If lengthy ingredients lists make your eyes glaze over, you’re not alone. Most guys prefer to get in and out of the kitchen with as little effort as possible. However, we sometimes need a reminder that food is just as important for getting in shape as working out. Just like learning how to maximize your workouts in the gym will inevitably lead to better results, learning to relax in the kitchen is the key to crafting meals worth looking forward to, which is ultimately what will keep your goals on track. Impressive enough to appear on any restaurant’s menu, and easy enough to whip up at home, the following meals are designed to help you do exactly that.

Breakfast

Spanish Frittata

Ingredients:

  • ¼ red potato, diced
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 button mushrooms, halved
  • ¼ red pepper, sliced
  • ¼ shallot, chopped
  • ¼ zucchini, sliced
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp feta cheese, crumbled

Make It:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Steam potatoes, then set aside to cool. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high. Add potatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, shallots, and cook for 4 minutes. Stir in zucchini and reduce heat to medium low. Whisk the eggs, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Pour egg mixture over vegetables, then add tomatoes and feta. Cook for 5 minutes. Place pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Loosen the frittata from the pan and serve.

The Numbers: 438 Calories; 26g Protein; 32g Carbs; 25g Fat; 6g Fiber.

Total Time: 49 minutes.

Homemade Granola

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
  • Pinch cloves, ground
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp golden-brown sugar
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 5 tbsp rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, shelled
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds, shelled
  • 2 tbsp almonds
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp raisins

Make It:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Stir butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a small skillet over medium heat. When butter melts, add honey, syrup, and brown sugar, and stir until sugar dissolves.
  2. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Combine oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and almonds in a bowl. Coat oat mixture with syrup, then place on baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the cranberries and raisins and bake for 10 minutes. Allow the granola to cool, then break into pieces and serve.

The Numbers: 504 Calories; 12g Protein; 60g Carbs; 27g Fat; 7g Fiber.

Total Time: 58 minutes.

Can One Breakfast Sandwich Damage Your Arteries?>>>

Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Chives

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2½ tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp 1-inch pieces fresh chives
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tbsp butter
  • 1 slice sourdough bread
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 oz cold-smoked salmon
  • 1 lemon wedge

Make It:

  1. Using a fork, mix the eggs, cream, chives, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  2. Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add egg mixture. Stir slowly until the eggs are no longer runny.
  3. Toast bread, spread with cream cheese, and top with salmon. Spoon egg mixture over toast and serve with lemon wedge.

The Numbers: 510 Calories; 23g Protein; 21g Carbs; 38g Fat; 1g Fiber. 

Total Time: 20 minutes.

[ pagebreak ]

Lunch

Greek Salad with Chargrilled Salmon

Ingredients for Salmon:

  • 6 oz salmon fillet
  • Salt and freshly groundblack pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic-infusedextra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (for brushing grill)

Ingredients for Salad:

  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ head romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
  • 1 heirloom tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced crosswise
  • 2 tbsp pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 tbsp red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 oz feta cheese
  • ¼ tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Make It:

  1. Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper, then brush with garlic oil and dried oregano. Brush grill with olive oil.
  2. Grill salmon for 3 minutes each side.
  3. Place red wine vinegar in a bowl. Add olive oil while whisking. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. In a bowl, toss lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and onions with vinaigrette. Plate salad, season to taste with salt and pepper, then crumble fetacheese on top. Top salad with salmon, sprinkle parsley, drizzle remaining vinaigrette, then serve.

The Numbers: 735 Calories; 47g Protein; 20g Carbs; 53g Fat; 4g Fiber.

Total Time: 18 minutes.

Grilled Ocean Trout and Asparagus with Melted Leeks

Ingredients for Leeks:

  • ¼ tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ tbsp olive oil
  • 5 tbsp onion, diced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ leek (white and pale-green parts only), diced
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream

Ingredients for Asparagus:

  • 6 oz asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tbsp shallots, minced
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika

Ingredients for Fish:

  • 6½ oz boneless, skinless ocean-trout fillet
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Lemon wedge

Make It:

  1. In a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, melt butter with oil. Stir in onions and cook until they begin to soften. Sprinkle salt, cook another minute, then stir in garlic and cook 2 minutes. Stir in leeks, sprinkle salt, and reduce heat to low. Cook 10 minutes. Add cream and simmer for 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Cover and keep hot.
  2. Place asparagus stalks on baking sheet. Drizzle oil, sprinkle with shallots and paprika, and then toss. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.
  3. Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Coat fish with ¼ tbsp oil, then sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper. Brush grill with remaining olive oil, add fillets, then cook for 4 minutes before flipping. Cook until all but very center is opaque.
  4. Grill asparagus for 4 minutes, then place in a pile on plate. Top with fillet, spoon leeks on side, and serve with lemon wedge.

The Numbers: 722 Calories; 46g Protein; 21g Carbs; 54g Fat; 6g Fiber.

Total Time: 45 minutes.

Honey-Glazed Ham Panini

Ingredients for Pear and Mustard Chutney:

  • 2½ tbsp apple-cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp light-brown sugar
  • ¼ small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp coarse-grain mustard
  • Grated zest of small orange wedge
  • ½ A njou pear, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

Ingredients for Sliders:

  • 1 piece focaccia (about 2½ x 1 inch)
  • 2½ oz honey-glazed ham, sliced
  • 1½ oz Swiss cheese, sliced
  • ½ cup fresh baby spinach
  • ½ tsp butter

Make It:

  1. To make the chutney: Combine vinegar, brown sugar, onion, mustard, and orange zest in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
  2. Add pears and continue simmering for 30 minutes. Let the chutney cool, then place in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
  3. To make the sliders: Preheat broiler. Cut bread in half horizontally and arrange the halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Place ham and cheese over one of the halves. Toast both bread halves under the broiler for 2 minutes.
  4. Scatter spinach over ham and cheese. Spoon chutney over spinach. Top with second bread half. Brush top of slider with butter, and broil for 1 minute. Cut in half and serve.

The Numbers: 490 Calories; 28g Protein; 57g Carbs; 18g Fat; 5g Fiber.

Total Time: 67 minutes.

12 Healthy Fast Food Lunches>>>

[ pagebreak ]

Dinner

Grilled Tri-tip, Green Bean, and Red Onion Salad

Ingredients:

  • ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tbsp shallots, finely chopped
  • ¼ garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz tri-tip steak
  • ¼ red onion, sliced
  • ¼ lb green beans, trimmed
  • ¾ oz soft fresh goat cheese

Make It:

  1. Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Whisk vinegar, shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl. Gradually whisk in 2 tbsp of the oil. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Coat tri-tip with ¼ tbsp of remaining oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill tri-tip, turn after 6 minutes, then cook another 6 minutes. Transfer to cutting board.
  3. Put onion and green beans on a baking sheet and coat with ¼ tbsp of remaining oil. Transfer beans and onions to grill and cook for 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl with vinaigrette and toss. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Plate green bean mixture, and top with crumbled goat cheese. Thinly slice tri-tip across the grain and add to plate. Drizzle carving juices, and serve.

The Numbers: 640 Calories; 67g Protein; 12g Carbs; 38g Fat; 4g Fiber.

Total Time: 25 minutes.

Can Eating Carbs at Dinner Help You Lose Weight?>>>

Grilled Shrimp and Asparagus with Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • ¼ lemon
  • ½ tbsp shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ lb medium-thin asparagus, woody ends trimmed
  • ¼ lb large shrimp, peeled, tails left on, and deveined
  • ¹/3 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, shaved

Make It:

  1. Prepare grill for medium-high heat.
  2. Grate zest from lemon into a bowl. Add ½ tbsp juice from lemon, then shallots. Whisk in ½ tbsp oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread asparagus and shrimp on a baking sheet. Coat with remaining ½ tbsp oil, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer shrimp and asparagus to grill and cook, turning occasionally, for 4 minutes. Remove from grill.
  4. In a bowl, toss asparagus with vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Plate asparagus and top with shrimp. Drizzle vinaigrette, sprinkle cheese, and serve.

The Numbers: 716 Calories; 37g Protein; 10g Carbs; 62g Fat; 2g Fiber.

Total Time: 15 minutes.

Halibut and Spinach with Orange-Pine Nut Vinaigrette

Ingredients for Orange-Pine Nut Vinaigrette:

  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp honey
  • ¼ tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
  • Finely grated zest of ¼ orange
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted and coarsely crushed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for Fish and Spinach:

  • 6 oz skinless halibut fillet
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • ½ shallot, thinly sliced into rings
  • 3 oz baby spinach

Make It:

  1. To make the vinaigrette: In a bowl, combine oil, vinegar, shallots, honey, tarragon, and orange zest with a fork. Stir in pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. To cook the fish: Season halibut with salt and pepper. Heat a nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and halibut, and cook for 3 minutes. Turn over and cook for another 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  3. To cook the spinach: Wipe out skillet and return it to medium-high heat. Add remaining tablespoon oil and shallots, and cook for 2 minutes. Add spinach and stir for 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Plate spinach, top with fillet, and spoon vinaigrette on top.

The Numbers: 445 Calories; 34g Protein; 17g Carbs; 30g Fat; 2g Fiber.

Total Time: 20 minutes.

 

[ pagebreak ]

Snacks

Roasted Eggplant Dip

Ingredients for Dip:

  • ½ eggplant
  • ½ tsp plus ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2½ garlic cloves, peeled
  • ¾ tbsp tahini
  • ¾ tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for Pita Chips:

  • 1 pita bread, split in half
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Make It:

  1. Preheat broiler. Prick eggplant all over with a fork and rub with ½ tsp oil. Insert garlic into eggplant.
  2. Place eggplant on a pan in broiler and cook until charred all over and softened, turning often to ensure even cooking. Remove from broiler, peel off skin, cut in half lengthwise, and remove seeds. Chop into a puree and place in a bowl.
  3. Stir in the tahini, parsley, lemon juice, and remaining ½ tbsp oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Cut pita into wedges and arrange on a baking sheet. Brush with oil, and sprinkle with parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 12 minutes, then serve with dip.

The Numbers: 449 Calories; 10g Protein; 49g Carbs; 26g Fat; 8g Fiber.

Total Time: 42 minutes.

5 Smarter Snack Foods>>>

Drumsticks

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp Chinese barbecue sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 chicken drumsticks
  • ½ tsp toasted sesame seeds

Make It:

  1. Mix the barbecue sauce, honey, garlic, and ginger in a Ziploc bag. Add chicken, seal bag, and toss.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight.
  3. Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil. Transfer chicken and marinade to baking sheet and broil for 25 minutes, turning occasionally.
  4. Sprinkle chicken with the sesame seeds and serve.

The Numbers: 338 Calories; 39g Protein; 25g Carbs; 9g Fat; 1g Fiber.

Total Time: 89 minutes.

Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ¼ tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp red onion, diced
  • ½ tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp fresh lime juice 
  • ⅛ jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • ¼ clove garlic, finely minced
  • Pinch ground cumin
  • Salt to taste

Make It:

  1. Mix avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeño, garlic, and cumin in a bowl.
  2. Season with salt. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

The Numbers: 358 Calories; 5g Protein; 25 g Carbs; 30g Fat; 16g Fiber.

Total Time: 24 minutes.