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Shocking Top Protein Food (with recipes!)

For those who know me, they know I am FAR from handy.

best source of proteinI’m not afraid to admit it.  I wish I had some more basic skills in the "handiness" area, but I don’t. 

My dad is super handy.  He’s done electric, helped build their deck, crown molding, the stone wall on the back of their fireplace, tiling … you name it, he can do it.  That just didn’t get passed down to me.

The kitchen is where I’m most comfortable. 

Our Shun knives are like my hammer and nails.

Anyhow, my Uncle Mark is also very handy — he’s actually in the construction business.  A few weeks ago he and my cousin were driving across the country from PA to Colorado.  Lucky for us, they came right through Louisville so stayed the night. 

We were talking shop — nutrition and construction — two things we’re all well versed in, each in our own way.  We’re looking to do some work projects in our house and both my cousin Drew and Uncle Mark are personally interested in nutrition.

So we’re plowing through some carb bomb lasagna, bread and fantastic wine and my Uncle Mark asked Kara to pass THE best food source of protein — ounce for ounce. 

Well, he didn’t quite ask for it like that.  That would be odd.  But he asked for this surprising source of protein. 

It wasn’t the meatballs.  Or the nuts on the salad.  Surely wasn’t the bread, lasagna or wine.

It was the Parmigiano cheese.  And, take note — Parmigiano ensures you’re getting the REAL thing, not the "Parmesan" that is often found already grated in a plastic container to sprinkle on foods. 

Ounce for ounce Parmigiano cheese is the single best food source of protein. 

1 oz of Parmigiano offers 11 grams of protein.  As a comparison, fish, chicken and red meat provide about 7 grams per 1 oz. 

It also tastes damn good and because it’s such a strong flavor, you don’t need a lot to flavor your food.  So it’s really a win win — you’re not loading up on fat and calories because a little goes a long way. 

That being said, it takes a lot of Parm cheese to get 1 oz.  So we’re not suggesting replacing your other protein rich foods with Parm, but for the strong flavor, it’s a great addition to salads or eggs, for example, for a little protein and nutrition boost.

Here are two recipes we love using some high quality Parmigiano cheese.

Arugula Salad with Orange and Parm

2 large handfuls arugula
1 navel orange (peeled and sectioned)
Shaved Parmigiano cheese (use a potato peeler and don’t be shy)
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil (about 2-3 tsp)
Sprinkle Kosher salt

Mix all ingredients, chop with kitchen shears and enjoy

Superfood Power Pesto

superfood recipe2 cups basil leaves
1 large handful walnuts (toast for added flavor)
3 oz high quality Parmigiano
1/2 – 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves
3 large handfuls fresh spinach (bonus superfood!)
2-3 large pinches kosher salt (start with less and add more if needed)

Add all ingredients to a powerful blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth and enjoy in eggs, over wild salmon, chicken or pasta.

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