10-Minute Dinners That Will Help You Lose Weight—and Keep It Off

Step away from the take-out menu and try one of these quick and easy recipes instead.

January 1, 2018
chicken bacon pizza
Mitch Mandel

These 10-minute dinners from Prevention's new book Fit in 10: Slim & Strong—for Life! are perfect for those evenings when you're so hungry you can't get food in your mouth fast enough, or when the mere thought of cooking something complicated has you eyeing those take-out menus. Each recipe contains the right combination of metabolism-revving lean protein, healthy fat, and nutrient-rich carbs to help you lose stubborn pounds and keep them off.

"Once I started eating this way, the extra weight fell away," says Anne Marie Russo, who lost 27 pounds and slimmed her belly on the Fit in 10: Slim & Strong—for Life! plan (read more about what worked for Anne Marie here). "It's real food. I never felt like I was on a diet, and my kids and husband love the recipes, too."

The best part? Every recipe is as delicious as it is simple to make.

Grilled Steak and Avocado Tacos
Mitch Mandel
1
Grilled Steak and Avocado Tacos

This recipe easily satisfies your craving for Mexican food. Replace the tortillas with lettuce leaves to make this grain-free. (Don't forget breakfast! These 10-minute breakfasts get your metabolism moving and keeps it that way.)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 pound flank steak

  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and cubed

  • 1/2 cup prepared salsa verde

  • 1 scallion, sliced

  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

  • 8 corn tortillas (6-inch diameter

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, stir together the lime juice, garlic, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt. Rub all over the flank steak.
2. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Grill the steak to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes before cutting, against the grain, into thin strips.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the avocado, salsa verde, scallion, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and set aside.
4. Warm the tortillas by wrapping them in a paper towel and microwaving them for 5 to 10 seconds. Serve with the steak and the avocado salsa.

Nutrition (per serving) 394 calories, 28g protein, 30g carbs, 7g fiber, 2g sugar, 18g fat, 5g saturated fat, 548mg sodium

arugula salad with zucchini ribbons
Mitch Mandel
2
Arugula Salad with Zucchini Ribbons

This salad is heartier than it looks. The healthy fats from the olive oil and pumpkin seeds, plus the protein and fiber from the chickpeas, make for a light yet satisfying meal.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 4 cups arugula

  • 1 medium zucchini

  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

  • 3 ounces (about 3/4 cup)

  • Parmesan cheese, shaved

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, stir together the olive oil and lemon juice. Place the arugula in the bowl.
2. Over the arugula and using a vegetable peeler, shave the zucchini on one side over and over to make ribbons, turning every few strokes to distribute the peel evenly. Stop when you reach the seedy core and no more ribbons can be sliced.
3. Add the chickpeas and artichoke hearts and gently toss to coat with the dressing. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and Parmesan shavings. Serve immediately.

Nutrition (per serving) 408 calories, 20g protein, 28g carbs, 10g fiber, 5g sugar, 26g fat, 7g saturated fat, 366mg sodium

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Seared Tuna Sushi Bowl
Mitch Mandel
3
Seared Tuna Sushi Bowl

This recipe calls for brown rice, but you can swap in quinoa to keep it grain-free. Precooked brown rice or quinoa, either frozen or in the rice section, will greatly cut down on your time in the kitchen. Also, make life easier by getting julienned carrots, available in the produce section. You may want to add wasabi paste or pickled ginger, but they have sugar in them, so try using wasabi powder and mix it yourself with some water and fresh grated ginger. You can find nori (sheets of dried seaweed) in the Asian section of most supermarkets. (Target stubborn arm fat with this 10-minute workout.)

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice, warmed

  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grapeseed oil

  • 5 ounces high-quality, center-cut tuna steak

  • 1/2 cup sliced and seeded cucumber

  • 1/3 cup grated or julienned carrot

  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced nori

  • Wasabi paste, for serving (optional)

  • Grated ginger, for serving (optional)

Directions:

1. Combine the rice, vinegar, and sesame seeds, in a bowl. Cover and keep warm.
2. In a small nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the tuna and sear, 1 minute per side. Transfer to a cutting board and slice about 1/4 inch thick.
3. Top the rice with the tuna, cucumber, carrot, and nori. Serve with homemade wasabi paste and grated fresh ginger, if desired.

Nutrition (per serving) 415 calories, 37g protein, 29g carbs, 4g fiber, 3g sugar, 16g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 84mg sodium

chicken bacon pizza
Mitch Mandel
4
Chicken and Bacon Pizza

This simple recipe satisfies your pizza craving and keeps you satisfied with hunger-staving protein and fiber. You can always trade the whole wheat tortilla for a gluten-free option.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach, rinsed

  • 1 low-carb whole wheat tortilla (8-inch diameter) (We like La Tortilla Factory’s organic non-GMO tortillas.)

  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 ounces (1/3 cup) cooked chicken breast (from a rotisserie chicken), shredded

  • 1 slice low-sodium turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled

  • 1 ounce (1/4 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 400°F.
2. In a nonstick skillet over low heat, warm the oil and garlic until the garlic sizzles, about 1 minute. Add the spinach. Cook, tossing, until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
3. Set the tortilla on a baking sheet and sprinkle with Parmesan. Top with the spinach, then the chicken, bacon, and mozzarella. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. Cut into wedges and serve.

Nutrition (per serving) 405 calories, 35g protein, 25g carbs, 15g fiber, 1g sugar, 19g fat, 7g saturated fat, 692mg sodium

Almond-Encrusted Salmon with Greens
Cultura RM Exclusive/BRETT STEVENS/Getty images
5
Almond-Encrusted Salmon with Greens

This salmon is so good that you’ll happily eat any leftovers chilled on a salad or in a sandwich the next day. (Here's how to get a flat belly after age 50.)

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds

  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt Ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 skinless salmon fillets (4 ounces each)

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 cups mixed organic baby greens, spinach (rinsed), or watercress

  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions:

1. Mix the almonds, parsley, lemon zest, salt, and black pepper in a wide, shallow bowl. Beat the egg in another wide, shallow bowl. Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel. Dip 1 salmon fillet into the egg, turning to coat. Transfer the fillet to the bowl with the almond mixture and press firmly so the almonds adhere. Set aside and repeat with the second fillet.
2. Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the salmon and cook, turning once, until it’s opaque in the center (use a knife to check), 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Arrange 2 cups of greens per plate and place a cooked salmon fillet on top of the greens. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve immediately.

Nutrition (per serving) 405 calories, 30g protein, 7g carbs, 4g fiber, 2g sugar, 29g fat, 4g saturated fat, 315mg sodium

 
 
Black-Eyed Peas and Brown Rice Bowl
Mitch Mandel
6
Black-Eyed Peas and Brown Rice Bowl

To make this rice bowl speedy, use frozen brown rice that only takes a few minutes to heat in the microwave. You can also use quinoa instead of brown rice if you prefer.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup drained and rinsed canned black-eyed peas

  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice

  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers

  • 2 teaspoons minced pickled jalapeños (or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 avocado

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves

Directions:

1. In a medium microwaveable bowl, combine the black-eyed peas, rice, red peppers, jalapeños, and cumin. Cover and cook on high until heated through, about 1 minute.
2. In a separate bowl, smash together the avocado, nutritional yeast, and lime juice. Spoon on top of the rice mixture and sprinkle with the cilantro.

Nutrition (per serving) 430 calories, 21g protein, 73g carbs, 17g fiber, 2g sugar, 7g fat, 1g saturated fat, 923mg sodium

Falafel with Lemony Yogurt Sauce
Mitch Mandel
7
Falafel with Lemony Yogurt Sauce

Homemade falafel is a treat that doesn’t have to take a lot of time. This recipe offers the flavor of the traditional dish without wheat flour or deep-frying.

​Serves 1
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup drained and rinsed canned chickpeas

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley or cilantro

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, divided

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup almond meal

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives

Directions:

1. In a blender, pulse the chickpeas and garlic until broken up. Add the onion, parsley or cilantro, cumin, 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper and pulse until pasty but not pureed. Pulse in the almond meal and baking powder.
2. Lightly coat a large skillet with nonaerosol cooking spray and put over medium heat. Spoon golf ball–size portions of the mix into the skillet, gently press until flattened, and cook until golden and crispy on both sides, about 6 minutes total.
3. Mix together the yogurt, chives, and the remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Serve alongside the falafel patties.

Nutrition (per serving) 435 calories, 21g protein, 54g carbs, 12g fiber, 6g sugar, 18g fat, 2g saturated fat, 603mg sodium

For more than 70 delicious 10-minute recipes, check out the full program in Fit in 10—Slim & Strong for Life!.

The article 10-Minute Dinners That Will Help You Lose Weight—And Keep It Off originally appeared on Prevention.

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