Favorite Protein Rich Breakfasts & Lunches

by GfG on September 26, 2013 · 15 comments

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I am making some changes in our diet due to some personal observations that have been validated by the book Trim Healthy Mama.  So… I am trying to beef up, though not literally, our diet.  More protein at every meal.

That sounds easy, but for a family of eight on a tight budget, it isn’t.  When I say tight, what I mean is that buying meat is not in the budget for now, except for special occasions.  Dinners are bit easier, but breakfasts and lunches have been frustrating.  Add in the fact that the kiddos are getting sick of eggs and you have a full blown challenge.

So… naturally, I thought of you all.

How about we share some of our favorite protein rich breakfasts and lunches?  If you share one that doesn’t have meat and isn’t egg centered, you win a prize.  It may or may not be a cyber hug.   Or cyber chocolate covered almonds.   😉

Here is our top ten list.  I really do use these for breakfast and lunch, depending on the day (aka: how early I got up that day).  These are protein heavy and not carb centered meals:

  1. Breakfast tacos/burritos
  2. Refrigerator Oatmeal
  3. Refrigerator Quinoa
  4. Mini Quiches
  5. “Fried” Beans
  6. Hot Quinoa with Raisins and Apples
  7. Mexican Skillet
  8. Ricotta Pancakes
  9. Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Ok, ok …. so that’s not ten.  Which is why I’m asking you all for tried and true meals (aka: kids like them) that are not carb centered.   I will share the recipes now, but PLEASEpleasePLEASE share some ideas for me in the comments (and if you don’t normally read comments, today would be a good day to start).

1.  Breakfast tacos/burritos.  I would assume this is something everyone knows, but assuming can cause trouble, so I’ll explain.  Scramble eggs and season.  Spoon egg down the center of a (low carb) tortilla.  Top with cheese, salsa, and any other fixings you like.

2.  Refrigerator Oatmeal.  This is not as protein rich as I’d like.  I’m counting it for the kiddos, but definitely not for myself (an older woman who is more insulin resistant).  Place 1 cup of milk (we now use almond instead of cow’s milk to boost the protein and reduce the carbs), 1 cup of oats, and 1 cup of unsweetened Greek yogurt in a jar.  Add a tablespoon or so of the fruit of your choice.  The original recipe also called for 3T of honey, but that it just too much sugar, so we use 1/4 tsp Truvia.   Place the jar in the fridge and enjoy the next (or next next) morning.

jar breakfasts titled WEB

3. Refrigerator Quinoa.  Ok, this is just like the refrigerator oatmeal, with the obvious adjustment.  Actually, now that I think of it, it wasn’t obvious to me.  You have to precook the quinoa.  If you don’t, you’ll think you are accidentally eating bird seed.  Ask me how I know.

4. Mini Quiches.  Place a very small piece of pie crust in the bottom of a greased muffin tin spot.  Add sautéed veggies and cheese of our choice.  Top with whisked eggs.  Bake until golden. Serve with salsa or whatever your kids like.  Bonus tip: these freeze well.  You can also wrap them in sets of two and place in fridge for quick grab meals/snacks.

5.  “Fried Beans”.  This is an idea I got from Trim Healthy Mama.  Allow the kids to “fry” (aka: with a teaspoon of butter or coconut oil) a spoonful (or more) of precooked beans.  Let them use whatever seasonings they like, which gives them some investment into the meal.  I’ll be trying this with Chal Ghana beans soon because they are lower in carbs.

6.  Hot Quinoa with Raisins and Apples.   Substitute 1/4-1/5 of the amount of water needed to cook your quinoa (it depends on how much you are making) with half/half or milk.  Add two teaspoons of coconut oil while heating the water.  While quinoa is cooking, heat some raisins and chopped apples in a tiny bit of butter or coconut oil (just enough to help them not stick).  After quinoa is cooked, add some sweetener, a little more milk, and the fruit. 

breakfast quinoa

7.  Mexican Skillet.  We had something like this just after we arrived in NM.  I cut down significantly on the potatoes, to reduce the carb aspect, but still include them because the kids love browned potatoes.   Brown some diced potatoes in a big cast iron skillet.  After cooked, push to the side and add some whisked eggs.  After those are almost done and can be pushed to another side, add some refried beans to the empty spot.    Basically, you’ll have three areas in the skillet.  If this weirds you out, use a different pan for each.  Serve with salsa and cheese.

8.  Orange Ricotta Pancakes   Mix 1 cup gluten free flour of your choice, 1/2 cup oat flour, 1 tablespoon Truvia, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.  In a separate bowl, Beat together 1 cup ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of almond milk, 1/2 orange juice, 1 teaspoon orange zest (if I don’t have this, they still taste great), 2 beaten eggs, 3 tablespoons melted butter (or coconut oil or 6.75 teaspoons evoo), and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  Add flour mixture and only mix until well.

Brown on griddle until golden brown on both sides.  Serve with berries, butter, or Greek yogurt.

both pancakes titled WEB

9.  Cottage Cheese Pancakes  This recipe is from Trim Healthy Mama.  Blend 1/2 cup of oat flour (or blend the oats in the blender first to grind), add 1 cup egg whites, 1 cup of cottage cheese, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2-3 teaspoons Truvia, and  a dash of vanilla.  Blend well.  Cook on griddle until golden brown on both sides.  Serve with berries.  The kids sometimes have honey.

protein pancakes WEB

So, those are our favorites.  Many of us like fried eggs, but not all (5/8 of us, to be exact), so that’s sorta an option.  I prefer to have 6/8 or 7/8 to call it a family favorite.    🙂

Alrighty… hit me with your favorite protein rich recipes for breakfast and/or lunch.

Ready, set, go!


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