HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Quick meals after work outs

  • s

Hello! Ok, so I work out after work 3-4 times a week. Because of that, I don't get home until 8 at the earliest. I am usually hungry but am too tired to cook so I'll have a piece of cheese and a can of tuna. Lately my body has been rejecting the thought of can tuna. What I am hoping for is some easy to prepare dinner recipes that aren't fattening or heavy. Or even some snack suggestions. Or even some links to go to. I can't fathom eating another can of tuna for at least two weeks! Thanks so much ~
PS: I live alone if that makes a difference.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. After my evening workouts I try to get some protein in the form of dairy into my system. I am also way too lazy to cook anything, so these are my favorite post-workout evening meals:
    - yogurt (usually plain)with a bit of granola
    - a glass of lowfat buttermilk with toast(maybe some peanut butter on the toast)
    - a yogurt-based smoothie with a whole or half banana and some frozen berries. You can add protein powder to this if you'd like.
    - cottage cheese
    - nuts to munch on are also good

    Needless to say, I try to concentrate on eating one of the above as soon as I get home; otherwise I will graze happily on anything in the kitchen for hours at night.

    1. Why don't you try making food in advance? I ususally do a lot of cooking or prepping on Sundays. Things that keep well for a whole week are soups and stews.

      Things I would have on hand are pre-washed lettuce, pre-cut veggies and already cooked chicken breast or other protein item. During the week those things can turn into a meal in less than 15 minutes.

      You can also preboil pasta and use them during the week for pasta salad or a quick hot pasta stir fry dish.

      1. Soup.
        Soup & Eggs.

        Example of the third option: Get some Swanson low sodium chicken broth and treat it as your soup base. Bring quickly to a simmer and throw in diced or frozen veggies/greens of your choice (like peas, corn, green beans, baby spinach, et cet). Add some angel hair pasta (cooks in like 2 minutes). Remove from the heat and either stir in beaten eggs in a stream or crack an egg or two directly in it to cook to your liking (basically poaching it in the soup). Season with salt, pepper, perhaps some cracked red pepper, and parsley. Top with some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (not very fattening, and full of good stuff for you), if you like. The whole thing should take 10-15 minutes max, if that.

        If you want to get grand, instead of the pasta you could toast up slices of Italian or French bread and spoon the soup over them. That's actually what "soup" means -- it's liquid to sop up stale bread.

        1. Yep, eggs are your friend. One of my favorite quick meals was sauteeing zucchini, cracking an egg or 2 over it, putting that whole mess in a tortilla and covering with salsa.

          If you want a little more like a real dinner, but still quick, get some of those thin cut boneless pork chops (surprisingly not too many calories), salt and pepper them, throw them in a pan. They are done in a couple of minutes per side. Take them out of the pan, put in presliced mushrooms, maybe garlic/onions, then deglaze with some red wine, heat up some leftover rice from the big batch you made over the weekend, and pour the sauce over the rice and chop. Add some frozen peas nuked for 3 minutes, and you have a complete dinner. I've done this all in under 10 minutes before.

          Canned beans are your friend, too, heat them up with sauteed onions and red peppers for rice and beans. Or pasta and steamed vegetables with olive oil and garlic.

          And every once in a while, make an entire pan of lasagna or pot of chili and freeze in individual portions. You'll love yourself for it later when you get to eat it.

          1. Prosciutto and Fontina sandwich

            This will require some advanced shopping but all of these things you can get and keep in the fridge for a little while and they won't go bad.

            You will need about 2 thin slices of Prosciutto per sandwich. A loaf of unsliced, good, day old bread, such as Acme sourdough batard, or whatever you have local that's available to you. A bunch of arugula or spinach. Fontina cheese or provolone (fontina is tastier). A clove of garlic. Some EV olive oil, salt, and fresh ground pepper.

            Slice two 1" slices of bread and put under broiler in oven or toaster oven. When browned, take out and rub the top with garlic, then drizzle olive oil over and salt and pepper. Take one slice and lay slices of cheese on and put back under the broiler to melt. Take out and lay on proscuitto, then some arugula, and then the other slice. Press down on the sandwich with your hand then slice in half.

            Eat. Good healthy meal, with all of your nutrition and not too fattening, but luxurious.

            Buon Appetito!

            1. Salad with feta and olives/ beans / chicken- whatever suits you.

              Cottage cheese with some dried herbs sprinkled in and crackers or veggies as dippers.

              If you aren't avoiding carbs, whole wheat bread with: peanut butter and banana
              cheese and tomato
              egg salad (hardboil some eggs over the weekend or when you have time.)
              Tuna melt (when you are willing to eat tuna and cheese again.)

              1. I am in the same situation as you. One thing I find myself doing often is buying the packaged, precooked breaded chicken breasts (not frozen), I think made by Perdue. In my supermarkets, they are in the same area as the regular, raw poultry. They are very low in fat and calories and high in protein. All it takes in 10 minutes in an oven to heat up. I do everything with them. Add mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce and you have homemade chicken parm. Sometimes I serve with spaghetti with garlic and oil. Sometimes I'll add cayenne pepper and chili powder and some hot sauce and I have a buffalo chicken sandwich. I've also bought prepacked salad mix, tossed in the chicken and added caesar dressing for a chicken caesar. It really is a life saver for those quick meals at 9 on a weekday. Esp. since there is very little clean up.

                Also note, there are regular and low fat varieties. I can't taste the differences between the 2, but the lowfat variety has about 1/3 of the fat and calories as the normal one, so that's what i get

                1. Lately, I've been stirring Isopure protein powder into oatmeal... eating it as I type.

                  Trader Joe's sells butternut squash precut, so I'll throw that in the microwave, and either incorporate with other veggies into an egg white omelette, or I'll eat it as my carb mashed with a little smart balance and cinnamon, and then have precooked rotisserie chicken.

                  I also like to keep brown rice on hand. I'll cook a batch and that will generally last me for a few days. Stir fry it with egg whites and veggies for fried rice, or with teriyaki sauce and chicken.

                  I love cottage cheese, and occasionally, gross as it may sound to some, will stir it into my whole grain/wheat pasta, and add a little splenda and cinnamon. It's reminiscent of noodle kugel.

                  And if you're really feeling lazy, make a shake :)

                  1. f

                    Some more ideas (I used to work until 8 or 9 at night, so here is what I used to eat):

                    --Cereal and milk (soy if you like)
                    --Hummus (I like Trader Joe's spicy hummus, but make homemade sometimes on weekends to last the week) and precut carrots or other precut veggies, and whole wheat pita bread
                    --Plain yogurt with fruit, cereal and a drizzle of honey
                    --Sandwiches (do you have a panini press? if so a cool appetizing sandwich is only a couple minutes away if you buy the ingredients on Sunday) or a grilled cheese
                    --chicken salad (as a substitute for the tuna salad)--you can use precooked chicken for this
                    --you could make soup on the weekends, freeze it and reheat it for dinner in the microwave, and serve it with a slice of toast sprinkled with grated cheese and broiled (I keep whole wheat bread in the freezer for this purpose)

                    1. I just came back from the gym myself - I find that for some reason, I'm usually not terribly hungry after I work out - so I want something small - and I don't want anything oily, greasy or heavy (I guess I should work out more - then I won't always be craving french fries!).

                      Usually, I pick up sushi, because it's fresh and light. With the rice there's some starch, but it's mostly all about the fresh raw fish. Yum. And then I don't feel laden down afterwards, and guilty about eating something that's just sitting like a lead weight in my stomach.

                      1. I am in the same position, but what I usually do is cook something in advance that we can eat by just heating it up in the microwave or on the stove. Today we had some Czech cabbage soup.

                        1. mrs. joypirate and i have the same problem and we usually do a salad of some good greens, grape tomatoes, peppers and then mix-up the protein a bit. Yesterday I stopped at a deli (dibruno bros in philly) and picked up some scallops (some marinated in balsamic, some in garlic lemon) and quickly threw them in the broiler while cutting the peppers, then tossed them with everything. Made a quick homemade dressing of balsamic, evoo, s&p & dry mustard. We've done the same (though it's not quite as fast) w/salmon. The other day we saw a new deli that opened down the street w/seared tuna and tenderloin, which means we can do a his/her salad next time. To add yet another Trader Joe's mention, they've got a tomato foccaccia that heats up pretty fast in the broiler for when we want to add some bread to the mix.

                          1. Or for a totally different (albeit not the world's healthiest) approach...

                            Drink a good solid beer, call it a night, and have a terrific healthy breakfast in the morning.

                            I always have a bit of a high after a workout that the beer "cures" - and diet/health folks always seem to have something negative to say about eating after 8pm.

                            1. I usually have a non-dairy protein shake when I get home (I like chocolate whey protein, cold water, maybe a bit of ice) first. I have heard, although not confirmed, that dairy can slow the necessary protein intake. Whatever, cold water is always on hand. Sometimes I'll have a salad after that. Sometimes a steak - takes about 10 minutes tops to hot sear and bake it. Sometimes a steak and a salad.

                              Also consider your brand of tuna (sometimes I just open a can, add a little S&P and eat that too). I just ordered the tuna sampler pack from the Tuna Guys and can't wait for it to arrive.


                              1. thanks so much!

                                1. I like a couple of 7-11 hotdogs with everything on 'em after a good hour of racketball. It makes me feel much better after being so good to myself!!