Fed up of chicken?! Top 10 Alternative Proteins

When it comes to protein, we all know it is beyond vital to include a hefty amount in your daily diet and nutrition plan. Protein is kind of a big deal. Your body needs protein, not only to aid weight loss, but to maintain, repair and grow lean, fat-burning muscle. Protein also helps you stay fuller for longer, so you’re not sneaking off to the vending machine every five minutes (yes, those calories all add up) One 2005 study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition even found that people who ate 30% of their calories from protein, versus 15%, reduced their total energy intake by 441 calories.

When you think lean protein, it’s natural to think chicken or turkey, low-fat, high protein white meat, but let’s admit it, who wants to tuck into a plastic food tub of chicken and kale morning, noon and night? It’s all too easy to start on a Monday morning with good intentions, but you very quickly can fall in to a health food rut and that’s a recipe for bailing on your healthy habits altogether. So, to get you to your weight loss goal with ease and variety, here is our top ten alternative lean proteins along with 3 simple tasty recipes for you to try.

1. Black Beans

Serving: ½ cup
Protein: 8g
Eat me: Chilled Black Bean, Feta & Cucumber Salad

3  cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can whole-kernel corn
1/2 medium cucumber, finely diced
1 cup chopped coriander
2 to 3 limes, juiced
1/2 cup chopped celery or green onions
1 to 2 cups crumbled feta
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Sea salt, cracked black pepper, and cumin to taste

Combine the black beans, corn, cucumber, coriander, celery, and feta in a large bowl and toss. Add lime juice and vinegar to taste. Add a dash of salt, pepper, and cumin and chill.

2. Pork Tenderloin

Serving: 4 ounces
Protein: 20g
Eat me: Rub with salt and pepper and roast with fresh rosemary.

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 medium ripe apricots, pitted and chopped
1 (1-lb.) pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Pre-heat pan and add 1 ½ teaspoons canola oil, Shallots and rosemary for 1 minute. Add brown sugar, vinegar and mustard, ¼ teaspoon of salt and apricots. Cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Set aside mixture.

Reheat pan and add remainder canola oil. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper and add to pan cooking for 6 minutes turning side to side occasionally. Brush pork with half apricot mixture and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Brush pork with remaining mixture and bake for another 8 minutes. Slice and serve with a mixture of spinach leaves, red onion, chia seeds and extra virgin olive oil.

3. Cod

Serving: 4 ounces
Protein: 24g
Eat me: Baked with lemon juice and capers

4. Egg

Serving: 1 large
Protein: 6g
Eat me: Hard boiled in a salad or with a little salt on the go.

5. Hemp Seeds

Serving: 1 ounce
Protein: 10g
Eat me: Sprinkle on oats, yogurt or add to a smoothie.

6. Pumpkin Seeds

Serving: 1 ounce
Protein: 5g
Eat me: Toast with cinnamon, or salt and cayenne.

7. Canned Sardines

Serving: 3 sardines
Protein: 24g
Eat me: Use them to top a high-fibre cracker.

8. Prawns

Serving: 4 ounces
Protein: 24g
Eat me: Sauté with coconut oil and sesame seeds.

9. Tofu

Serving: ½ cup
Protein: 10g
Eat me: Scrambled Tofu Breakfast Burrito

1/2 red onion finely chopped
1/4 red pepper finely chopped
1 clove garlic
14oz extra firm tofu
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons chicken style seasoning
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
salt to taste
Fry the chopped onion, bell pepper, and garlic with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil until the onions brown. Crumble in the tofu and mix in the seasoning. Heat until the tofu is firm and serve hot with salsa and a whole wheat wrap.

10. Canned Tuna

Serving: 4 ounces
Protein: 28g
Eat me: Mix with cucumber, red onion, black olives and chopped tomatoes for a light salad.