Eating healthily during the working week can prove to be pretty impossible. After a long day or early morning start, it's all we can do to fit in a workout, never mind cooking from scratch. Fast, healthy meals that are easy to prepare are the stuff of weekday dining dreams, and they do actually exist, we kid you not. Here, Joe Wicks (aka the The Body Coach ) serves up some fast fix food that saves time without compromising on taste. The prospect of weekday cooking never looked so appealing thanks to these delicious Lean in 15 recipes ...
The Body Coach Joe Wicks serves up his 'Lean in 15' fast, healthy, easy meal ideas to keep you full and fuelled from Monday to Friday
Joe says: “If you’re always rushing around in the morning and looking for a quick brekkie, this could be a winner for you. It takes minutes to prepare, and then all you need to do is pull it out of the fridge after you train and dig in. Feel free to use any flavour of protein powder and experiment with favourite fruits.”
- 50g Greek yoghurt
- 100ml almond milk
- 1 apple, grated, skin and flesh (about 75g)
- 1 scoop strawberry or vanilla protein powder
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- 50g rolled oats
- 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped toasted hazelnuts
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- Throw the Greek yoghurt, almond milk, apple, protein powder and cinnamon into a bowl and mix them all up.
- Stir in the oats, then transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid and leave in the fridge overnight.
- Just before you eat your creamy oats, top with the pomegranate seeds, hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds.
2. Beef and udon noodle stir-fry
Joe says: “If you love a quick stir-fry, this recipe is perfect for you. It’s full of flavour and even tastes great cold, so you can box half up and take it to work. If you’re not a fan of beef, just use chicken or tofu instead – it will still taste awesome and be a great post-workout refuel meal.”
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 300g sirloin steak, trimmed of visible fat and cut into ½ cm slices
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 red onion, cut into wedges
- Handful of mangetout
- Handful of tenderstem broccoli (or chopped-down midget trees, as I like to call them!)
- 450g wok-ready udon noodles
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- Put the garlic, half the soy sauce and the beef into a bowl and mix together. Leave to marinate for two minutes.
- Heat up the coconut oil in a wok over a medium–high heat. Add the onion and stir-fry for a minute.
- Throw in the marinated beef, along with all the saucy stuff from the bowl, and stir-fry for another minute.
- Throw in the mangetout and broccoli, then pour in a little splash of water – this will steam up and help to cook the veg.
- Throw in the udon, tossing them around to separate the noodles. As soon as they are warmed through, remove the wok from the heat.
- Pour over the remaining soy sauce and the sesame oil – and bosh, it’s good to go!
3. Thai green curry
Joe says: “I’m a massive fan of Asian food and this is, without a doubt, my favourite Thai meal. It’s one of those dishes that never gets boring, and this recipe really does give you that authentic Thai restaurant taste. It’s worth making enough for four, as any leftovers are great for taking to work for lunch or freezing for later. For a change, replace the prawns with chicken, beef or tofu.”
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 star anise
- 1 aubergine, cut into small chunks
- 2 tbsp Thai green curry paste
- 1 x 400ml tin full-fat coconut milk
- Handful of baby corn
- 450g raw king prawns, peeled
- 1–2 tbsp fish sauce
- Juice of 2 limes
- ½ bunch basil, roughly chopped
- ½ bunch coriander, roughly chopped
- 1 red chilli, roughly chopped
- Microwave rice, to serve
- Heat up the coconut oil in a large pan over a medium to high heat. Add the star anise and aubergine and fry for one minute.
- Add the curry paste and half the coconut milk. Stir to melt the paste into the coconut milk, then increase the heat to high.
- Pour in the rest of the coconut milk, toss in the baby corn, and bring to the boil. Simmer for three minutes, then drop in the prawns and simmer for two minutes until they turn pink and are fully cooked.
- Take the pan off the heat and chuck in fish sauce to taste, along with the lime juice and herbs. Top your curry with the red chilli.
- Ping your rice in the microwave for two minutes and serve.
4. Chicken and bacon salad
Joe says: “Mmmm, bacon . . . Yes, please! Guilty, your honour! This simple, tasty recipe is ideal for carrying to work. It’s not going to stink out the office like a tuna salad or leave you starving hungry 20 minutes later, either, because it’s packed full of healthy fats and protein to fuel your body.”
- 4 rashers of smoked bacon
- 2 tbsp walnut oil
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- 2 baby gem lettuce, sliced in 4 lengthways, leaves roughly separated
- 1 avocado, roughly chopped
- 2 cooked beetroot, roughly chopped
- 350g cooked chicken breast, thinly sliced
- Handful of roughly chopped walnuts
- Preheat your grill to high. Grill the bacon until well cooked and a little crisp. Leave to one side to cool.
- Mix together the walnut oil, mustard, lemon juice and a little salt and pepper. Keep mixing until you have a smooth dressing.
- In a big salad bowl, toss together the lettuce, avocado and beetroot. Pour in the dressing and toss again.
- By now your bacon should be cool, so crumble it into your salad bowl and mix with the rest of the ingredients.
- Tip the salad onto a plate, then top with the chicken and walnuts.
5. Tandoori salmon
Joe says: “I love this Indian-inspired recipe. I find salmon can be a bit boring at times, but the spices in this really bring the fish to life. This tandoori marinade will also work really well with chicken or pork – just remember they’ll need to be grilled for longer to make sure they’re cooked through.”
- 8 tbsp Greek yoghurt
- 4 tbsp ground almonds
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cm ginger, finely chopped
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1½ tsp smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper
- 4 x 175g skinless fillets of salmon
- 175g mangetout
- 2 massive handfuls of baby spinach leaves
- Preheat your grill to high.
- Tip the yoghurt, ground almonds, garlic, ginger, garam masala and paprika into a bowl, along with a good amount of salt and pepper and a drizzle of water.
- Mix to form a thick spice paste, then smother the salmon in the paste.
- Place the coated salmon on a baking tray and slide under the grill. Cook for 6–7 minutes, without turning. The salmon will turn a dark golden colour and catch in a couple of spots – that’s absolutely fine.
- While the salmon is cooking, bring a pan of water to the boil.
- When it is bubbling away, add the mangetout and simmer for 45 seconds. Place the spinach in a colander. When the mangetout is ready, tip it into the colander with the spinach to drain – the hot water will wilt the spinach slightly.
- Shake any excess water from the vegetables and serve with your tandoori salmon.
Want more Joe Wicks food inspiration? Check out his book, ‘Lean in 15: 15 minute meals and workouts to keep you lean and healthy, £14.99 here .