Recipes and Tips for Planning a Protein and Produce Filled Diet

Salad Lyonnaise (from my cookbook )

Tomorrow is the start of our 10 Day Produce and Protein challenge. If you are like me, you may still need to do a little grocery shopping! As I was figuring out our menu, I thought I would share some of my recipes and ideas in case you, like me, are coming up with your grocery list.

A few tips

Plan to Shop Twice a Week

You may have to shop more than once. There really is only so much a refrigerator can hold after all. I often find that my refrigerator is stuffed after a shopping trip. But it can be gone within a half of a week, if it was full of bunchy heads of lettuce, and bags full of fresh corn and fruit from the farmer’s market. Plan two shopping trips if you have a large family (for those trying to keep a simple lifestyle, I am sorry, but this just may be needed), especially if you only have one refrigerator.

Buy a lot

You can’t do the challenge if you don’t have the food on hand to cook to eat. It’s just not going to happen. Nina Planck said in one of her books that she would rather have to throw out a bit at the end of the week, than not have enough produce in the house to start with. Yes, I believe in not wasting food. But I also realize that if you try to be to stingy in buying the needed produce, you will end up with not enough to complete the 10 days.

Keep it Simple

It’s also not going to happen if you get to elaborate. No matter what, it’s going to be work to prepare that many vegetables (but work does not equal “bad”, by the way). But try to keep it easy as much as possible so that you don’t end up spending all of your time in the kitchen. Roast a chicken (recipe below), and shred it for salads, chicken salad, etc. Use the bones to make a broth so that you can make vegetable- full soup.  Or roast some simple chicken drumsticks (a bit of oil, salt and pepper) or the Lemon Garlic Drumsticks (recipe link below) and make extra to eat cold the next day for lunch. One of my favorite meals is the Roasted Meat and Vegetable Dinner, , while I gave it an uninspiring name, it’s truly delicious and so easy to put together. Salmon is a very fast cooking fish too for last minute meals.

But Good

Of course, keep it simple, but also make it taste good too! It’s worth nothing if you won’t eat it. Steam green beans simply, but dot with high quality butter and salt. Roast vegetables to bring out the sweetness, or do an Asian stir fry with extra meat for a full meal deal.

My Compromise Food

Canned low mercury fish in BPA cans (wildplanet is one company that sales such products). Easy protein, delicious and convenient (though a bit spendy).

Some loose plans for my menu planner

Breakfast
Eggs in various forms
Sausage and sauteed zucchini
Leftover meat and vegetables

Lunch
Leftovers from the night before
Big Salads with lots of protein added
Canned Salmon or tuna in a salad or with lots of vegetables on way or another (recipe to come soon!)
Deviled Eggs (recipe below) and cucumber and red pepper sticks
Lentil Salads

Dinner
Big main dish salads (remember 2 cups of lettuce equals only 1 cup of your total 4-5 cups of vegetables)
Roasted Chicken with a green salad and vegetable side, brown rice
And some of the recipe below

Protein Recipes

Salmon with Basil Romesco Sauce

Simple and Delicious: Lemon Garlic Drumsticks

Simple Lentil Salad

Herbed Baked Eggs

Roasted Chicken with Gravy

Ground Beef and Cabbage Filling (serve over rice for a simple meal)

Turkey (or Chicken) Apple Sausage

Braised Seven Hour Leg of Lamb

Curried Sprouted Lentils with a Ginger Garlic Cilantro Sauce

Bistro Clams

Chubby Girl’s Egg Scramble
(For a really Chubby’s girl scramble for the challenge you will need to eat three eggs per meal if that’s your sole source of protein)

Roasted Meat and Vegetable Dinner

Black Bean and Egg Burritos

Sloppy Joe’s in a Bowl

Simple Deviled Eggs

Vegetable Recipes

Cucumber and Red Onion Salad

Bacon, Egg, and Avocado Salad

Thai Salad with Spicy Dressing

Chilled Avocado and Cucumber Soup

Carrot and Celery Root Soup

$5 Dish:  Simple Zucchini and Onions

Buttery Lemon Broccoli

$2 Side: Buttery Pan Fried Carrots

Garlicky Green (or Yellow) Beans

Roasted Asparagus

Butternut Squash Fries

Have any tips and recipes to share for our challenge?

KimiHarris

I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

Comments

  1. Heather says

    I didn’t “officially” sign up for your challenge but this has helped give me a jump start at being more mindful about eating this way again and counting fruit/veggie servings – thanks! :)

  2. Carla says

    I did some shopping today and kicked things off tonight with the Mexican Beef Taco Wraps. Your recipes were easy and delicious. Pressed for time, I ended up tearing my lettuce into a big salad and then topped it with a portion of the taco meat, pico de gallo and some dressing. It was yummy. I had a cucumber around so I chopped and ate that too. I felt full and very satisfied. I’m looking forward to trying out some of the other recipes in your book.

  3. Amy Best says

    Hey Kimi, I am enjoying your cookbook! Question for you- I love french green lentils, but haven’t been able to find a decent price for them. $4/lb at New Seasons! I might as well buy a pound of meat instead. ;-) I did find some on Amazon for $2.50/lb, which just still seems pretty pricy. Maybe that is just how it is with french green lentils? Any secret sources for getting them cheap? :)

    • KimiHarris says

      Hi Amy,

      Glad you like it. :-) I would feel especially bad if friends bought my book and ended up not enjoying it! French Green Lentils are more expensive. I prefer them, but you do have to be willing to pay a little extra for them. One thing to keep in mind is that when they are cooked they expand a lot more, so it’s going to be a lot more bulkier than a pound of meat. (I cup of dried lentils will make 2 cups of cooked lentils). Doesn’t Azure Standard sale it in bulk? I would try a recipe using it and then decide if you like them well enough to pay more before buying in bulk though…..

  4. Evi says

    Hi Kimmy, perhaps you’d like to know that your book is already on its way to Greece! :)
    We have so much fresh produce over here but we’ve started getting tired having the same range of salads again and again, so I’m looking forward to trying your recipes.
    I can find the Wild Planet products on iherb.com and although I like the sardines I prefer Henry and Linda’s salmon.
    How do you find their tuna? I’m always cautious with tuna because of mercury and other heavy metals but if this brand is safe I’d be thrilled as we love tuna here!

    • KimiHarris says

      Wow Evi! I am honored!

      I personally do like their tuna and it is much lower mercury than most brands. I am using the Wild Albacore Tuna today in fact! I also really like the Henry and Linda’s Salmon.

  5. says

    I never thought of sauteing sausage and zucchini together for breakfast. What a good idea! I have to eat high protein breakfasts due to some blood sugar issues, so I’m always looking for new protein-for-breakfast ideas.

  6. says

    I think I will have to shop twice a week like you suggested because our fridge is so full from just the intial grocery trip and I find I usually run out of lettuce before the end of the week. I can’t run out now that I’m doing the challenge! I think getting the 4 cups of vegetables a day may be the hardest to do, because of the fridge space and because I probably don’t get this amount every day on a regular basis. Thus far, I have had a basted egg and coconut milk smoothie with avocado and egg yolk for breakfast. Crunchy pecans for a snack. And will be having an arugula/cabbage salad with tomatoes, avocado, egg, and chicken for lunch. Now I need to plan dinner! I feel great already and am not craving sweets and carbs, because I am providing my body with needed protein, vitamins and nutrients.

  7. Sarah says

    Breakfast options:
    Home made whole milk Keffir is a good start for me. I sometimes drop in a raw egg from a local farmer. It’s simple and quick.

  8. says

    Hi there Challengers! I love this idea.

    Being a team member at Whole Foods Market and inundated with vegan-ism with their
    new roll out of the first wellness center in my store….it is amazing how brainwashed
    people are about fat and protein.

    It is actually laughable, while we are trying to get people healthy with glossed over crash course dieting here at WFM (call it what you will) it amazes me how much knowledge they cherry pick.

    I have been telling everyone at my store (about 300 employees) about WAPF and Nourished Gourmet and about this challenge, it is hard at first to get them to accept it, but when I tell them they can eat whatever they want, they get excited. I just tell them they can’t have anything white, tan or beige.

    Warmly
    Jennifer

    All the best
    Jennifer W

  9. suzie says

    I’m all ready for this ten day challenge. My fridge is stuffed with fresh produce and meat that I got yesterday from the farmer’s market and our CSA. :)
    And I think you meant to say ‘Canned low mercury fish in BPA FREE cans’ in your post.

  10. Elizabeth says

    I am trying so hard to add protein to my diet. I am 10 weeks pregnant and almost NOTHING tastes good. I would love suggestions on how to eat healthy when you can’t stand the thought of lettuce.

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