Does your protein look and taste beige?
You probably aren’t getting enough protein, mostly because it doesn’t taste good enough to eat, but you are in luck, I am about to make it easier, or at least tastier.
Eating protein to most people is lean unseasoned chicken (or something equally un-flavorful) and is something you’re told that you need in order to build muscle, get leaner, stronger and for overall health. Beyond those aspects protein is responsible for producing enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and antibodies. You can see why getting enough protein is quite beneficial, but eating more protein seems to be harder for some of us than others.
When it comes to consuming protein you might be in the camp that is ok with bland chicken or lean beef as long as it gets you that desired six pack, but for the rest of us who also wants to enjoy our food, it is a little more difficult.
What is one thing that makes your eating protein easier? FLAVOR. Seasoning your food goes a long way. One way to achieve this besides adding salt and pepper is to add some sauces that are delicious, easy to make, and healthy. Below, I’ve included a few of my daily go to’s recipes for you to try : Red Chimichurri, Romesco, and Green Sauce No.4.
Whether it is marinating some chicken in chimichurri, adding some romesco on roasted or grilled vegetables or using some green sauce for a dressing, my food choices are better when I have something that’s going to add a ton of flavor to whatever whole foods I have on hand, and also doesn’t compromise on good nutrition.
You might be thinking what about us vegetarian and vegans? Well, you are in luck these sauces are all vegan friendly! Go ahead and add some of the romesco sauce to your chickpea pasta noddles.
Having these healthy flavor options to add to your proteins is key to making your meals enjoyable and help you to continue to make good food choices.
One caveat about these sauces, when using them – think of them as your fat for your meal. Sadly like most things in life, fat is what helps make these sauces delicious. The good news is that you need fat in your diet – in moderation, of course. Just keep this in mind before you find yourself piling on the romesco sauce like its your favorite pint of Halo Top (yes its that good).
- 1 large roasted red bell pepper from a jar
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1/4 cup tomato purée
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar ( or red wine vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pulse all the ingredients in a food processor to combine. Then turn on the processor and start pouring in the olive oil to emulsify. Adjust seasoning to taste
Use on vegetables and pasta for added flavor but count as the added fat in your meal.
- 1 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano (dried if don’t have fresh will work)
- 1 tablespoon pureed chipotle in adobo
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1.2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
If using mortar and pestle, bring all the ingredients together using the mortar and pestle.If using a processor or hand blender, pulse ingredients together excluding the olive oil.Once everything is finely combined place in a bowl and mix together with the olive oil.Season with salt and pepper to taste
Green Sauce No. 4
Makes 1 cup
- 3 tablespoons white miso
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 teaspoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 cups cilantro leaves with tender stems
- 1/3 cup sliced chives
- 1 1/2 teaspoons peeled and grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Pulse miso, lemon juice, lime juice, oil, tahini, vinegar, and honey in a food processor or a blender until miso is dissolved and mixture is smooth. Add cilantro, chives, ginger, and coriander and pulse until herbs are finely chopped; season with salt and pepper.