If you're starting to warm up to the idea of making some positive changes with your current diet and are now on the hunt for easy-to-prepare, taste-bud satisfying recipes, these will do just the trick.
Having a solid list of recipes you can turn to when you get busy and don't want to 'think' about what you're having for your meals is important for sticking with your diet because without this, chances are you're going to opt for the next best option - take out.
While you still might be able to get a nutritious take-out meal if you make your selection very carefully, it's still likely not going to be as good as if you had prepared something yourself. Here are some beginner recipes to get you started.
Absolute Ava, Episode 1: Protein Pancakes
Watch The Video - 05:07
- 3 egg whites
- 1/3 cup dry oats
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 2 tbsp low fat cottage cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Splenda to taste
- Combine the egg whites, cottage cheese and vanilla extract in a bowl until well mixed.
- Next add in the dry oats and whey protein powder along with the Splenda until well mixed.
- Once a batter has been formed, cook as you would a regular pancake, flipping at half-time.
- Drizzle with sugar free syrup or serve with fresh fruit.
Protein Pancakes PDF (99 KB)
High-Fiber, Protein-Packed Breakfast Muffins
These protein-packed muffins are great to start your day off with because they combine all three macronutrients for a well balanced breakfast that will provide plenty of ingredients throughout the day.
- 1 1/4 cups protein powder
- 1 1/4 cups oats
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup low-fat milk
- 1/2 cup Splenda or sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 1/4 cup walnuts or almonds
- Combine together the protein powder, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and Splenda.
- In another bowl, whisk together unsweetened applesauce, low fat milk, olive oil, and egg whites.
- Mix in the dry ingredients until moist and finally add in nuts.
- Place into muffin tin, filling until 2/3's full and then bake at 400 degrees F for 15-18 minutes.
Protein-Packed Breakfast Muffins PDF (99 KB)
Antioxidant-Infused Berry Smoothie
This smoothie is a good option for those of you who are looking for a quick afternoon snack to help get you through your afternoon or who are in need of a fast meal replacement. Eat with one ounce of nuts for a complete meal.
- 1 cup sugar free fruit flavored yogurt
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries
- 1 scoop vanilla flavored protein powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 ice cubes
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pulse blend the ice cubes until crushed.
- Next add in the yogurt, milk, vanilla extract and blend again.
- Toss in frozen mixed berries and protein powder, blending a final time until desired consistency is reached.
Antioxidant-Infused Berry Smoothie PDF (99 KB)
Salmon Quinoa Salad
Many people focus mostly on rice, oatmeal, and pasta dishes that they overlook one other type of whole grain that is incredibly healthy - quinoa.
Quinoa, a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown as a crop primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a grass. Its leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is currently limited.
Quinoa contains a full compliment of amino acids, making it a good option for those who are vegetarian. It's also cooked very similar to rice, so it's quick and easy to prepare.
- 1/2 can canned salmon, bones removed
- 2 tbsp fat-free mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp Italian salad dressing
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped red pepper
- In a small bowl combine the chopped vegetables, mayo, and salad dressing.
- Next add in the quinoa and salmon until well blended. Serve chilled.
Salmon Quinoa Salad PDF (99 KB)
Tuna burgers are a great way to satisfy your craving while sticking on your diet. If you happen to be on a low carbohydrate diet, rather than having the burger on a whole grain roll, place it between a couple sheets of lettuce and exchange the rolled oats for finely chopped vegetables.
- 1 can tuna
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/8 cup chopped onion
- 1/8-1/4 cup mayonnaise
- Garlic and onion powder
- Combine the tuna, oats, and whisked egg whites together.
- Stir in onion, mayo, garlic and onion powder and then form into patties.
- Place the patties on a skillet and flip at half time as you would with a regular hamburger.
Tuna Burgers PDF (99 KB)
Spaghetti And Meatballs
When someone starts up on a diet, pasta is often one thing they miss the most. Since pasta is both high in calories and carbohydrates, it is often one of the first things that people will remove from their diet.
Luckily it's fairly easy to come up with a suitable substitution that will help satisfy your craving - spaghetti squash.
- 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/2 cup dry oats
- 1 egg + 2 egg whites
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 2 cups low-sodium prepared pasta sauce
- Beat the egg whites together and then combine with remaining ingredients.
- Once moist, form into small balls and set aside.
- Next, half the spaghetti squash and then place cut side down on a microwaveable tray in about 1/2 an inch of water.
- Microwave for 6-8 minutes and then let stand for five.
- Meanwhile, saute meatballs in a small amount of olive oil or chicken broth until cooked through.
- Scrape out the strands from the spaghetti sauce and top with heated pasta sauce and meatballs.
- Sprinkle over a small amount of light Parmesan cheese.
Spaghetti And Meatballs PDF (100 KB)
High-Protein Berry Cheesecake
For those of you who find you're constantly craving cheesecake, this is a fantastic recipe that you can use to help beat those cravings while giving your diet a boost in protein.
- 2 cups low fat cottage cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
- 1/2 cup strawberry protein powder
- 1/4 cup Splenda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup frozen raspberries in light syrup
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl together and blend until very smooth.
- Next pour into a non-stick or sprayed pie pan and place on the top rack of your oven.
- Place another pan with water underneath it on the lower wrack and bake for 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees F.
- Let cool before spooning berries and light syrup over and serving.
High-Protein Berry Cheesecake PDF (99 KB)
Ric's Corner: Tip Of The Week - Protein Pudding!
Watch The Video - 03:09
This simple recipe is great to kill your cravings while helping you reach your protein needs for the day. Play around with different flavours to match your individual taste preferences.
Also, keep in mind that you can easily make this into a parfait simply by laying the pudding with sliced fresh fruit and low-calorie Cool Whip.
- Prepare the pudding according to package directions, using the slightly reduced volume of skim milk.
- After pudding consistency has been reached, blend in the protein powder and then chill to let set.
- Note that the brand of protein powder you use will influence the consistency of the pudding - some protein powders tend to make it thinner, while others will make it thicker, so adjust the volume of milk added accordingly.
Protein-Packed Pudding PDF (99 KB)
Peanut Butter Balls
If you're working towards building muscle, getting in enough calories can become challenging. This recipe makes it easier by providing a healthy source of carbs, protein, and fat.
These are easily transportable as well, making it ideal for those who are looking for something to snack on at work or during class.
- 2 cups peanut butter
- 1 scoop chocolate or vanilla protein powder
- 3/4 cup raw oatmeal
- 1 cup crisp rice cereal
- 1/4 cup honey
- Microwave the peanut butter on low for about 30 seconds until slightly melted (not runny though).
- Stir in the honey and protein powder.
- Once mixed, add in raw oats and crisp rice cereal.
- Form into balls and then place in the fridge to harden overnight.
- Note that if you prefer harder/softer peanut butter balls, you can adjust the volumes of the ingredients until your desired texture is reached.
Peanut Butter Balls PDF (99 KB)
All-Protein Banana Loaves
This is a great recipe for someone who is following a much more strict diet and is looking to maximize their protein intake while curing their craving for banana bread.
Note that this recipe can easily be adapted to whatever taste preferences you have, changing out the protein powder flavor and extracts.
- 3 egg whites
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 tsp banana extract
- 1 scoop banana flavored protein powder
- 1 1/3 scoop vanilla flavored protein powder
- 1/4 cup Splenda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Whisk together the egg whites, banana extract, and water.
- In a separate bowl combine the protein powder, Splenda, and baking powder.
- Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until fully blended together.
- Pour into six mini loaf pans until about 1/4 full and bake at 300 degrees F for 10-12 minutes.
All-Protein Banana Loaves PDF (99 KB)
So, try and incorporate each of the above recipes into your meal plan or search for others you can fall back on when times get busy. Spending that initial time finding your favorite recipes will be well worth the effort when you see how much easier it is to stay on your eating plan.