6 Delicious Protein-Packed Recipes

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Power through your weeknight meals with these easy and amazing protein-rich recipes!

Want to start on the right foot? Power through your morning with these five fantastic, protein-packed smoothies.

Beef Chili

This Blazing Beef and Bean Chili is hot stuff. A dynamite mix of chili powder, red pepper flakes and cayenne, mingled with intense cocoa powder, sweet tomatoes, fiber-rich beans and well-seasoned meat, it can rival any Lone Star chili joint. In a big bowl or piled atop a hot dog or fries, this one is a Chilympic winner.


2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium white onions, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp brown sugar
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper

2½ lbs ground beef

1 (28oz) tin diced tomatoes
1 (5.5oz) tin tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2½ cups canned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained


Sour cream
Shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Sliced jalapeno pepper
Corn tortillas


1) In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and stir often, cooking 4 minutes. Add diced red pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cocoa powder, salt, oregano, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Cook for 1 minute to combine spices, stirring continuously. Add the ground beef and cook 10 minutes until no longer pink. Break beef up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth and cider vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add kidney beans and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes more.

2) Serve topped with sour cream, cheddar on Monterey Jack cheese, sliced jalapeño and/or fried tortilla strips (cut corn tortillas into thin strips, fry in 1-inch of oil for 1-2 minutes and season with a little salt).

Serves 8-10

Horseradish Beef Tenderloin

Beef tenderloin. Tender. Loin. True to its name, this is the butteriest cut of beef, the best of the best that we love to haul out for celebratory meals. Coated in a crust of spicy horseradish and Dijon mustard and then served with a zesty gremolata of parsley, rosemary and thyme, this flavourful, satisfying tenderloin is tops.


Beef Tenderloin

3lb beef tenderloin, center cut
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
½ cup bottled horseradish, drained and squeeze dried
2 tbsp olive oil

Herb Gremolata

3 tbsp chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1) Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Place tenderloin on baking sheet, pat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread Dijon mustard over the top and sides of the beef. In a small bowl stir the horseradish and olive oil together and then coat top and sides of the meat with the horseradish mixture. Roast for 45 minutes for medium rare, (when a meat thermometer registers 145ºF). Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

2) While the beef is resting, prepare the gremolata. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped parsley, rosemary, thyme, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss all ingredients together and spoon over sliced beef .

Serves 8

Spicy Spaghetti & Meatballs

How do you turn tender meatballs into great balls of fire? Simple…just stop, drop and roll. As in, stop what you’re doing, drop the grocery bags and start rolling out these marvellous homemade meatballs. Paired with this robust and spicy spaghetti sauce, this easy dinner is going to get everyone fired up!


Spicy Tomato Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 small garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 (28oz) tins San Marzano whole tomatoes
1 small bunch fresh basil, tied together
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper


2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ lbs lean ground beef
½ lb ground veal

1 cup olive oil, for browning meatballs


1) For the tomato sauce, in a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes, until softened. Add tomato paste, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon to create smaller chunks. Once sauce comes to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer. Add basil, salt and pepper and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove basil and set sauce aside until meatballs are ready.

2) For the meatballs, in a large bowl, combine panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, eggs, basil, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine. Add ground beef and veal, mixing thoroughly by hand until well combined. Shape into 2-inch meatballs.

3) In a large skillet, heat 1 cup olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown meatballs in batches, being sure not to overcrowd the pan, about 4-5 minutes per side until both sides are browned. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Place meatballs into simmering tomato sauce and cook covered for 15-20 minutes more.

Yield: 30-32 meatballs

Juicy Lime Pecan Chicken

This recipe is to cooking what “Smoke on the Water” is to my kids’ learning guitar. No matter your skill level, it’ll always turn out good. But the similarities don’t end there—both have four simple steps and both are confidence boosters that’ll have you showing off for company. Now that you’ve nailed this classic, it’s time to move onto some new creations.


1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup melted margarine
2 limes, juiced
1 lime, zested
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups chopped pecans
2 cups breadcrumbs

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves


Note: Once coated, this chicken should be refrigerated for 2 hours or more. When you are ready to bake it, preheat the oven to 350°F.

1) Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non- stick cooking spray.

2) In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper. In a large bowl, whisk Dijon mustard, margarine, lime juice, lime zest and eggs. On a large plate, combine pecans and breadcrumbs.

3) Working one chicken breast at a time, lightly coat chicken in flour (shake off excess), dip in mustard mixture and finally coat in the pecan mixture.

4) Place pecan-crusted chicken on prepared baking sheet and cover with wax paper. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours or more. Bake for 30 minutes and serve with lime wedges.

Serves 6

Balsamic Chicken with Peppers and Almonds

Tired of looking for the perfect, dependable, crowd-pleasing chicken recipe? Search no further than this Balsamic Chicken, a juicy, breadcrumb and Parmesan-coated chicken that is topped with a dark beauty-of-a-sauce, a balsamic sauce that includes sweet peppers, plump raisins and toasted slivered almonds.


1/4 cup flour
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Balsamic Sauce

2 tsp olive oil
2 large red bell peppers, sliced into strips
2 large green peppers, sliced into strips
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground
black pepper
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds, for topping


1) Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray.

2) Place flour in a shallow dish. Put egg whites in a separate bowl. Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan in a third dish. Dust chicken with flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in egg whites and then coat in the breadcrumb mixture.

3) In a large skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. Sauté the chicken for 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Place chicken on prepared baking sheet and finish cooking in the oven for 18-20 minutes.

4) For the sauce, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add red and green peppers and sauté for 8 minutes. Add raisins and stir for 1 minute. Add the balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper, mixing 1-2 minutes, coating the peppers.

5) To serve, slice chicken and top with balsamic sauce and toasted almonds.

Serves 6

Thai Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wrap

These easy, healthy and flavourful Thai Chicken Meatball Wraps are a delicious Asian twist on a classic Italian dish. Sorry spaghetti, but this is a meal you can hold in your hand, butter lettuce filled with Thai-flavoured chicken meatballs, a light peanut sauce and a spicy slaw.


Chicken Meatballs

1½ lbs ground chicken
¼ cup breadcrumbs
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp Sriracha sauce
½ tsp lime zest
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Peanut Sauce

½ cup smooth peanut butter
½ cup light coconut milk
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp Sriracha sauce
1/8 tsp kosher salt


4 cups coleslaw mix
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp mayonnaise
½ tsp Sriracha sauce

8-12 Boston lettuce cups

Roasted peanuts, for garnish
Chopped green onions, for garnish


1) Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2) For the meatballs, in a medium bowl, combine ground chicken, breadcrumbs, green onions, basil, egg, ginger, Sriracha sauce, lime zest, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine and form the meatballs using 1½ tablespoons of meat mixture for a total of 22-24 meatballs. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-16 minutes, or until they are fully cooked, flipping halfway through.

3) To prepare the peanut sauce, in a medium bowl, whisk peanut butter, coconut milk, lime juice, Sriracha sauce and salt. Whisk until well combined, set aside.

4) In a small bowl, combine coleslaw mix and basil. In another bowl whisk rice vinegar, mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce together.

5) To assemble, spoon a scoop of coleslaw into the bottom of each lettuce cup, top with 2 or 3 meatballs and drizzle with peanut sauce. Garnish with roasted peanuts and chopped green onions. Serve with remaining peanut sauce.

Makes 8 lettuce cups

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