High Protein Meals
We’ve talked about eating well through winter in the past, but one of the most important elements of nutrition is protein: and that macronutrient can suffer when you turn to soups, Sunday dinners, pies and other winter warmers.
Finding delicious, hot meals that contain the highest amounts of protein means you can pack in protein for gaining muscle through the winter without compromising on the warmth and comfort of a good winter meal. Here, we’ve listed some of the highest protein meals to help you add size throughout the colder months. Don’t forget to keep drinking protein shakes after training to top up your macros!
Beef and Apricot Tagine
Winter is all about warming food, and you won’t get many meals as warming as this one. With a delicate mixture of sweet and spicy flavours, this tagine is full of flavour. Using beef instead of the typical lamb is designed to add extra protein to improve the macro ratios, as lamb is fattier.
To create this dish, you’ll want around 500 grams of steak, 2 cloves of garlic, a pinch or two of Moroccan spices, dried apricots, two red onions, a thinly sliced red pepper and two tablespoons of tomato puree, finished off with vegetable stock. Add half a tin of chick peas for extra protein. This’ll result in around 50 grams of protein per serving.
1. In a pan, heat up some oil (we tend to use coconut) and then add the sliced onions until they’re reduced. Add crushed garlic gloves next.
2. Throw in peppers, steak, spice, puree, apricots and chickpeas alongside your stock. Mix them together.
3. Cover the mixture with a lid and let it cook for 30 minutes, until the sauce is thick.
4. Serve with a grain such as quinoa or couscous (typically tagines are made with couscous, but quinoa will add even more protein to the meal).
Start your morning off with a protein-rich, warming kick by creating breakfast burritos. Easy to assemble with a bit of preparation, this’ll annihilate your typical porridge or cereal breakfast and provide a protein boost that’ll keep you fuller for longer as the day goes on.
You’ll need some corn tortillas, some free-range eggs, a cup of diced onions and a cup of beans. We’d suggest red kidney beans or black beans.
Not warming enough? Try heating your tortillas in the microwave as you cook your eggs. Each one will provide approximately 30 grams of protein.
1. Start by scrambling two eggs per wrap.
2. Add that to the tortillas, then add your onions on top.
3. From here, you’ll want to add your beans (which should also be microwaved or warmed up in a pan.)
4. To finish, add any sauce or seasoning of your choice – we’d suggest Pico de Gallo or salsa.
Chorizo, Spinach and Mushroom Omelette
Omelettes are probably the easiest meal for any bodybuilder to whip up in a flash. However, on their own they can be a bit tasteless and bland. Luckily, adding flavour is simple. Chorizo, one of the world’s tastiest meats, can add protein and a spicy kick to any omelette.
You’ll want to use 4-6 large eggs, some chopped chorizo, a handful of spinach and a pinch of seasoning (Moroccan or Mediterranean work well). Each one will contain an estimated 45-50 grams of protein, depending on how many eggs you add.
1. Beat the eggs in a dish. Add the spices and mix them in.
2. Heat up a pan on the hob, adding some oil to prevent sticking.
3. Add the eggs, making sure to pour so they have even coverage in the pan.
4. Add your chopped chorizo and spinach.
5. Midway through cooking, flip the omelette.
6. Finally, fold over to serve.
Want a warming, hearty meal that packs in health benefits and cuts down on the red meat? Tuna burgers are the perfect choice – and you’ll be ahead of the curve considering most people don’t even consider this combo.
To make these, you’ll want wholegrain or sesame seed buns. Then you’ll need to pick up teriyaki sauce, crushed garlic and salt and pepper. Your tuna should be tuna steak, as flakes won’t cut it. This meal will contain around 25 grams of protein – although you can add a slice of grilled halloumi to take this to around 32 grams.
1. Season the tuna with teriyaki sauce, then add to a hot pan with oil to prevent sticking. Cook on both sides.
2. As the tuna is cooking, add handful of the crushed garlic to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
3. If you’d like to add halloumi, now’s the time to do it. Fry it and add it to the bun.
3. Add the steak to the bun, which should be garnished with lettuce. Serve with sweet potato chips if you want a full meal.
Meat-Free Protein: Chickpeas, Quinoa and Tofu
More and more people are cutting down on red meat, and if your New Year’s resolution is to do the same, it’s worth learning how to create high protein meals that involve no meat at all. By mixing some of the vegetarian world’s best foods, you can create a meal that has over 30 grams per serving.
How? Baking tofu and topping with quinoa and chickpeas will create a warm, healthy meal you can reheat at will and enjoy on the go. Perfect for meeting your winter goals without the meat.
You’ll need around 120 grams of quinoa, 50 grams of flour, a full can of chickpeas, a handful of spinach, a chopped onion, a small amount of garlic paste and some extra firm tofu. You’ll also want some barbecue sauce or equivalent.
1. Drain and press the tofu. Here’s a guide if you’re unsure.
2. Once pressed, season the tofu in the sauce of your choice. Barbecue, teriyaki and sriracha all work well.
3. Slice the tofu into strips that are approximately 1cm thick, then coat each in flour and then the sauce.
4. Lay them out in a row on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, cook your quinoa and chickpeas in a pan after washing it to remove its natural coating. Add the chopped onion as it cooks. Add some garlic paste and then your spinach. Mix these together as they cook.
6. When they’re cooked, serve with the baked tofu on top, cut into cubes. Protein-packed and easy to prepare!
Of course, there are hundreds of high protein meals to experiment with. These are some simple recipes you can try to help you add size through the winter – but once you’ve started cooking, the sky’s the limit!