The essential amino acids in protein are critical for a healthy immune response, and a diet that’s low in protein is linked with impaired immune function. Power-up your diet, fuel your muscles and workouts, and strengthen your immunity by eating a high protein meal. The following three recipes give you a full day’s worth of protein, but most importantly of all, each high protein meal is absolutely irresistible.
BREAKFAST: PB&J Smoothie
Embrace your inner child with this PB&J-inspired smoothie. This is the perfect high protein meal to launch your day. It’s bursting with flavor to awaken your sleepy senses, is rich in fiber to get your digestive system moving, and is a great source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to support your immune system all morning long.
Depending on the specific protein powder you use in this breakfast shake, this smoothie provides approximately 200 calories, 10 grams of healthy fat, three grams of fiber to keep mid-morning cravings at bay, and 26 grams of protein.
1 cup unsweetened oat milk
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth. Sip your way to better health!
LUNCH: Egyptian Egg Salad
Take your palate on an international world tour with this high protein meal that reinvents the humble egg salad. It’s inspired by the sun-baked traditional spices and culinary traditions of the Middle East, incorporating the rich, tantalizing flavors of lemon, tahini, garlic and cumin.
The spices do more than just add flavor and color. They’re great sources of anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants that soothe, heal and support your immunity. They infuse the egg salad with layers of surprising tastes, and pair well with the crisp veggies.
This lunch is very low calorie (under 300 calories) but provides more than 15 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber.
2 large hard-boiled eggs (ideally local, organic and free ranged)
Juice from one lemon (approximately 2 tbsp)
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 can borlotti or fava beans, drained (save the juice and set aside)
1 head of iceberg lettuce, cut into wedges
2 tomatoes, sliced
If you haven’t hard boiled the eggs yet, do so and set aside to cool. Once cooled, peel the eggs and cut into halves.
Make the dressing. Combine the lemon juice and tahini, whisking quickly and set aside.
In a hot frying pan, add oil and saute the onion and garlic until they’re soft, translucent and fragrant. Add the remaining spices and stir, then toss in the beans and a dash of the bean juice (add more as needed to create a nice, creamy consistency).
Assemble the salad. Put a scoop or two of the seasoned beans to a plate or bowl. Add a wedge of lettuce and some tomatoes, top with the eggs and drizzle with the dressing. Enjoy!
DINNER: Super-Quick Butter Chicken
If you’re tempted to order takeout, whip up your own restaurant-style Indian takeout at home in your own kitchen.
This authentic butter chicken dish is surprisingly quick and easy, taking less than 15 minutes of prep time, so it’s perfect for those hectic weeknight dinners or a weekend indulgence. It’s a great source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, thanks to the abundant spices, fresh ginger, and tomato puree.
A single serving of this butter chicken is deceptively healthy. While it looks, smells and tastes so rich, it’s only 350 calories while netting you an incredible 37 grams of protein.
8-10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs sliced into strips (ideally locally sourced and free ranged)
Juice from one lemon (approximately 2 tbsp)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less depending on your spice preference)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp garam masala (available in most spice aisles)
2 tsp ground fenugreek
3 tbsp tomato purée
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
Whisk together the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken and marinate in your fridge overnight. If you’re in a rush, you can quick-marinate it for an hour.
In a frying pan, heat the oil and saute the onions, garlic and ginger until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
Add all the other ingredients, plus the chicken. Cook for 15 minutes on medium heat, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Serve with rice or your favorite sides.
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