Built in the Kitchen; Sculpted in the Gym.

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My name is Kevin. My life changed when I realized that healthy living is truly a lifelong journey, mainly won by having a well-balanced diet and enjoying adequate exercise. By experimenting in the kitchen and openly sharing my meals, I learned that healthy eating is hardly boring and that by making a few adjustments, I could design a diet that could help me achieve my personal fitness goals. Our bodies are built in the kitchen and sculpted in the gym.

One of the most important aspects of any healthy eating journey is variety – it keeps us all sane and satisfied.  I draw a lot of inspiration from various cuisines around the world.  It’s not as complicated as you may think – it’s just a matter of pairing different spices and herbs together, and when necessary, incorporating regional sauces/spices.

Here’s a delicious Moroccan-inspired lamb burger recipe using a sauce you can find in most grocery stores – harissa. It’s spicy, with a subtle smoky peppery flavor, kind of like smoked paprika.

I like using ground lamb because it is higher in fat and has CLAs and omega-6 fatty acids, which is helpful at the moment since I’m following a cyclical ketogenic diet (meaning I’m on it for a few weeks, then I move off of it). If you are trying to keep the fat in your diet much lower, then I suggest using a leaner form of ground meat.  This will also result in a higher amount of protein as well.

Moroccan Lamb Burgers Recipe

Ingredients for 4 burgers:

  • Burger patty
    • 1lb ground lamb (I purchased Private Selection brand from Kroger, Ralph’s, Fred Meyers)
    • 2 teaspoons harissa sauce
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder (or minced garlic)
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 2 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
      1 teaspoon cayenne
    • pinch sea salt & pepper
    • olive oil spray
  • Yogurt sauce:
    • 1/2 peeled cucumber, diced very small
    • 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
    • 6 tablespoons 2% Greek yogurt (or coconut/soy yogurt if you want a dairy free option)
    • sea salt & pepper to taste
    • fresh lemon juice to taste (optional)
    • fresh dill to taste (optional)
  • Garnish
    • Mixed green salad
    • Red onion slices



  1. In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the yogurt sauce.  Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, mix together the ingredients for the lamb burger.  Once mixed, form 4 equal sized patties.
  3. Lightly spray a nonstick skillet with olive oil and set it on medium heat.  Once hot, add the patties to the skillet and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes per side, ensuring that each side is seared and the inside of the patty is completely cooked.  You can also sear the patties on each side for 1 to 2 minutes, then immediately place in the oven on broil for 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Serve/enjoy immediately with a mixed green salad and yogurt sauce.


Approximate macros for 1 of 4 servings (WITH yogurt sauce without garnish):

312 calories, 22g protein, 2g carbohydrates, 24g fat, <1g fiber, 1.5g sugar


Just because you reduce the carbohydrates, gluten and dairy in your diet, doesn’t mean you have to lose out on a lot of flavor.  Here’s one of my favorite low-carb recipes that’s both filling and flavorful.

Shrimp Pasta Recipe

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 3/4 lb giant shrimp
  • 2 large spaghetti squash (roughly 20oz when baked and pulled out of rings)
  • Cream Sauce
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or coconut oil)
    • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 1/3 cup red onions
    • 1 cup coconut cream
    • juice from 1 lemon (or to taste)
    • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
    • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • Garnish:
    • chives
    • fresh dill
    • coarse pepper
    • lemon
  • spray olive oil or coconut oil



  1. set oven to 400F.
  2. Using the sharpest and largest knife you can find, cut spaghetti squash into rings.  Remove the insides, then place the rings on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Brush or spray the rings with olive oil and add a pinch of sea salt & pepper. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes.  Once the squash has finished baking, allow it to cool, then gently pull the spaghetti out of the rings and set in a bowl.
  4. Set a nonstick skillet on medium high heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add the shrimp and cook until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  While the shrimp is cooking, add a pinch of sea salt & pepper.  Set the shrimp aside.
  5. Using the same skillet, add olive oil and saute garlic and red onion for about 3 minutes, being careful not to let the onions or garlic brown.  Then, add the remaining ingredients for the sauce.  Once it begins to simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook for about another 1 -2 minutes.
  6. Add a serving of pasta to a plate, then a serving of shrimp, then pour part of the sauce over it.
  7. Garnish, then enjoy immediately!


Approximate macros for 1 of 2 servings:

546 calories, 39g protein, 27g carbohydrates, 32g fat, 5g fiber, 2g sugar


Today, I’m taking a walk down memory lane and REMIXING one of my first YouTube videos – baked oatmeal for meal prep.

This version is redone in order to: 1) stay moist throughout the entire week, whether you heat it up or not; and 2) help you practice better portion control and give you “just enough” to help curb cravings.


Baked Oatmeal Recipe

Ingredients for 48 mini-muffins (UPDATED):

  • Dry ingredients:
    • 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 cup cacao powder (or dark chocolate powder)
  • Wet ingredients:
    • 2 ripe bananas
    • 1 small ripe avocado
    • 2 eggs
    • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened
    • 1/3 cup agave (or raw honey)
  •  Garnish
    • 12 tablespoons dark chocolate chunks (1 tablespoon should be enough for 4 mini-muffins, about ~2 chunks on each mini-muffin)
    • shaved almonds (optional)
    • coarse sea salt

*** – You can use a regular-sized muffin pan.


  1. Set oven to 350F.
  2. Peel the ripe bananas and mash them up with a fork in a large bowl.
  3. Add ripe avocado to the banana and mash  together.
  4. Beat in two eggs, then add the rest of the wet ingredients. Mix together and set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients, then slowly add to the bowl of wet ingredients. Gently fold everything together using a spatula.
  6. Spray a mini muffin pan with baking spray, then add about a tablespoon of the mixture to each one. Top them off with 2 chocolate chunks and a pinch shaved almonds. Garnish with a pinch of sea salt on top.
  7. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until you can pierce them with a toothpick and it comes out clean.
  8. Let them slightly cool, then remove them from the muffin pan and place on a cooling rack or a plate to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container or sealable bag.


Approximate macros for 1 of 48 muffins:

64 calories, 8g carbohydrates, 3g fat, 1.5g protein, 2g fiber, 4g sugar


One of my favorite recipes to start the day and get your house smelling pretty darn good. I know it’s a simple recipe but I always feel accomplished when I make something just as good a store-bought versions.  And you will too!

Feel free to make this your own and use your favorite raw nuts and/or seeds as well.  Also, they now have quinoa flakes in stores that look a lot like rolled oats and they’re also gluten-free! So, that’s another option.

You definitely DO NOT have to add as many nuts to mine as I did. Lolol I kinda like for my granola to be slightly close to trail mix and higher calorie, in order to curb my appetite. But again, that’s me…


Here’s the base recipe to make your own!

Granola Recipe

Ingredients for about 5 cups of homemade granola:

  • Dry Ingredients:
    • 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
    • 1 cup raw pecans
    • 1 cup raw cashews
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    • pinch of sea salt
  • Wet Ingredients:
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil (or olive oil)
    • 1/3 cup Simple Truth raw honey (or substitute maple syrup, agave or apple honey)
  • Optional garnish:


Steps for Homemade Granola:

  1. Set oven to 325F.
  2. Add raw nuts to a sealable bag and crush them up (using your hands or another object).
  3. Add the raw nuts to a bowl, then add the rest of the dry ingredients.  Mix together.
  4. Then add the wet ingredients to the bowl.  Thoroughly mix everything together using a spatula and ensure all the rolled oats are covered in oil and honey.
  5. Add parchment paper to a baking sheet, then spread the granola out on the pan.  Make sure there are no large clumps, you want it flat.
  6. If desired, drizzle a little more honey over the top of the granola, then sprinkle cane sugar on top for crunch.
  7. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Careful not to let the oats or nuts burn.
  8. After baking, allow the granola to completely cool, then easily break it into pieces.
  9. Store the granola in an airtight container and it will be good for several weeks.


Serving size – 1/4 cup.  Approximate macros for 1 of 20 servings (with optional ingredients):

176 calories, 18g carbohydrates, 10g fat, 3g protein, 8g sugar


I’m following up on a FAQ –

“What are some lunch meals you can enjoy that don’t have to be reheated?”

Here are four easy lunch ideas to help inspire your next meal prep! This is a continuation of the 5 cold lunch mash-up that I did last year.

When it comes to eating food cold (or at room temperature), keep it simple! Here are some guidelines I live by:

  •  Protein:
    • poultry (chicken, turkey, boiled eggs)
    • some fish (I like fatty fish such as salmon and swordfish on occasion, fully cooked cod also does well)
    • lean steaks such as flank and London broil
    • grilled, firm tofu (tempeh is good as well – just make sure it’s seasoned and cooked through)
  • Avoid meals with fatty ground meats or fatty melted cheeses – the cold texture of grease isn’t as pleasing or appetizing (of course cold pizza is the exception!)
  • Chopped salads > regular salads – I find they are more enjoyable and when chopped together, so long as you have a good mix of wet/dry and firm/soft ingredients, really don’t require a lot of dressing. Plus, you can easily make sandwiches, pitas, wraps out of it too!


Cold Lunch Recipes


Sweet Kale, Bean & Quinoa Salad

cold lunch - kale bean quinoa salad

Ingredients for 1 serving of salad:

  • OPTIONAL: your choice of 3oz – 6oz cooked protein (chicken, turkey, tofu, tempeh, etc)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups chopped kale, wilted/steamed
  • 1/3 cup black beans (or Simple Truth Tri-Bean blend)
  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • Seasonings:
  • 1 teaspoon Simple Truth maple syrup (or you can use 1/2 packet Stevia in the raw)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • juice from half small orange
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • add-ons:
    • red pepper for spiciness
    • pinch of smoked paprika to compliment cumin
    • substitute orange for lemon
  • spray olive oil


Approximate macros for 1 salad (without 6oz chicken):

201 calories, 11g protein, 38g carbohydrates, 1g fat, 7g fiber, 7g sugar


Frittata (Sausage) Muffins with Avocado Toast

cold lunch - egg frittata avocado toast
cold lunch - egg frittata avocado toastcold lunch - egg frittata avocado toast

Ingredients for 6 frittata muffins:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 lean chicken sausage (optional; or choice of cooked, lean ground meat)
  • 1 cup broccoli crowns (or choice of fibrous vegetable)
  • 1 colorful bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 6 tablespoons reduced-fat mozzarella
  • Seasonings:
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon thyme
    • pinch of sea salt & pepper
  • 1/2 medium ripe avocado
  • 1 serving of toasted sourdough (or whole grain bread)


Approximate macros for 1 of 6 muffins:

106 calories, 11g protein, 4g carbohydrates, 5g fat, 1g fiber, 2g sugar


Approximate macros for 1 slice of sourdough + 1/2 medium avocado:

195 calories, 5g protein, 19g carbohydrates, 14g fat, 9g fiber, 2g sugar


Sticky Steak Rolls with Cilantro Jasmine Rice

cold lunch - sticky steak rolls
cold lunch - sticky steak rolls

Ingredients for 3 steak rolls:

  • ~6oz lean flank steak or London broil, sliced into thin 2oz pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup onion, cut into strips
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into strips
  • Steak seasonings:
    • 2 teaspoons onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • pinch pepper
  • Sauce:
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze (or 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar mixed with 1 tablespoon raw honey)
    • 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
    • Add an extra teaspoon of honey if you want it extra sticky or sweet (OPTIONAL)
    • Also, consider adding: red pepper for spice or swapping soy sauce with fresh lime juice
  •  Rice:
    • mix cooked jasmine rice with chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice


Approximate macros for 1 of 3 steak rolls:

127 calories, 13g protein, 12g carbohydrates, 3g fat, 1g fiber, 7g sugar


Approximate macros for 1/2 cup jasmine rice:

103 calories, 23g carbohydrates, 0g fat, 2g protein, 1g fiber, 0g sugar


Chopped Salad Jar…with Bacon and Sweet Lemon Vinaigrette



  • 5oz cooked chicken breast (OR your choice and serving size of lean protein)
  • 3 thick butter lettuce leaves
  • 2 leaves Romaine lettuce
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 2/3 cup fresh cilantro (or to taste)
  • Optional:
    • 1 slice thick cut bacon, crumbled
    • 2 tablespoons feta crumble
  • Vinaigrette
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • juice from 1 lemon
    • 1/2 teaspoon agave or raw honey (optional)
    • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
    • sea salt & pepper to taste


Approximate macros for 1 jar (with bacon & feta):

368 calories, 14g carbohydrates, 9g fat, 55g protein, 3g fiber, 7g sugar


Approximate macros for vinaigrette:

139 calories, 6g carbohydrates, 14g fat, 0g protein, 0g fiber, 4g sugar


The first time I had butter chicken I was in Washington, DC at my friend’s parents’ house. I was thrown off a bit by the name because I actually imagined chicken covered in butter…which actually doesn’t sound too bad.

But I soon learned that it was better than I could have ever imagined.  And it introduced me to a new ingredient, ghee, which is where the “butter” name comes from I imagine.

The traditional recipe is pretty calorie dense, and while it may be worth every bite, it may not (necessarily) push you closer to your wellness goals. Here’s my calorie-conscious version that takes about 15 minutes.


Healthy Butter Chicken Recipe


  • 1 lb chicken breasts (chunks)
  • spray olive oil (or coconut oil)
  • Sauce:
    • 2 tablespoons ghee
    • 1/3 cup red onion, diced or chopped
    • 1 tablespoon ginger (fresh or powder)
    • 1/2 tablespoon garlic (minced or powder)
    • 14 oz crushed tomatoes
    • 2/3 cup coconut cream
    • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Seasonings:
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1 tablespoon cumin
    • 5 tablespoons coriander
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or garam masala)
  • Garnish:
    • chopped cilantro
    • cinnamon



  1. Set a nonstick skillet on medium heat and spray with olive oil or coconut oil.
  2. Add the chicken and cook it in the skillet for about 5 minutes, until the outside is no longer pink. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
  3. Using the same skillet, add ghee and let it melt. Then, toss in onion, ginger and garlic.  Let it cook for about 2 minutes and be careful not to let the garlic burn.
  4. Add the seasonings and “bloom” them or gently sauté them in order to boost the flavors.  After about 1 minute (or until the spies are fragrant), add the chicken chunks, coconut cream and freshly squeezed lemon.
  5. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes then add the tomato.  Cover and simmer on low for about 6 to 8 minutes.
  6. Season to taste with sea salt & pepper and garnish with cilantro.


Approximate macros for 1 of 4 servings:

288 calories, 9g carbs, 16g fat, 29g protein, 2g fiber, <1g sugar


Ditch the store-bought stuff and make your own delicious salsa that you can easily customize for your tastes and preferences.  I use salsa for nearly EVERYTHING! Salads, eggs, protein, grilled vegetables, etc.  Essentially anything that needs an extra kick, gets a serving of my fresh homemade salsa.

It’s a great lower-calorie alternative to give your food some flavor.

Healthy Roasted Salsa Verde (and Roasted Salsa Roja) Recipe

Ingredients to make about 5 cups:

  • 1lb raw, peeled & whole tomatillo (about 14)
    • (OR use “chocolate” heirloom tomatoes or Roma tomatoes for red salsa)
  •  1 serrano pepper
  • 1/2 medium sized red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves WITH skin
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • juice from 1 lime (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke (optional)
  • sea salt & pepper to taste



  1. Set oven to broil.
  2. Place tomatillo, red onion, garlic and serrano on a baking sheet.  Broil for 15 minutes in the oven, flipping over the ingredients half way.  After roasting the tomatillo should be soft.  If the red onion is still a little solid, toss it back in the oven for an additional 5 – 10 minutes, careful not to let it burn.
  3. Peel the garlic.
  4. Set the desired amount of heat by removing some or ALL of the seeds from the serrano pepper (and removing the stem).
  5. Place the roasted ingredients in a food processor, then add cilantro, olive oil, lime, sea salt & pepper and liquid smoke.
  6. Pulse blend but careful not to overdo it. You want it somewhat chunky.


Approximate macros for 1/4 cup serving size for salsa verde:

15 calories, 2g carbs, 1g fat, 0g protein, 0g fiber, 1g sugar


I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical when a friend invited me to sample some vegan desserts one muggy night in NYC.  We walked about 15 blocks just to get there since she said it was faster than taking an Uber or the subway.  And the way my metabolism is set up…yeah, I sweat just thinking about walking.  Needless to say, I wasn’t “at my best” when we finally arrived at the vegan cupcake shop and I was not in the mood to try anything new…

But, she assured me they were good so I went along with it.  And I’m glad I did.  I found the desserts not only equally pleasing to my palate, but in some cases, even “creamier” than desserts made with animal products.  This piqued my interest in these plant-based delights and I soon discovered a whole NEW way to keep my diet exciting and calorie-conscious.

Here’s my favorite fail-proof vegan cheesecake recipe.  It’s impossible to dislike (especially when you can customize it)!

Makes about 10 small servings.

CRUST Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 7 medjool dates (pitted)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt


FILLING Ingredients:

  • 2 cups soaked, raw cashews
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (or your choice of berry)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup agave or apple bee-free honey (or less if desired)



  • fresh berries



  1. Add raw cashews to a large bowl of water and soak for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. To a food processor, add all the ingredients for the crust. Blend until it resembles “graham cracker” crust (i.e., coarse crust).  Set aside.
  3. Once the cashews have finished soaking, discard the water then add the cashews to a food processor.  Add the rest of the ingredients for the filling.  Blend until very smooth, like cream.
  4. Build a large cheesecake, or several mini-cheesecakes by adding the crust, patting it down, then adding the filling.
  5. Freeze for about 1 hour (or longer), then place the cheesecake in the fridge about 30 to 45 minutes you are going to enjoy it.


Approximate macros for 1 of 10 small servings:

398 calories, 31g carbs, 28g fat, 7g protein, 4g fiber, 21g sugar


This recipe is tasty.  Nuff said.

Here’s a “meat lovers” spaghetti meatball recipe that is ketogenic friendly with some spice to keep your palette guessing.

Keto Recipe

Ingredients for 8 meatballs:

  • 1 lb 85% ground bison (I used Simple Truth)
  • 8 slices bacon (I used Simple Truth, uncured, nitrate-free bacon)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Seasonings:
    • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    • 1 tablespoon thyme
    • pinches of sea salt & pepper



  1. Set oven to 400F.
  2. Set a nonstick skillet on medium heat and add olive oil and red onion.  Saute the onions until they are carmelized.
  3. Add the onions to a bowl and add in the rest of the ingredients.  Mix and mash them up with a fork.
  4. Form small meatballs with your hands, about 8 ping pong ball-sized meatballs.
  5. Wrap each meatball in 1 strip of bacon and place it flap-side down on a baking sheet/rack.
  6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 400F.  For the last 2-3 minutes of baking, set the temperature in the oven to broil so the outside gets a little crispy.


Approximate macros for 1 of 8 meatballs:

214 calories, 4g carbohydrates, 15g fat, 15g protein, <1g fiber, 2g sugar


Here is a “cleaned up” and more calorie-conscious version of a big queso dip that people usually eat at Super Bowl parties.  This version uses about 67% less cheese and cream and lean ground beef which nearly 50% reduction in calories.

My fat calorie count per serving is 11g vs the original version of this queso dip which has 32g fat.


Super Bowl Queso Dip

Ingredients for the butternut squash puree (makes about 3 cups or nine 1/3 cup servings):

  • 1 lb raw butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth


Ingredients for Big Bowl Queso about 8 servings:

  • 1 lb choice of lean ground meat (I used 96% beef)
  • 2/3 cup butternut squash puree (from above)
  • 8oz lite coconut milk (I used Simple Truth)
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot
  • 1 1/3 cup Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced (about 3/4 cup diced)
  • Seasonings:
    • 1/2 tablespoon garlic
    • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • Garnish:
    • fresh cilantro, chopped
    • fresh lime juice
    • fresh guacamole
    • fresh pico de gallo
    • serrano chiles
    • diced jalapeño
  • spray olive oil



  1. Add butternut squash to a steamer basket and steam until soft, about 20 minutes.  Add it to a food processor with the chicken broth and blend until smooth.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for future recipes as a thickener.
  2. Spray a nonstick skillet with olive oil and set on medium heat.  Toss in the meat and cook.  While it’s cooking, add in the seasonings.  Chop and cook with a wooden spatula.  Once the meat is cooked, set it in the  bottom of the dip bowl and garnish with cilantro and fresh lime.
  3. Using the same skillet, add olive oil and sauté red onion and bell pepper for 2 to 3 minutes, careful not to let it burn.  Then, add coconut milk and stir.
  4. Keep it to a simmer, then pour in butternut squash puree.  Stir, then add monterey jack cheese.  If the cheese begins to clump together, reduce the heat but continue to stir.  Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
  5.   Reduce the heat then mix arrowroot starch with about 3 tablespoons of the milky cheese.  Add it back to the skillet and stir (this should help thicken it a bit, if needed).
  6. Reduce the heat and allow the cheese to thicken, then pour it over the meat.  Serve immediately.  Use butternut squash at your discretion to thicken the dip.
  7. If desired, garnish with guacamole and pico de gallo.  Enjoy with sweet bell pepper scoops or fresh veggies such as celery!


Approximate macros for 1 of 8 servings (WITHOUT garnish):

201 calories, 9g carbs, 11g fat, 15g protein, .75g fiber, 2g sugar