Swaps for Protein Power: Dinner

Swaps for Protein Power: Dinner

Alex Brecher

A high-protein dinner can help you finish your day strong and keep confident as you work towards hitting and maintaining goal weight, but so many barriers can get between you and a healthy dinner. Challenges such as lack of time and energy to cook and prepare foods can put a damper on your good intentions, and – let’s get real – sometimes those high-carb, low-protein foods call a little louder.

The BariatricPal Store has the swaps you need for protein power, with no extra time or effort necessary. Better yet, you can get full flavor with your protein.


How could pasta not come first on a dinner list? It can be anything from elegant (pasta primavera) to comforting (spaghetti and meatballs) to kid-friendly (mac and cheese). Now, it can be anything from carb-laden to protein-packed.

  • Pasta Primavera: Toss prepared Fettuccini Alfredo Pasta with ½ cup each of cooked sliced zucchini, snow peas, sliced carrots, and bell pepper strips, plus 2 tablespoons each of grated parmesan and 2 tablespoons of almond milk. This huge serving has under 350 calories, plus over 20 grams of protein.
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs: Heat, eat, and feel good about the 16 grams of protein and 220 calories you just had.
  • Mac and Cheese: Heat and eat Cheesy Mac Protein Pasta entrée to get 12 grams of protein, or try tossing prepared Protein Orzo with cheddar cheese and butternut squash for a creamy, low-carb treat with 25 grams of protein.

Pizza, Burgers, and Tacos

Aka, what do you do if you are cooking dinner for your children, too? Set out the meal as a serve-yourself bar, and take Protein Bread for yourself instead of pizza crust, hamburger buns, or taco shells. Try these double or triple doses or protein.

  • Diced tomatoes or marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, sliced vegetables, and diced all-natural turkey ham for pizza.
  • A veggie burger or turkey patty plus lettuce, tomato, and onion for a hearty burger.
  • Fat-free refried beans, shredded lettuce and diced tomato, and shredded cheddar cheese for a taco.

Potatoes and Rice – Oh, My!

You can bump up the protein by subbing for starchy sides such as potatoes and rice. Try bean salads, hot beans and cheese, and curried lentils, for example, along with your chicken or fish. You can also opt for all-in-one Protein Entrees, such as Vegetarian Chili, Spicy Chicken Oriental with Rice, and Potato Stew.

Check out your options for instant, high-protein dinners at The BariatricPal Store, and never scramble for protein at dinner again. It is at your fingertips!

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