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Mike Thurston’s 5 Tasty Recipes For Maintaining Lean Muscle

Meal prep is a topic that never gets boring. There are so many ways to do it: on a budget, high protein, low carb, low –fat or for bulking. And in this case, losing fat and maintaining muscle. This means there’s one key component that must be met. Protein.

Mike Thurston has headed into his kitchen to cook up a storm. He’s prepared five meal-prep recipes designed for losing body fat and building muscle. And it’s not just plain old chicken and rice. Mike’s mixed up his protein sources, going for turkey, prawns and cod. Delicious.

Spicy pineapple chicken

Pineapple on anything savoury is usually a hard no from us, but we’ll make an exception for this spicy pineapple chicken. It’s going straight on our meal prep repertoire for sure.

Prep time: 30 mins

Serves 4

Ingredients

Marinade

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp pineapple juice (from tin)
  • 1 tbsp chilli sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger (grated)

Chicken

  • 500g chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion (sliced)
  • 1 fresh chilli (sliced)
  • 1 tin pineapple chunks (drained)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp spring onion (sliced)

Instructions

  1. Drain the tin of pineapples, and reserve the juice. Combine soy sauce, pineapple juice, chili sauce, garlic, ginger.
  2. Cube the chicken and add to the marinade. Cover it well and put in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and chilli, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the marinated chicken. Turn up the heat and cook for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked.
  5. Finally, add the pineapple and salt and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle with sliced spring onions before serving.

Macros

Calories 324
Fats 10g
Carbs 29g
Protein 31g

Teriyaki turkey rice bowl

Turkey is often many people’s least favourite protein source. Why have turkey when you could just have chicken? Well this recipe should put rest to that. Variation is king, and this teriyaki marinade is up there with the best, so it’s a win-win.

Prep time: 30 mins

Serves: 4

Ingredients

Teriyaki Sauce

  • 120ml soy sauce
  • 60ml water
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sweetener of choice
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Turkey

  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 500g finely cut turkey breast
  • 1 cup finely chopped broccoli
  • 2 large carrots peeled and grated
  • 2 green onions diced, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Mix soy sauce, vinegar, sweetener, garlic and ginger in a bowl to make the marinade.
  2. Cut your turkey breast and add it to marinade. Leave it for 20 minutes.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add diced onions and cook until soft.
  4. Then add your marinated turkey to the pan and cook until fully cooked.
  5. Cook your carrots and chopped broccoli until soft, then combine everything together.
  6. Spoon meat over rice or noodles, and garnish with spring onions.

Macros

Calories 380
Fats 5g
Carbs 56g
Protein 27g

Sheet pan prawn fajitas

Mix up your fajitas with a great but often overlooked protein source: prawns. They’re delicious, packed full of protein and so easy to make. All you need is 30 minutes spare to prep — music to our ears after a long day at the office or a heavy session at the gym.

Prep time: 30 mins

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 bell peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g fresh prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • Seasoning of choice
  • Salsa, avocado and coriander, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 220C/425F. Toss bell peppers and onion with salt, pepper and olive oil, add to a baking tray and cook for 10-12 minutes.
  2. While onions and peppers are cooking, toss prawns with garlic, olive oil, and your seasoning of choice.
  3. Remove the onions and peppers from the oven, toss and push to one side of the baking tray. Add prawns to the other side of the sheet and return to the oven. Cook for another 10 minutes or until prawns are cooked through.
  4. Serve in warm tortillas with salsa, avocado and coriander on top.

Macros

Calories 397
Fats 17g
Carbs 42g
Protein 36g

 

Thai peanut chicken salad

Peanutty goodness. Sign us up. I’m not normally a salad fan but this one I go nuts for It’s got so much going on, with a sauce and a dressing, both salty, sour and sweet. It’s anything but plain.

Prep time: 25mins

Ingredients

  • 500g chicken breast
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup roughly chopped sugar snap peas
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Sliced almonds
  • Chopped coriander and spring onions

The sauce

  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp peanut butter
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp honey

The dressing

  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp honey
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the pan and add a small amount of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken.
  2. Cook the chicken until golden brown and add the sauce. Toss until coated, cook for another 1-2 minutes and remove from heat.
  3. Add your greens and vegetables to a bowl and add the cooked chicken, salt and pepper.
  4. Then add your dressing and toss to combine.
  5. Top with almonds and enjoy.

Macros

Calories 346
Fats 19g
Carbs 15g
Protein 30g

Mediterranean baked cod

There’s nothing like a taste of the Med from your kitchen table, and this dish definitely serves that. Cod, tomatoes and garlic — sounds like a recipe for success. Don’t walk, run to the kitchen to cook this one up. And best of all, it’s so easy to make.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 600g cod fillet
  • 1 small red onion OR large shallot, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 450g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tbsp sliced black olives
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp seasoning of choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
  2. Lightly grease a rectangular baking dish big enough to comfortably hold all the cod pieces and tomatoes, and place the fish inside.
  3. Scatter the onion, tomatoes and olives around the fish, and massage the fish with garlic.
  4. Drizzle the olive oil over the ingredients in the dish. Sprinkle with seasoning, salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes and fish are cooked.

Macros

Calories 319
Fats 17g
Carbs 15g
Protein 32g

Take Home Message

If you’ve taken anything away from this, let it be the inspiration to mix up your protein sources. You don’t just have to eat chicken to meet your protein intake, there’s a whole world out there.

 

 

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Emily Wilcock

Emily Wilcock

Writer and expert

Emily is studying Business Management & Marketing at the University of Birmingham and is currently on her intern year. She has a keen interest in both writing and fitness, so is happy she can now combine the two. She likes to spend time with her friends, both in & out of the gym.