20 Protein-Packed Foods that Slim
Image: Thomas MacDonald
Serving size: 1/2 cup
Protein per serving: 4 g
Quinoa is one of the few vegetarian sources that are a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. It’s also a rich source of fiber, magnesium, folate, copper, thiamin and vitamin B6, says Susan Irby, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide Quinoa Cookbook.
Buying tips: Many stores have bulk bins where you can purchase quinoa by the pound, or it’s usually available in one-pound boxes, says Irby. You’ll probably see red, white, and black varieties. “White quinoa has the mildest flavor; red and black quinoa have a more earthy flavor, but are still very tasty,” says Irby.
Meal ideas: Quinoa can be substituted anywhere you would normally use rice, says Irby. “Cook quinoa and toss it with arugula greens, tomatoes, fresh red and yellow bell peppers, or use quinoa in stuffed bell peppers or stuffed tomatoes.” To get quinoa into your kid’s diet, you can also use it as a binder for burgers, meatballs, and meatloaf instead of breadcrumbs, says Irby. If you don’t like its nutty, earthy flavor, add spices and herbs, such as cayenne pepper, lemon zest, cilantro, basil, Italian parsley, cumin or cinnamon.