Need suggestions for high-protein breakfasts
August 14, 2017 8:51 AM   Subscribe

Dear god am I sick of Greek yogurt. TL; DR: I've been aiming to eat more protein lately; getting between 30-50g at breakfast would be ideal. I feel I'm in a bit of a rut, however --- I have been switching up between greek yogurt w fruit, smoothies w protein powder, and omelettes. I need more ideas. Any help?

I like to cook and don't mind doing a bit of prep (slow-cooker night before, etc.), though I could spend like max 1/2 hour making something on the morning itself. Any cuisine is fine, no allergies, no other dietary restrictions, I like most stuff including spices. Mostly my problem is that I quickly get bored eating the same thing all the time but most of my other breakfast go-tos are carb-centric, and that won't work.
posted by Diablevert to Food & Drink (32 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I buy it at the grocery's breakfast steam-tray thing, but damn do I love eating a lightly breaded fried chicked breast for breakfast.
posted by 4th number at 8:53 AM on August 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

I love breakfast tacos on corn tortillas. You could make your egg, bean, cheese and hot sauce.
posted by raccoon409 at 8:56 AM on August 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

String cheese. Leftover meat from dinner. Cottage cheese. Hard-boiled eggs. Sausage links or patties. Note that these options have the advantage of requiring little or no preparation in the morning before they become your breakfast, especially if you let your microwave oven be your friend.
posted by DrGail at 8:58 AM on August 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yep, breakfast taco, which I love with egg, bean, chorizo, cheese, etc, but also can work well with tofu-as-scrambled egg, and this is the only way I like tofu for breakfast.

For night before stuff, make up some congee with leftover rice, then in the morning crack an egg or two in the bowl and microwave for a quicky onsen-type semi-cooked egg. Congee also does well with fish and umami flavors, and definitely a lot different than my other breakfasts.
posted by SaltySalticid at 9:03 AM on August 14, 2017

Best answer: My typical breakfasts: eggs with a piece of super-high-fiber toast (eggs: hard and soft boiled, saladed, scrambled, casseroled with sausage and cheese*), chicken and avocado with a dab of sour cream and sprinkle of ancho powder, chicken curry with quinoa, homemade simple tom kha gai soup, deli meat and cheese, taco salad with or without scrambled egg.

*On weekends when I get my food prep right, I make a casserole dish of eggs (8-12 depending on size), a cup of cottage cheese, a tube of breakfast sausage (crumbled and pre-browned) or a pound of browned ground beef with seasonings, topped with a couple big handfuls of shredded cheddar. Then breakfasts are a square of that, warmed, with half an avocado or my high-fiber toast or a little more cottage cheese or stuck into a low-carb tortilla with sour cream. I find this WAY less fussy and easier to clean up than "egg muffins" made in a muffin pan, which also end up in too-small portions and rubbery overcooked.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:05 AM on August 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

Here are my go-tos:
- roast chicken thighs on the weekends and eat them cold
- cook organic kielbasa (or other weenies) and eat them hot or cold
- these sausage can be baked in the oven at 350F for 15 minutes
- poach an egg or two, eat over sauteed greens (spinach, chard, etc.)
posted by OrangeDisk at 9:15 AM on August 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Aidell's chicken sausages.
posted by brujita at 9:19 AM on August 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Germans eat cheese and deli meat (among other things, of course) for breakfast. I found this eminently agreeable. A few slices of ham and a lot of Emmentaler. Good protein, and delicious.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:21 AM on August 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

Tip I recently learned about my egg casserole, btw: if you add a tablespoon of either ground flaxseed or coconut flour (I'm sure regular flour would do the same) to you egg mix, you can freeze and thaw slices of casserole without it going watery. You can do the same if you want to make-ahead and freeze breakfast burritos. I tried both, side by side, in refrigerator and freezer tests and if I hadn't marked the bags I wouldn't have known which one had which in it, or that either of them had any sort of stabilizer added.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:22 AM on August 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

The first step is to rid your self of the notion that some foods are "breakfast foods" and some are not.

I don't think anyone has suggested fish, so let that be my excuse for posting. I believe kippers are part of the traditional English breakfast, but I'm thinking more of breaded fish fingers, fillets, and the like, purchased frozen. Think Filet'o'Fish.
posted by SemiSalt at 9:36 AM on August 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Just to be clear, I'm happy to consider any genre/cuisine of food. Consider me as a tableau rasa when it comes to what's breakfast appropriate.
posted by Diablevert at 10:04 AM on August 14, 2017

In Sudan I was served lentil soup for breakfast.
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:10 AM on August 14, 2017

You can make breakfast burritos, wrap in waxed paper, and microwave in the morning. Things you can add: refried beans (these really help keep everything from falling out), ground meat (turkey, sausage, hamburger, ) or chicken with or without taco seasoning, tofu, scrambled eggs, cheese, spinach, arugula, kale, shredded cabbage, peppers, onion, beans, rice, cooked sweet potato. I prefer these additions uncooked, so I add them after nuking: cilantro, tomato, sliced avocado, guacamole, salsa, sour cream. I prefer them with a few main ingredients, e.g., sweet potato, black beans, scrambled egg, salsa, cilantro. You can adjust ingredients and freeze them, so you can make a bunch and have them ready to go.

Breakfast doesn't have to be traditional. Put salmon and cream cheese in a wrap, or tuna or egg salad with salad greens.

Nuts are high in protein, grab a handful of almonds or walnuts to bump up the protein content.
posted by theora55 at 10:11 AM on August 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

I am a big fan of ful medames. There are lots of variations (beans mashed up into a near paste, beans whole and in a kind of soup; no eggs, boiled eggs, poached eggs; spicy or no) so you should be able to find or tweak one to your fancy.

I also love congee made with fresh cod.
posted by methroach at 10:30 AM on August 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: How do you feel about tofu? Tofu scramble is a good breakfast.

Block of firm tofu
Onions, garlic
Nutritional yeast, if you like nutritional yeast (full of protein & B12)
Herbs, particularly if you don't like nutritional yeast - rosemary, thyme, whatever you enjoy
Carrots, greens, mushrooms as desired

Chop and saute your onions until translucent; as this happens, chop your greens and/or mushrooms and grate your carrot; add garlic. Add mushrooms and cook until softened. Crumble as much tofu as desired into pan; cook until hot. (Many people say you need to freeze or press your tofu first; I do not feel that this is necessary. You can hand-squeeze out some liquid, but honestly I just use firm tofu and crumble it in.) Add salt, pepper, hot sauce, spices, etc. OR: add juice of half a lemon and nutritional yeast, plus maybe a little more oil. Stir until nutritional yeast is dissolved and adheres to tofu. Taste, add other seasonings as desired. Stir in grated carrots and chopped greens; let sit until greens wilt.
posted by Frowner at 10:38 AM on August 14, 2017

Post Cereals "Great Grains" with sweetened almond milk. Made with several grains, dates, raisins, pecans. It has great texture, chewy where it should be, and the raisins & dates aren't sticky.
posted by Why Soitanly at 10:39 AM on August 14, 2017

Best answer: 50g protein at breakfast is ~ two chicken breasts... Or e.g. chicken and a protein shake. And if you're also watching calories, you'll want to find a protein powder (that you could ingest without having gut issues) without having to add tasty/calorific things to mask the flavour... YMMV, but I've not found this to be an easy task...

Would you be ok with a shake later on? Depending on your calorie allotment, eg if you have 600 or so for breakfast, you could throw a powder into a 1% latte...

Tl;dr - please update with your experience with / take on protein powders and your calorie goal!

More generally, for proteinISH breakfasts, I personally like eggs (egg whites if you're watching cals) + grainy toast + any of: prosciutto, smoked salmon, smoked mackerel, ham. Or, ham and cheese on toast; beans on toast (high carbs/sugar though); Jamaican beef patty (filling, but it's 300 cals for not that much protein, need to top it up with yogurt or a shake later). Or grilled halloumi cheese and tomatoes (high fat/cals and comparatively lowish protein though, again. But filling).

There are some baked eggy things people like, in the vein of crustless quiche - I can't recommend specific recipes, because I'm not a fan... There's also chicken or turkey sausages (same situation). All these offer good calorie value for the protein, though.
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:08 AM on August 14, 2017

Response by poster: My macros are kind of tight, but I have some wiggle room. I'm aiming for ~1900 calories on days when I work out, ~1550 on days when I'm off, ~135g of protein either way. (More cabs, less fat on training days.) So 30-50g means getting between 1/4 and a 1/3 of the protein goal at breakfast.

I do sometimes have protein shakes, usually I mix the powder with some greek yogurt, some flavoring, and blend with ice. They're palatable that way but end up being more like a meal replacement than a snack. Powder + water is far less appealing.
posted by Diablevert at 11:33 AM on August 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

I don't know if 135g is doable without a protein powder + water combo, especially on 1550... It'd probably have to involve egg whites, skinless chicken or turkey, or white fish + veg, all day every day (with more carbs on workout days)... Maybe look into Renaissance Periodization meal plans (which I haven't personally tried)?
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:49 AM on August 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Just idly - are you getting your cholesterol checked? Plenty of people can handle high-cholesterol diets (and it's easy to forget that a couple of chicken breasts and a bunch of cheese will totally blow through daily cholesterol limits) but I found that I could not - a big increase in animal protein spiked my cholesterol way up over a few months. I was surprised and disappointed, since everything else was going really well.

Some other non-animal things that are high in protein:
The kinds of tofu jerky you can get at pan-Asian grocery stores - black pepper, sichuan pepper, etc

Chinese imitation chicken, the kind that comes frozen. This is really tasty chopped and sauteed. Does not really taste like chicken, but isn't really supposed to

Chinese canned wheat gluten, sauteed with lots of onion and mushrooms

If you have a good pan-Asian grocery store nearby, there are also bags of frozen mock pork, etc, that are high protein and very tasty.

Co-ops generally have a variety of tofu sausage and so on - the stuff in the refrigerated area is better and healthier than the stuff in the frozen area.
posted by Frowner at 12:04 PM on August 14, 2017

Nut butter and honey on a high protein bread, like maybe this one.

Or a grilled cheese sandwich with this kind of bread.
posted by mareli at 12:28 PM on August 14, 2017

Best answer: I don't think anyone mentioned protein pancakes yet. There are a lot of variations, but the one I used to use was as simple as possible. I *think* it was 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup protein powder, 1 tsp baking soda and 1 egg. Could have been 2 eggs. The ones I see in that link look too complicated to me.
posted by kitcat at 12:33 PM on August 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I usually have greek yogurt around and also get tired of it so I "savory" it and add double the amount of cottage cheese to it and toss in a handful of walnut bits. That changes it up quite a bit.

Porkchops are one of my favorite breakfast foods, I also like to dump a can of chickpeas on a bed of spinach then zap that for a minute in the microwave while I make one or two poached or easy fried eggs to put on top.
posted by IpsoFacto at 12:44 PM on August 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Bean something-or-other (like the already-mentioned ful medames) with a slab of grilled halloumi? Felafel? Crustless quiche?

My current breakfast addiction is potatoes topped with cheddar, poached eggs, and a chopped tomato (& green onion if crisper permits). This would probably be a good "breakfast bowl" sort of dish with beans instead of potato?
posted by kmennie at 1:59 PM on August 14, 2017

I am happy with a block of tofu cubed, doused in balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, and salt / pepper. But I am weird.
posted by batter_my_heart at 2:08 PM on August 14, 2017

Diablevert: "Consider me as a tableau rasa when it comes to what's breakfast appropriate."

Alrighty then: how about leftover ribs? I've recently (re-)discovered the deliciousness of cold-from-the-fridge, leftover BBQ baby back ribs.
posted by mhum at 2:43 PM on August 14, 2017

I am not a morning person so unless it takes five minutes or less I'm not doing it. My current go-to is a microwaved sausage patty and some cheddar cheese. I like this because I can cut up the meat, cube the cheese, put them together in a small container and eat it in the car on my way to work.
posted by Preserver at 3:19 PM on August 14, 2017

My favorite savory breakfast lately: plain oatmeal (steel cut or quick or whatever variety you like) with cottage cheese stirred in and either a chicken sausage or pre-cooked bacon on top. Add shredded cheese, salt, pepper, or any available cooked vegetables to your liking.
posted by pril at 6:04 PM on August 14, 2017

stir together 3 part peanut butter, 1 part vinegar, and healthy pinch of garam masala. Slice a poached chicken breast thinly and use slices to dip the sauce.

I've varied my Greek yogurt with garam masala, cocoa powder (1/4 tsp for 6 oz), soy sauce.
posted by Jesse the K at 8:10 PM on August 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you can get the protein pancake recipe you prefer worked out, you can make a big batch of them on a weekend once a month and then freeze them in ziplock bags and reheat them in a microwave quickly with a little fruit jam/peanut butter or whatever toppings you prefer. I bought the silver dollar cast iron pan which made the batch cooking easier (and kid-sized).

I also eat a lot of shakshuka variations when I want something fast and a little spicy. It's easy and fast to make, and you can add feta, olives, chili or whatever is in the fridge.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 6:24 AM on August 15, 2017

Response by poster: Thank you all for the awesome suggestions; I shall try some of them out and report back.
posted by Diablevert at 6:10 PM on August 15, 2017

Steel cut oats made with milk and chia seeds and topped with nuts/nut butter/yogurt. You can also blend in other high-protein grains (teff, quinoa, amaranth) and/or add protein powder for the extra boost. Or savory oatmeal topped with eggs is really good too.
posted by veery at 6:24 PM on August 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

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