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Quick & Easy 10 min Protein Sides and Desserts

Updated: Jun 13

We all love a good high protein dip, dressing and sweet after dinner treat that not only satisfies a craving, but is also nutritious for us! Here are some of my favorite easy 10 min protein sides & desserts, made with whole ingredient you likely have in your fridge!


1. Tzatziki

DIY high protein tzatziki

Add this high protein, DIY Tzatziki to literally everything!! This is a great add if you're craving a Mediterranean meal at home and want a high protein, healthy topping to the meals you're already making. Pairs incredibly well on salmon, paella, salad bowls, and so much more.


This simple 1 bowl recipe is the zest you need for your next meal! You know I’m queen send it & forget it and this dressing or snack dip is the perfect way to add packed flavor in no time!! Hope you love this one as much as we do!


Ingredients:

- 1/2 cucumber grated

- 2-3 garlic cloves

- fresh dill, much as you’d like

- 1/2-1 whole lemon

- 1 cup @fage unflavored greek yogurt (purple container)

- Salt & pepper to taste


This made enough tzatziki to last 2 people for toppings on about 8-10 meals based on how much you use! I recommend making this in the bowl that you intend to store it in such as a glass Tupperware. This makes cleaning & storing super simple, as you can just throw the lid right on top and pop it right into the fridge.


Instructions:

  1. Add your garlic gloves and fresh dill to food processor and mince.

  2. Then grate half of a cucumber into a bowl and add in Greek yogurt, stir

  3. Add minced garlic and dill combination.

  4. Juice half of a lemon and add some fresh salt and pepper, stir until you have a smooth consistency that isn't too thick and isn't too liquidy. Add more lemon if desired.

  5. Sprinkle with some fresh lemon zest (optional, but this is my absolute favorite part).

  6. Enjoy as a dip or toppings on your favorite meals. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.


Watch the full recipe tutorial below and grab all the tools I use to make this right here on Amazon!




2. Couscous

Chili Paste Salmon

If you're over rice, couscous is going to be you next best friend! With an additional of up to 7 grams of protein per serving this is the perfect side dish to any entree or add in to your salad or bowl! This cooks in 1 pot in just 10 mins on the stove and is truly a "send it an forget it" dish!


My go to brand is Near East, which you can find at most any large chain grocery store and even in a larger pack on Amazon if you have a lot of mouths to feed or just like to be stocked at all times! This brand uses whole, natural ingredients in their couscous and other rice options, which are all delish! The couscous is the one that cooks the fastest!


Featured above: DIY Chili Paste Salmon with couscous and broccolini.


Ingredients:

  1. Follow instructions as noted on the box. This is usually adding 1-1/3 cups of water, a few slashes of olive oil (I never measure) and spice pack to pot and bring to a boil.

  2. Once boiling, add in couscous and stir. Turn off heat and cover. Let stand 5-7 minutes to firm up.

  3. Serve & enjoy or store in the fridge for up to 1 week!

It's seriously that simple and the clean up is even easier- just you one pot and if you have a non-stick, you'll be done with the cooking and cleaning of this dish in less than 15 mins.


**Pro tip: if you're meal prepping, make 2 batches at once by doubling the water, olive oil and using 2 spice packs to start. Then you'll add both of your couscous boxes; this still should only take the 5 mins to firm. This is great to have already made and toss into the microwave to warm up before adding into your salads, bowls or entrees. You can definitely mix flavors too so long as the instructions are the same for cooking.




3. Dessert Protein Bark

Dessert protein bark

No matter what time of year it is, this DIY healthy protein dessert bark always hits the spot! You can make this in about 10 minutes and then will need at least 3 hours, overnight preferred, to allow it to set until you can dive in; trust me, it's worth the wait.


I have trial and error'd this recipe a couple times and I think I've perfected it this time! Make this & surprise your partner, friends and family with this delicious, sweet, guilt-free treat!



Full recipe (about 8 bark pieces, varying sizes)



Ingredients:

- 1 cup of either low fat cottage cheese or non-fat Greek yogurt (I like FAGE, unflavored)

- 3 -4 tablespoons of Kirkland Organic Blue Agave or honey

- 1 - 2 tablespoons of almond or other nut butter

- toppings of choice: frozen berries, nuts, pecans, sea salt

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil to add into base

- 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil to melt chocolate


Building your bark:

  1. Add your Greek yogurt or cottage cheese to a blender or a bowl if you have an immersion hand blender, with agave and 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil. Blend until smooth, you can do a taste test-- this will be the flavor of the base of your bar.

  2. Pour and spread that mixture into a glass or ceramic baking pan and spread evenly so it’s about a 1/4 inch thick. You can use wax paper on the bottom for easy cleaning and a non-stick option.

  3. Add dollops of creamy almond butter and melted dark chocolate. To melt your chocolate chips, add them to a bowl with 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil & into the microwave until fully melted (about 45-60 sec). You can also melt your nut butter for about 30 seconds at a time if it is too chunky.

  4. Add toppings of choice & pop into the freezer for at least 3 hours or overnight

  5. Allow to thaw 10 mins before cutting & enjoy!

Watch the full video of the 2 different versions I made below- both came out incredible!



4. Easy DIY Milk Alternatives

How I made my favorite coffee shop drink at home, for way less! If you're over spending $5-8 on a specialty coffee or tea or can't stand all the additives and preservatives that exist in alternative milks, then this nut milk maker & recipe is for you!


Homemade almond milk

Finding nut milks without preservatives and gums is pretty challenging & expensive if you''re using the milk to make smoothies or other meals multiple times per week. With my this small but mighty machine, you can make you own almond, cashew, hazelnut (so delish and underrated), coconut, oat, chocolate & so many more milks with the click of a button and your own natural food sweeteners that are 100% preservative free!


My mom actually gifted me this machine for my birthday and you could say I screamed when I opened up the box! I had been wanting to try one of these for so long because I was so tired of buying those brand name almond milks that were $5-7 per gallon, had all the preservatives and additives, when I knew I could make it at home for far less.


What I love about this machine is that your milk is done in 5 mins & you don't have to de-husk your nuts before making. I've made my own almond milk in the blender before, but it is so much more of a process and time consuming for not that much milk. This machine really changed the game for our house of smoothie drinkers Mon-Fri! Now, I'll make about 3-4 rounds of milk for en entire week of smoothies & we're set and done in about 20 mins.


It only gets better! If you're a baker or you follow some of my high protein dessert recipes and protein bars, making your own nut milk yields a natural flour, such as almond, oat, and coconut. These natural flours can be used for baking as a substitute to refined, white flour.


This specific machine comes with a full recipe book, cleaning supplies and a certain scooper to measure our your nuts, oats or coconut shreds based on the milk you're using. This has not only saved us money on buying milk, but is also far less expensive to buy nuts in bulk from Costco to use for milk and for snacks throughout the week! Win-win!


Here are the carafes I use to store the milk throughout the week--2 to 3 should suffice depending on how much you make. I use 2 carafes per week which is enough for about 8-10 smoothies (2 per day for 2 people).


Below is a list of various ingredients you can use when making your own.


Base options:

  • cashews (easiest as it doesn't need to be strained, there is no flour that comes out of these)

  • hazelnut (my favorite)

  • almonds

  • pecans

  • walnuts

  • hemp seeds

  • oats

  • any other nut or see you'd want to try!

Sweeteners:

  • pitted dates

  • organic agave

  • raw, local honey

Flavors:

  • vanilla extract

  • cocoa powder

Always needs:

  • pinch or so of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt

  • water



Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients from each category as desired into the machine.

  2. Follow steps on the machine based on which milk you're making and if you're making it at room temp or a hot beverage (like a hot coco)!

  3. Strain into cheesecloth bag provided if needed based on your base choice. Squeeze out any excess milk into your carafe.

  4. Dump the flour inside the cheesecloth bag to a baking sheet to dry our or directly into an air tight jar into the fridge. Store in the fridge for up to 3 months and use for baking.

    1. If you choose to dry out your flour, you can place it all on a baking sheet over aluminum foil or wax paper. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees F and place the baking sheet in the oven for several hours. This can really go as long as you'd like, at least 5 hours (confession: I once left this on overnight on accident and everything was totally fine and came out perfect. I don't recommend this, but it can be in there for a long time on this low heat).

    2. Once dried out, you can pour into a food processor to grind for a few seconds until fine. Store in an air tight container at room temp for up to 3 months and use for baking.

The options are really endless with making your own nut milks, desserts and protein bites when using this machine!


Watch the full tutorial & what's possible with this machine below! Enjoy making your own milk at home & saving money while doing it!


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