Deck the Plates with Protein: Wholesome Recipes to Celebrate the Season

The holiday season is here, and it's the perfect time to indulge in delicious meals without compromising your commitment to a nutritious lifestyle. This year, let's "Deck the Plates with Protein" and explore four delightful holiday recipes that feature the star of the show – turkey – and protein-packed desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth without guilt.

Protein-Packed Turkey

Let's start with the star of the show – the turkey. Turkey is naturally high in protein and low in fat, making it an excellent centrepiece for your holiday feast. Roast it to perfection, and you've got a lean source of protein that will keep you feeling full and satisfied.


  • 1 whole turkey
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage)


  1. Preheat your oven to the recommended temperature for your turkey's weight.
  2. Rinse the turkey and pat it dry.
  3. Brush the turkey with olive oil and season generously with salt, pepper, and your favourite fresh herbs.
  4. Roast the turkey until it reaches the recommended internal temperature (usually around 165°F or 74°C).
  5. Let it rest for a few minutes before carving and serving.

Quinoa-Stuffed Bell Peppers

For a festive side dish that's bursting with flavour and protein, try quinoa-stuffed bell peppers. Quinoa is a complete protein and pairs wonderfully with a medley of seasonal vegetables and spices. It's a colourful and nutritious addition to your holiday spread.


  • 4 large bell peppers
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 lb lean ground turkey or diced chicken
  • 1 cup finely chopped mixed vegetables
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • Shredded cheese (optional)
  • Fresh herbs for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and remove seeds.
  3. In a skillet, sauté garlic in olive oil, then add ground turkey or chicken and cook until browned.
  4. Add mixed vegetables, quinoa, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook briefly.
  5. Pour in half of the tomato sauce and mix.
  6. Stuff each pepper with the mixture, place in a baking dish, and pour remaining sauce on top.
  7. Optionally, sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes until peppers are tender.
  9. Garnish with fresh herbs before serving.

Protein-Packed Stuffing

Upgrade your stuffing with whole grains like quinoa or farro, which are higher in protein and fibre than traditional bread stuffing. Incorporate sautéed vegetables, dried fruits, and a handful of chopped nuts for added flavour and nutrition.


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa or farro
  • 1 cup sautéed mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 cup dried fruits
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts
  • Salt, pepper, and herbs to taste
  • Vegetable or chicken broth


  1. Cook quinoa or farro as directed and set aside.
  2. Sauté mixed vegetables until tender and season with salt, pepper, and herbs.
  3. Combine cooked quinoa or farro, sautéed veggies, dried fruits, and chopped nuts.
  4. Add broth for moisture; be cautious not to overdo it.
  5. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 20-25 mins.
  6. Serve your protein-packed stuffing for a nutritious holiday twist on a classic dish!

Festive Protein Trifle

Indulge guilt-free in layers of creamy Greek yoghurt, vibrant mixed berries, and crumbled protein bars or granola. This delightful dessert combines holiday cheer with a protein punch, offering a visually appealing and nutritious treat for your celebrations.


  • 2 cups Greek yoghourt
  • 2 cups mixed berries
  • 4 protein bars
  • 1/2 cup granola
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (e.g., almonds)


  1. Crumble the protein bars.
  2. In a clear trifle dish or individual glasses, layer as follows:
  • Greek yoghourt
  • Mixed berries
  • Crumbled protein bars
  • Repeat with yoghurt, granola, and more berries.
  • Finish with crumbled protein bars and chopped nuts.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Serve chilled for a visually appealing, protein-packed dessert! Enjoy!

As you deck the plates with protein this holiday season, remember that nutritious meals can be just as delicious as they are healthy. These festive recipes not only satisfy your cravings but also keep you on track with your wellness goals. So, gather your loved ones, savour the flavours of the season, and celebrate the holidays with a nourishing and joyful spirit. Cheers to a happy and healthy holiday season!