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Diet, Food & Fitness, Eating Well

3 Summer Recipes Packed with Protein

3 Summer Recipes Packed with Protein
Forget burgers and hot dogs!

Dr. Michelle McMacken, Attending Physician at NYC Health+ Hospitals/ Bellevue and Director of the Bellevue Adult Weight Management Program offers these three healthy plant-based dishes for your next beach or backyard party. Start with Overnight Oats for breakfast; Quinoa and Kale Salad for lunch; then for dinner, make room for Lentil-mushroom tacos with mango-tomato-cilantro salsa and lime juice.
These dishes deliver lots of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and countless other nutrients – great for achieving a healthy weight and staying fit.

Overnight Oats

This makes for a refreshing summer breakfast, as an alternative to hot oatmeal, or a light desert.

  • 1 large ripe/spotty banana, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (or soy milk)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
Suggested Toppings
  • Granola
  • Fresh fruit
  • Coconut flakes
  • Cinnamon
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Banana soft serve

  • In a small bowl, mash the banana until almost smooth. Now stir in the chia seeds and cinnamon until combined.
  • Stir in the oats, almond milk, and vanilla (if using). Cover and refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 2 hours.
  • In the morning, stir the oat mixture to combine. If your Vegan Overnight Oats have a runny consistency even after they soak, simply stir in an additional 1 tablespoon chia seeds and place the mixture back in the fridge until it has thickened up. If the oat mixture is too thick, simply add a splash of milk and stir to combine.

Recipe excerpted from: ohsheglows.com

Quinoa and Kale Protein Salad

(Serves 6)

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups chopped kale (ribs removed)
  • 1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 5-6 clementine oranges, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate (or regular) molasses
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
  • 2 teaspoons sumac, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint


In a salad bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, chopped kale, garbanzo beans, orange slices, pistachios and pomegranate seeds.
In a small bowl or jar, combine the olive oil, pomegranate molasses, garlic, 1 teaspoon of sumac, dried mint and kosher salt and a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper.
Dress the salad with the vinaigrette and toss so everything is evenly coated. Dust with the remaining 1 teaspoon of sumac and freshly chopped mint. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Salad can be served immediately or saved for up to 2 days.
Recipe excerpted from: foodiecrush.com

Lentil Mushroom tacos with mango-tomato-cilantro salsa

Dr. McMacken says this recipe can be modified to be even healthier by skipping the 2 tsp sugar, using veggie broth instead of oil, and using soft corn tortillas instead of hard taco shells. The salt is also optional.


Mango Salsa

  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups mango, diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt (or preferred salt), more to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Lentil Mushroom Filling

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup dried red or brown lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt , more to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper , to taste
  • 8 taco shells or 8 corn tortillas


Mango Salsa

  • Toss all ingredients together until well combined.

Lentil Mushroom Filling

  • Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once heated, add the diced onion and a sprinkle of salt. Sauté until soft & translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms release some liquid, about 2-3 minutes. Now add minced garlic, tomato paste & spices. Cook until mushrooms are tender & lightly browned, About 2-3 minutes.
  • Add lentils, vegetable broth, bay leaf, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let mixture cook for about 20-25 minutes, until lentils are tender.
  • Uncover and cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until liquid cooks down & mixture is thickened. Remove bay leaf.
  • Now the fun part -spoon the filling into your taco shell and dress up to your liking. Enjoy!

Recipe excerpted from: veganhuggs.com

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