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Just reposting an oldie but goodie… I thought you’d like to see all the information in one place…

It really makes a difference when you start the day with a good dose of protein. I know that for me – I feel more alert, have more energy and less snack attacks; and I even stay warmer on these cold winter mornings when I serve up the protein before 8 am.

To that end, I want to share with you a dozen protein-rich breakfasts in the coming weeks and months. Most of theses next posts will have a protein packed breakfast idea, many may even come with a recipe; I will indicate how much protein each has and an indication of about how much you’ll spend on your morning protein load. In most cases, the price will reflect an investment in stocking your pantry and/or refrigerator with some good protein sources.

There is a lot of conflicting information out there on what constitutes a healthy diet – so it’s hard to know exactly how much protein your body needs. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that 10-35% of your daily calories come from protein – so the best way to calculate this is really based on your height, weight and caloric need. The chart below is a ballpark estimate from the IOM on the Recommended Dietary Allowances for different age groups:

Recommended Dietary Allowance for Protein
  Grams of proteinneeded each day
Children ages 1 – 3


Children ages 4 – 8


Children ages 9 – 13


Girls ages 14 – 18


Boys ages 14 – 18


Women ages 19 – 70+


Men ages 19 – 70+


For adults who struggle with weight control, a great secret to keeping in check your food cravings [and therefore daily calories] is to start the day with at least 10-15 grams of protein

So from now through the first week of April, you’ll find weekly suggestions and recipes to boost your protein power  in 2013! Here are the ones that have been posted so far!

1- Homemade Turkey Sausages

2 – Hot Buckwheat, banana, flax and walnuts 

3 – Black Lentils 

4 – Whole wheat toast with peanut butter and yogurt 

5- Egg and spinach greens fried in coconut oil  

6- Leftover brown rice porridge 

7- Oatmeal and milk 

8- Cottage cheese, strawberries and almond slices  

9- 2 Egg cheddar cheese omelette with mushrooms

10- Boiled Quinoa, Berries and Walnuts

11- Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie

13-  Tofu Scramble

14- Variation on a previous protein-rich breakfast 

For more information on protein RDAs see:

Colorful breakfast!

Colorful breakfast!

Okay, so let’s make it a baker’s dozen for the protein-rich breakfast series.

Protein-rich breakfast #13

This is an illustration of the basic black lentils and greens recipe I posted at the end of January. This time I sautéed 1 cup of cooked green lentils in olive oil, added 1 chopped tomato, some cumin, coriander, black pepper and salt for about 5 minutes. Then I added 2 cups of chopped Lacinato kale. I put on lid on the sauté pan and let it cook for about 3 minutes until the kale was soft.

After dishing plates for myself and my husband, we still had about 1 serving left (for lunch). I added a few slices of avocado and voila – a beautiful breakfast that kept me satisfied from 7 am until 1 pm!

Key take aways:

1- Experiment with what you have — the January 30 recipe called for black lentils, I had green – so I used them. It also called for coconut oil, but I just received the gift of some great olive oil so I used it; and we had no spinach, but had just purchased some really fresh Lacinato kale – so I used it. Making variations on basic recipes like this flexes your creativity bones and turns you into a great chef!

2- Include some protein (even 1/3 cup of lentils) and it helps to keep you feeling satisfied throughout the morning. In my case, a protein rich breakfast helps me fend off cravings when I get a little stressed or distracted while I work.

Thank you for reading the Protein-rich breakfast series!

Protein-rich Breakfast #12Part of the protein-rich breakfast dozen:


  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 2 to 3 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon tamari soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 red onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon umeboshi vinegar
  • Dash of black pepper

How to: Press tofu to remove excess water — I usually do this by placing the block between 2 dinner plates and resting a tea kettle filled with water on top of the top plate for about 30-45 minutes. When I come back to it, I remove the tea kettle and tip the plates over the sink to drain out the excess liquid. Once the excess liquid is removed, crumble the tofu into small pieces. Heat olive oil in a frying pan.

  • Add tofu, tamari and turmeric and s
  • auté for 5 minutes.
  • Add onion, red pepper, paprika, umeboshi vinegar and black pepper.
  • Cook for 5 more minutes or until mixture thoroughly heated.

Garnish with alfalfa sprouts or fresh parsley.


This tofu scramble recipe was made available compliments of, where I was trained as a health coach in 2009.





Protein-rich Breakfast #11Part of the protein-rich breakfast dozen


  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup blueberries ($5.99/qt. depending on season)
  • 1/2 banana ($.60/ lb.)
  • 1/2 c whole milk yogurt has 13 g protein; $3.49/qt.
  • (optional) 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (2.5 grams protein; $4.99 8 oz jar);

How to: In a blender add all ingredients and blend until smooth.

total protein 15.5 with peanut butter and 13 g without; total cost $15.07 with peanut butter and $10.16 without.





Protein-rich Breakfast #10: Part of the protein-rich breakfast dozen


  • 1 cup quinoa (12.14 g protein; $7.99/lb)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon,
  • ¼ cup blueberries (1/2 gram protein; 4.99/cup)
  • 7 walnuts (4 grams protein; 6.99/lb).

How to: Measure out 1/2 cup of quinoa and rinse it through a fine mesh strainer – or a colander lined with a round paper coffee filter. Place the rinsed quinoa in a saucepan with 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until water is absorbed and you see the spirals coming from the quinoa grains. Scoop out one cup of quinoa, sprinkle with teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 cup of blueberries and walnuts.

12.14 grams of protein; total cost $19.97 (you should have quinoa and other ingredients left over for future meals).

Note: Quinoa is a high protein grain indigenous to Bolivia. This grain is low in sodium and cholesterol, and is a good source of micronutrients, especially magnesium manganese and phosphorus. To read more nutritional data on quinoa see:


Protein-rich Breakfast #9Part of the protein-rich breakfast dozen


  • 2 eggs (12 g protein; $3.49/dozen)
  • pinch of salt and black pepper to taste;
  • 1 ounce of grated cheddar cheese (4 g protein; $4.89/lb);
  • ½ c mushrooms (1 g protein; $5.00/lb)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

How to: Whisk together eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Clean and slice mushrooms into thin strips. Grate cheddar cheese. Slice mushrooms into thin strips. Heat oil in a frying pan and when it is warm add the eggs to the pan. Watch as edges of the egg mixture solidify. When edges harden carefully flip the egg onto its uncooked side and add the sliced mushrooms and cheese. Reduce heat and cook for 3 minutes while cheese inside the omelette melts.

17 grams protein; total cost: $13.38.

Protein-rich Breakfast #7Part of the protein-rich breakfast dozen


  • 1 cup of Oatmeal (6 grams protein; 1.99/lb)
  • 1 cup milk (8 g protein; $3.79/gallon) and
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds (5 g; $4.96/lb)

How to: bring 1-3/4 cup of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt; add one cup of oatmeal and bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes, until much of the water is absorbed. Serve with 1 cup of milk and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of sliced almonds. If you prefer a sweeter flavor add 1 tbsp of maple syrup.

19 g protein;  total cost $10.74.

Protein-rich Breakfast #6Part of the protein-rich breakfast dozen

This recipe comes from Josh Rosenthal’s Integrative Nutrition*


  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (5 g protein; $.86/lb);
  • 1 cup milk (8 protein; 3.79/gallon);
  • 1 cup chopped apple ($2.49/lb);
  • 1 cup walnuts (4 g protein; $6.99/lb);
  • Pantry items: 1 teaspoon cinnamon;
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla;
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
  • 1/4 cup of whole yogurt (3 g protein; $3.49/qt)

How to: Mix all ingredients together and place in a container with a lid and refrigerated 12 hours allowing the rice, fruit and nuts to soak up the milk and spices). Warm and serve with 1/4 cup of whole yogurt.

20 g protein; total cost = $17.62– assuming an investment in a number of pantry items that can be used for other breakfasts…

* Rosenthal, J. (2008). Integrative nutrition. New York, NY: Integrative Nutrition Publishing.

Protein-rich Breakfast #5Part of the protein-rich breakfast dozen


  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (0 g protein; $8-12/ 16 oz jar)
  • 1 egg (6 g protein; $3.29/dozen);
  • 1 cup of spinach (3 grams; $2.99/10 oz bag)

How to: Clean and chop spinach into small, fine threads and place in a bowl. Break open one egg and add it to the spinach beating it together with spinach. Heat coconut oil in frying pan, and when warm add the spinach egg mixture as well as salt and pepper to taste. Mixture is ready when egg is thoroughly cooked (dry rather than runny consistency).

NoteYou can substitute olive oil for coconut oil if you prefer. I include coconut oil here because I have found that cooking breakfast with coconut oil gives me an extra boost of energy. Myra Kornfeld (my cooking teacher last semester) also says that coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil can boost the body’s metabolism because medium chain fatty acids are quickly converted to energy, rather than being stored in the body fat like other dietary fats. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which has several healing and anti-viral qualities. Coconut oil is an extremely stable oil which can be heated to high cooking temperatures without forming harmful bi-products. And it’s an ecologically sustainable oil. Coconut trees produce between 50 and 100 nuts per year. They can grow in challenging conditions like drought, poor soil, etc.; they begin yielding fruit at age six, and continue to produce fruit for about 55 years more.  Coconuts are ecologically sound, as they are able to grow in difficult environments, such as atolls, or under conditions of high salinity, drought, or poor soil. You can buy coconut oil in two varieties: virgin, which has the flavor of a coconut (great for Tai cooking), and a filtered variety which is neutral-tasting.

9 grams protein; total cost: $6.28

Protein-rich Breakfast #4Part of the protein-rich breakfast dozen


  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread (4 g protein; $3.49/loaf) and
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (2.5 grams protein; $4.99 8 oz jar);
  • 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt has 13 g protein; $3.49/qt).

How to: toast the bread, spread on peanut butter and serve with 1/2 cup of whole milk yogurt.

Notes: When choosing a whole wheat bread be sure to read the ingredients. Many grocery store breads have a lot of ingredients that have little nutritional value and are there to keep the bread on the shelf longer. The best solution is to make bread yourself or to shop at farmers’ markets where breads are made with only a handful of ingredients. Nut butters can be substituted for peanut butter with close to the same amount of protein. Peanut butter and milk-based yogurt are complementary proteins — this pairing ensures that your body receives essential amino acids it needs. When choosing yogurt, I look for whole milk yogurt. It’s rich and filling so I eat less of it, and it gives my body the fat that it craves. It’s funny that with the low-fat craze many of us are not getting enough of the good fats in our diet — try greek yogurt which is extra filling or a whole milk yogurt that comes from a biodynamic/organic farm.  My favorite comes from Seven stars Farm

19.5 grams protein; total cost: $11.97

Health & Nutrition Counseling

An integrative approach to health and nutrition which includes Earth consciousness.


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