If you’re looking to bulk up, and upgrade those gains, you need to understand why there’s more to life than protein powders. In many cases, these expensive dietary supplements taste like cardboard and can cause all manner of side effects, such as constipation. There is no real data that says protein powders and shakes are the most efficient way to build muscle. Your body is a complicated machine, and it wants real foods to provide lasting energy and vital nutrients. Especially when those foods are these muscle building champs!
Below are three delicious recipes you can use to gain lean muscle and drop fat. They each contain top power foods that will help you get in shape and taste great. Eat well and hit your fitness goals!
Muscle Building Meatballs
Cheaper than weight loss shakes and tastier too, spinach is a real super food and packs more protein than meat. Add it to your favourite meals for a quick boost, or whip up a batch of these super lean muscle building meatballs on a Monday night. These are affordable, can be eaten hot or cold, and made in advance. What’s not to love? Mama Mia!
- 6 oz lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup shredded raw spinach
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tbsp cumin
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 oz wheat spinach pasta
- 1/8 cup marinara (natural and low sodium)
- 1 1/2 cup raw spinach
- 5 cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp low fat parmesan cheese
- Set oven to 405 degrees F.
- For added flavor, saute the red onions in a skillet using spray olive or coconut oil.
- Mix ground beef, chopped raw spinach, red onion, garlic, and spices. Mix thoroughly using your hands until the spinach is completely mixed into the meat.
- Form two or three meatballs of roughly the same size using your hands. For accuracy, you can use a food scale to weigh and measure each portion.
- Place meatballs on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
- Cook pasta and stir in tomatoes, spinach, and cheese as desired.
- Mix in cooked meatballs and enjoy!
Take On the World Tacos
Tacos are a great meal anytime day or night, but what makes these tacos special is their super lean and protein-packed status! By adding a few simple ingredients, you can turn Taco Tuesday into beast mode. Mushrooms, cottage cheese, black beans, and spinach are just a few superfoods you can add to these flavorful creations. For extra points, switch out taco shells for lettuce leafs!
- 2 lb Lean ground beef
- 2 package Taco seasoning mix
- 2 Onion, chopped
- 2 cup Water
- 8 Whole wheat soft tortilla shells
- 1 cup Fat-free plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup Salsa
- 1/2 cup Low-fat cottage cheese
- Diced Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes
- Shredded lettuce (or spinach)
- Brown the ground beef and onion in a skillet over medium heat.
- Stir in the taco seasoning mix and water and let simmer for 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Once cooled, spoon beef into soft tortilla shells and top with sour cream, salsa, cheese, shredded lettuce and diced veggies.
Smash That Personal Best Salmon
Don’t skip date night! Treat her to a dine in experience she’ll never forget with this sophisticated salmon. Featuring lean protein, and as many vegetables, as you can side dish, this low-calorie dinner is perfect any night of the week. Salmon also boasts tons of extras such as Omega 3 fatty acids, which build muscle and help you to shed fat.
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- Juice from half of a lemon
- 1 1/2 cup grilled asparagus
- 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
- Set oven to 405 degrees F.
- In a bowl, mix mustard, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice.
- Pour the marinade over the salmon to completely cover it. For better flavor, place the marinating salmon in the fridge for at least one hour.
- Place the salmon on a baking sheet and top with slices of lemon (if desired). Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Cut the bottom stems off the asparagus spears.
- Set a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat and lightly spray with coconut or olive oil (if desired).
- Toss the asparagus and garlic in the skillet and sear for about 5 minutes, rolling the asparagus so that all sides are seared.
What are your favourite lean muscle building foods? Leave a comment and let us know!