My inspiration for this post came about when I was looking at an almost empty fridge trying to find something that would satisfy my cravings. Suddenly, I thought back to when I was taught the drunk art of mini-pizza making in college. I had sandwich rounds, I had sauce and I had cheese. This could work! As I began to assemble this, I just couldn’t go through with it.
I used to eat a lot more foods that had little to no nutritional value without even thinking about it. Nowadays, I seriously try to avoid empty calories. I find myself always asking myself, “how can I add more protein to this?” But we all know that despite the obsession with protein and macros, micronutrients are extremely important as well. Especially with a toddler to feed, I am always trying to find ways to cram more nutrients into his food.
Here are some ways I have been making more nutrient-dense meals!
P.S. To solve my mini-pizza conundrum, I quickly fried up an egg and topped my pizza with it for a bit more protein 🙂
Not good about eating breakfast, but awesome at getting in your caffeine? Try Protein Coffee! Yes, yes… REAL, whole foods are always recommended, but is that just not realistic for you? Try this! It satisfies your need for caffeine while still filling you up for a while until you can get some real food in you. It prevents me, personally, from binging on something unhealthy halfway through the morning. I recommend vanilla protein powder. For me, it replaces both creamer and sugar and adds some protein!
Picky eaters? Add some sneaky super foods. My favorite sneaky super food? Leafy greens! They wilt down so nicely when you add them to almost any dish! Prime example: When I made this chili for my superbowl party (chili recipe is right here). And no, I was not hiding the vegetables from my toddler. I was hiding it from my brother-in-law and his kids! Boy are they picky eaters, but even when they come over, we want to eat healthy. The solution? Kale and spinach! They wilt down nicely and are almost unnoticeable in most dishes. I also add carrots and celery to my chili.
Need a sauce or condiment to make your lunch more enticing? First and foremost, I recommend protein rich, plain, non-fat Greek yogurt. My husband and I use this religiously as a replacement for sour cream or, say for example, it’s Thursday and you’re finishing up chicken you prepped on Sunday…this helps add a bit much needed of moisture and flavor! Another idea is to make EZ-Guac! Add some healthy fats and flavor to the Greek yogurt with an avocado. It makes the perfect, healthy condiment for almost anything!
Craving something sweet? How about a dessert that will fulfill your cravings and fill you up? The answer: Peanut Butter Protein Pudding. Take 1 cup of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt and mix in about a tablespoon of PB2, between 1/2 to 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder, a dash of cinnamon (to taste), and about a teaspoon of chia seeds. I like mine fairly thick (like pudding or frozen yogurt), but add a tiny bit of water if you need it. Enjoy!
Want a big, carb-filled meal? Just double the veggies! Take my stir fry down below, for example (find the recipe here). Half the rice, double the veggies (or meat if you are focused on protein). This is how I get away with having a larger portion. In my mind, I think I am having a huge bowl of fried rice, but really I am having less carbs and taking in some extra micronutrients. I can’t think of a vegetable I don’t like to add to dishes like this, I recommend anything your family likes! I also double up on vegetables with my meat sauces for pasta, stews/soups or basically any large one-pot meal.
P.S. And since you were nice enough to stick around to the end and clearly interested in packing your food with macros and micros, I am going to share a little deal with you thanks to my friends at bodybuilding.com!
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