Monday, October 24, 2011

Packing a Protein Punch

Even though it's Monday, I decided to give the boys a break and go with chicken because I am going to be out of commission as of Wednesday for a few days due to a business trip.

Tonight's main even was chock full o' protein - a trainer's dream! Let's review:
  • Chicken crusted with walnuts: Obviously a boneless, skinless chicken breast has a bunch of the good stuff. When you add walnuts to the equation, you get up to 4g more, plus a nutritional bonus of antioxidants and omega-3s.
  • Quinoa: Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain, with a whole gaggle of fiber thrown in for fun. I added some almonds to the quinoa - another good source of protein.
I was not intending on making this meal all about protein, it just worked out that way. Plus, I was looking for some sort of theme for tonight's blog entry.

Walnut-Crusted Chicken
Source: Light & Delish, Spring 2010

  • 1/2 c. panko
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 c. walnuts
  • 1/4 c. loosely packed parsley leaves (skip)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp Dijon
  • 1.5 lbs thinly sliced chicken breast cutlets (used regular chicken breasts)
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray pan with cooking spray.
  • Combine panko and cayenne. In a food processor, blend walnuts and parsley until nuts are finely chopped. Toss with panko mixture until well blended. (I just crushed the walnuts instead of using the food processor tonight)
  • In a separate bowl, whisk egg white and Dijon until well-mixed.
  • Dip chicken into egg white mixture, then coat in panko mixture. Arrange in pan then spray top lightly with cooking spray.
  • Bake until chicken is cooked through and golden brown, approx. 10-12 mins (for thinly sliced cutlets).
Yield: 6 servings (I assumed four ounces/serving - the recipe does not include portion sizes - meh)
Per serving: 215 calories; 29g protein; 5g carbs; 8g fat (1g sat); 1g fiber; 66mg chol; 280mg sodium

I paired the chicken with a pilaf-like quinoa - just sauteed some chopped carrots, scallions, red peppers, oregano and minced garlic, mixed it into the cooked quinoa and added some slivered almonds. This recipe comes from the back of the quinoa box, but I only followed a portion of it (but will not repeat!).

This is a good weeknight meal. It was fast to prepare and required little effort. We all really liked it - the kid finished his entire serving. The hubs and I also enjoyed the quinoa pilaf, but the kid did not at all. He noted it tasted too much like couscous, which is apparently doesn't like. When I pointed out it didn't have that much flavor in general, he countered that was exactly why he didn't like it.. Kid: 1. Mom: 0.

Three Forks


  1. Perfect meal! It will help you be nice and strong during tomorrow's workout! MV

  2. Mmmmm.. making chicken tonight. If it weren't apple week I'd be tempted to try this one. Maybe next week! Oh yes. Be safe & have fun on your trip!

  3. MV: I think it helped with those 25 pounders!

    DD: Let me know if you try it - after apple week of course. And thanks!