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Power-up on protein

We know protein is important for optimal health, but how can you get your fill? Find out the best sources of protein, its fantastic benefits, and try out these quick and easy recipes to boost your protein intake in the most delicious way possible!

Quiche with bacon

Benefits of protein

Protein does wonders for our health and is an essential part of a balanced diet. It helps growth and recovery after exercise, heals tissue repair, fights off illness and also boosts our immune system. When we consume foods that contain protein, our bodies break that protein down into amino acids, which are vital for our muscles and our blood. Protein also improves the health of our hair, skin and nails.

Sources of protein

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Yoghurt
  • Nuts
  • Tofu
  • Grains
  • Beans and legumes

The difference between complete and incomplete proteins is that the latter contains all essential amino acids. Complete proteins include eggs, milk, fish and chicken, while incomplete proteins include nuts, grains and beans.

Protein-boosting recipes

Our bodies don’t store protein, so it’s important to get your fill each and every day. Try some of these delicious protein-rich recipes for a delicious way to get more protein into your diet.

Quinoa salad with olives and fetta

Serves 4 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Large handful of rocket, washed
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 zucchini, sliced and cooked
  • 1/2 red capsicum, diced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup fetta, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Heat the vegetable stock in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, lemon juice and garlic together.
  4. Place the rocket at the bottom of a large serving bowl, add the quinoa, red onion, zucchini, capsicum, tomatoes, olives and parsley. Pour the vinegar mixture over the top and season with pepper to taste.
  5. Gently stir in the crumbled fetta and serve!

Tip: Add protein-rich lean meat to the salad for a heartier option.

Quick quiche with tomato and bacon

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

  • Frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • Olive oil
  • Onion, diced
  • 5 rashers of bacon, diced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups milk or whipping cream
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Remaining 1/2 tomato, finely sliced

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Line a baking pan or quiche plate with the puff pastry, covering the base and sides, and trim to fit.
  3. Fry the onion and bacon in a little olive oil over medium-low heat.
  4. Whisk the eggs and milk/cream together. Fold in the cheese, diced 1/2 tomato, bacon and onion. Stir in the garlic and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Pour the quiche filling into the pastry shell and top with remaining slices of 1/2 tomato.
  6. Pop in the preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes or until quiche is set and golden on top.
  7. Cut and serve.

Tip: You can play around with the ingredients, adding vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, zucchini, leek and capsicum.

More protein-rich recipes

How to make the perfect roast
Healthy soup recipes
30-Minute casseroles

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