5 Lean Recipes for the Summer

5 Lean Recipes for the Summer

Image courtesy of Lee Labrada

Okay so you’ve been hard at work strengthening your muscles to get that beach body ready – hate to break it to you, but it’s going to take more than that to shed unwanted fat. The key to achieving the classic summer bod is a mix of both exercise and a healthy diet. This means cutting out the unhealthy, overly processed foods and sticking to meals that include fresh produce and lean proteins. In fact, including high-quality lean protein foods in your diet may help with not only weight loss, but may also improve heart health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Check out these recipes that will help you keep it lean and clean.

1. Southwest Omelet

First, whisk 1 egg and 4 egg whites in a bowl – add a bit of cilantro and salt for flavor. In a different bowl, combine black beans, chopped green onions, reduced-fat shredded cheese, and your choice of salsa. Heat a pan and pour the egg mixture in, letting it sit slightly. Tilt the pan and carefully lift the edges of your omelet with a spatula, allowing uncooked portion to flow underneath cooked portion. Cook for 3 minutes then flip. Add the bean mixture onto half of your omelet, then carefully fold it in half. Cook 1 minute or until cheese melts.

2. Chicken Sausage + Peppers

This one’s easy! Heat olive oil in a large skillet, then add chicken sausage and brown on all sides. Add onions and your choice of fresh peppers. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Add Worcestershire and marinara sauce and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until sausage is cooked through and vegetables are tender.

3. Turkey + Lentil Soup

Add extra lean ground turkey in a large pot cook until it’s cooked through – stir while cooking to break it up. Add 6 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Add 2-3 beef bouillon cubes, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, bay leaves, garlic, pepper, and 1 1/2 cups of lentils. Bring it back to a boil, then turn it down to a low simmer. Cook about 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking on the bottom. 

4. Mediterranean Sandwiches

mediterranean sandwiches

Image courtesy of Lee Labrada

Cut whole grain focaccia bread and brush lightly with olive oil. In a large skillet, heat olive oil then add fresh peppers, onion, mushrooms, and olives. Cook until onion is crisp, then add slices of cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast. Grill your bread (olive oil side down) for a couple minutes, then remove and add your chicken and veggie mixture.

5. Wild Rice with Cranberries + Pecans

wild rice with cranberries and pecans

Image courtesy of Lee Labrada

This is a perfect side dish or midday snack. Using a strainer, wash 2 cups of short-grain brown rice and a 1/2 cup of wild rice. Add the rice and 2 chicken bouillon cubes into a pan with 5 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, then stir, cover, and turn the heat down low. Cook at a slow bubble until all the water is absorbed. Once finished, add 1 cup of cranberries and 1 cup of chopped pecans.