By MH Staff - Posted on 9th January 2014
Your top 4 favourite protein-packed, home-cooked meals.
1 Muscle Building: The Sweet Science of Beefing up
Steak is a reliable weapon in the battle to bulk up, with protein and creatine arming your muscular growth when training. But it is worth splashing out if this meal is to your taste. “Organic cuts will ensure you get more of the conjugated linoleic acid that promotes extra fat-burning, keeping your definition while you build size,” says registered nutritionist Christine Bailey. “Just 2 tsp of traditional peppercorn sauce can contain over 418 kilojoules, so replace cream with fat-free plain yoghurt to cut the fat content by almost half.” INGREDIENTS: olive oil • 1 sweet potato, cut into rough chips • 1 sirloin fillet steak • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar • 125ml beef stock • 2 heaped tbsp fat-free plain yoghurt • freshly ground black pepper • steamed broccoli and green beans to serve. METHOD: 1. Put 1 tbsp oil in a roasting tray and stick it in the oven at 200°C. Hard boil the potatoes, add to the tray and bake for 30min. 2. After 20min, season your steak, then fry for 2-3min on each side. When it’s cooked, put it aside for 5min – even your dinner needs a rest period. 3. Tip any excess oil from the pan and add the vinegar and stock. Leave to bubble until there’s half left, throw in the yoghurt and pepper. Serve with steak, chips and the green veg. KILOJOULES: 2 328 • PROTEIN: 38, 8g • TOTAL FAT: 25, 5g • CARBS: 44, 6g.
2 Total Recovery: Stick It To Muscle Soreness
This one is almost spot-on. “The protein and anti-inflammatories, with the monounsaturated fats of the avocado, will quickly repair micro-tears to your muscles and limit joint pain following endurance exercise,” says Bailey. She suggests replacing the sweetcorn with a low-carb, nutrient-rich veg such as kale to reduce the total carb content, giving you a near-perfect nutritional breakdown. If you’re gunning for full marks, opt for cans of mixed beans in water to cut the extra salt and sugar that other dastardly varieties hide. INGREDIENTS: 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce • 2 tbsp lime juice • 1 salmon fillet, cut into chunks • ½ avocado, diced • 4 cherry tomatoes, chopped • handful of coriander leaves, chopped • 1 tsp olive oil • handful of kale, chopped • ½ tin mixed beans in water, rinsed • 1 roasted red pepper, chopped. METHOD: 1. This is going to be quick, so get ready. Pre-heat the grill to a medium temperature. Combine the chilli sauce and 1 tbsp lime juice. Thread the salmon chunks onto a metal skewer and coat in the sauce. 2. Mix together the avocado, tomatoes and coriander. Season with the remaining lime juice. Grill the skewers for 7-8min, turning half way. Your muscle fuel is 3min away. 3. Meanwhile, sauté the kale, beans and pepper for 2-3min in a little oil. Serve the salmon with veg and spoon the avocado salsa on the side. Voilà. KILOJOULES: 2 086 • PROTEIN: 35, 2g • TOTAL FAT: 27, 8g • CARBS: 26, 7g.
3 Low Kilojoule: Burn Fat With Chilli Peppers
This meal has doubled up on protein by boldly wrapping the chicken in bacon. Rashers are too high in saturated fat to be eaten on a regular basis, so Bailey’s tweaked version uses Parma ham instead, which is leaner but (almost) as tasty. “Broccoli is a useful source of B vitamins, antioxidants, iron and calcium,” she says. “The jalapeño peppers will raise your core temperature very slightly for added fat-burning, but their main purpose in this dish is to provide a low-kilojoule kick of flavour.” If chicken is your go-to protein on a daily basis, this will be much appreciated. INGREDIENTS: 4-6 jalapeño peppers • 1 cooked chicken breast, chopped • 30g sweetcorn, tinned • 4 slices Parma ham • 30g reduced-fat cheddar, grated • 1 tbsp reduced-fat cream cheese • broccoli and mange tout cooked to serve. METHOD: 1. Roast the jalapeños whole for 10min at 180°C. Let them cool, then hollow them out. Do not rub your eyes. 2. Mix the chicken, sweetcorn and cheeses and season. Place 1 tbsp of the mixture into each pepper and wrap with a slice of ham. 3. Skewer each pepper with a cocktail stick, then bake on a tray with a rack so the fat drains away. Take them out after 20min or when the ham is nice and crisp. Serve with the cooked greens. KILOJOULES:1 764 • PROTEIN: 51, 3g • TOTAL FAT: 21, 1g • CARBS: 6, 6g.
4 High Energy: A Hot Source Of Protein Power
“This is a good combination of protein-rich fish and low-GI brown rice,” says Bailey. But the fish is very charred. “Salmon is a good source of healthy fats, but cooking at a high temperature attacks these nutrients and limits their benefit.” Tuna steak is lower in fat but packs 8g more protein per 100g, so it’s an easy way to upgrade this recipe. “Brown rice is a great source of selenium and manganese and, like other wholegrains, contains magnesium – an essential mineral for energy production,” says Bailey. This recipe is a little more hands-on, but its performance-boosting powers make it worth the extra effort. INGREDIENTS: 40g brown rice • 1 shallot, chopped • 1 roasted red pepper from a jar • 1 tsp olive oil • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar • 1 tuna steak • 80g broccoli florets • 100g baby spinach leaves. METHOD: 1. Boil the rice in 130ml of water; it should take about 20min. Meanwhile, fry the shallot and red pepper in a splash of oil for a couple of minutes. Now throw them in a blender with the vinegar and blitz to make a thick sauce. 2. Take a sheet of foil (or baking paper if you have any), sit the tuna steak bang in the middle and spoon the sauce on top. Seal the parcel and bake at 200°C, for 6-8min. Don’t worry, you’ll get to open your present soon. 3. Steam the broccoli over the rice for a few minutes and chuck the spinach on top for the final minute. Unwrap the parcel, pour on the sauce – then give your body what it’s been waiting for. KILOJOULES:1 914 • PROTEIN: 62, 3g • TOTAL FAT: 16, 7g • CARBS:14, 4g.