Healthy Recipes for the Best Protein Choices
Protein fills you up and keeps your satisfied longer. But what protein choices are the healthiest for you and for the environment? Lentils, beans, tofu, milk, eggs, chicken, yogurt, nuts and tuna are all healthy protein choices for you and the environment. Try our healthy recipes for the best protein choices today.
Delicata Squash & Tofu Curry
This easy tofu curry, made with pretty delicata squash and hearty greens, cooks up in one skillet. To speed up the prep, use bagged chopped kale. Delicata squash's thin skin is tender when it's cooked, so there's no need to peel--another time saver. Serve with quinoa or brown rice.
Orange, Watercress & Tuna Salad
This vibrant salad recipe contrasts flavor, texture and color--the velvety tuna steak is matched with crisp, peppery watercress and the floral tart-sweetness of blood oranges and aniseed. Blood oranges make the dish especially pretty--they're available December through March. If you can't find them, use any oranges that look good.
Tofu Tropic Smoothie
Mango, pineapple and lime flavor this tropical smoothie. Silken tofu adds staying power.
Walnuts and fresh marjoram accent these vegan lentil burgers. Substitute oregano for marjoram if you like. Serve with a smear of whole-grain mustard and roasted sweet potato wedges.
Grilled Tuna with Olive Relish
A simple relish of parsley and olives jazzes up grilled tuna. Make it a meal: Serve with grilled vegetables and steamed new potatoes.
Smoky Black Bean Soup
This will probably be the most hauntingly delicious black bean soup you've ever tasted. The coffee adds a slightly toasty, woodsy background note. The optional ham hock adds smoky, salty ham flavor. Serve with a mixed green salad or a grilled cheese sandwich with pickled jalapeños. Recipe by Joyce Hendley for EatingWell.
Curried Cashew Burgers
If you're looking for a veggie burger with a great “meaty” feel, these are the ones to try. The secret is toasted cashews, which give them amazing flavor as well as texture. The red lentils cook surprisingly fast, keeping the active time brief.
Nicoise Egg Salad
Green beans, tuna and olives make this Niçoise-style egg salad recipe substantial. Serve it over salad greens.
Chicken Waldorf Salad
Leftover cooked chicken makes this chicken Waldorf salad, loaded with apples, grapes, celery and walnuts, a snap to assemble. If you use rotisserie chicken, keep in mind that it's salty and omit the salt in the dressing. Serve over watercress, with a chunk of whole-grain baguette.
Spicy Tunisian Grilled Chicken
This spicy rub of coriander, caraway and hot pepper is lovely on grilled chicken, as we use it here, or try it on pork tenderloin or salmon. If you prefer your food less spicy, reduce the amount of crushed red pepper.
Quick Chicken Cacciatore
This version of the classic Italian recipe, chicken cacciatore, is done in half the time of most traditional versions, but is still full of rich flavor thanks to plenty of mushrooms, tomatoes and herbs.
Chocolate Raspberry Tofu Pie
This chocolate raspberry tofu pie gets an amazing smooth, rich, creamy texture from pureed tofu. But no need to reveal that tofu is the secret ingredient--we're sure no one will guess.
A tandoori-inspired spice rub and smokiness from the grill flavor these tofu “steaks.” While you're there, grill some vegetables, too, to serve alongside. Serve with: Grilled eggplant and cherry tomato skewers and brown basmati rice.
Very Green Lentil Soup
Lentils seem to go well with just about anything, and here they play well with a collection of greens and some cumin and coriander to add a gentle spicy note to this soup recipe. The result is a hearty winter soup with layers of flavor. Both French green lentils (available in natural-foods stores and specialty markets) and more commonly available brown lentils are delicious in this soup. The French green lentils hold their shape better when cooked, while brown lentils will start to break down a bit.
BBQ Tofu Sandwich
Though vegetarian BBQ may be an oxymoron, once you take a bite of this delicious tofu sandwich topped with coleslaw and dill pickles you won't mind the contradiction. Serve with: Baked beans and corn on the cob.
Tofu au Vin
You don't have to be a vegetarian to love this meat-free twist on the classic French dish coq au vin (chicken and mushrooms simmered in a red-wine sauce). Serve with: Whole-wheat egg noodles and sautéed spinach.
Curried Salad with Egg & Cashews
Here we toss fresh salad greens with a light and creamy dressing, then top with chopped hard-boiled egg, crunchy bell pepper, dried cranberries and toasted cashews for a satisfying vegetarian salad. Try this salad for a take-along lunch. To keep the salad greens from getting soggy, pack the greens, salad toppings and dressing in separate containers and toss them together just before eating.
A little low fat dairy and some vitamin-rich fruit and you've just started your day right, nutritionally speaking.
Quick Tuna Burgers
Turn a couple cans of tuna into a zesty tuna burger with this quick recipe. If you can't find good whole-wheat hamburger buns, whole-wheat English muffins are a great substitute. The burger mixture might seem a little soft going into the pan, but once the first side is cooked, you'll be able to flip them easily. Serve with steamed broccoli or sweet potato fries.
Herbed Salsa with Grilled Chicken
This fresh tomato salsa, which doubles as a marinade for grilled chicken, is packed with flavor from lots of fresh oregano, chives and cilantro. The salsa would also pair wonderfully with just about any meat, fish or tofu. Serve the chicken and salsa with beans and brown rice or over greens for a colorful salad. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Bean Burgers with Spicy Guacamole
These bean burgers will even please carnivores. The cornmeal coating gives a pleasant crunch and smoked paprika, cumin, cilantro and guacamole add Southwestern flavor.
Spiced Eggplant-Lentil Salad with Mango
Spiced eggplant, lentils and mangoes combine deliciously in this Indian-inspired vegetarian salad. Customize the spiciness of this by choosing mild, medium or hot versions of salsa, chili powders and curry powder. The flavor is even better when the salad is prepared ahead. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Southwestern Three-Bean & Barley Soup
Serve this zesty bean and barley soup garnished with chopped fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime, if desired.
Quinoa & Smoked Tofu Salad
We took the tangy fresh flavors of tabbouleh and paired them with smoky tofu and quinoa to create a main-dish salad that's perfect served on a bed of greens. This salad is jam-packed with heart-healthy ingredients--whole grains (quinoa), legumes (soy-based tofu) and plenty of vegetables.
Cumin-Scented Wheat Berry-Lentil Soup
Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds a bright note to this toothsome and hearty winter soup, perfect for a weeknight supper with a hunk of crusty bread. It freezes beautifully--you can keep individual portions in the freezer for healthy weekday lunches. For homemade vegetable broth, see Roasted Vegetable Stock at eatingwell.com.
TLT (Tofu, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich)
With pickles, oven fries and a tall glass of minty iced tea, even the most devoted bacon fan won't remember what's missing in this smoky, spicy renovation of the sandwich favorite.
Shawarma is a Middle Eastern sandwich made with sliced seasoned meat. This version features chicken, along with a cucumber-yogurt sauce, fresh tomato and crunchy romaine lettuce.
Curried Red Lentil Soup
This curried red lentil soup is inspired by the Indian side dish dal; the Hindi word means “split” and refers to the split peas or lentils used in its preparation. Fragrant ginger, curry, cinnamon and cumin add lots of rich flavor. Look for lentils and spices in bulk--you'll often get a better deal and you can buy just the amount you need.
You won't mind serving dessert on a busy weeknight after assembling these quick parfaits.
Sicilian Olive Chicken
This saucy one-skillet chicken dish is full of tomatoes, spinach, olives and capers. Try Kalamata olives in place of the green Sicilians or a combination of both. Serve over whole-wheat egg noodles with a mixed green salad on the side.
Hanoi-Style Tuna Patty Salad
This tuna-patty-topped salad, featuring rice noodles, fresh herbs and lots of fresh vegetables, deliciously exemplifies the Vietnamese approach to healthy eating.
Asparagus Salad Topped with Poached Eggs
This asparagus salad topped with poached eggs is satisfying yet light, making it a nice option for lunch, brunch or even dinner with some crusty bread. Roasting brings out a toasty flavor in the asparagus. We like this salad with medium-set poached eggs so the yolks are still a little runny, but poach your eggs for the full 8 minutes if you prefer hard-set yolks.
Banana-Cocoa Soy Smoothie
With plenty of protein from both tofu and soymilk, this banana-split-inspired breakfast smoothie will keep you satisfied until lunchtime.