Eating healthy can be confusing. There are so many ways to do it, and so many ideas floating around as to what the best approach is. However, one thing that is not in dispute is the fact that protein is one of the essential nutrients when it comes to maintaining good health. To that end, many people may ask how to be sure that enough protein is included in one’s diet? Life tends to be busy, so it is important that a healthy diet also be one that is easy to maintain. Here, we offer you five easy, flavorful, high protein dinners that will make your entire family’s mouth water.
1. Shrimp Panzanella
If you are a lover of crisp, flavorful salads, this recipe is for you. Quick and easy, shrimp panzanella packs 22 grams of protein per serving. Some people like to make this recipe with homemade bread cubes, but if you are going low-carbohydrate along with high protein, the bread cubes should be excluded.
Not to worry, though – this high protein dinner is no less flavorful minus those pesky carbohydrates. So, without further ado, here is a very simple guide to one of the most amazing high protein dinners you will try!
Before you begin, you will want to collect your ingredients. They include one clove of fresh grated garlic, torn basil leaves, fresh thyme, 12 ounces of medium peeled and deveined shrimp, sliced red onion, sliced English cucumber, olive oil, and fresh tomato wedges.
First, you will want to prepare your vegetable toppings. Take three tablespoons of olive oil and put it into a large salad bowl. Then, add red wine vinegar, salt, freshly ground black pepper, cucumber, onion, and tomatoes the oil. Toss the mixture, which should sit for roughly ten minutes. Add all seasonings and vegetables to taste.
While that mixture marinates, prepare your shrimp. Take a medium skillet and add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is sufficiently hot, cook the shrimp in the skillet for 3 minutes. After removing the shrimp from the skillet, add it, along with the baby arugula to the vegetable mixture and toss well. Voila! You now have a crisp, high protein dinner that is also one of the easiest, most tasty salads you will ever make!
2. Watermelon and Arugula Chicken Salad
This is perhaps the simplest, most flavorful salad you will ever make. All you will need is a bag of baby arugula, as many cubes of fresh watermelon as you like, fresh mint, sliced red onion, and some shredded chicken breast. Rotisserie chicken is recommended, but almost any variety of chicken will do. This handy guide on how to sear meat will ensure that if you would rather have a different variety of chicken, it will come out perfectly.
For seasonings, you will need kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, grated lemon rind, fresh lemon juice, and olive oil. With 20 grams of protein hiding in this delicious salad, you cannot go wrong if you are trying to find something to add to your list of tasty, high protein dinners!
First, you will want to cube your watermelon. Put the cubes into a salad bowl along with the mint, arugula, and onion. The chicken, along with some sliced, toasted almonds for flavor, should be combined with this mixture.
Then, in a separate bowl, take the lemon juice, grated lemon rind, salt, pepper, and a dash of olive oil and briskly mix. This second mixture should be tossed into the salad mixture. That’s it! Your high protein dinner of watermelon and arugula chicken salad is ready to serve!
3. Kale and Beet Salad with Salmon
When you are looking for something to add to your list of delicious high protein dinners, you can never go wrong with salmon. Add crisp kale, beautiful beets, a dash of your favorite vinegar, and a few other fixings, and you have a staple that the whole family will enjoy.
For this salad you will need red wine or cider vinegar, kale, sliced red onion, four cans of boneless, skinless flaked salmon, four medium golden beets, kosher salt, black pepper, honey, dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, and water.
The first step is to boil two teaspoons of honey, 1/2 cup of water, and 2/3 cup of vinegar in a pan. Then put the onion into that mixture. Let the mixture cool with the onion in it as you prepare other parts of the recipe. This should take about ten minutes.
Cut into beets and microwave on high for 45 seconds. Remove the softened skin, and slice the beets for the salad. Then, take a bowl and mix two tablespoons of vinegar, a teaspoon of honey, a dash of olive oil, a dash of dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the kale to this mixture, along with the sliced beets. Coat well. Then, add the salmon, onion, and some sliced, toasted almonds. This beautiful, high protein salad serves four.
Meatless Option for High Protein Dinners
When we think of protein, we often think of dishes involving meat. However, as more and more people pursue diets that are limited in animal products or even completely meat-free, more and more recipes emerge that offer high protein, meatless alternatives. Here is a delicious, meatless alternative for high protein dinners that anyone limiting or eliminating the intake of animal products will love!
4. Vegan Chili
Want all the protein of a delicious, healthy chili recipe, but none of the meat? This is the recipe for you! This vegan chili is a spicy, delicious, all-encompassing option for many meatless high protein dinners to come.
For this chili, you will need sunflower oil, one yellow onion, fresh diced, minced, and seeded jalapenos, three minced garlic cloves, chili powder, ground cumin, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, canned kidney beans, canned black beans, kosher salt, and fresh cilantro.
You will want to make this chili in a large pot. First, heat a bit of sunflower oil in the pot at medium-high. Then, saute the onions, carrots, and jalapenos until tender. Then, add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans. Add the garlic, and lower the heat to a simmer. Keep a close watch on it, and stir as needed. Add seasonings to taste, and serve hot.
The great thing about this recipe, as with any chili or stew, is that you can add or remove any ingredients you like to make it your own. This recipe is perfect for a high protein, meatless lunch or dinner on a cold winter’s evening, and can be recreated time and time again in endless varieties.
High protein dinners are all the rage, and there are many varieties in which they may come. Here, we have combined the nutritional benefits of protein-packed meals with the aesthetic of beautifully presented dishes and flavor-rich foods. Eating healthy does not have to mean giving up the flavor.
Perhaps the best part about these recipes is the versatility. They were chosen because they do not have to be followed to the letter to offer all the same healthy, tasty end product as the original version.
Almost all ingredients are optional and can be replaced with substitutes of the chef’s choosing. For instance, if you are not a fan of onions, perhaps you could add some mushrooms or olives instead. Not into using oil? Vinegar tends to work very well in many instances as a substitute. If you would like to have the meat prepared in an alternative way, the possibilities are endless. You can sear salmon instead of using the flaked canned variety. Another variation could be smoked salmon.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about salads as an option is that you could even substitute a different meat entirely, and use the same basic recipe to create a whole new dish. Cooking and eating healthy does not have to be a chore or a bore. The proof is all right here. Enjoy!