The 30-Day Bigger Leaner Stronger Transformation
If there’s one staple for dinner that never goes out of style, it’s chicken. Not only is it an awesome source of protein, but chicken – especially skinless chicken breast – is extremely lean as well, which is great for managing your calorie intake.
This recipe list has something for everyone–from updated classics to unique dishes like chicken spinach cauliflower casserole and mango walnut curry chicken salad.
There’s also plenty here to help you eat healthy without straying from your comfort zone: quinoa-crusted chicken parm, chicken tortilla soup, chicken pot pie, and creamy lemon chicken.
Instead of adding only carbs by coating the chicken breast with bread crumbs, use cooked quinoa for extra protein as well as a crispy crunchy texture.
Aside from that ingredient swap, this chicken Parmesan recipe is exactly what you would expect for a comforting Italian dinner: fresh basil, shredded mozzarella, and marinara sauce to complete the dish.
1 cup quinoa
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half crosswise
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup marinara (homemade or store-bought)
1/4 cup basil leaves, chiffonade into thin stripsGet the Recipe
This recipe satisfies a simple craving for honey-mustard chicken. And it only takes 5 ingredients to put this together for dinner.
Whisk together the sauce, coat the meat, and roast in the oven for 45 minutes. Then you just need to worry about making a healthy side, whether it’s a simple green salad, baked French fries, or coleslaw.
3 Tbsp. brown deli mustard
2 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 2 lb.)Get the Recipe
Who says casseroles have to be stuck in the past? Forget about cream of mushroom soup, and try this unbelievably tasty and healthy dinner.
The bulk of the dish is chicken, spinach, and cheese, but there’s cauliflower too for good measure. But if you’re not a big fan of the veggie, this is a safe starting point to try cauliflower without being overwhelmed by its distinctive flavor.
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
2 cups fresh spinach
1 large head cauliflower, stems removed and cut into florets
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to tasteGet the Recipe
Any dish that requires a bit of assembly can seem intimidating. The more steps to make dinner, the more appealing ordering takeout becomes.
However, this recipe with can be your saving grace whether you’re having guests for dinner or want to make a large helping of something to have food now and more food ready later. You won’t be able to get enough of the creamy chive sauce.
1 box (12 oz.) jumbo pasta shells
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 box (10 oz.) chopped broccoli, thawed and wrung dry
1 jar (4 oz.) pimentos
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups low-fat milk
1 container (8 oz.) chive and onion light cream cheese
Freshly chopped chives, for garnish (optional)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to tasteGet the Recipe
Once you’ve made a few simple stir fry dishes, it’s easy to throw whatever’s in the fridge in the pan and sauté away. But once you’ve gotten the hang of stir frying, it’s time to take it up another notch.
This one uses a sweet Asian ginger peanut sauce, plus fresh pineapple and toasted cashews for a special stir fry that’s sure to please.
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter, melted (optional)
2 Tbsp. hot chili sesame oil
2 Tbsp. honey (adjust to taste)
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. grated ginger
1–2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken, cut into 1” cubes
4 baby bok choy, halved
1 cup broccoli (fresh or frozen)
2 red peppers, sliced
2 carrots, shredded
2 zucchini, chopped
1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
4 green onions, sliced (optional garnish)
Toasted same rice (optional garnish)Get the Recipe
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Any kind of pie can seem intimidating, but this one is easy to assemble in a square baking dish.
No need to worry about rolling the pie dough into a circle or crimping the edges. It’s easy to make too either using a food processor, pastry blender, or just a large fork to cut the cold butter into the flour, ensuring there are chunks of butter to make the crust tender and flaky.
Pot Pie Filling:
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup carrots, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1/2 small onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme)
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 can (14 oz.) low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. low-fat milk
1/2 cup boneless skinless chicken breasts, pre-cooked and diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
Whole Wheat Pie Crust:
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. butter, well chilled
4–5 Tbsp. cold waterGet the Recipe
Check the nutrition label on most soups, and you’ll find that they have a shockingly low amount of protein.
Even the chicken tortilla soup sitting on the grocery store shelf, such as Wolfgang Puck’s organic version, only has 5 grams of protein per serving! Even with 10 grams in the whole can, that just doesn’t cut it for a real meal.
This homemade recipe quadruples that for about 40 grams of protein per bowl – and fewer carbs too. It’s so well-balanced you may as well top it with a dollop of sour cream and some diced avocado.
2 Tbsp. Olive oil, divided
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
Sea salt to taste
1 large red onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, minced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ancho chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can (15 oz.) fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 quarts chicken stock
4 corn tortillas
1 cup sweet corn kernels
1 cup sweet peas, or finely sliced sugar snap peas
2 Tbsp. lime juiceGet the Recipe
You’re likely familiar with lemon chicken, but not like this. Chicken breast is cooked in an incredibly luscious lemon sauce, but all that creaminess doesn’t equal extra fat.
The recipe uses a can of light coconut milk and a little Parmesan cheese to create the sauce. And it’s bright and flavorful thanks to the lemon juice and lemon zest.
4 chicken breasts (about 6 oz. each)
1 can (14 oz.) light coconut milk
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to tasteGet the Recipe
It can be difficult to make a curry from scratch in your home kitchen, but using a slow cooker makes it a whole lot easier.
Simply add most of the ingredients to the pot, reserving only the yogurt and cornstarch to thicken the sauce just before serving.
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. garam masala
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 oz. non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
Salt to taste
4 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro leavesGet the Recipe
This recipes takes chicken salad to a whole new playing field.
It’s not just something to be served at picnics and BBQs, although your friends and family will appreciate if you show up with it. But this chicken salad has more sophisticated flavors than you’d expect.
1 (about 2 pounds) store-bought rotisserie chicken
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons mango chutney, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 ripe large mango, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium stalk celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into 1/4-inchdice
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 head Boston lettuce, rinsed, drained, and separated into leavesGet the Recipe
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