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Adding Protein To Your Diet

Adding Protein To Your Diet

AUBURN, Ala. – March is national nutrition month. The month is meant to spotlight the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. According to the USDA, all foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts and seeds are considered part of the protein foods group.

The amount of protein you need to eat depends on several factors, such as age and level of physical activity. While most Americans eat the appropriate amount of protein, some need to make leaner and more varied selections of these foods. These recipes are some ways to include leaner proteins in your diet.

Baked Chicken and Rice


Vegetable cooking spray

2 cups chopped cooked

1 cup cooked rice

½ cup dry bread crumbs

1 tablespoon reduced-calories margarine

1 ½ cups reduced fat white sauce

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter flavored granules
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup skim milk


Coat a 1 quart baking dish with cooking spray. Lightly mix chicken, rice and white sauce. Spoon it into baking dish. Combine bread crumbs and melted margarine and spread it over the top of the chicken and rice. Bake at 350 degrees F until crumbs are brown and sauce is bubbly. If too dry, add a little hot chicken broth.

Makes 4 servings. 385 calories per serving.

Oven Chicken Breasts


6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

5 teaspoons butter-flavor granules

5 tablespoons warm water

1 tablespoon reduced-calorie margarine

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon paprika


Place chicken on wax paper and pat dry with paper towels. Run both sides with salt and pepper. Dissolve the butter granules in warm water. Add margarine and pour into a 9 X 13 inch baking dish. Put in a 375 degrees F oven to heat mixture and melt margarine. Remove from oven and add lemon juice and onion powder. Stir. Add chicken, placing larger and ticker pieces near sides of pan. Cover with foil and cook until tender and juice runs clear. If chicken is not brown, put it under the broiler for a few minutes. Sprinkle with paprika.

Makes 6 servings. 481 calories per serving.


Baked Turkey Wings


½ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon thyme

1/8 teaspoon red pepper

½ teaspoon black pepper

4 turkey wings, disjointed

4 teaspoons butter-flavor granules

¼ cup warm water

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

½ cup defatted chicken broth


Combine flour, salt, thyme, black and red pepper. Coat turkey wings with the flour mixture. Dissolve butter granules in warm water and mix with oil. Pour into a large skillet and heat it. Brown turkey wings in skillet and then place them in a large baking pan. Pour excess fat from skillet and add broth. Stir well to remove brown bits. Pour broth over turkey wings and cover with foil. Bake at 400 degrees F for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until tender. Add hot water as needed during cooking. Uncover and allow wings to crisp.

Makes 8 servings. 376 calories per serving.

These recipes and many more can be found in The Auburn Cookbook, a publication of Alabama Extension.

About Justin Miller