Double Up On Protein With A Quinoa Egg Scramble

Finding creative ways to increase the protein content of a plate of scrambled eggs can seem like a chore. While more eggs might appear to be the answer, the result can be mushy and unsatisfying. How much protein is in an egg anyway? Honestly, not enough to justify having an oversized portion of scrambled eggs dominating your plate. Thankfully, the options don't stop there and quinoa is a straightforward solution to your protein dilemma.

Depending on the size, an individual egg has 6 to 7 grams of protein, while 1 cup of cooked quinoa yields 8 grams of protein. Combining the two can easily boost your breakfast protein to satisfactory levels to keep you satiated until lunch. Let's be clear though; while the protein count might be looking good, you want your meal to also deliver on flavor and texture. Rest assured, this dish is almost reminiscent of the texture of egg fried rice — pleasantly crunchy with a touch of softness, a fluffy edge, and a creamy flavor. As an added bonus, quinoa egg scramble is also a great plant-based protein option that's ideal for vegetarians or those looking to avoid dairy.

The joys of quinoa

Quinoa is the seed of the Chenopodium quinoa plant, and while it is not technically a grain, it is considered a pseudograin, which means it contains a similar nutritional composition. So why is it a better option to add to your egg scramble rather than another grain? As it turns out, the amount of protein in quinoa is higher than most cereal grains (including barley, rice, or corn).

When trying to increase the protein in your diet, it's important to distinguish between different types. Quinoa is argued to be a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine amino acids that are essential for tissue growth, immunity, and energy production (via Healthline). However, its role as a complete protein is debated due to low levels of the amino acids lysine and tryptophan identified in some studies. Regardless, it is an almost complete source of protein with a great nutritional profile.

How to triple that protein

Quinoa scrambled eggs are a great way to inject protein into your breakfast; however, you might be looking to take it a step further. If you're usually inclined to add a splash of milk to your scrambled eggs and can consume dairy, fresh cow milk has higher levels of protein than its plant-based counterparts. If you're lactose intolerant, pea and soy milk are excellent high-protein alternatives.

Even with perfectly seasoned quinoa, you may be seeking ways to elevate the flavor as well as the protein content. Whisk cottage cheese in with the eggs before scrambling and adding in the quinoa. This will add a salty edge that will also thicken the dish's consistency. Pieces of bacon, sausage, and smoked salmon could also take up the protein a notch, while pinto or black beans work well as a vegetarian alternative.

If you're looking to get more protein in your diet, a quinoa egg scramble is an excellent option. It's delicious, versatile with add-ins, and delivers on its promise of being a high-protein meal.