Here are a few ideas to help make it a little easier to fill your protein macros when prepping!!
by: Sandy Holzer
Some of the following ideas help add flavor, so leftover meat doesn’t taste “leftover” when you are prepping for a few days at a time. Other ideas help to add variety to protein items that become staples in our diets.
Creative Ideas for Getting your Protein Macros met:
- Use marinades or dressings to flavor meats. A few suggestions:
- Allegro brand marinade: Original, hickory, or teriyaki…all are very good
- Kraft zesty Italian dressing
- Grill Mates Marinade Mix (Brazilian Steakhouse, Citrus, and Lime are a couple of really good ones. Just mix with vinegar, water, and oil).
- Canned green chilies
- Canned stewed tomatoes (i.e. w/garlic and basil with little tomatoes)
- Red or green enchilada sauce
You can marinade meats in the traditional sense where you soak the meat in the marinade of your choice for a few hours or even overnight, but my favorite option is to use my Instapot. I use the Instapot often, and it really comes in handy when the chicken breasts are still in the freezer.
For example, I pressure-cook a few chicken breasts (from frozen) for about 30 mins on high with a cup of water or so in the bottom of the pot. Once that is done, I let the pot naturally release the pressure and steam, and then I drain the water from the Instapot.
At this point, I tare a plate on my scale and weigh the cooked chicken. I use a couple of forks to shred the meat and throw it back into the pot. Now I can add whatever sounds good. I, personally, don’t like the flavor of plain leftover chicken, so I will add something like green enchilada sauce to the Instapot and turn on the slow cook setting until I am ready to have dinner.
To make entering this mixture into MFP easier:
I weighed the chicken just before I shredded it to figure out how many servings it was. For example, I usually eat 4 oz (113g) of chicken at a meal and I have 16 oz (1808g) of cooked chicken. Knowing that is 4 servings, I will add 4 servings of enchilada sauce to make it easy to macro in MFP, which in this case equals 63g of sauce per serving for a total of 252g of sauce. So in order to get 113g chicken and 63g sauce, I need to dish out 6.17oz (175g) of the chicken and sauce mixture. I simply enter the chicken and the enchilada sauce separately into MFP.
I label my containers in the fridge with blue painter’s tape using a sharpie marker:
113g Chicken breast + 63g Macayo’s Green Enchilada sauce = 175g
Now you can make burrito bowls, chicken quesadillas, shredded chicken tacos, or scramble a couple of eggs in with the chicken enchilada sauce mixture for breakfast.
This is another great idea that works well for prepping a few days at a time:
Lipton Onion soup mix makes great burgers:
- Mix 1 package of Lipton onion soup mix or Lipton onion mushroom soup mixes into 1lb. ground beef or ground turkey. Form burgers and grill on the BBQ or bake in the oven.
Nonfat, low-fat, or full-fat Greek Yogurt
- Granola (Bear Naked, Nature Valley high protein are just a couple of examples)
- Cereal (Honey nut cheerios, Honey Bunches of Oats, and even Cinnamon Toast Crunch)
- Graham crackers (Kodiak bear bites, Annie’s homegrown Bunny snacks, teddy grams, honey maid Li’l squares)
- Chocolate chips, carob chips
- Greek yogurt is a great option to mix into your morning oatmeal instead of milk.
- Another option for adding into oatmeal is ready to drink protein drinks such as premier brand or equate (Walmart)
Water flavor Enhancer drops (THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE IDEAS)
- Flavor enhancer drops such as the “Mio” brand are a great way to change up the flavor of your plain Greek yogurt. Most grocery stores carry their own brand. Great Value from Walmart has a good Lemonade flavor. Just put a squirt in and mix it up with your spoon. Just a squirt into your Greek yogurt turns it into lemon pudding. Strawberry, watermelon, and mango/pineapple are some other flavors that taste good.
Hard-boiled eggs are a great option for Omega-3 fatty acids and protein. They are handy to have on hand as part of a grab-and go-breakfast or quick snack. A really good way to change up the flavor is to chop the egg up (I use an egg slicer and slice both the long way and the short way to get little squares) and mix it with the mayonnaise and mustard of your choice. A few suggestions:
- Regular Mayo and Yellow mustard
- Kraft olive oil Mayo and Dijon mustard
- Miracle whip (Regular or light versions)
You can always make an “egg salad” sandwich, but I like to switch it up and eat with Tortilla chips.