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Busy businesswomen who are constantly on the go could benefit from a high protein diet. Adding more protein to your meals each week can help with low energy, curb anxiousness, minimize brain fog, help you get a better night sleep, and more. If your job has you working long hours, protein may be an unexpected solution that will help keep you focused and energized. Luckily, there are plenty of budget-friendly protein sources that working women can use to make delicious, satisfying meals. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Homemade chili is incredibly cheap (and delicious) when made with beans. Most types of beans have 8 grams of protein per half-cup serving. Use at least three types of beans for variety, like pinto, white kidney, and cannellini. To bulk up the chili even more, you can throw in a handful of texturized vegetable protein (TVP), which is also inexpensive and high in protein.
This makes for a hearty dinner when served in a bread bowl, on a baked potato, or with a side of cornbread and salad. Top it with shredded cheddar cheese for even more protein, and serve it all with filtered water.
Canned salmon packs a protein punch without destroying your budget. Also, it’s easy to make into salmon cakes. Mix it with some shredded potatoes, eggs, and your favorite seasonings (like fresh dill). Fry each patty in a lightly oiled pan and serve with sour cream.
You can serve the salmon cakes as part of your dinner with veggies and rice on the side, but it makes an especially good lunch at work the next day. Just pack it along with some fresh fruit and yogurt. Filtered water works well here, but you can also have milk if you want more protein.
Scrambled Eggs with Spinach
Eggs make for a super-easy-to-cook meal. Spinach is inexpensive when you buy it frozen, and it has a decent amount of protein. Just add it to the eggs with some salt and pepper and scramble it up. You can also substitute the spinach with other high-protein vegetables such as broccoli.
Blend up a smoothie to go with it; peanut butter with banana and milk (or soy milk) adds more protein. If you want carbs with breakfast, you can toast a slice of whole-grain bread or make some pan-fried potatoes.
Lentil Curry with Rice
Are you a fan of Indian food? Lentils are a good source of protein, and they’re super cheap. Most lentil curry recipes call for ingredients like red lentils (of course), onions, garlic, and various dried spices.
Traditionally, you would serve this with basmati rice, but that’s pricier than most other rice. Brown rice or regular white rice will do. Serve it for dinner with your favorite Indian side dishes like naan bread, samosas, or raita.
Frozen chicken breasts are less expensive than other cuts of meat, and they’re easy to make into wraps. Just bake them, cut them into strips, and add the strips to a whole-grain wrap with your favorite veggies. Instead of using mayo, consider adding hummus, pesto, guacamole, or salsa. Bring one to work for lunch along with soup or salad.
LifeSum has more ideas for saving money while putting on healthy weight. It’s easy to incorporate muscle-building meals in your diet when you know where to shop and which ingredients to shop for.