7 protein-packed recipes to power up your day
Protein! Your body needs it, and if you’re on a fitness journey, you’re going to need a little more than most.
Protein helps you build muscle and assists post-workout recovery. It also helps you feel fuller for longer, so you’re less likely to overeat – which is extra important if you’re aiming for fat loss. If you don’t get enough protein, your body can also start breaking down muscle, which is bad news for your strength and muscle gains.
The recommended dietary intake for protein is around 0.8-1.0 grams of protein per kilogram (0.01 oz per lb) of your body weight, per day. If you’re training, you might need closer to 1.5g of protein per kilogram (0.02 oz per lb).
Your body needs high-quality protein, whether animal-based or vegan. Whether you’re burning fat or building muscle (or a bit of both), my meal plan is perfectly balanced for your needs. All you have to do is follow the recipes!
Here’s a week of protein-packed dinners: five fast ones for your Monday-to-Friday menu, and two you can batch and freeze for weekend meal prep.
Quick weeknight wins
Cuban Fried Quinoa
Start with a meat-free Monday! You can cut down on prep time by having a pre-cooked batch of quinoa ready to go. Don’t worry if you don’t have nutritional yeast to hand: the sauce will still be spicy and delicious without it!
Seared Beef with 3 Veg
Steak: so simple, yet so effective. Not only is this a great source of protein, it’s also iron-rich to support your energy and immune system. Plus, you can swap out for whatever three veg you have. Be flexible!
Easy Lemon & Caper Chicken
The only thing better than a chicken dinner? One that’s easy peasy lemon squeezy. A post-gym feed on the table in 20 minutes.
Salmon Nicoise with Spring Vegetables
When you want something protein-heavy that still feels light, this is the recipe for you. Salmon is a great source of essential omega 3 fatty acids – and fat is important for keeping you feeling full!
Tofu Peanut Noodles
Peanut butter is for more than just sandwiches! This spicy satay-style sauce is so easy, you can even mix up a batch to keep in the fridge for when you need it. Combined with a high-quality vegan protein like tofu, and this is just the dinner to help your muscles recover after a week of hard workouts.
Weekend batch cooking
Chilli Con Carne with Soft Polenta
Chilli is a one-pot Tex-Max classic with a combo of meat and plant-based proteins. Just increase the recipe portions and give yourself a bit extra for your mid-week emergency meals or office lunches. If you don’t have polenta, you can substitute with some rice.
Veggie Fritters with Tomato Sauce
Make an epic batch of fritters to stack in the freezer (they’ll even keep for a month or so!) When you’re ready, just thaw and bake with the passata, scatter the spinach, and boom! Dinner! No halloumi? Crumble in some hard feta.
Personal trainer • Founder
Emily Skye is a strength training expert and the face of FIT, the digital fitness app that helps women worldwide build strength and confidence, stay active through pregnancy and rebuild post-pregnancy. Emily holds a Certificate IV in Fitness and Master Trainer qualification from the Australian Institute of Fitness. She is also co-founder of James Cosmetics and a mother of two.
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