When you are trying to eat healthy and be strict with your calories and macronutrients (protein, carbs, fat) it is always easier to eat simplistically. I tell my clients that they are allowed to eat what they want as long as they stay in their macro guidelines for the day, but there need to be a few more stipulations.
Although “not so great” foods can be fit into your day, you will find they add up much faster, do not keep you full as long, and can make you feel more lethargic.
The problem is that for most people, eating boiled chicken, brown rice, and broccoli everyday is not going to be something they can make a lifestyle out of. If that is what you prefer, that is just fine, but what about those who want just a little more enjoyment from their eating?
That is where my recommended recipes come in.
Let me say this — I generally do NOT like “healthy” recipes.
Typically, they are far too complicated and really aren’t that great for you. The purpose of this food section is to show you how to take a very healthy meal combination and put a very slight twist on it to make it taste awesome. Sometimes this will involve adding a handful of extra calories sometimes not.
The point is, taste is usually accompanied with calories. There is nothing wrong with that, but how can we get the absolute most taste from a simple meal with the least amount of calories? That is what you will find below.
You will see what the meal is, how to prepare it, and what the calorie and macronutrient breakdown of it is. As new meals are added they will be posted on the top. Remember, we do not count green veggies into our macros so you will not see those added.
With the help of my good friend Count Chocula (a culinary wizard), here are some recipes for you to enjoy as you see fit.
Steak and Sautéed Kalettes
372 calories, 30 g protein, 28.1 g fat, 0 carbohydrates
Kalettes are a new and exciting veggie (available at the grocery store in ready washed bags). They are a mix of brussels sprouts and kale. They cook in about 3–5 minutes.
-(1) cup of Kalettes — free
-(1) 4oz Steak tenderloin — 300 calories, 30 g protein, 20 g fat, 0 carbs
-(2) pat of salted butter (1 “ square by 1/3” high) — 72 calories, 8.1 g fat, 0 carbs
-(1) Tablespoon diced garlic — free
-Salt and Pepper for taste — free
-Lemon wedge — free
Season and grill steak to your preference (I prefer spicy Montreal steak seasoning). As for grilling, I do 5 minutes per side if it’s a thick cut tenderloin. Let steak ‘rest’ for 3–5 minutes before cutting.
Once you flip steak, sauté kalettes in butter and garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes.
To spice things up, I occasionally grill a whole red chili pepper with the steak and chop it up as a garnish to add color and flavor.
Proper plating and garnishing seems silly but a carefully prepared and plated meal drives personal pride and a willingness to stick with a healthy eating program. It also allows you to have company over and prepare an awesome meal that is both healthy and aesthetically appealing.
204.5 calories, 20.2 g protein, 11.7 g fat, 6 g carbohydrates, for half of finished recipe.
Ceviche can be a dicey dish to make. Complex, precise ( so you don’t get seafood poisoning), time consuming ( hours to cook in the citric acid). So the simple answer when faced with these daunting culinary tasks is: CHEAT!!!
Use cooked shrimp and simple ingredients. Reduces prep time to about 30 minutes and is completely safe. Best off all, you don’t touch a stove, oven or microwave.
This makes two huge servings or three smaller snack servings.
(1) bag cooked salad shrimp 100–200 count — 175 calories, 37.5 g protein, 2.5 g fat, 0 carbs
-(1) cup Avocado — 234 calories , 2.9 g protein, 21 g fat, 12 g carbs
-Jalapeño (optional)— free
-Lemon — free
-Lime — free
-Cilantro — free
-Cucumber — free
-Pre-washed salad greens of choice to go with leftovers (optional) — free
Put bag of frozen shrimp in water to defrost. Meanwhile, chop Jalapeño , cilantro, cucumber and avocado. Squeeze juice of one lemon and one lime. Combine with the mostly thawed shrimp.
Store in fridge for about 30 minutes so flavors mix as shrimp finishes to defrost.
If you are having it by yourself, you can eat half and put half in an air tight container and refrigerate.
The next day mix it with a pre-washed salad greens. The lemon, lime and pepper means no salad dressing is required for you’re delicious shrimp salad.
This recipe can easily be customized to add protein and lower fat if needed. Simply use more shrimp and less avocado.
Scallops and Wilted Baby Spinach
423 calories, 68 g protein, 15g fat, 4 g carbs
-Frozen Scallops 16oz ( an entire 4 serving bag) — 324 calories, 68 g protein, 4 g Fat, 4 g Carbs
-(1) Tablespoon Pure Irish Butter -Salted — 99 calories, 0 g protein, 11g Fat, 0 g carbs
-Pre-Washed Baby Spinach — Free
-(1) Tablespoon minced garlic — Free
In large frying pan melt the butter and add garlic.
When the garlic is about to brown add scallops and cook for about 5–7 minutes per side at medium heat. Err on the longer side if you aren’t sure if they have cooked thoroughly.
Pull the scallops and let them rest on some paper towel. In the scallop and garlic infused butter toss a few handfuls of baby spinach. Cook about 2–3 minutes until wilted. Season with sea salt.
Serve with the scallops on top of the wilted spinach. Wilted greens and seafood are best served right away. The greens can turn a darker, bruised color and the seafood probably shouldn’t stay out too long.
If you want to lower the calories or protein simply take out the scallops needed to hit your macros.
Chicken with Brussels Sprouts
371 calories, 50 g protein, 19g fat, 0 g carbohydrates
-8oz chicken breast — 280 calories, 50 g protein, 8 g Fat, 0 g carbs
-(1) Bag Halved, Pre-Washed Brussels Sprouts— Free
-(1) Tablespoon Minced Garlic — Free
-(1) Tablespoon Butter — 99 calories, 0 g protein, 11g Fat, 0 g carbs
-Salt and pepper for taste — Free
This is a simple 15 minute meal.
Wash, season and cook your chicken breast. I use salt, pepper and cook it on a Foreman grill for about 10 minutes.
While the chicken is going, melt butter in a pan. As butter melts adds garlic.
When butter is melted and garlic starts going add the halved sprouts and sauté for about 5 minutes.
If you want them steamed but still want the garlic flavor add a little water and cover. They will steam in the garlic. Season with a little salt and black pepper.
Check the chicken to make sure it’s done.
Plate and enjoy.
If you make the entire pack of sprouts and a pack of two or three chicken breasts you’ll essentially make enough for two or three meals. If you want to use left overs for lunch the next day, I suggest putting some salsa on your cooked chicken breast to keep it moist and infuse it with flavor over night. A tablespoon or two is usually more than enough. No one wants dried out, bland chicken for lunch!
Cilantro Lime Shrimp and Green Beans
280 calories, 36 g protein, 12 g fat, 0 g carbs, using about 14 shrimp
-(1) bag uncooked shrimp 20–30 count — 400 calories, 72 g protein, 6 g fat, 0 g carbs
-(4) cups green beans — Free
-(2) teaspoons olive oil — 80 calories, 0 g protein, 9 g fat, 0 g
-(6) cloves garlic, crushed — Free
-1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro — Free
-Lime — Free
-Salt and Pepper — Free
Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan, then when hot, add shrimp. Season with salt and pepper.
Begin cooking greens bean in whichever way you prefer.
When the shrimp is cooked on one side, around 2 minutes, turn over and add garlic.
Sauté another minute or two until shrimp is cooked being careful not to overcook them.
Remove from heat.
Squeeze lime over the shrimp and toss with cilantro.
Split half of the shrimp and green beans into two portions as you will have plenty.
Serve hot. I like to add the leftover lime and cilantro to the green beans.