Buns of Iron

Even for dedicated gym rats, summertime means barbecues and burgers. To avoid grilling up a midsection that resembles a lumpy mound of ground chuck, all you need is lean meat and a pinch of creativity.

IF YOU FOLLOW A LEAN, high-protein diet, or at least try to, the idea of a drippy, delicious burger that can also help you build muscle and burn fat probably sounds like a myth, or, at best, a heaping pile of marketing BS. So we decided to take matters—along with a diverse array of meats, seasonings, and  other six-pack friendly ingredients— into our own hands and do some experimenting to prove to you it’s possible. The results blew even us away. And the nutrition numbers?  Well…take a look for yourself.

1. PEPPERONI PIZZA BURGER

SERVES 1

  • 6 oz 99% lean ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp low-fat marinara sauce plus ¼ cup Olive oil
  • ½ cup green bell pepper strips
  • 1 oz low-fat shredded mozzarella
  • 6 slices turkey pepperoni
  • 1 whole-wheat hamburger bun

1. Mix turkey and 2 tbsp marinara in a bowl. Shape mixture into patty.

2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray oil on pan, then add patty to one side of the pan and bell peppers to the other. Cook patty about 3 minutes per side, or until desired doneness. Cook peppers until tender, stirring occasionally.

3. About 1 minute before burger and peppers are done, top patty with mozzarella and pepperoni. Heat ¼ cup marinara in microwave.

4. Stack patty and peppers on bottom bun. Spoon marinara onto burger. Add top bun.

NUTRITION PER SERVING
421  CALORIES 57g PROTEIN 29g CARBS 10g FAT

 

2. CHICKEN CORDON BLEU BURGER


SERVES 1

4 oz lean ground chicken breast Olive oil spray
1 oz 98% fat-free deli ham
1 slice light Swiss cheese
1 whole-wheat hamburger
1 lettuce leaf
3 tomato slices
1 tsp fresh thyme spoon of Dijon mustard (optional)

1. Preheat grill to high. Shape chicken into patty. Spray oil on both sides. Grill patty until no longer pink inside, about 3 minutes per side.

2. About 1 minute before burger is done, top patty with ham and cheese.

3. Grill bun away from direct flame for 1 minute.

4. Stack lettuce, tomato, patty, and thyme on bottom bun. Spread mustard on bottom bun if desired.

NUTRITION PER SERVING
325CALORIES 42g PROTEIN 23gCRABS 7g FAT

 

3. JAMBALAYA BURGER

SERVES 1

2 tbsp tomato sauce no salt added
½ tsp salt-free or low-sodium Cajun or Creole seasoning, plus extra to taste
4 oz lean ground chicken breast Olive oil spray
4 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 slice red onion (about ¼ inch thick)
½ cup green bell pepper strips
2 oz lean smoked turkey sausage, cut in half lengthwise to open, keeping the halves connected
1 whole-wheat hamburger bun

1. Mix tomato sauce and ½ tsp Cajun seasoning in a small bowl. Set aside in a small bowl.

2. Preheat grill to high. Shape chicken into patty. Spray oil on both sides of patty,
shrimp, onion slice (keeping it intact), and bell peppers, then sprinkle with extra
Cajun seasoning to taste.

3. Grill patty until no longer pink inside, about 3 minutes per side; onion and peppers until tender, stirring peppers occasionally; sausage until heated through, 3 minutes per side; and shrimp until no longer translucent, about 1 minute per side.

4. Grill bun away from direct flame for 1 minute.

5. Stack patty, peppers, onion, sausage, and shrimp on bottom bun. Spoon sauce
onto burger. Add top bun.

NUTRITION PER SERVING
452 CALORIES 57g   PROTEIN 32g CARBS 10g FAT

 

EAT MORE AVOCADOS

Some scientists on the avocado loving trip recently published a comprehensive review of studies on the multitude of health benefits of the avocado in the journal Phytotherapy
Research. Mainly, it helps lower the risk of metabolic syndrome—which is associated with
high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, added body fat, and cardiovascular
disease.

COOK AT HOME TO SAVE MONEY AND EAT HEALTHIER

In Recent research from the University of Washington confirms that the more you prepare food at home, the healthier you’ll eat and you’ll even save a few bucks along the way. The study showed that those who ate a majority of home-cooked meals saved as much as $133 a month on food costs, which is enough for a gym membership and then some.

BROIL FAT WITH BROCCOLI

In Supplementation of sulforaphane—the main phytochemical in broccoli—has been shown to reduce weight gain by 15%, reduce visceral fat, and bolster the populations of beneficial bacteria in the gut that can be harmed by a high-fat diet.

Chickpeas

These power “peas” are packed with protein and are easy to whip into fast, delicious meals.

1 FALAFEL

Pulse ¼ cup cilantro, 1 garlic clove, ¼ tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp paprika, and ¼ tsp
garlic salt in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Add 1 cup canned, drained chickpeas and pulse until a chunky mixture forms. Form into 4 balls. Place 2 tbsp ground flax, 2 tbsp grated Parmesan, and 2 tbsp chia seeds on a plate and mix. Press the balls into the mixture. Coat a small skillet with cooking spray and cook the patties about 3 to 4
minutes per side. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce.

2 PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a small baking sheet with cooking spray. Place 1 cup canned, drained chickpeas in a blender with ½ cup peanut butter, 2 tbsp sweetener such as stevia, 2 tbsp golden flax meal, ½ tsp baking soda, and ½ tsp ground cinnamon and process until a thick, chunky dough forms. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto baking sheet and bake 8 to 10
minutes, or until firm.

3 SRIRACHA BOWL

Toss ½ cup canned, drained chickpeas with 2 tbsp mayo and 2 tsp sriracha. Add ½ cup cooked brown rice or quinoa, 2 cups baby spinach, ½ diced cucumber, and ½ diced avocado. Serve immediately.

4 ROASTED CHIPOTLE CHICKPEAS

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drain 15-oz can chickpeas and place in a bowl with 1 tbsp sesame oil, ½ tsp ground chipotle, ½ tsp paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp ground turmeric, and ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper. Toss to coat.
Transfer to sheet and bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until chickpeas are firm and start to crisp.

5 CAULIFLOWER MASH
Pulse 1 roughly chopped scallion, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, ¼ tsp garlic salt, and tsp ground black pepper in a blender or food processor until scallion is finely chopped. Add 1 cup canned, drainez chickpeas and 1 cup steamed cauliflower and pulse until smooth.

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