Not all fast food is evil. Crank up the oven, open Instagram and improve your healthy repertoire with these ten turbo-charged recipes from the experts at our sister brand Men's Fitness.
1. Super-Fast Salmon
Salmon steaks are quick and easy to cook, and packed with protein and life-enriching omega 3 fats. Heat your oven to 220˚C/gas 7, sear your steaks in a frying pan for 30 seconds a side, then chuck it on a baking tray and bake it for four to six minutes, depending on how well done you like it. While it’s cooking, assemble your salad.
RECOMMENDED: How to Cook Pan-Roasted Salmon
2. Pre-Cook Breakfast With Overnight Oats
If the morning’s a mad rush, take care of breakfast at bedtime. Soaking oats for hours makes them ultra-tasty, and the extra protein means you’ll stay full until lunch. Mix oats, chia seeds, whey powder, a sliced banana, 1tbsp Greek yogurt and 1tsp peanut butter with 150ml of almond milk in a protein shaker, and stick it in the fridge.
3. Leftover Chicken Curry in 20 Minutes
Tear any leftover roast chicken off the bone and whack it in a wok with some pak choi, onion and 1tsp each of coconut oil and Thai curry paste. Stir-fry for five minutes, then add a can of coconut milk and some cashews and simmer for another ten. Magnesium in the cashews aids sleep, and the pak choi has fibre and vitamins A and C.
4. A Quick Bulked Up Salad
Dress your mixed leaves with a glug of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice, then toss in chopped avocado, cherry tomatoes and chicken (shop-bought is fine). Avocado’s healthy monounsaturated fats make for a salad that doesn’t feel like a soft option – and the home-made dressing is lower in sugar than any you can buy.
5. Speed Up Your Roast
The traditional Sunday roast takes most of an afternoon but if there’s no time for wine-soused indolence, speed it up by spatchcocking your chicken. Slice the spine out with a cleaver or shears, crack it so it lies flat in the plan, drizzle with oil and blast it for 45 minutes at 225˚C. It’s even fast enough to do on a weeknight.
6. Scrambled Eggs Two Ways
Heat coconut oil in a pan, crack three eggs in and stir until they’re nearly done. For variety, add some spice. Mexican means fat loss: a squeeze of lime and a dash of chilli powder blunts insulin and ramps up your metabolism. For general health, think north Africa: powdered garlic, ground cumin and dried mint packs an immunity wallop.
7. Oven-Ready Cauliflower Chips
Need an alternative to chips? Chop a cauliflower into florets, drizzle it with olive oil, dash over some salt and pepper, then stick it in a 200˚C oven for 20 minutes. While it’s cooking, combine capers, sherry vinegar and 1tsp honey for a dressing that’s high in antioxidants and vitamin K – and cauliflower that’s actually edible.
8. 15-Minute Cod
The quintessential bodybuilder food can be spiced up in no time. Mix up some miso paste and mirin (rice wine), then rub it on your cod and cook for ten minutes at 220˚C. If you want some veg to go with it, stir-fry some chopped red onion, celery, green beans and ginger for an Asian dish that The Rock would be proud to smell you, er, cookin’.
9. Turkey Steaks And Cauliflower Couscous
The key to turkey steaks is cooking them escalope-style: buy them thin (or bash them down to 5mm with a wine bottle), then sizzle them in a pan for six minutes, flipping them a couple of times. Serve them with cauliflower couscous: whizz the florets in a food processor, then stir-fry the result for two minutes with garlic, chilli and ginger.
10. The Speedy Snack
If you’re on the verge of breaking out the biscuits, have a banana or an apple with 1tsp nut butter (cashew, almond or peanut). These butters contain fats that benefit heart health and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and the fruit’s fibre backs up your beneficial gut bacteria. Also, let’s be honest, it tastes better than a Lion bar.
RECOMMENDED: More Low-Calorie Snacks
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