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Recipes for Success: 5 Meals to Help You Reach Your Fitness Goals

Posted by Samantha Rentz on September 30th 2012
  • Achieving your goals – to slim down, stress less, have more energy — is as easy as eating dinner. Our healthy, delicious meals are packed with the key ingredients to help you get to your goal.
  • Sweet Potato and Pork Chilli

Goal: I want to lose weight.

Why This Recipe Works

A diet that includes plenty of lean protein has been linked in studies to successful long-term weight loss.

Foods high in water volume, such as chilli and soup, have fewer calories but still satisfy and fill you up.

Beans are loaded with fibre, which helps to keep you feeling full longer.

  • Sweet Potato and Pork Chilli

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped white onion
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 3/4 pound boneless center-cut pork loin, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened dark-chocolate powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, diced
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 15 ounce can navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (plus more for serving, optional)
  • 4 tablespoons nonfat Greek yoghurt (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and sweet potato; cook 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Season the pork with the salt and black pepper; add the meat to pot and cook until browned, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.

2. Mix in the chilli powder, cumin, dark-chocolate powder, oregano and cinnamon; cook 2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce; stir, then bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pork is tender, about 1 hour. Stir in the navy beans and cilantro; cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Serve the chili topped with more cilantro and a dollop of yoghurt if desired.

Note

Why This Recipe Works for Weight Loss:  A diet that includes plenty of lean protein has been linked in studies to successful long-term weight loss.Foods high in water volume, such as chilli and soup, have fewer calories but still satisfy and fill you up.Beans are loaded with fibre, which helps to keep you feeling full longer.

Note

Beans are loaded with fibre, which helps to keep you feeling full longer.

Nutrition facts per serving:

Servings Per Recipe 4

Amount Per Serving

  • Calories 421
  • Protein(gm)27
  • Carbohydrate(gm)46
  • Fat, total(gm)15
  • Saturated fat(gm)4
  • Dietary Fibre, total(gm)11
  • Grilled Sirloin with Artichoke Pesto and Farro Salad

Goal: I want more energy.

Why This Recipe Works

Red meat contains alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that helps convert sugar into energy that fuels your muscles.

Farro is packed with protein, which helps rev you up.

Iron-rich foods like kale and beef give you a power boost.

Grilled Sirloin With Artichoke Pesto and Farro Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 2/3 cup farro
  • 2 whole artichoke hearts, packed in water, drained
  • 1 cup fresh basil, loosely packed
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • 2 garlic cloves, 1 whole and 1 minced
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, loosely packed, plus 1/4 cup chopped
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more for seasoning
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 8 ounces sirloin steaks

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farro and cook until just tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, return to pot and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, combine the artichoke hearts, basil, almonds, whole garlic clove, 1 cup of flat-leaf parsley and 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan in a blender. Pulse, drizzling in the 1/4 cup of oil and 2 tablespoons of the water. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper to taste; set pesto aside.

3. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil over the squash and add 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and black pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast 20 to 25 minutes, until tender.

4. Heat the remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and minced garlic; cook 3 to 5 minutes. Add the kale and the remaining water. Saute until kale is wilted, about 2 minutes.

5. Add the roasted squash and farro to skillet. Top with the remaining Parmesan and the chopped parsley and balsamic vinegar. Add the remaining salt and black pepper; toss and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until heated through.

6. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat; cook steaks 4 to 5 minutes a side for medium, then remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes. Slice steaks across the grain into 1/2-inch strips and divide among four plates. Top each with 2 teaspoons pesto and serve with farro salad.

Note

Why This Recipe Works for More Energy:  Red meat contains alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that helps convert sugar into energy that fuels your muscles.

Note

Farro is packed with protein, which helps rev you up.

Note

Iron-rich foods like kale and beef give you a power boost.

 

Nutrition facts per serving:

Servings Per Recipe 4

Amount Per Serving

  • Calories 480
  • Protein(gm)33
  • Carbohydrate(gm)41
  • Fat, total(gm)20
  • Saturated fat(gm)6
  • Dietary Fibre, total(gm)6
  • Quinoa Salad with Chicken

Goal: I want to get the most out of my workout.

Why This Recipe Works

Flavonoids and other compounds in cherries can reduce inflammation and soothe aching muscles post-exercise.

Vinegar may help stabilize your blood sugar, contributing to a steady source of energy.

Apples contain catechins, antioxidants that help improve lung function, giving you more stamina for your cardio routine.

  • Quinoa Salad With Chicken

 

INGREDIENTS

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup mint, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup diced apple with peel
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries

DIRECTIONS

1. Coat a grill pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Season chicken with the salt and black pepper; cook 8 to 10 minutes a side until cooked through. Cool 2 to 3 minutes, then slice into thin strips.

2. Meanwhile, fill a saucepan with the water and add the quinoa. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork and then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mint, scallions, vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, mustard and oil. Mix in the walnuts, apple, red onion and cherries. Add the quinoa and toss to coat. Serve topped with chicken.

Note

Why This Recipe Works for a Workout Boost:  Flavonoids and other compounds in cherries can reduce inflammation and soothe aching muscles postexercise.

Note

Vinegar may help stabilize your blood sugar, contributing to a steady source of energy.

Note

Apples contain catechins — antioxidants that help improve lung function, giving you more stamina for your cardio routine.

Nutrition facts per serving:

Servings Per Recipe 4

Amount Per Serving

  • Calories 390
  • Protein(gm)30
  • Carbohydrate(gm)45
  • Fat, total(gm)11
  • Saturated fat(gm)2
  • Dietary Fibre, total(gm)5
  • Veggie Pizza with Arugula Pesto

Goal: I want to live longer.

Why This Recipe Works

Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, which can lower your risk for breast cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Research suggests that the potassium, calcium, and fiber in arugula and chard help prevent high blood pressure.

Eating at least one serving of whole grains a day can reduce your mortality risk by 8 percent, studies found.

 

  • Veggie Pizza With Arugula Pesto

 

INGREDIENTS

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Flour for Dusting
  • 1 pound frozen whole-wheat pizza dough, thawed, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups baby arugula leaves, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, loosely packed, plus 4 leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more for seasoning
  • 2 cups rainbow chard, loosely packed, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Dust a flat surface with flour and then roll out the pizza dough. Transfer dough to baking sheet and bake 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine the arugula, the 1/2 cup of basil, 2 garlic cloves and the lemon juice in a food processor. Drizzle in the 1/4 cup of oil and the water; pulse until a thin paste forms. Add the Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 tea-spoon of the black pepper; pulse.

3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Chop the remaining garlic and add it to the skillet with the chard, mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper; saute 3 to 4 minutes until tender.

4. Spread 1/4 cup of pesto on the crust. Top with the vegetable mixture and tomatoes. Season the ricotta with salt and black pepper and add in dollops to the pizza. Bake until crust browns and cheese melts, 20 to 25 minutes. Slice the remaining basil and top pizza with it.

Note

Why This Recipe Works as a Health Booster:  Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, which can lower your risk for breast cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Note

Research suggests that the potassium, calcium and fiber in arugula and chard help prevent high blood pressure.

Note

Eating at least one serving of whole grains a day can reduce your mortality risk by 8 percent, studies found.

Nutrition facts per serving:

Servings Per Recipe 4

Amount Per Serving

  • Calories 476
  • Protein(gm)21
  • Carbohydrate(gm)65
  • Fat, total(gm)15
  • Saturated fat(gm)4
  • Dietary Fibre, total(gm)8
  • Orange-Dijon Salmon with Almond-and-Herb Couscous

Goal: I want to be less stressed.

Why This Recipe Works

Vitamin C, which is in lemons and oranges, may improve mood and reduce stress.

Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to ease anxiety and depression.

The vitamin E in almonds can help lower blood pressure.

 

  • Orange-Dijon Salmon With Almond-and-Herb Couscous

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
  • 1 1/4 pounds salmon, cut into four equal portions
  • 3/4 cup couscous
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 cup fresh chives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard and orange marmalade. Place the salmon, skin side down, in a baking dish and spread the mustard-marmalade mixture evenly over the top of each piece; cook 12 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small pot, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil; remove from heat. Stir in the couscous, cover and let sit 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and mix in the almonds, chives, parsley, mint, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and black pepper. Serve topped with salmon.

Note

Why This Recipe Works to Reduce Stress:  Vitamin C, which is in lemons and oranges, may improve mood and reduce stress.

Note

Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to ease anxiety and depression.

Note

The vitamin E in almonds can help lower blood pressure.

Nutrition facts per serving:

Servings Per Recipe 4

Amount Per Serving

  • Calories 495
  • Protein(gm)35
  • Carbohydrate(gm)33
  • Fat, total(gm)24
  • Saturated fat(gm)5
  • Dietary Fibre, total(gm)3

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