Protein and the Med Way

— Written By

What comes to mind when you think of protein? A big, juicy steak? Maybe a delicious pork roast? Did you know that protein comes from many sources other than meat, such as beans, nuts, seeds, fish and seafood, poultry, eggs, and dairy. Alternative protein sources can have as much or even more protein than meats and have less fat.

Protein is necessary for bones and muscles, tissue repair, digestion, and hormone regulation. So, how much food from the protein foods group do we need each day? According to MyPlate, it depends on age, sex, and level of physical activity. Most Americans get enough protein, but would benefit from making less caloric selections from alternative protein sources.

Med Instead of Meds recommends just this! It urges folks to eat primarily plant-based foods. This can be done by replacing red meat with plant-based proteins, such as beans and legumes often. Seafood should be eaten at least three times a week, including fatty fish such as mackerel and salmon. Avoid fried fish and seafood. Eat white-meat poultry, such as turkey and chicken, at least twice a week.

Med Instead of Meds ( has many delicious and healthy recipes! Here is just one:

Salmon Chowder

Any mix of rice will work in this recipe, however wild rice adds a nice bit of color.

Serves 4
Serving Size: 1 cup
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped carrot
  • ⅓ cup chopped celery
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 2½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup precooked brown and wild rice
  • 1 (3½ ounce) package smoked salmon, torn into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions


  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot, celery, salt, and cayenne pepper and sauté for 4 minutes.
  3. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  4. Combine milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  5. Add milk mixture to pan and bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.
  6. Stir in rice and salmon, and cook for 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.
  7. Sprinkle evenly with green onions before serving.

Nutrition Information per Serving:

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Vegetables: ½ cup
  • Fruits: 0 cups
  • Calories: 255 calories
  • Carbohydrates: 29 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Protein: 11 grams
  • Fat: 11 grams
  • Sodium: 518 mg

Written By

Dee Furlough, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDee FurloughArea Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences Call Dee E-mail Dee N.C. Cooperative Extension, Tyrrell County Center
Posted on Jan 14, 2021
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