By Soji James, CPT, CSCS
So many of us know exactly what to do when it comes to getting the bodies that we desire, but where we truly struggle is in the application of this knowledge. This is extremely evident when it comes to nutrition. We all know that what we eat is even more important than how often we get to the gym, but a common barrier that limits us from being our best selves in the kitchen is time.
When life is hectic, you’re tired, and you are constantly struggling to even keep up with your workouts. One of the last things you are worried about is cooking that 50 minute, 15-ingredient meal that you saw on the Cooking Channel. I’m here to drop a major plot twist: it doesn’t have to be this way.
This isn’t a fire drill, people; it’s the real deal. There are delicious, healthy meals that you can throw together quickly that only require 3 ingredients or less. Here are some of my favorite ones that will take you from worn out and intimidated to vibrant and confident when it comes to throwing together a dinner plate.
This is easily one of my favorite recipes on the planet. It makes for an easily reheatable meal. I substitute the bbq chicken out with corn and salsa on some days. I’ll give you the original recipe and you can have fun with it however you choose.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lay sweet potatoes cut side up on a large baking sheet and roast for about 35 minutes or until tender. In a saucepan, stir together shredded chicken and bbq sauce for 5-10 minutes. Top each potato with scoopfuls of the chicken mixture when it’s fully cooked.. If you are feeling fancy, add parsley or sliced green onions.
This is a tasty meal and it is easy to make in bulk for easy eating on the go. Heat a large skillet on medium and cook the beef until it is brown. Add the chili beans and salsa, then stir everything. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes or so. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can also spice this up by serving with sour cream, cheese, and cilantro for garnish.
This is another simple and delicious recipe. You could garnish it and get a little spicy, or you could keep things plain and simple here. Cut the avocado in half and scoop of some of the center so that the eggs can sit. Separate the yolks and whites into two separate bowls. Add salt into the whites and mix well. Heat olive oil in a pan and sear the avocado halves, flesh down, for 15-20 seconds and then flip them over and add the egg whites in. Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for 5-10 mins. Finally, slide the yolks into the avocados over the whites, cover with a lid, and cook for another 3 minutes. If you want to get a little fancy, you can garnish these with mint leaves to finish.
I tend to batch cook this tasty meal and have it for multiple breakfast and lunches. When you can save time, go for it! Heat the skillet with oil over medium heat and add the turkey. Cook the turkey until it browns and no pink remains. Next, add in the salsa and stir to mix it all up. Finally, crack in the eggs and cover the skillet for 7 minutes or so.
This is one I utilize when I’m on the move! It’s super quick and delicious. Simply throw the toast in a toaster. When it’s done, lay on the cottage cheese (protein source), add the pineapples (nutrient-dense fruit), and top it off with the cashews (fat source).
Okay, this may not be 3 ingredients, but 5 ingredients is still pretty simple. Speaking of, I’ve gotten a bunch of delicious recipes from Michael Symons book: “Michael Symon’s 5 in 5: 5 Fresh Ingredients + 5 Minutes = 120 Fantastic Dinners.” If you truly want to up your level of expertise in the kitchen and have been struggling on where to start or have been intimidated by long, difficult recipes/ingredient lists, then this is a great place to start. Pick up a copy here.