As men, all of us want to be in great shape and build lean muscle.
We want to look something like a Mens Health cover model, and we even know that we need to work out hard, eat protein rich foods and rest properly to achieve it.
But what are we supposed to cook? We have busy schedules, money might be a little tight and we aren’t exactly Gordon Ramsey. Unless we have a wife or girl who is a great cook, most of us tend to eat simple, easy to make foods on a rotating schedule.
Worry not. Below I’ve listed five delicious, easy to cook meals that are packed with muscle-building ingredients. All of these will cost between $5-15 and will deliver top quality nutrition.
You can cook all of these in less than 30 minutes and they taste great too.
5 muscle-building recipes:
1) Tuna Pasta.
Simple, timeless and packed full of protein, this one is easy to cook and tastes great.
Get yourself a bag of pasta (wholemeal is better), two cans of tuna, some sweetcorn and some mayonnaise.
Boil the pasta for ten minutes until soft, adding a pinch of salt or olive oil to stop it sticking to the pan. When it’s done, strain it and let it cool, then open the two cans of tuna, drain them and mix.
It’s best to let the whole concoction cool for a while in the fridge, then add sweetcorn and mayonnaise and stir till it’s nicely mixed up. Don’t add the mayonnaise while the pasta it still steaming hot or even warm or it will spoil.
If you require any extra seasoning, feel free to add it – pepper, salt or a little garlic powder work well.
This meal will deliver about 26g of quality protein, and the carbs needed to deliver them to your hungry muscles until your next meal.
It’s a classic for a reason.
2) Steak, broccoli and baby potatoes.
This will cost a little more but tastes great and will fill you up for at least a few hours.
You’ll need a 200g steak, a head of broccoli, a bag of baby potatoes, a frying pan and a pot to boil the potatoes in.
Put about 10 baby potatoes in some boiling water and cook for approximately fifteen minutes before starting the steak. You’ll want to boil them for about 25-30 mins total. I time it this way because I eat my steaks medium-rare so it only takes about 10 mins to cook.
Pour some olive oil into a frying pan and wait until it’s smoking, then add the steak. Be sure to stand back a little as it will probably spit hot oil.
For medium rare cook for about eight minutes total flipping the steak every two minutes.
About halfway through, toss the broccoli into the boiling water and let it sit until the steak is done, about four minutes. This will leave it nice and crunchy and not boiled to mush.
Strain the water off the veggies and if you want to you can set the steak on some paper towels to absorb most of the oil, then onto your plate.
Chose whatever sauce you prefer. I always use Heinz tomato ketchup or HP sauce. Whatever works for you.
This will deliver about 35g of lean protein, some slow release carbs and a host of antioxidants from the broccoli. It will also provide a bunch of vitamins and minerals like zinc and iron.
You can’t get a better protein source than a great steak.
3) Ground beef and pasta spirals.
Similar to recipe one but in my opinion tasting a little better, for this you’ll need a bag of pasta spirals, 200g of minced beef, some marinara sauce and a block of cheddar cheese (sharper is better).
Bring the pasta to the boil and cook for about eight minutes. After about four minutes begin to fry the minced beef in some olive oil. Be sure to actively stir it or it will burn.
When everything is cooked strain the pasta and add the cooked minced beef to the pot, then add the sauce and lightly continue to cook. If you’re using gas at this point you’ll want to reduce the temperature or it will mess up the sauce. Simmering is better.
Give it a few minutes then pour the entire contents into a bowl. Grate some cheddar cheese over the top and voila! You have a belly busting, delicious and protein rich meal.
This will deliver about 30g of protein, and some carbs. It also tastes fantastic! Minced beef is also a lot cheaper than steak and delivers almost as much goodness in terms of protein and vitamins.
4) Chicken fajitas dressed in sour cream and lemon.
These chicken fajitas are my little ladies speciality! They’re delicious, nutritious and full of muscle-building protein.
To cook them you’ll need 300g of chicken fillet (diced or sliced), lemon, sour cream, an onion and a packet of fajitas. You also need to add a little salt or chilli powder to taste.
First stick the fajitas in an oven to heat. If you don’t have one don’t worry you can also heat them in another frying pan, just don’t add oil and heat on low gas for about 4-5 mins.
Soak the chicken in freshly squeezed lemon and sprinkle with salt and leave for about 10 minutes. Pour some olive oil into the frying pan and add the sliced chicken. It’ll take around 10 minutes to fry. You’ll need to add onions and saute them to add the extra flavour.
When it’s all cooked drain off the oil, dish out the cooked chicken and onions onto the warm fajitas and smother in sour cream.
Trust me, this will tantalize your taste buds and will deliver around 30g of class A protein to your hungry muscles.
300g is enough chicken to make six fajitas. If you can’t eat that much, share with a friend. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like this meal.
5) Chicken Adobo.
One of the many benefits of being married to a Filipina lady is that I get to eat all kinds of foods I’d never even heard of until I met her.
This one is remarkably simple and delicious.
You’ll need rice, diced chicken breast, onion, garlic, vinegar and soy sauce.
Bring a little olive oil to heat and saute the garlic and onions for about two minutes. When the garlic turns golden brown add the chicken and cook through.
When cooked, add a cup of water and let it boil before adding soy sauce and vinegar. Let this all simmer for about three to five minutes and add to your rice (which you should have been cooking before you started frying anything).
All of this takes about thirty minutes to prep and is super tasty.
These are the first five delicious muscle-building recipes I’ll be posting. It’s come to my attention that most guys have a problem in that they either don’t know what or how to cook for themselves and get quality nutrition at the same time.
If you have any other great recipes and want to share with the men reading this, leave a comment below and it will be much appreciated.
Proper nutrition is one of the three sides of the Iron Triangle system for building lean muscle. Don’t skip it. You’ll be surprised how your body changes if you begin to eat right.
Desire. Decide. Persist.