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5 Nutritious Meals for Healthy Cooking at Home

National Academy of Sports Medicine
National Academy of Sports Medicine
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Even though your at-home life might seem a little bland right now, you can still count on some healthy, flavorful meals to provide a little spice. 

Using the content derived from our free mini course on nutrition, as well as the watchful guidance of our in-house nutrition coaches, you can elevate your home cooking with these nutritious meal choices. 

    • For a snack - Get a great protein shake recommendation.
    • For breakfast - Learn how to make delicious blueberry muffins!
    • For lunch - Make a filling and nutritious broccoli cheddar soup.
    • For dinner - Gain the recipe for a chicken mole with riced cauliflower. 
    • And if you are vegetarian or vegan, we have you covered with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert options as well!

Let your frozen foods stay frozen a little longer and try these meals for fresh, healthy cooking at home. But first, let’s get started with a tasty protein shake.

WheySmooth Protein Shake Recipe: The Bermuda Triangle

nutritious bermuda triangle protein shake

If you want a snack or meal substitute that offers a of protein, look no further than the Bermuda Triangle.

IIt's a tasty mixture of peach, pineapple, WheySmooth protein, and milk all with the protein you need to gain muscle and satisfy your appetite. 

Ingredients You Will Need for the Bermuda Triangle:

With Nonfat Milk 

− 2 scoops WheySmooth Vanilla Crème

− 3 frozen peach slices

− 1⁄4 cup fresh pineapple chunks

− 1 cup nonfat milk or 2% milk

− Add ice cubes for desired thickness


Nutritional Content per Serving

With Nonfat Milk 

Calories: 358

Fat: 5g

Protein: 41g

Carbs: 72g

Fiber: 2g


Conventional Meal #1: Try These Blueberry Muffins!

 

NASM blueberry muffinTo kick these recipes off, let’s start the day off with a classic: blueberry muffins. 

Now, sugar first thing in the morning might make a few of you hesitant: 

“What about that mid-morning sugar crash that’s sure to come?”

The great thing about this recipe is that contrary to donuts or any sugary cereal, these blueberry muffins will stick with you. They are also not overloaded with sugar. 

Ingredients You Will Need for the Blueberry Muffins:

Here is all you need to make some seriously delicious muffins:

1 Blueberry Muffin Quest Bar®
− 1 scoop Quest® Vanilla
Milkshake Protein Powder
− 2 eggs
− 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
− 1/2 cup zero-calorie sweetener
− 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
− 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
− 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
− 1/4 cup coconut flour
− 1/4 cup almond flour
− 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
− 1 teaspoon baking powder
− 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
− 1/2 teaspoon salt
− 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
− Standard muffin pan

Breakfast in 9 Steps: Here’s How to Make Healthy Blueberry Muffins

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a muffin pan with paper-lined standard-sized
  3. muffin cups.
  4. Cut Quest Bars® into tiny pieces and set aside.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, almond milk,applesauce, sweetener, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix well.
  6. In another small bowl, combine Quest® Protein Powder, coconut flour, and almond flour. Mix well.
  7. Add dry mixture to wet. Then add coconut oil,baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  8. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Add Quest Bar® pieces evenly among each muffin and add blueberries to the top of each muffin.
  9. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Nutritional Content per Serving - 1 Muffin

Calories: 130

Fat: 8g

Protein: 8g

Net Carbs: 2g

Fiber: 2.5g


Nutrition Tip # 1 for Healthy Cooking at Home: 

Although these blueberry muffins call for fresh blueberries, frozen fruit can also work just as well. 

In fact, did you know that frozen fruit has a lot of the same nutrients and health benefits as fresh fruits? Actually, there are instances where the nutritional content is higher in frozen than fresh - as per Brad Dieter in this blog post on healthy dieting at home.

There is a lot of debate about which is healthier. However,  for the most part, the difference between both isn’t large enough to designate a clear winner.

In other words: fruit is fruit is fruit! Be sure to get a regular amount of fruit in your diet and your body will thank you. A great way to get more fruit and veggies in your diet is through smoothies.

This video offers some key advice and demonstrations for smoothies. Check it out!

 

Conventional Meal #2: Level Up Your Lunch with Broccoli Cheddar Soup!

woman in the kitchen preparing broccoli cheddar soup

Healthy isn’t synonymous with bland or boring! 

Case and point: this Broccoli Cheddar Soup offers a range of flavor and healthy ingredients. You can expect appetite satiation, a lot of flavor without a lot of salt, and a good deal of protein.

Really, this soup is a great source of protein without a wealth of calories to worry about. 

Ingredients for Broccoli Cheddar Soup:

2 Teaspoons coconut oil

− 1 medium onion, chopped

− 3 cloves garlis, minced

− 5 cups chicken broth

− 2 cups water

− 6 1/4 cups broccoli florets, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

− Large bowl of ice water

− 1 scoop plus 3 scoops Quest®

Muli-Purpose Mix Protein Power

− 1 cup plus 1/2 cup fat-free cheddar

cheese, grated

− 1 cup light sour cream

− 4 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch piece

The Lunch in 13 Steps: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  1. In a small pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes or until slightly caramelized.
  3. Add the chicken broth and increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to simmer and cover for 15 minutes, or until the broth has evaporated to half, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.
  5. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Drain the broccoli and place in an ice bath for 2 minutes.
  7. Add 1/4 of the broccoli to a blender and reserve the rest.
  8. Add the chicken broth mixture to the blender and process for 10 seconds or until completely combined.
  9. To the blender’s broth mixture, add 1 scoop ofthe Quest Protein Powder®, 1 cup of cheese, and sour cream.
  10. Blend until smooth and then add the remaining 3 scoops of Quest Protein Powder®, one at a time,making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next one.
  11. Once fully blended, pour the soup into serving bowls. Top with the remaining broccoli and cheese.
  12. In a separate pan, cook the bacon to desired crispness.
  13. Mince the bacon and sprinkle on top of the soup. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Content per Serving - 1 cup

Calories: 200

Fat: 12g

Protein: 14g

Net Carbs: 6g

Fiber: 2g


Nutrition Tip #2 for Healthy Cooking at Home

If you are looking to lose weight, meals that are high in protein - like this one - can help you feel fuller for longer.

Appetite satiation means you are less hungry and less prone to unhealthy dietary temptations. To speak to this, a study showed that participants who were offered high protein snacks between meals were more likely to lower the amount of food they ate during subsequent meals. 

Additionally, there is a relative range of protein you can shoot for to effectively achieve your weight loss goals. 

The average person should aim for 1.6 and 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram (.73 and 1 grams per pound). And athletes should up their protein intake to 2.2-3.4 grams of protein per kilogram (1-1.5 grams per pound).

Conventional Meal #3: End Your Day the Health Way With Chicken Mole and Riced Cauliflower

chicken mole with riced cauliflower

You’ve had a long day and want a meal with a little more oomph. This dinner is easy to make and is also filling. 

For a hearth healthy meal that also packs a punch, look no further than this conventional recipe for Chicken Mole with Riced Cauliflower.

Ingredients for Chicken Mole with Riced Cauliflower :

-1 Chocolate Brownie Quest Bar®

− 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 tablespoon

coconut oil

− 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized cubes

− 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped

− 2 garlic cloves, minced

− 1 bay leaf

− 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

− 1/2 teaspoon paprika

− 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

− 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

− 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

− 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

− 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained

− 1 cup chicken broth

− 2 tablespoon natural peanut butter

− 1 teaspoon zero-calorie sweetener

− 1 teaspoon sea salt

− 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

− 2 packages riced cauliflower

Dinner in 9 Steps: Chicken Mole with Rice Cauliflower

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook the chicken pieces until just cooked on the outside and the insides are still pink, about 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  3. Reduce pot to a medium heat and add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil.
  4. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring until the onions are soft and translucent.
  5. Stir in the bay leaf, cayenne pepper, paprika, cloves cinnamon, chili powder, and black pepper. Continue stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, peanut butter, and sweetener. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  7. In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, microwave the unwrapped Quest Bar® for 25 seconds. Break apart and stir into the simmering mixture until melted.
  8. Remove the bay leaf. Return the chicken pieces to the pot. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender and no longer pink, about 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the salt.
  9. In a medium sized bowl, microwave riced cauliflower for 2 minutes. Separate into 5 servings and top with 1/5 of Chicken Mole and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Nutritional Content per Serving 

Calories: 220

Fat: 17g

Protein: 14g

Net Carbs: 4g

Fiber: 4g


Nutrition Tip #3 for Healthy Cooking at Home

For dinner, plan your meals with heart-healthy choices - like the aforementioned Chicken Mole. 

Although the Chicken Mole has 17 grams of fat, these are healthier fats than the fats you get with processed foods or takeout. 

Because we need healthy fats in our diets, focus on eating meals that give a balance of nutrient dense food that satiates your appetite and reduces your intake of trans and saturated fats.

If chicken mole isn’t your thing, check out this video on how to make a delicious chicken breast with vegetables: 

 

Bonus: Vegetarian Breakfast and Vegan Lunch Options

No nutritional guide would be complete without both vegetarian and vegan meal  options.

Let’s explore a couple meals - as well as some vegetarian snacks and vegan desserts for those with a sweet tooth. All of which are easy to make, and you better believe, healthy!

Vegetarian Breakfast: Mocha Oatmeal

mocha oatmeal for vegetarians

Starting your morning with a healthy, nutrient dense meal is a great way to energize yourself to a productive day.

As a vegetarian, you are already getting a lot of fiber in your diet through fruits and vegetables, but oatmeal offers a great, energy-rich, low-fat option for breakfast.

And it doesn’t need to be tasteless! This recipe adds salty and sweet with a raspberry, almond, mocha, and oat combination.

Ingredients for Vegetarian Mocha Oatmeal:

− 1 cup steel-cut oats

− 1 cup brewed coffee

− 1/2 cup milk or unsweetened

non-dairy milk

− 2 scoops protein powder of choice

− Pinch of salt

− 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

− 2 tablespoons brown sugar

− 1 teaspoon cinnamon

− 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (can omit if

using vanilla protein powder)

− 1 1/2 cups raspberries

− 1/2 chopped almonds

− 1/4 cup coconut flakes (optional)

Vegetarian Breakfast in 6 Steps: Mocha Oatmeal

  1. Place the steel-cut oats, a pinch of salt, coffee, and 1 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a slight simmer. Immediately turn off the heat and let the oats soak overnight.
  3. In the morning, stir the milk, protein powder, cocoa powder, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla into the pot with the oats.
  4. Heat over medium-low until the oats are warmed through, stirring occasionally.
  5. Place the oats in serving bowls and top with the raspberries, almonds, and coconut flakes, if using.
  6. Reheat the leftovers in a saucepan with additional milk.

Nutritional Content per Serving - ¼ recipe

Calories: 373

Fat: 13g

Protein: 20g

Net Carbs: 47g

Fiber: 11g


Nutrition Tip #4 For Healthy Cooking at Home - Carb Considerations

This meal is full of carbs! Now, don’t let that concern you all that much! Of course carbs should be monitored - along with all of the other essential elements of your diet - but they are healthy in balanced diets.

Meals like these will always be a great choice for promoting healthy metabolism and dietary health. And because there is little evidence to support the traditional notion that carbs control body fat, carbs should stay a staple in your balanced diet! 

Vegan Options for Lunch: Lentil Kale Minestrone

lentil kale minestrone for vegansCalling all vegans! Here is a healthy choice for lunch that carries a lot of flavor and essential macronutrients.

Meet your dietary goals and gain a great addition to your recipe book. Legumes - like lentils - are high in protein and fiber and low in fat. A staple of any healthy diet, this recipe packs a lot of flavor and nutrition.

Ingredients for Vegan Lentil Kale Minestrone:

1 tablespoon canola oil or

grapeseed oil

− 1 yellow onion, chopped

− 3/4 teaspoon salt

− 2 large carrots, chopped

− 2 celery stalks, sliced

− 2 cloves garlic, minced

− 2 tablespoons tomato paste

− 2 teaspoons dried thyme or

Italian seasoning

− 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

− 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes

− 5 cups low sodium vegetable broth

− 1 cup green lentils

− 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced,

fire-roasted tomatoes

− 4 cups chopped kale

− 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

− 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley

Vegan Lunch in 5 Steps: Lentil Kale Minestrone

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and salt to the pan and heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, and garlic to the pan. Heat for 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, thyme,black pepper, and chili flakes and heat for 1 minute..
  3. Add the broth, lentils, and tomatoes to the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer covered until the lentils are tender but not mushy, about 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in the kale and balsamic vinegar. Heat until the kale has wilted.
  5. Divide the soup among the serving bowls and garnish with the chopped parsley.

Nutritional Content per Serving - ¼ Recipe

Calories: 288

Fat: 13g

Protein: 16g

Net Carbs: 51g

Fiber: 20g


Nutrition Tip #5 for Healthy Cooking at Home - Legumes

This Lentil Kale Minestrone is a great source of lentils. As a whole, legumes - like lentils - are amazing for any diet. This is true for not only vegans, but also for vegetarians and those with conventional diets.

They provide iron and zinc, and are excellent sources of dietary fiber, folate and potassium.

For more excellent nutritional recipes and tipds, sign up to become an NASM Certified Nutrition Coach today! 

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National Academy of Sports Medicine

National Academy of Sports Medicine

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