Have you seen the latest headlines about canned tuna losing its popularity? This practical form of high quality, sales have fallen by 40% in recent years, according to USDA.
If you are also considering abandoning canned tuna, you can look for alternative protein-rich foods that are quick, easy and versatile. Here are six that you probably do not eat often enough, plus easy ways to incorporate them into balanced meals.
In addition to canned and frozen alternatives, you can buy steamed finished lenses in the product section in many markets. One serving provides about 18 grams of protein, along with 16 grams of filling fiber (over 60% of your daily goal) and a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. For a meal of a few minutes, toss a generous handful of leafy greens with a dressing made from balsamic vinegar, mustard and Italian herbs. Top with lentils, a quarter of an avocado and a few tablespoons of pumpkin seeds.
Pea protein burgers
In addition to the fact that pea protein is naturally gluten-free and is not a common allergen, it is easy to find pea burgers made from whole food ingredients. A pea burger can provide at least 25 grams of protein. You can use them in a number of ways, including crumbled on salads, in frying pans and rolled up in wraps with chopped vegetables and vinegar-based batter. You can also eat them whole, placed between lettuce leaves, along with tomato, onion and avocado.
Each whole egg provides about 6 grams of protein. In addition, recent research shows that the cholesterol in eggs, which are completely present in the yolk, has little or no effect on blood cholesterol. In fact, a study showed that in healthy adults, up to three whole eggs per day increased the levels of "good" HDL cholesterol and lowered "bad" LDL. The yolk also contains the majority of an egg's nutrients, at least 90% or all of the choline, vitamin D, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin B12, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
Add hard-boiled eggs to salads for an immediate increase in protein. You can also chop some with spinach, tomatoes, red onions, celery and peppers and a small scoop of boiled, chilled quinoa with a mashed avocado.
Plant protein powder
Here is another processed food that can be made with simple, pure ingredients and used in many different ways. A scoop of plant protein powder can provide at least 20 grams of protein, with little carbohydrates and fat. In addition to being whipped into smoothies, plant protein powder can be added to strengthen the protein content of oatmeal and oats overnight, banana pancakes, spicy soups and cauliflower puree.
If you do not own a can opener, look for beans that are sold loosely. One cup of organic vegetarian baked beans contains about 12 grams of protein and fiber. For a quick meal, serve beans with steamed frozen broccoli mixed with canned milk-free pesto. Or mix them with a fresh garden salad topped with an EVOO-based balsamic vinaigrette.
Both plant-based and dairy-based Greek yogurt can be good sources of finished protein. Depending on the brand, a medium-sized package provides about 11-14 grams of protein. The great thing about plain Greek yogurt is that you can enjoy it either sweet or salty. For a sweet version, add fresh fruit, nuts or seeds, a dash of maple syrup, a splash of cinnamon and a sprinkle of freshly grated ginger. For a tasty alternative, add garlic, fresh dill, red wine vinegar, sea salt and black pepper and then toss with vegetables such as sliced cucumber, tomatoes and a little red onion.