Many of the foods we love tend to be higher in fat and carbohydrates. Making some simple switches can change any food into a bariatric-friendly, high-protein meal or snack. Try some of the suggestions below to increase your protein intake while still enjoying your favorite foods.
High-protein, low-fat ranch dressing
There are two ways to whip up an easy, lower fat version of ranch dressing.
- Look in the dressing aisle of your grocery store for a powdered ranch seasoning pack. Slowly add seasoning to a plain Greek yogurt until your desired flavor. Use as a dip for veggies, or thin out with low fat milk to create a creamy ranch dressing for salads.
- Dried ranch packages contain a lot of salt. If you are watching your sodium intake, try making your own dried ranch mix with equal parts dried parsley, dried dill weed, dried chives, dried onion flakes or powder, garlic powder, and a little salt and pepper to taste. Add your dry mix to Greek yogurt for dip, or thin out with low fat milk if desired.
High-protein cheese taco shells
Ditch your high carbohydrate tortillas and try these delicious cheese taco shells instead!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place three slices of provolone cheese on baking sheet, making sure they don't touch. Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown. Take out of the oven and immediately form into taco shells. Here are a couple ways to do this:
- Pull parchment paper off baking sheet. Fold parchment paper around cheese to form taco shells, and then peel the shell from the parchment paper and let it cool.
- Using a flat spatula, lift cheese and place over something to form shells, such as wooden spoon handles or the tall sides of a baking pan covered with foil.
Once cooled, stuff your taco shells with lean proteins and lots of veggies. Your taco shells do contain fat, so make sure not to add extra fats inside the shell.
High-protein cheesecake bites
It’s hard to be at a summer barbecue and not be tempted by cool, refreshing treats at the dessert table. Offer to bring this high protein dessert to your next summer gathering so that you can enjoy something sweet without the guilt.
- 2 cups low fat cottage cheese
- ¼ cup fat free cream cheese
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 3oz box of sugar-free lemon gelatin dissolved in ½ cup boiling water
Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until very smooth. Pour into a mini muffin tin lined with cupcake liners and place in refrigerator until set. Top with fruit, low sugar fruit jam or preserves, or with fat-free whipped cream.
Increasing the protein content in foods can be as easy as adding a scoop of unflavored protein powder to your recipe. How do you add protein to your meals? Try experimenting with your favorite dishes, and let us know how it goes!
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