Three protein-rich recipes from the CSIRO

Get a protein hit with this chicken and vegetable 'lasagne'.
Get a protein hit with this chicken and vegetable 'lasagne'. Photo: Supplied

Read on for three recipes from CSIRO Protein Plus, published by Macmillan Australia. This book presents new research from the CSIRO and other trusted science bodies around the world on the benefits of spreading protein consumption across the day, and combining higher dietary protein and resistance exercise. 

Chicken and vegetable "lasagne"

Serves: 4

Preparation: 25 minutes

CSIRO Protein Plus.
CSIRO Protein Plus. Photo: Supplied

Cooking: 45 minutes


light olive oil spray, for cooking

4 large zucchini, thinly sliced lengthways

2 eggplants, thinly sliced into rounds

500g peeled, seeded butternut pumpkin, thinly sliced


600g lean chicken breast fillet

2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs

700g tomato passata

2 cups (60g) baby spinach leaves

28g flaked almonds

1 bunch rocket, leaves trimmed

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar


Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).

Heat a large chargrill pan over high heat. Lightly spray the zucchini, eggplant and pumpkin on both sides with olive oil. Chargrill, in four batches, for 3-4 minutes or until just tender and golden.

Slice the chicken breast in half horizontally, then place the pieces between two sheets of baking paper and pound with a meat mallet until 2mm thick.

Sprinkle with the dried herbs and season with freshly ground black pepper.

Lightly spray a 30cm x 20cm baking dish with olive oil. Spoon a little of the passata over the base of the dish. Top with a layer of chicken, some baby spinach leaves and then a layer of chargrilled vegetables. Spoon over more passata to cover evenly, then repeat the layers with the remaining chicken, baby spinach, vegetables and passata, finishing with a final layer of passata.

Sprinkle the top with almonds.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and golden.

Serve with rocket leaves tossed in balsamic.

Sticky pork and garlic greens.

Garlic greens stir-fried with sticky pork. Photo: Supplied

Sticky pork and garlic greens

Serves: 4

Preparation: 15 minutes, plus chilling time

Cooking: 10 minutes


2 tablespoons salt-reduced hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons salt-reduced oyster sauce

2 tablespoons salt-reduced tomato sauce

600g lean pork fillet, sinew removed, cut into 1cm thick slices

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

1 bunch Chinese broccoli, trimmed and halved

300g green beans, trimmed

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

300g frozen shelled edamame, thawed

finely sliced spring onion, to serve


Combine the sauces and pork in a large non-metallic bowl and season with freshly ground black pepper. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour, or overnight if time permits.

Heat half the sunflower oil in a large non-stick wok over high heat. Add the pork mixture and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until cooked and dark golden.

Transfer to a heatproof bowl and cover to keep warm.

Heat the remaining oil in the wok, add the Chinese broccoli, beans and garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the edamame and ⅓ cup (80ml) water and stir-fry for 1 minute. Return the pork and any juices to the wok and toss well, then remove from the heat. Spoon the pork and greens into bowls and serve garnished with spring onion.

Grilled fish with ginger oil.

Up your greens with this grilled fish dish. Photo: Supplied

Grilled fish with ginger oil

Serves: 4

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 15 minutes


light olive oil spray, for cooking

600g firm white fish fillets, skin removed and pin-boned

2 bunches asparagus, trimmed

350g sugar snap peas, trimmed

350g snowpeas, trimmed

2 tablespoons salt-reduced soy sauce

2 spring onions, white and green parts thinly sliced

Ginger oil

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger

1 clove garlic, crushed


Preheat the oven grill to high. Lightly spray a large non-stick baking tray with a 1cm lip with olive oil.

Add the fish to the prepared tray, then add the asparagus, sugar snaps and snowpeas. Lightly spray with olive oil and season with freshly ground black pepper. Cook under the grill, turning the vegetables once, for 10-12 minutes or until the fish is cooked and lightly golden. (Don't turn the fish - it's too delicate and will break.) Remove the tray from the grill and sprinkle the soy sauce and spring onion over the fish.

Shortly before the fish is ready, make the ginger oil. Heat the sunflower oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until almost smoking. Remove the pan from the heat and add the ginger and garlic straight away, shaking gently to combine. Immediately pour evenly over the hot fish and serve.

This is an edited extract from CSIRO Protein Plus by Professor Grant Brinkworth, Dr Jane Bowen and Genevieve James-Martin. Available April 23, Macmillan Australia, $34.99.