamins and minerals and is an ideal source of protein as well as fiber. It is suggested that consuming a meal full of both protein and fiber will significantly reduce your appetite and aid weight loss. This amazing plant based protein is extremely versatile and can be used in many different ways, including these super delicious and easy protein packed patties.
Makes: approximately 8
3/4 CupCooked amaranth
1/2 CupFinely chopped onion
1/4 CupFinely grated carrot
1/2 CupMillet flour
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 CupGrated yellow zucchini squash
1/2 tsp Chili powder
1tsp Coconut aminos (or tamari soy sauce)
Coconut oil for cooking
Rinse cooked Amaranth.
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and combine well. Add a little extra flour if needed so the mixture holds together.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat with a little coconut oil. Drop a heaped tablespoon into the preheated skillet and flatten patties with a spatula.
Allow to cook on the first side until the patty will stay together well before turning and slightly golden.
Flip and continue to cook on the other side until browned and golden.
Continue cooking until all the mixture has been used.
Serve immediately while hot with your favorite condiments and sides.
Serve with a dollop of labna and pickled beetroot or your favorite side salad with plenty of greens.
Choc Protein Powerhouse Smoothie
Looking for a quick and easy protein hit? Make this smoothie within a minute, you could even take it with you as you race out the door. With the right ingredients, smoothies can be a wonderful option to start your day right! This protein is full of vegetarian based protein sources such as yogurt and milk. Chia seeds and flaxseeds are also excellent sources of protein with the added benefit of being anti-inflammatory. These little seeds of goodness will go a long way in recovery for those that are exercising, including both high intensity and strength training.
½CupMilk (of choice)
1Banana, frozen (fresh will be ok too)
2TabProtein powder of choice
2Tab Almond butter
Add all ingredients to a blender and blitz on highest speed for 1 minute or until smooth.
Add a little extra liquid if needed to reach desired consistency.
Looking for an even healthier option to your regular oatmeal bowl? Try amaranth instead! Amaranth offers almost double the amount of protein than what oats have to offer. Amaranth is also associated with benefits such as lowering cholesterol, increased weight loss (mainly due to the high protein) and can even help reduce inflammation in the body.
Like oats, amaranth is super easy and versatile and simple to prepare, making it an awesome addition to your diet.
1 ½ TabGround flaxseeds
2CupCoconut milk, unsweetened (carton)
Cook the “oatmeal” by bringing the milk to a boil in a small to medium sized saucepan.
Add in all the “oatmeal” ingredients EXCEPT the water and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for approximately 20 minutes.
Stir occasionally keeping an eye on the consistency. Add water as needed as the oatmeal with begin to thicken during cooking. You don’t want it to become too thick and sludgy, keep it slightly “wet”.
The amaranth will be ready once it is tender and resembles oatmeal.
Divide among two serving bowls and top with diced peach, a sprinkle of flaxseeds and a drizzle of maple syrup. Enjoy!
Sausage Kale Soup
This perfectly balanced superfood soup is going to nourish you from inside to out. Boasting rich sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant along with an excellent amount of protein from the pork and kidney beans; this soup is going to give your your immune system a huge boost. The incredible meal will also help to lower blood pressure and even reduce the risk of heart disease. Interestingly, there have been studies that have shown a protein rich diet can lower blood pressure, which of course in turn will help reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other chronic disease.
Serves: 10 – 12
1 lbGround pork sausage
2 Onions, peeled and chopped
2 TabOlive oil
2 Garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2xCanned stewed tomatoes (14 oz cans)
1/2 lb Fresh kale, chopped
2TabFresh parsley leaves, chopped
3 MedPotatoes, peeled and cubed
2x Canned kidney beans (14oz cans), rinsed and drained
In a stock pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the sausage and onions for 5 minutes or until sausage is browned; drain and excess fat.
Add garlic, smoked paprika and salt and pepper; cook for 1-2 min.
Add canned tomatoes along with all juices, broth, kale and parsley; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; leaving the lid ajar, simmer for 1 hour.
Add the potatoes and cook for 15 min uncovered.
Add the drained and rinsed beans and cook until potatoes are tender and beans are heated through.
Serve immediately with a little crusty bread if desired.
Tex Mex Casserole
This low carb version of a tex mex casserole is a perfect meal for those looking to watch their weight while wanting to impress at dinner time. The tex mex flavour combinations are going to be a sure crowd pleaser and guaranteed to satisfy the fussiest of eaters. Meal times can be a hard task at times while aiming to serve up something healthy that also supports your own health goals such as weight loss and toning, while making sure it fancy’s everyone’s taste buds. Let this become one of your go to weekly dinners, so easy and delicious and ticks so many boxes! WIN WIN!
2 tsp Olive oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 Garlic clove, minced
2 tsp Chili powder
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Dried oregano
1/2 tsp Salt
1pinch Hot pepper flakes
28 oz Canned crushed tomatoes, undrained
2 CupCorn kernels
1 Red or green pepper, finely chopped
1/4 CupFresh parsley, chopped
1 ½CupMonterey jack cheese, shredded
½CupCherry tomatoes, cut in half
Preheat oven to 350F.
In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook the ground beef, onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes or meat is browned and onion is soft.
Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, hot pepper flakes and pepper; cook for 1 minute.
Add tomatoes, diced pepper, corn kernels and parsley, bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until most of liquid has evaporated.
Turn in to a greased baking/casserole.
Sprinkle over the shredded cheese and top with the cherry tomatoes.
Bake, uncovered, in 350F oven for 20-30 minutes or until heated through and golden brown on top.
Tuna and bean salad
Salads don’t come much more nutritious than this tuna and bean salad! Tuna is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids which help fight inflammation along with helping lower blood pressure. With the combination of beans, this salad is super rich in protein, fiber along with plenty of vitamins, minerals and even antioxidants. This salad is going to keep you feeling full, support long lasting energy throughout the day as well as aid digestion and support your immune system. A perfect meal (or side dish) for anytime of the day.
1 lb White beans (or lima beans), dried
1 Bay leaf
¾ tsp Dried thyme leaf, crumbled
¾ tsp Red pepper flakes
½ CupOlive oil
1 tsp Lemon rind, grated
1/2 CupLemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 Garlic cloves
1 ½ tsp Salt
½ CupFresh dill, chopped
½ CupParsley leaves, chopped
1LgRed onion, peeled and diced
14OzCanned tuna chunks in spring water, drained and flaked
Soak the beans overnight, or quick-soak according to package directions.
Once soaked, drain.
Combine the soaked, drained beans, water, bay leaf, thyme and pepper flakes in Dutch oven. Simmer, covered, 45-60 minutes or just until the beans are just tender, do not overcook.
Drain and rinse the beans under cold running water. (Can be prepared up to this point 2 days ahead and refrigerated).
Combine the oil, lemon rind and juice and garlic, in a blender or food processor. Whirl just until smooth.
Add the cooled beans in to a large serving bowl, add the chopped parsley, dill, red onion and flaked tuna.
Pour over the dressing and lightly toss together.
Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to a day.
Serve cold and season with a little salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Vegan Protein Buddha Bowl
In our opinion, plant based proteins are some of the greatest sources of protein to include in your daily diet. This vegan protein Buddha bowl is perfectly combined to provide you with your ideal protein requirements providing you the building blocks for healthy muscles and tissues while also supporting weight loss. We love plant based proteins as they tend to be lower in calories and cholesterol than animal proteins while being rich in an array of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fiber!
14OzCanned Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1TabOlive oil, light tasting
14 Oz Can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 Garlic clove, chopped
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
½ tsp Salt
2 TabCold water
1 TabOlive oil
For Buddha Bowl
3-4CupsRaw vegetables of choice (seasonal, fresh produce)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Lay them out on a clean kitch towel and pat dry.
Combine all the spices in to a bowl.
Add the chickpeas to a separate bowl, pour over the oil and toss to coat.
Now add the chickpeas to the bowl with the spices again tossing so all the chickpeas are evenly coated in the spice mixture.
Spread the chickpeas out on to a lined baking tray in an even layer, bake in oven until crispy – up to 40 minutes.
When done remove from oven, set aside and allow to cool.
In a food processor, combine chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt & 1 Tb of water.
Blend until creamy. Add rest of the water if mixture appears too thick.
Store in an airtight container and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
Heat olive oil & fry pine nuts until golden brown. When ready to serve, sprinkle over hummus with a little smoked paprika,
To make the Buddha Bowl
Put together your Buddha bowls by dividing all elements between 2 serving bowls.
Add the cooked quinoa, spiced roasted chickpeas, and seasonal fresh vegetables with a serving of the hummus in the center of the bowl.
Sprinkle over some sesame seeds, drizzle over a little olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and season with some salt and pepper.
Perfect Protein Vegetarian Frittata
Eggs can be quickly overlooked as a “health food”, with them getting a bad rap in the past for being high in cholesterol. We now know that food containing cholesterol does not have much of an negative effect on our blood cholesterol.
What we like most about eggs is not only are they super versatile, they are a fantastic low cost, high quality protein. Eggs are also considered a ‘complete’ protein source due to the fact they contain all nine essential amino acids, which makes eggs are fantastic vegetarian protein option. Rich in soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K as well as minerals including zinc, iron and cooper, eggs are an awesome protein source that is going to benefit overall health!
1Onion, peeled and diced
1Garlic clove, minced
1BunchAsparagus spears, woody end removed and chopped
1CupBroccoli florets, bite size pieces
10Free range eggs
3OzGrated parmesan cheese
1TabFresh parsley, finely chopped
1TabFresh chives, finely chopped
¼tspfreshly cracked pepper
Preheat broiler to medium heat.
Heat a large non-stick skillet with the olive oil, add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes or until onion is soft.
Add the broccoli and asparagus and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes or until vegetables turn bright green.
Meanwhile whisk all the eggs in a large mixing bowl and then stir in all remaining ingredients, combine well.
Pour the egg mixture in to the skillet with the vegetables, spreading it evenly.
Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until bottom of frittata has formed a golden crust.
Transfer the skillet to the preheated broiler and cook until the top side is golden brown and middle is cooked through, approximately 10 – 15 minutes.
Cut into wedges and serve immediately.