De Ma Cuisine

Protein Archive



October 2016



Eating on the Road – Nutella Raspberry Shake

Written by , Posted in Breakfast, Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Fruit, Gluten Free, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Quick and Easy, Thoughts, Travel, Usana, Vegan, Vegetarian


Life on the road has been great. It’s been filled with adventure and relaxation, smooth highways and bumpy gravel roads, time with people and time alone. It’s been a joy to be on this journey. We’ve loved it all. Part of what’s been fun is getting away from the norms of our everyday life.


Our normal routine includes a weekly menu, planned so that the grocery shopping is done efficiently and practically, so that there is something planned for all meals. We don’t eat out a lot. Eating out doesn’t agree with our budget or our healthy lifestyle choices. However, life on the road includes a lot more eating out than normal. It’s not the norm-norm, but for a while it’s a bit more so. I thought about menu planning before the trip. I could have figured out exactly what we’d eat and where. But, we wanted to have lots of freedom as we travel. Plus, we had such a short amount of time to plan that it got left off of the to-do list. So we’re doing the best we can with what we have. And it’s been great!

pizzartWhen we’re staying with people and are invited to share a meal, we gladly accept. When we’re asked out to a meal, it’s a fun treat. We’ve had delicious pizza in Boston, fabulous barbecue in Texas, and Philly Cheesesteaks in West Philadelphia.

rudysrtSince about half of our time has been spent in the car, we generally munch on a mix of healthy, homemade foods and of course snacks (with a smattering of DQ and Steak’n Shake stops).


Before we left I prepped as much as I could. I made granola bars, sourdough bread, and scones. We bought crackers, cheese, and fruit, jerky, chips, and chocolate covered gummy bears (ok, not all that we brought was healthy). We even had a small pantry that included items like canned beans and tomatoes, tuna, olive oil, and a few of my favorite kitchen tools (we totally brought some cast irons). We borrowed a camping stove from some friends so we have options, which means freedom. Nevermind that we have yet to use it – I’m determined that we will before the end of the trip so that it’s worth it to have lugged it all this way. 😉


Our stays with both sets of parents have been more extended stays (thanks a million moms and dads!). So we’ve had time to unpack and relax. Tim loves English muffins with ham and eggs, so he made those one morning. We’ve also baked quite a bit, using some great recipes from our friend John Park, and made one of my favorite comfort foods, Texas Stuffnutellashake1rtOne thing that we’ve enjoyed while on the road are protein shakes. They’re great for sipping while reading a good book as we listen to the wind rustle the leaves on the fall trees. They’re also a great breakfast to grab when we’re in a rush to get on the road (because let’s be honest, we almost always leave way later than we’d planned). While it’s just fine to use water and a powdered shake mix, I love to add a little more and make a meal that will really keep me full until lunchtime. My favorite shake includes banana and peanut butter. Tim’s includes Nutella. His is the recipe I’ve shared below. I’ll share mine another time.


We’re exercising moderation, trying to make wise decisions, and showing ourselves grace. All of which has added up to a wonderful trip. Lots of great times together that we will cherish for a long long time.

Nutella Raspberry Shake


  • 1/4 C Nutella (or your favorite vegan hazelnut spread)
  • 1/2 C raspberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 5-6 oz milk (any type)
  • 5-6 oz water
  • 2 scoops protein powder (whey, plant, or soy)
  • splash maple syrup


  1. Place all ingredients in a container and blend with a hand blender or regular blender.



February 2015



Eating Vegetarian

Written by , Posted in How To, Thoughts

We try to keep to a diet that’s full of real whole foods that are unprocessed or minimally processed, full of plants, good proteins, fats, and some meat.

Yes, I’m talking about meat in a post about eating vegetarian. Stay with me.

In our home, we eat meat because we like it. We like the taste, what it adds to a dish, the protein it provides. However… it’s not our only, or even main source of protein. I mentioned this in my recent post How to Eat Well on a Budget. While we love meat, it’s expensive, so we’ve cut way back on our consumption. And I think that our meals have been just as hearty, nutritional, and tasty as they would be if we were eating meat more often. Out of the 21 meals we eat each week, maybe 4 or 5 contain meat (and 1 or 2 of them are usually leftovers).

If you’re looking at it from a strictly need for protein perspective, there’s plenty of other foods out there with protein. No need to worry on that front. I rely on things like quinoa, lentils, beans, nuts, nut butters, eggs, dairy, tofu, grains, fruits, and vegetables. I’m confident that we’re not lacking.

For example, I’ve looked at the numbers for nuts and seeds before. But, looking again today was a good reminder about one of the many reasons that nuts are so good for us. If you look at the protein content alone, some of them may surprise you. Sesame seeds have 27.3g in one cup – sprinkle them on to your favorite Stir Fry for an extra boost. Sunflower seeds have 34.8g of protein in one cup. They’re awesome on salads, in granola, or just eaten raw. And, did you know that pumpkin seeds have a whopping 40.6g of protein in just one cup?! I’ve been adding them to my granola for some extra goodness, and snacking on them raw, in a mixture with almonds and sunflower seeds. (1)

Recommended Dietary Allowance for Protein (2)
Grams of protein needed each day
Children ages 1 – 3 13
Children ages 4 – 8 19
Children ages 9 – 13 34
Girls ages 14 – 18 46
Boys ages 14 – 18 52
Women ages 19 – 70+ 46
Men ages 19 – 70+ 56

A Typical Day 

Here’s what my protein intake might look like on a typical day:

Breakfast 8g: I really enjoy smoothies. They’re an easy way to incorporate fruits, veggies, and protein into a meal. This Summer Smoothie, for example, has close to 8g protein per serving. (1)

Lunch 16.21g: Squash ‘n Eggs (13.54g), fresh fruit (0.27g), and a slice of whole grain toast (2.4g protein) with butter. (1)

Dinner 22.35g: Vegetarian Soft Tacos on a whole wheat tortilla (14.74g), 1/2 C Spanish Rice (brown rice) (7.4g), glass of red wine (0.21g). (1)

Snacks 5.62-12.07g: Stove top popped Popcorn topped with olive oil and sea salt, (0.99g) apple/orange/banana/peach/pear/plum/berries/grapes (average of about 0.93g), 1/4 C nuts and seeds (3.7-10.15g). (1)

As you can see, I’m getting plenty of protein in my diet. In fact, according to the above chart, which states that I need about 46g/day, I’m getting more than I need at 52.18 – 58.63g.

More Vegetarian Meals

You’ve seen what a day of my vegetarian meals might look like. Here are some examples of even more foods that we love to incorporate into our protein rich diet: 



Radish and Feta Toasts

Deconstructed Lasagne

Summer Smoothie

Veggie Pizza with Artichoke Hearts

Lentils on Crispy Sweet Potatoes



Heart Healthy Chard Wraps

Mediterranean Quinoa

Lentil Quinoa and Carrot Supper

Slightly Sweet Granola with Quinoa

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad



Dilly Eggs with Lentils

Lentils on Crispy Sweet Potatoes

Lentil Quinoa and Carrot Supper

Mediterranean Quinoa



Vegetarian Soft Tacos

Cannellini and Beet Green Soup with Feta

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa

Nuts, Seeds, and Nut Butters


Fresh Fruit and Basil Stuffed French Toast

Massaged Kale Salad with Radish and Apple

Basil Pesto

Red Choi Stir Fry with Tofu and Almonds

Slightly Sweet Granola with Quinoa



Squash ‘n Eggs

Winter Frittata

End of the Week Pasta

Hearty Winter Salad

Fresh Fruit and Basil Stuffed French Toast

Dilly Eggs with Lentils



Red Choi Stir Fry with Tofu and Almonds


Red Choi Stir Fry with Tofu and Almonds

Fresh Fruit and Basil Stuffed French Toast



Summer Smoothie

Fresh Fruit and Basil Stuffed French Toast



Vegetarian Lasagne

Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Spicy Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Winter Frittata

End of the Week Pasta

Hearty Winter Salad

Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup

Lentils on Crispy Sweet Potatoes

(1) Nutrition Almanac, Mc Graw-Hill 2001, Fifth Edition, Lavon J. Dunne

(2) From, who used: Source for Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) reference and RDAs: Institute of Medicine (IOM) Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. This report may be accessed via*



January 2015



What’s the Deal with Quinoa?!

Written by , Posted in How To, Quinoa


Have you hopped on the quinoa bandwagon? Maybe you’ve been on it for a while. I got on years ago, before it was super trendy. I can’t remember how I discovered it, or even why. I know that I didn’t know how to pronounce it. I called it ki-no-wah, instead of keen-wah.

What a great discovery!

One cup of quinoa has: 22 g protein, 10 g fiber, 83 mcg folic acid, 4.98 mg niacin (vitamin B3) (“important for blood circulation and reducing cholesterol levels in the blood”) (1), 357 mg magnesium, 697 mg phosphorus, and 1258 mg potassium. (1)

I didn’t realize this when we first tried it, but quinoa “has the highest protein content of any grain” (1) (even though technically “it’s the fruit of an herb, not a grain” (2)). If you would compare the amount of protein in one cup of quinoa (22g) to the amount in one cup of brown rice (14.8g), pearled barley (20g), bulgur (19g), and whole wheat pasta (8.4g) (1), quinoa wins. (That’s not to take away from the other options, which I think are great, and are all a regular part of our menu.)


I think that quinoa has a great texture hot or cold, so it’s a perfect fit. I used it this past summer in a Mediterranean Quinoa Salad. The year before, the salad was a similar idea, using tomato and corn. The year before that, it had a bit of a southwestern feel when I added black and pinto beans. I took these salads to potlucks and they were a hit!

Quinoa is super versatile. I use it as I would rice or bulgur, and sometimes even in place of pasta. You could use quinoa in this End of the Week Pasta, instead of the whole wheat penne. You could substitute it for rice and make Spanish rice to go with some Vegetarian Soft Tacos. You could bump up the protein content of some Cannellini and Beet Green Soup with Feta by adding a handful of quinoa to the broth, or adding a generous spoonful of cooked quinoa to a Massaged Kale and Tuna Salad. Why not, right?!


It’s great all wrapped up too. I think it would be fabulous in place of the bulgur wheat in the Cabbage Rolls with Italian Sausage that I made a few weeks ago (even though bulgur has a good amount of protein too – 19g/1 cup (1)). It makes for a great stuffing agent for things like tomatoes and bell peppers. And, it’s practically the star of the Heart Healthy Chard Wraps with Quinoa and Walnuts.

Of course, it’s also great when it’s not being substituted for anything. I love it hot in this Mediterranean Quinoa dish with kale, olives, beans, and tomato, or with lentils and plenty of veggies.


And last, but not least, I really enjoy it in granola. Oats have lots of protein (26g/1 cup) (1). So I don’t add the quinoa for a protein boost. I just kinda like the extra crunch and kinda nutty flavor it brings.

If you want to come up with your own quinoa dish, some suggestions for what to pair it with are: Nuts, tomatoes, greens, salads, onions, black beans, olive oil, feta cheese, corn, and citrus (2)… to name just a few.

So there you have it, friends. All sorts of reasons to start (or continue) enjoying quinoa. I mean, how many foods can boast that they’re a great source of protein as well as being a delicious option for breakfast, lunch, or dinner?!

Happy Eating!

(1) Nutrition Almanac, Mc Graw-Hill 2001, Fifth Edition, Lavon J. Dunne

(2) The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, Little, Brown and Company 2014, First Edition, Karen Page