Yes, Veggies Do Contain Proteins

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Eating your vegetables can actually help you build muscle. While best known for their vitamins, fiber, antioxidants and minerals, every gram of protein counts. It is always good to mix and match higher protein vegetables with other great sources of protein such as eggs, fish, seeds, nuts or poultry.
Some of the best pics during the winter months are your greens like Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Asparagus, and the not so green Artichoke.
Broccoli – 1 cup of chopped Broccoli has approximately 3 grams of protein. Broccoli is also high in fiber and therefore always a great choice for a healthy filling vegetable.

The “BEST” Roasted Broccoli

  • 4 pounds of broccoli
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets.
Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are
Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1½ tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, and Parmesan. Serve hot.
Serves 6, each serving contains; Calories 129, Protein 10g., Fat 2g., Carbohydrates 21g.,
Fiber 7 g.

Loaded Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

  • 6 cups bite size fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • ¾ shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 3 cups cooked short-grain brown rice (or riced cauliflower)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • ½ cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 3 strips cooked chopped bacon
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onion

Position oven rack about 5 inches from broiler; preheat to 375°F. Coat a broiler-safe 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Add broccoli to a large saucepan; cover and cook, undisturbed, over medium heat until the broccoli is tender-crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.
Meanwhile, stir cream cheese, Monterey Jack, 1/4 cup Cheddar, sour cream, mustard, granulated garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper together in a large bowl until combined.
Add the broccoli, rice, chicken and broth; fold with a rubber spatula until evenly coated and no clumps of cheese remain. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish; top with the remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until warmed through, about 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and remove foil. Increase oven temperature to broil. Broil until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon and green onions.
Serves 8, each serving contains; Calories 361, Protein 23g., Fat 19g., Carbohydrates 23g., Fiber 3g.

Brussels Sprouts

– 1 cup of Brussels sprouts has 3 grams of Protein, this tiny variety of cabbage has made a come back over the past few years, showing up in a variety of recipes.

Brussels Sprouts Casserole

(Adapted from a Pioneer Woman recipe)

For the Casserole

  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded, divided
  • 4 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded, divided

For the Topping

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup Panko
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Brussels sprouts: Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until lightly golden and just crispy, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
Add the Brussels sprouts and onion to the skillet and stir well to coat with the bacon grease. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until the sprouts start to brown and caramelize, 6 minutes. Stir in the salt, black pepper, and cayenne, and continue to cook until the Brussels sprouts are almost tender, 6 minutes more.
For the topping: In a small bowl, combine the oil, panko, parsley, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
Remove the Brussels sprouts from the heat and stir in the heavy cream, mustard, and lemon juice. Stir in half of the cheeses and half of the reserved bacon. Transfer to a greased 2-quart casserole dish in an even layer. Top with the remaining half of the cheeses and bacon and sprinkle the panko mixture all over. Bake until the casserole is bubbling around the edges and the panko mixture is golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes, then serve.
Serves 6-8, each serving contains; Calories 353, Protein 15g., Fat 27g., Carbohydrates
10g., Fiber 5g.


– 1 cup of asparagus has about 3 grams of protein, and is also rich in vitamin A, folate and fiber.

Stir Fried Teriyaki Chicken and Asparagus

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • ½ tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 ½ pounds skinless chicken breast, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 12 ounces asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic

Whisk the soy sauce, honey, ginger, and cornstarch in a small bowl, set aside
Lightly season the chicken with salt.
Heat a large non-stick wok over medium-high heat, when hot add 1 teaspoon of the oil, then add the asparagus and cook until tender-crisp, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Set aside on a dish.
Increase the heat to high, then add 1 teaspoon of oil and half of the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes on each side.
Remove and set aside and repeat with the remaining oil and chicken.
Place everything back into the wok, pour the sauce over and cook stirring 30 to 60 seconds until the sauce thickens slightly
Serves 4, each serving contains; Calories 302, Protein 42g., Fat 8g., Carbohydrates 15g.


– 1 medium artichoke has about 4 grams of protein, and may not appear on your weekly menu, but they probably should be. Artichokes are rich in prebiotic fiber which promotes the growth of good bacteria, crucial for immunity and brain health.

Mediterranean Roasted Artichoke Hearts

  • 2 (14 ounce) cans quartered artichoke hearts, packed in water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Optional Creamy Feta Dressing

  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 6 ounces feta cheese
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • Water, about ½ cup

Preheat the oven to 425°F. If using the feta dressing, make it while the oven preheats, see below.

Drain the artichoke hearts well and pat them very dry with paper towels.
Spread the artichoke hearts on a sheet pan and season with a big pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat, then spread the artichoke hearts out in a single layer on the sheet pan.
Roast for 15 minutes, then toss the artichokes and rotate the pan. Roast until crispy and golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes more.
For the dressing – Into a blender or the bowl of a large food processor fitted with the S-blade, add yogurt, feta, grated garlic, lemon juice, and a generous drizzle (about 3 to 4 tablespoons) good extra virgin olive oil and 2 to 3 tablespoons water. Blend until you reach the consistency of a creamy dressing, adding more water (about 1 tablespoon at a time) as needed.
To Serve: Transfer the roasted artichokes to a serving plate and drizzle with a bit of the feta dressing or sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (if using). Serve hot, with more feta dressing on the side for dipping.