Recipe Ideas For A Restricted Diet Of Proteins And Vegetables
Q: My husband is on a restricted diet to lose weight and I am running out of new meal ideas, especially for lunch and dinner. He cant eat any dairy, carbs, fruit, processed sugar, or anything fried. That leaves protein and vegetables . Any suggestions?
Sent by Sarah
Editor: Sarah, your husbands dietary restrictions sound very similar to the paleo or primal diet, which relies primarily on lean meats, eggs and vegetables, so you might find some tempting recipes by searching on a few paleo-focused food blogs. There are some suggestions to get you started in the comments of this post:
Healthy Meat Recipe: The Best Ground Beef Chili
This Ground Beef Chili recipe is easy, healthy and is bursting with spicy Tex-Mex flavor. It makes a tasty, hearty and protein-rich meal that is perfect for cold days. This fast and simple one-pot recipe truly makes the best homemade chili con carne ever!
What are your favorite healthy meat recipes? Let me know in the comments below!
Chicken Blt Salad With Buttermilk Dressing
Recipe developed by Laraine Perri
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups tightly packed chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, skin removed
1. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat, turning occasionally, until lightly browned and beginning to crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Crumble into large pieces.
2. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Lightly brush the ciabatta slices with the olive oil and grill until just toasted, about 2 minutes per side. Lightly rub the cut garlic clove halves over the surface of each slice. Let the bread cool, then cut into 1-inch cubes.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, minced garlic, salt, sugar, and black pepper. Add the lettuce, tomatoes, chicken, croutons, and half the bacon. Toss well. Transfer the meat and veggie meal to plates and top each serving with some of the remaining bacon.
Nutrition facts per serving: 295 calories, 28g protein, 20g carbohydrate, 11g fat , 3g fiber
Keep your dinner or side greens healthy, not to mention yummy, with these quick tips from Marissa Lippert, RD, author of The Cheater’s Diet.
– Danielle Alvarez
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Spicy Kale And Coconut Stir Fry
Gluten free, vegan if you skip the eggs
I almost never comment on blogs, but after making this recipe for the second time in two weeks I knew I had to. This stir fry is amazing my husband said that he wanted to have it every week! Success! Thank you for your delicious recipes and gorgeous photos! Kate
Slow Cooker Meat Recipe: Lamb Shanks In Red Wine Sauce
You are going to love this Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks in Red Wine Sauce from RecipeTin Eats. In this recipe, it takes patience for shanks to become fall apart tender, but its completely hands-off time. Serve it over creamy mashed potato with a side of peas or sautéed spinach, with crusty bread to mop your bowl clean!
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Where To Buy Organic & Grass
I highly recommend purchasing grass-fed meat that is raised without the use of antibiotics or added hormones. This is because organic and grass-fed meat is far more healthy, humane, sustainable and flavorful than conventional, factory-farmed meat. But finding high-quality meat isnt always easywhich is where ButcherBox comes in!
ButcherBox is a well-known meat delivery company that sends organic, antibiotic-free and hormone-free cuts directly to your doorstep. Their meat selection includes 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef, grass-fed and pasture-raised bison, free-range chicken and heritage breed pork. ButcherBox also sells wild and sustainable seafood, such as Alaskan sockeye salmon, halibut, cod, and lobster.
All of their meat arrives frozen and individually vacuum-packed inside an insulated and eco-friendly box. The price works out to less than $6 per meal, with free shipping !
If Ive piqued your interest, then you can If you would like to learn more about why I recommend ButcherBox, I wrote a comprehensive ButcherBox Review. And if you want know about other fantastic places to get high-quality beef, poultry and seafood from online, check out this helpful post: The Best Organic & Grass-Fed Meat Delivery Companies Online.
Alright, now onto the recipes. Here are some easy-to-make, tasty, and healthy meat recipes that you need to add to your regular dinner rotation!
Other Ground Beef And Vegetable Recipes
To satisfy those family members who need a bit of meat with their vegetables, or to simply serve a hearty meal on a cold evening, there are several other ground beef and vegetable dishes to choose from. Use lean ground beef and feel free to increase the vegetable quantity to give the recipe a healthy boost. Sweet and sour ground beef features a whole bag of frozen vegetables plus a can of pineapple, making this flavorful dish chock full of nutrients. The little bit of sugar combined with ginger and soy sauce will please even the pickiest of eaters. If you have some lean meatballs in the freezer, try a meatball orzo one-dish casserole, which calls for 6 cups of broccoli rabe along with chicken broth, garlic, onion, and a touch of Parmesan cheese, making for a tasty but somewhat lighter meal.
If pasta is a family favorite, give a spaghetti squash casserole with ground beef a try red and green peppers add to the health factor, and you can decrease the cheddar cheese if you prefer. You can also make the vegetable the dinner’s vessel baked stuffed squash with beef and tomatoes is a fun way to make sure everyone is eating their vegetables. A mixture of lean ground beef, bell pepper, onion, and tomato are spooned into acorn squash halves and baked.
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Healthy Ground Beef Vegetable Skillet Recipe
Ground beef, vegetables and Mexican spices tossed in a skillet is a healthy ground beef recipe that is easy to throw together.
Healthy Ground beef, vegetables loaded with Mexican flavors, made in one skillet under 30 minutes. It is a quick dinner, low carb, and extremely versatile.
Anything Mexican is always a hit at home. Even my little one eats without any tantrum. So I always sneek in veggies into the dish. I end up making this healthy ground beef recipe every time I clean up my refrigerator and want to use leftover veggies.
Spiced Vegan Lentil Soup
Gluten free and vegan
I made this for dinner a couple of nights ago and it was amazing! My husband is a big meat eater and he always feels unsatisfied with vegetarian dishes. But he loved this and it kept him full for a couple hours. We had this with whole wheat rolls, and it was such a nice combination. We are really picky and most new recipes dont make it onto our menu rotation, but this will be made over and over again. Anastasia
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Quinoa Vegetable Soup With Kale
Gluten free and vegan
I just found this recipe via pinterest! I made the soup yesterday and I absolutely love it!! Never thought of quinoa in soup but this makes so much sense! I am always looking for ways to add protein without adding meat so this is great and my whole family loves it! This soup is great for all ages!! Maya
Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili With Avocado
Gluten free and vegan
This was soooo delicious! I served it to company last weekend and they scraped the pot clean, even though one of them usually prefers meat at every meal. My two modifications: I added one extra can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, and served with sour cream. My boyfriend keeps asking Are you sure there arent leftovers? Julie
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Serving Ideas For Korean Beef
So now let’s talk about serving this easy Korean beef recipe. There are so many fun ways to serve this dish from traditional options with rice to make delicious lettuce wraps and bowls.
- You can go the traditional route and serve it over white or brown rice.
- Try it in lettuce wraps for a lower carb option or served over a bowl of spaghetti squash or cauliflower rice.
- Now if you want to get really creative, this makes amazing Asian inspired tacos. Fill up warm corn tortillas with the ground beef. Top with either cooked Asian veggies or a fresh slaw using cabbage, cilantro, green onion, and lime juice.
- Throw the leftover meat into a quick quesadilla. It may sound weird but it’s seriously delicious.
- Grab a bunch of crunchy veggies like cabbage, cucumbers, and carrots and top it with this Korean beef for an easy salad. Add cilantro and mint for even more flavor.
- Don’t be afraid to add a fried or soft boiled egg for an authentic Korean touch.
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Veggie Burgers
Gluten free and vegan
I devoured one in a burger bun with cheese, red onion, tomato, gherkins and guacamole. I too love spice so I add a few birds eye chillies to my mole. My carnivore husband also was amazed at the flavour from them and was asking for more! This recipe will be one Ill use for a long time to come. Thank you so so much for sharing! Cat
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Roasted Brussels Sprouts And Crispy Baked Tofu With Honey
Gluten free and vegan
Another amazing recipe, perfect combination of sweet and spicy. I pitched this to my meat loving boyfriend as vegetarian general tsos, and it worked! Every recipe I cook from this blog is so delicious all I want to know is when is the Cookie and Kate cookbook release date! Thank you, Kate, your recipes have renewed my love of cooking and make breaking bread with loved ones even more special. Ailla
Flank Steak With Caramelized Onions
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 7- to 8-inch flour tortillas, warmed
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained, warmed
1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the bell pepper strips, sage, and oregano. Stirring constantly, cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onions are golden and the peppers are crisp-tender.
2. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Trim fat from the steak score on both sides by making shallow cuts at 1-inch intervals in a diamond pattern. Rub with salt and black pepper. Grill 8 to 12 minutes for medium rare or 12 to 15 minutes for medium, turning once.
3. To serve this meat and veggie meal, thinly slice the steak diagonally across the grain and top with the onion mixture. Serve with warm tortillas and black beans on the side.
Nutrition facts per serving: 434 calories, 40g protein, 36g carbohydrate, 15g fat , 7g fiber
How to Choose the Best Steak
Need dinner on the table fast? Flank steak is easy to prepare, quick to cook, and low in calories, says Boston-area chef Michael Schlow, author of the cookbook It’s About Time. “It absorbs marinades well and grills evenly.” Here, Schlow’s tips for buying the best steak.
Be picky. Look for a cut that is deep red in color and has white specks of fat, which give the meat flavor.
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Lemony Fusilli With Chicken Zucchini And Pine Nuts
- 1 lemon, rind peeled in strips
- Small pinch red pepper flakes
- 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- 5 large basil leaves, sliced
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1. Bring a large pot of water with 2 teaspoons of the salt to a boil add the fusilli. Cook until al dente.
2. Warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the zucchini, scallions, pine nuts, lemon peel, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt cook, tossing frequently, until zucchini is well browned and tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer zucchini to a serving bowl. Remove lemon peel from pan. Mince 1/2 teaspoon of the peel and discard the rest. Squeeze half the lemon over the zucchini.
4. Turn heat to medium-high and swirl in remaining olive oil. Add the chicken, minced lemon peel, and remaining salt cook, stirring, until golden, about 7 minutes.
5. Drain fusilli, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Add fusilli, zucchini, and reserved cooking water to skillet. Cook 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and top with the basil and, if using, Parmesan.
Nutrition facts per serving: 426 calories, 32g protein, 49g carbohydrate, 14g fat , 6g fiber
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Clean Meat Recipe: Chicken Broccoli Quinoa
This Chicken Broccoli Quinoa recipe makes a nutritious, satiating and balanced dinner that everyone in the family will enjoy. It is made with juicy chicken, fresh vegetables, and quinoa. Best of all, everything gets cooked together on the stovetop in one pan. That means minimal cleanup is required to prepare this delicious, protein-packed skillet meal.
Healthy Meat Recipe: Skillet Honey Lime Chicken
This saucy Skillet Honey Lime Chicken recipe makes a flavor-packed, wholesome and inexpensive meal that the whole family will love. It is ideal for busy weeknights, because it is ready to eat in just over 20 minutes. Learn how to make Asian-style sticky honey lime chicken with this quick and easy recipe!
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Roasted Carrots With Farro Chickpeas & Herbed Crme Frache
I made these carrots for Thanksgiving, and they were my favorite dish of the day. The sweetness of the carrots with the creamy sauce and nutty flavor of the farro made for a great combination. And overall it was an easy dish to make. I found the farro, crème fraiche and colorful carrots at Whole Foods. Rachel
Grilled Beef With Basil Puree Over Tuscan Beans
- 1 pound 1-1/2-inch-thick sirloin steak, cut into 4 portions
- 2 15.5-ounce cans white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1. In a food processor, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, 1 cup of the basil leaves, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt ,and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper. Puree until smooth set aside.
2. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium high and mist with cooking spray. Halve one garlic clove and rub the steaks with its cut sides. Season meat with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and black pepper. Grill 5 to 6 minutes a side.
3. Mince remaining garlic and saute in pan coated with nonstick spray over medium-low heat for 2 minutes let cool slightly. In a medium bowl, combine the white beans, tomatoes, red onion, remaining salt and black pepper, and sauteed garlic. Tear up remaining basil and combine with bean mixture.
4. Divide beans among four plates and top with steak. Add basil puree on top of the meat and veggie meal and serve.
Nutrition facts per serving: 478 calories, 35g protein, 32g carbohydrate, 28g fat , 11g fiber
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Tips And Recipe Ideas
There are lots of ways to personalize and customize this recipe. Here are some things to consider:
- The sauce for the beef will be on the liquidy side. Personally, I like this since I can spoon the extra sauce over the vegetables. However, if you want a thicker sauce, stir in a little cornstarch before adding it to the beef. This will thicken up the sauce nicely.
- Any vegetable combination will work for this recipe. Usually, I opt for a bag of mixed Asian veggies but you could choose any single vegetable or an assortment of your favorites. Consider using broccoli, green beans, bok choy, or even Brussel sprouts.
- If you don’t like things spicy, leave out the Asian garlic chili paste, and let people add their own afterward. You can also substitute the sambal olek for Sriracha or some red pepper flakes depending on what you have on hand.
- This recipe will work great with ground turkey, ground chicken, ground pork, or ground bison so use whatever you have on hand or prefer. It also works with vegetarian crumbles.
- If you fall in love with the sauce, which you will, it can be used for marinating just about any type of meat. We use it all the time for chicken, steak, and pork.
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Our Fave Meat And Veggie Meals Made For Crazy
Cooking for yourself can do more than save you a bit of money . Channeling your inner Ina Garten or Chrissy Teigen with these meat and veggie meals has been proven to a brighter mood and higher self-esteem, according to a review by the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.
Use the beef, chicken, and pork recipes ahead to boost your mood and nourish your body with a new meat and veggie meal each night of the week.