Keep up the protein while dieting: Greek-Style Zucchini and Egg Casserole
June 23, 2017
By Kay MacInnis, Registered Dieitian
Thinking about weight loss? Remember to get plenty of protein while reducing Calories.
According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants who consumed a very low-Calorie diet for four weeks, and consumed 18% of those calories from protein, lost 5-10 percent of their weight. Moreover, those who managed to continue getting more than 15 percent of their Calories from protein regained less weight over the next six months.
Work toward a goal of 10-15 grams of protein at each meal.
Most people begin the day by skipping breakfast or eating mostly carbohydrates. Or they eat infamously fatty bacon – not the best source of protein. Try having an egg, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, or nuts as part of the first meal of the day. All are good sources of protein and help stave off the urge to grab a high-Calorie snack before lunch. It’s a great idea to have a bag of nuts (unsalted, if you please) handy in case you get the urge between meals.
And when your protein is meat, it’s a good rule of thumb is to keep the serving to the size and thickness of a deck of cards. Happy eating!
P.S.: Try getting protein from real food, not the powders that everyone is migrating toward!
Greek-Style Zucchini and Egg Casserole
- 4 zucchini, shredded
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 8 scallions, sliced thin
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 large eggs
- ¼ cup low-fat milk
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- ¼ cup fresh dill, minced
- 1 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Toss zucchini with sprinkle of salt and let drain in fine mesh strainer for 10 minutes.
- Wrap zucchini in clean towel, squeeze out excess liquid and set aside.
- Heat oil and sauté scallions and garlic. Cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in zucchini, cover and cook until zucchini has released its liquid, about 4-6 minutes.
- Uncover and continue to cook until zucchini is dry, and let cool slightly.
- Beat eggs, milk and ½ tsp. pepper in bowl until thoroughly combined and mixture is yellow. Do not overbeat.
- Transfer mixture to greased 13x9-inch baking dish and bake until edges are beginning to brown – 20-25 minutes.
- Serve warm.
Nutrition information: 140 Calories, 9 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 155 mg. cholesterol, 6 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams protein, 490 mg. sodium.
This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, S.C.
Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. She works in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combining her nutrition knowledge with their food prep know-how to create delicious, healthy dishes for patients and the public. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes.
"She doesn't just give you the fish, she teaches you how to cook it."
– a Kay MacInnis fan and Providence Cooks! regular.