Classic protein-heavy meals can often be a major undertaking, including hours of preparation and a million ingredients. Roast chicken, fancy poached fish, slow-cooked beef stews—these kinds of dishes need to be coddled. When you’re working all day long, you don’t exactly have the time to baste your bird or sear your steak. So you stick to a boring chicken breast and dream of the day when you have all the time and energy you need to pull together something more impressive.

But good news! Low, slow, and complicated isn’t the only way to make a flavorful high-protein meal. In fact, a little can go a very long way as long as you’re properly cooking your protein. These five recipes each call for only five ingredients (that’s not including salt and pepper), and they take little to no time to throw together. Oh, and they’re delicious, so it’s a win-win situation!

 CHECK OUT THESE EASY, PROTEIN PACKED RECIPES!

1) 2-INGREDIENT PESTO CHICKEN

SERVES 4, 571 calories; 50 grams protein

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 skinless and boneless chicken breast fillets (about 1 kg | 2 pounds)

  • ½ cup Basil Pesto, plus ¼ cup extra for serving (store bought pesto works, or make your own!

  • 500 g | 17 ounces cherry tomatoes (optional as a serving idea)

  • Salt and Pepper to season (optional – adjust to your tastes)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Smother chicken fillets in the pesto on all sides (about 2 tablespoons of pesto for each chicken breast, depending on your taste). Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Grill:

  1. Preheat a barbecue plate, grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 5-6 minutes each side or until completely cooked through. Transfer to a warm plate. Grill the tomatoes, rotating once, until soft and beginning to brown.

  2. Top chicken with extra pesto. Serve with the tomatoes.

Oven Baked:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F | 180°C. Line a baking dish with aluminium foil or bang | parchment paper.

  2. Arrange the coated chicken breasts in the baking dish and bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.

  3. At 30 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven and arrange the tomatoes around each fillet.

  4. Place the chicken back in the oven and cook a further 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.

2) SEASIDE BREAKFAST SALAD

SERVES 2,  237 calories; 21 grams protein

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 – 4.375oz. can of Wild Planet Wild Sardines (in Water or Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

  • 2 fresh eggs

  • 1 cup of organic arugula

  • 5 Tablespoons of marinated artichoke hearts, chopped

  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

 INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F

  2. Place sardines in a small bowl and use a fork to break apart the meat. Add artichoke hearts and toss to combine.

  3. Place sardine and artichoke mixture into a small oven-safe dish. I used a small oven-safe skillet.

  4. Break the eggs on top of the sardine mixture.

  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until eggs cooked to preferred doneness.

  7. Serve over arugula.

3) PESTO CHICKEN ZOODLES WITH BURST TOMATOES

SERVES 4, 396 calories; 18 grams protein

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 Zucchini, inspiralized

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • salt & pepper

  • 1½ cup cherry tomatoes

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • Homemade Basil Pesto

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat.

  2. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.

  3. Place cherry tomatoes in a small bowl along with olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Toss the tomatoes so they are coated.

  4. In the meantime, inspiralize the zucchini. Set aside.

  5. Make the basil pesto and pour the pesto over the zucchini noodles. Using salad tossers or tongs, mix the pesto in with the zoodles until it is completely combined.

  6. Next, place the chicken on the grill and grill each side for 5-7 minutes. (or until there is no more pink)

  7. Place cherry tomatoes in a grill basket and grill fro 5 minutes, until tomatoes burst.

  8. Remove tomatoes and chicken from the grill. Slice the chicken and place both sliced chicken and burst tomatoes into the pesto zoodles bowl. Serve.

4) ORANGE GLAZED SALMON 

SERVES 4, 457 calories; 15 grams protein

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 salmon fillets, about 4 oz / 110 gr each

  • 4 tablespoons mustard (I used grainy mustard)

  • 4 tablespoons orange marmalade

  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat broiler to 450°F (230°C).

  2. In a small bowl combine mustard and orange marmalade. Set aside.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add salmon and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until golden (if it the salmon has the skin on, cook skin side first).

  4. Turn off the heat and brush fillets with orange-mustard mixture. Transfer the skillet from the stovetop to the oven and broil for 5 minutes until the top is golden brown and perfectly caramelized.

  5. If your salmon had the skin on, gently peel it off before serving (it should come off very easily).

5) CHEESY CAULIFLOWER SOUP 

SERVES 4 (2 CUPS EACH), 274 calories; 15 grams protein

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 tablespoons butter OR bacon grease (I get best results with a combo)

  • 1 yellow onion

  • 6 cups chicken broth

  • 1 head cauliflower (cut into florets – about 6 cups)

  • 1 heaping cup shredded cheese (see notes)

  • 1 tablespoon truffle oil (optional, but seriously SO GOOD)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the butter or bacon grease in a large Dutch Oven or heavy stock pot. Slice the onion thinly – I used a mandoline. Add the onions and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the onions become deep golden brown, add the broth and cauliflower. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork tender.

  2. Puree with an immersion blender (or transfer to a regular blender) until the soup reaches your desired consistency.

  3. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Add the truffle oil and stir to incorporate. Sometimes I give it one last whir with the immersion blender to get the cheese and truffle oil distributed evenly.

NOTES

Skillet Croutons for topping: just put some olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat and toss some bread cubes around in there until golden brown (they should be mostly coated with a thin layer of oil to prevent sticking and promote browning). Transfer to paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil. It’s kind of a cross between baked croutons and my new favorite splurge thing which is lightly fried bread.

Kale Pesto for topping: Put two huge handfuls of kale and/or parsley in a food processor with ½ cup olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 clove garlic. Squeeze some lemon juice in there and pulse until smooth. If you want, add ½ cup almonds for and pulse again – this will create a more sticky, textured mixture (it’s what’s pictured here).

Notes about the cheese: I’ve used mozzarella, provolone, smoked gouda, and parmesan. And various combinations of all of the above. I find the best results from using several varieties of cheese. You might still see very tiny flecks of cheese in your soup depending on the melting qualities of whatever cheese you choose.

 

From self.com


Healthy nutrition for any time during the week! Happy cooking with these protein packed meals to enjoy during the week!

Coach Janis and the Precision Fitness & Wellbeing Team