Getting into shape requires two things – regular workouts and lean, healthy meals. Unfortunately, ‘delicious’ and ‘healthy meals’ don’t go together very well, and you’re more likely to end up a nightly regular at Sleazy Joe’s Greasy Greasebar (clever title, I KNOW) than you are to learn how to cook healthy, affordable meals, right?
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Thankfully, wrong. Getting in some solid, tasty-as-hell nutrition isn’t as hard or expensive as you might think. These five recipes are designed to pack a serious protein punch, cost a couple of dollars, and above all else, be insanely delicious.
An Lo', God invented the CAN, stuffed it full of BEANS and sold it at low, low prices - and it was good.’ If actually cooking is too much like hard work, try this simple recipe for a one-pot spicy, high-protein, low-calorie turkey chili – packed full of awesome chili flavor, low-fat and even lower effort.
- Ground Turkey
- Can of Baked Beans
- Can of Kidney Beans
- Can of anything with the word ‘beans’ in
- Can of Chopped Tomatoes
- Chili Seasoning – either buy a pack of it, or combine Chili Powder, Cumin and Oregano
- Peppers/Carrots/Onions/Garlic/Whatever vegetables you can steal from someone else’s fridge
If you’re lucky enough to own any vegetables, or sly enough to steal any, start by chopping them as finely as your gym-calloused hands allow, and frying them for about 5 minutes until they soften. Next, add your turkey mince, and cook until it’s brown all over – about 10 minutes. Add your spices and fry for a further minute. From here, things get real easy – add all of your tins. All of them. Do it, seriously. Next, leave it to cook for as long as you like, from 20 minutes to 2 days – and as long as you stir it occasionally, the longer the better. Bam! Job done, you just made an awesome chili – serve with rice, pasta, bread, more chili or a steak.
Sweet and Sour Chicken Curry
Curry is always awesome, and this protein-rich fruit curry packs a delicious sweet and sour-style vibe that is perfect for serving with plain rice or noodles – plus, it’s cheap as hell, and girls will think you can actually cook.
- Chicken, cut into bite-size pieces (I’m a breast man, but legs will do the job just as well)
- 1 Small Banana, chopped
- 1 Small Can of Pineapple Chunks
- 1 Onion, diced
- 1-2 Tablespoons of Curry Powder (buy a big bag of mixed powder from the mysterious ‘World Food’ section of your local supermarket)
- 1 Cup of Milk (or Coconut Milk if you’re MI$TER BIG BUCK$$)
Start by frying the onion until it’s soft and translucent – about 5 minutes. Add the chopped banana and pineapple chunks, and fry until any liquid has mostly evaporated, and the fruit has become pulpy and mushy. Add the tablespoon of curry powder and fry for a further minute. At this point, it should look like someone threw up in your pan. Next, add the milk, and bring slowly to the boil. Then, it’s chicken time. Once you’ve got hold of your breasts, it’s time to stop playing with your girlfriend and go back to making dinner. Add the chicken pieces and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked through. Serve with your carbohydrate of choice.
Eggs are a staple of any good diet, especially if hitting the gym is high-up on the agenda. If you’re sick of boiling, frying, scrambling and maybe even eating them raw, this omlette-style recipe makes a delicious all-in-one meal, full of protein and complex carbs, perfect for eating on the go – and telling girls that you’re eating a ‘Spanish Tortilla’ makes you seem worldly and cultured.
- 1 Onion, sliced
- 2 Peppers, diced
- 2 Potatos, sliced
- Cheese, grated
Start by chopping up the potatoes into thick slices, and boil them until they’re soft. Fry the onions until they also soften. At this point, if you’re not watching your calories like a little bitch, add a tablespoon of sugar to the onions and caramelize them. Next, line the base of a frying pan with the potatoes, and spoon the onions over them evenly. Sprinkle the diced pepper over. Beat your eggs together and pour the mixture over the potatoes, onions and pepper, and cook on a low heat until the egg begins to set. At this point, take off the heat, sprinkle the cheese on top and put under the grill until the cheese has melted, and the rest of the egg has set.
Tuna Pasta Bake
Tuna = protein, pasta = carbs, and cheese = fats – congratulations, you’ve made a balanced meal!
- 1 Can of Tuna
- 1 Jar of Pasta Sauce
- Cheese, grated
If you can’t cook this successfully, you have no hope in life– THERE’S FOUR INGREDIENTS, and it’s not so much cooking as it is emptying tins into a dish. Step 1: Cook pasta (hint: it involves boiling water). Step 2: Add pasta to dish. Steps 3, 4 and 5: Also add tuna and pasta sauce to dish. If you’re feeling adventurous, try mixing them together. Add cheese on top. Step 6: Bake. Anywhere from 20-40 minutes at a moderate heat, until the top is bubbling and delicious.
This recipe comes with a health warning – it DOES CONTAIN VEGETABLES, and if eating colorful healthy things scares the scrap out of you, it’s time to stop reading and head immediately for KFC. Still here? If you’re looking for a way to liven up dull chicken breasts, try this easy, healthy and delicious salsa.
- Chicken Breast
- 1 Red Onion, diced
- 2 Tomatoes, diced
- 1 Cucumber, diced
- Fresh Chili/Coriander Leaves
- Lime Juice
First, cook the chicken. If you’re staying lean, try the oven for 30 minutes, or the stove for less – once the juices run clear, you’re good to go. Next, mix together all the other ingredients in a bowl. Spoon it over the cooked chicken, and… oh. That’s actually it, that’s all the cooking we have to do. Oh man, and it tastes so good?! What is going on? I thought cooking was meant to be hard work?!
See you next week, bros,
Alex Nerney -- Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Lord of BroScience