5 Protein-Rich Meals to Fuel Your Muscles on a Budget

5 Protein-Rich Meals to Fuel Your Muscles on a Budget

WHEN IT COMES to meal prep, you often can’t have it all.

By this we mean that most budget meal prep plans often fall short when it comes to flavor (there is only so much chicken and rice a man can eat). And most tasty meal prep plans can cost you, both in money and effort.

That’s why we created 5 for $50, the new meal prep plan that serves up a week of delicious, protein-packed meals for around $50.

Each plan relies on two core proteins, which you work into meals to reheat and eat throughout the workweek.

This month: pork and beans, proof you can eat like a chef on a budget.

buy it

We assume you have cooking oil and seasonings. For the rest, we make it easy for you. Just click on this link and Instacart will do the rest.

But if you need the full list:

1 lb ground pork
1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
1 can (14 oz) black beans
1 can (14 oz) pinto beans
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas
1 (6 0z) package of cheddar cheese
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
2 containers (5.3 oz) plain Greek yogurt
1 packet taco seasoning
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
2 red peppers
2 medium zucchini
1 cucumber
1 small red onion
1 bunch fresh dill
1 lemon
2 green onions
1 (8.5 oz) can corn
1 (12 oz) box whole wheat elbow macaroni
1 small yellow onion

prepare it

Cook these key ingredients to lay the foundation for your five meals.

pork chili
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 Tbsp. oil. Cook 1 cup chopped yellow onion and 1⁄2 lb ground pork until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 chopped seeded red pepper and 1 chopped zucchini; cook 4 minutes more. Stir in 1⁄2 can corn, 1 can black beans, 1 1⁄2 cups canned crushed tomatoes, 1 tbsp taco seasoning and 1⁄4 tsp salt. Simmer covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pork and bean meatballs
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mash 1⁄2 can of pinto beans. Combine 1⁄2 lb ground pork, 1⁄2 tsp salt, 1⁄2 tsp cumin powder and 1⁄4 tsp black pepper. Shape into golf ball sized meatballs; add to baking sheet. Roast until golden brown, about 15 minutes.


1. Cook 2 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni according to package directions. Put aside.

2. Cook 1⁄3 cup quinoa according to package directions. Put aside. (You’re on a roll now.)

3. Using a spiralizer or serrated peeler, cut 1 small zucchini into thin, noodle-like strips. Put aside.

4. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1⁄3 cup chopped dill, 2 tbsp. lemon zest, 1 tsp. tablespoon lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Put aside.

Pack it

Now store the foods you have prepared to reheat different meals throughout the week.

1. Chilli Mac

men's health 5 for 50

Laura Murray

Layer the macaroni, half the chili and 1⁄3 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Microwave until heated through; add the chopped shallot.

Nutrition per meal: 928 calories, 48 ​​g protein, 83 g carbohydrates (17 g fiber), 45 g fat

2. Meatball Zoodles

5 for 50 men's health

Laura Murray

Pack half the meatballs, 1⁄2 can pinto beans, 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes and 1 tablespoon taco seasoning. Pack the zoodles in another container. Spoon warmed meatball mixture over zoodles.

675 calories, 46g protein, 65g carbs (18g fiber), 26g fat

3. Meatball Gyro Bowl

5 for 50 men's health

Laura Murray

In a large bowl, place half the quinoa, half the meatballs, 1⁄2 can of chickpeas, 1⁄2 cup of halved cherry tomatoes, 1⁄2 cup of chopped cucumber and 2 tbsp of chopped red onion. Wrap half of the yogurt sauce separately and spread it over the salad before serving.

803 calories, 59g protein, 78g carbs (18g fiber), 28g fat

4. Med Style Chickpea Jar

5 for 50 men's health

Laura Murray

In a large glass container, add 1/4 of the yogurt sauce, 1⁄4 can of chickpeas, ½ of the remaining quinoa, 1⁄4 cup of sliced ​​cherry tomatoes, 1⁄4 cup of chopped cucumber and 2 tbsp. tablespoon chopped red onion. Repeat with another layer of the same amount of each ingredient. When ready to eat, pour everything on a plate or dig directly into the jar.

428 calories, 29g protein, 71g carbs (15g fiber), 4g fat

5. Chilli Stuffed Pepper

5 for 50 men's health

Laura Murray

Pack half the chili and 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese. In a separate container, place 1 seeded red pepper cut in half, cut side up. Cover the container of pepper with a paper towel and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Heat the chili until hot. Stuff pepper halves with chili; top with cheese.

895 calories, 47g protein, 75g carbs (18g fiber), 45g fat

A version of this article originally appeared in the November 2022 issue of men’s health.

#ProteinRich #Meals #Fuel #Muscles #Budget

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