If you’re not a fitness freak, you would have heard experts talk about the importance of right diet to achieve your fitness goals.
In this article, we are sharing some recipes of low calorie and protein packed meals that are good for your health.
1. Chicken with quinoa and greek salad
This dish is the perfect summer, spring-light meal that is filled with European tastes.
Chicken is one of the world’s most frequently eaten meats.
It is particularly popular among fitness fans as it is a superb protein source. Food with high protein can enable you to attain health objectives such as muscle building, muscle conservation, and fat loss. Chicken breast contains the most protein compared to other parts of chicken so it is recommended that chicken breast be used in this meal.
Quinoa is a great carbohydrate for people with gluten intolerance. It is one of the complete proteins, meaning that it provides all nine of the essential amino acids. It has a higher protein source than most grains, with 8 grams of protein per cup. This property makes it a great food to swap out your white rice or bread for when looking to increase your protein intake – this is especially a good idea if you are on a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Paella is a Valencia originated rice dish that has now become popular in countries on Spain’s mediterranean coast. Many people mistake this dish for being Spain’s national food however, Spaniards and Valencians both know that it is one of Valencia’s identifying symbols.
The traditional version of Valencian Paella consists of rice, peas, rabbit, chicken, chicken broth, sometimes duck and a variety of lima or butter bean. Already with all of these ingredients mentioned we know that the protein content is high. The rice that is used in this dish is a slightly sticky rice variant known as Senia, it is also much harder to cook than normal rice. There are two types of paella nowadays, seafood paella which replaces the meat with all sorts of seafood and mix paella which includes both meat and seafood.
This dish is actually quite a balanced meal, usually people just eat a bowl of Paella as a full meal. It is not paired with anything else. One serving of a mix Paella contains 19.6 grams of protein. To make this dish at home, it is super convenient if you have access to an instant pot. Check out Carrie Cooks’ Instant Pot recipes for this recipe and other similar ones.
3. Omelette and ricotta
Mini omelettes with ricotta cheese sound like a dream meal that is delicious and protein-packed. This dish is super easy to make, all you need is a couple of eggs, any types of herbs (dill, parsley) and ricotta cheese. A great thing about this dish is that it can be a snack, an appetiser or can be paired with a leafy green salad and some carbohydrates to make it a full meal.
Since the start of time, eggs have been incorporated into our meals. Yet we only now grasp the full extent and benefits of the nutritional wonders towards health that they offer and promote. Loaded with 13 essential vitamins and minerals, eggs are also crucial sources of nutrition, which are necessary to support you every day in a balanced diet. Eggs actually contain the highest quality of protein. One single egg contains 6.3 grams of protein. Like quinoa eggs also contain all of the nine essential amino acids.
Ricotta is an Italian cheese that has a creamy texture and is similar to cottage cheese however is a slightly ‘lighter version’. Only half a cup of ricotta contains 12 grams of protein. The protein in this is mostly whey protein that is easy to absorb for most people and may promote muscle growth.
4. Salmon kebabs with sweet chilli sauce
This is a meal that is most similar to many Thai dishes. With the chilli sauce and some lime squeezed over the salmon fillets it provides a burst of flavour that you never knew you needed.
Salmon is a salt water fish that has an enormous amount of nutritional benefits. They are rich in omega 3 fatty acids that humans need on a daily (because our bodies don’t naturally produce it). These fatty acids contribute to a healthy heart and help maintain our skin, joins and hormones.
Since this fish is so high in protein it helps your body maintain bone health, prevent muscle loss and helps the body repair which will support healthy ageing. The rich amount of astaxanthin you get from consuming this food will help maintain your skin’s elasticity, reduce signs of ageing and may protect the skin from UV damage.
Keep in mind that although this food is very nutrient dense, oily fish like salmon may contain levels of pollutants. Hence certain groups of people are not advised to consume them. This includes young women and girls, people who are planning to get pregnant and are pregnant, breastfeeding women. Removing the skin from the salmon helps minimize the levels of pollutants that may come with the fish.
5. Cajun turkey steak with pineapple salsa
Turkey is the ultimate animal protein if you’re looking for something that is low in fats and high in protein. This meal contains two sources of protein, turkey and kidney beans, along with a carbohydrate which is basmati rice. If you wanted to increase your protein consumption with this meal (although unnecessary since it is already protein packed) you could easily swap out the basmati rice for quinoa.
Turkey has a very impressive nutrition profile. It contains 61% of the Daily Value (DV) of vitamin B3, 49% of the DV of vitamin B6 and 29% of the DV in vitamin B12. This amount of B vitamins is not easily found in other foods. This protein rich food will promote feelings of fullness which can be a good way to lose weight. It is much healthier than red mets since studies link red meat to colon cancer and heart disease.
Kidney beans are a good plant protein source. They also include several unique plant compounds, such as minerals, vitamins, fibre, antioxidants. This can help with weight loss, intestinal health and moderate levels of blood sugar. There is 8.7 grams of protein in 100 grams of kidney beans. These are yet another protein source that is low in fat. Beans are also a slow release carb, the ingestion of it takes longer which keeps you satiated for a long time and is beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.
6. Mexican bean chilli
Mexican bean chilli is a classic Mexican restaurant or Chipotle order for many people. Depending on where you are getting it from it can be greasy and unhealthy. However, if you’re making it at home you know exactly what is in it and it will make you even more aware of how great this meal can be for your health.
Chilli is a great source of protein whether you are adding meat to the mixture or prefer a vegetarian variation. Beans contain amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. Whether you are using canned or dried beans you have cooked at home there are so many variations. You have the choice of black beans, soybeans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, red beans and others. The beans that are most commonly used in chilli are black beans and red beans.
Beans are lower in calories and saturated fats vs protein sources that derive from animals. They are also very high in fiber which is great to stimulate your digestive system.