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The Only 3 Recipes You Need for Weight Loss

Easy, Healthy, Slimming

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Master a few basic recipes—plus tips and tricks to vary them—and you'll always be just minutes from a quick and nutritious meal. Full of lean protein, produce, and healthy fats, these dishes will help you drop pounds deliciously. And since you can make them in a half hour or less, you'll still have time to hit the gym.

Photo: Ted Cavanaugh

Edamame Stir-Fry with Miso

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This veggie dish is loaded with healthy plant-based carbs for steady, long-lasting energy. Thanks to the edamame, it's also packed with protein to keep you feeling full and satisfied. 

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Mix Things Up

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Replace the base. Substitute whole-wheat spaghetti or your favorite grain for the buckwheat noodles.

Make it Chinese. Swap in broccoli, snow peas, water chestnuts, and shiitake mushrooms for the cabbage, carrots, yellow pepper, and edamame. Add peanuts, and omit the cilantro.

Turn up the heat. For a spicier stir-fry, substitute sriracha for the miso paste.

Photo: Ted Cavanaugh

Tarragon-Lemon Chicken and Mushrooms

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The protein in this meal will help you repair and build lean muscle to kepe your metabolism revved. The creamy mushroom sauce gives depth and richness to the chicken without adding many calories. 

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Photo: Ted Cavanaugh

Mix Things Up

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Give it a Southwestern twist. Instead of mushrooms, toss in onions, green chiles, and black beans. Replace the lemon with a lime and the tarragon with cilantro. Eliminate the mustard, stock, and cream.

Make a salad. Skip the mushroom sauce. Slice the cooked chicken breast, and place it on shredded red cabbage and Swiss chard with thinly sliced apples and scallions. Serve with a maple syrup dressing (2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, and black pepper to taste).

Turn it into soup. Eliminate the mushroom sauce. Once the chicken breasts are cooked, chop them up and add to a pot of vegetable or chicken broth along with chopped bok choy, sprouts, and sliced mushrooms.

Photo: Ted Cavanaugh

Farro With Greens, Beets, Walnuts, and Feta

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This sweet and savory grain-based dish has a whopping 11 grams of fiber to fill you up. Unlike most grains, farro is high in protein and easy to digest so that your body can better absorb its nutrients.

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Photo: Ted Cavanaugh

Mix Things Up

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Change the grain. Swap out the farro for the same amount of quinoa, freekeh, black rice, buckwheat, or millet.

Go Mediterranean. Replace the brussels sprouts and kale with raw spinach, shallots, and oil-soaked sun-dried tomatoes, and substitute black olives for the beets. Eliminate the maple syrup. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Add a little sweetness. Replace the brussels sprouts and kale with shaved carrots and thinly sliced fennel and radicchio. Swap out the beets for fresh orange segments.

Photo: Ted Cavanaugh

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