Can protein powder go gourmet?

The musclehead ingredient is transformed into four elegant culinary dishes by L.A. chef Meg Hall.

The benefits of protein are both well documented and enticing; who doesn't want to build muscle or prevent cravings? But after years of watching whey powder swirled into post-workout smoothies and high-octane pancakes, we couldn't help but think that our palates deserve more. What delicious goodness could come from placing the powder in the hands of an inventive culinary mind?

Enter Chef Meg Hall, the L.A.-based owner of boutique catering company Made by Meg, whose fans include Lady Gaga and Beyonce. Hall rose to the challenge, creating four distinct and innovative dishes incorporating Designer Whey protein powder. Click through the slideshow below for her recipes.