What are some good protein-rich meals I can take to work with me for lunch? I'm trying to gain some mass.
August 31, 2009 4:11 PM   Subscribe

What are some good protein-rich meals I can take to work with me for lunch? I'm trying to gain some mass. I'll have a refrigerator and microwave present and my commute is only 15 minutes.

I'm 6'3" 190 lbs and I'm trying to gain weight. I also eat out during lunch way too much. Saving 8 dollars a day would be fantastic on top of eating meals that will be better for my mass gain.

I automatically think pasta because I'm a terrible cook, but that doesn't seem like the route I should be going in order to bulk up.

Have any ideas?

(Maybe this will help me become a better cook somehow, too).
posted by decrescendo to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
This isn't a meal idea, but a good snack might be a single-serving cup of cottage cheese-- they sell them alongside the yoghurt at the grocery store. That is, if you can get over the curdy consistency. I got used to it, and there are many varieties that come with fruit on the bottom for extra tastiness. Also good spread on toast!
posted by sunshinesky at 4:14 PM on August 31, 2009

I actually love cottage cheese. I go through a carton of it in 3 days usually. I buy them 4 at a time and eat them with potato chips. My favorite snack ever.
posted by decrescendo at 4:16 PM on August 31, 2009

Breakfast Casserole (sans grains):

Beat 15 whole eggs
Chop 4 peppers and 1 large onion
Mix in baking pan
Top with shredded cheddar

If you aren't fat-phobic feel free to add sausage (my choice), bacon or Canadian bacon.

Makes five servings and reheats well. I make one of these each week for breakfast if I think it's going to be a lazy week. Takes 40 seconds to reheat.
posted by Loto at 4:28 PM on August 31, 2009 [2 favorites]

posted by gramcracker at 5:04 PM on August 31, 2009

Loto, do you bake this? What temp and how long?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 5:14 PM on August 31, 2009

Oh, whoops! This is what I get for cooking and posting.

It depends on the size of your pan as a thick layer of eggs will take a little longer. Mine ends up being about an inch thick and takes 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.
posted by Loto at 5:42 PM on August 31, 2009

Mr. Corpse, a marathon runner, brings a huge spinach or mixed greens salad with cheese, nuts, and sliced cold cuts to work (with either blue cheese salad dressing or else just olive oil). If we have meat or pasta for dinner, leftovers go on his salad. We buy washed greens, so he can just dump them in a plastic container, toss some protein-rich toppings in, and head out the door. Easy to make, cheap, healthy, and helps keep the fridge clean.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:04 PM on August 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

Are you doing a strength training program, like the ones recommended to you in your previous question?

Assuming you are, drink a gallon of whole milk every day. It takes no preparation and will make you big and strong.

Besides that, greek yogurt is a good high-protein snack. Pasta is fine, but put some shrimp, or sausage, or meatballs in it.
posted by ludwig_van at 6:14 PM on August 31, 2009

Lentil loaf.
posted by rhizome at 6:19 PM on August 31, 2009

Yeah I've been drinking a lot of 2% milk daily and I've been doing around 100 pushups about every other day for the past month or so. I'm seeing some results on the scale but I'm not where I want to be yet.

I think I just need to man up and join a gym.
posted by decrescendo at 7:11 PM on August 31, 2009

Nothing wrong with pushups, but they're more of a cardio than a strength-building exercise once you get past thirty or so. Putting on weight without a strength-building plan in place will probably not have the results you desire.

As far as food ideas, greek yogurt sprinkled with some chopped nuts is chock full of protein and "good" fats.
posted by Benjy at 7:20 PM on August 31, 2009

When I was trying to build muscle mass I started eating big salads loaded with protein: hardboiled eggs, cheese cubes, and sliced ham or a can of tuna. They were tasty and still relatively healthy. I'd also have a roll or something carby to round it out.

You might want to think about drinking some sort of protein shake as a snack. Personally, I think they're gross but I know some people who swear by them.
posted by emd3737 at 7:25 PM on August 31, 2009

I think I just need to man up and join a gym.

I think so too. And drink whole milk instead of 2%. You can make shakes with whey powder, but you won't need to if you're drinking a gallon of milk a day.
posted by ludwig_van at 7:46 PM on August 31, 2009

I'm sorry, but most of these responses are healthy things to eat, but not something to bulk up on. What you want to do is called a "clean bulk" which is eating way more calories than normal but only clean and healthy calories. Do a google search for clean bulk and a million threads will pop up that can help you.

Oh and you need to hit the gym if you really want to bulk up and see results.
posted by mattsweaters at 8:44 PM on August 31, 2009

Yeah, I should say, to be clear, that if you're not doing a serious strength program based on barbell squats (doing lots of pushups doesn't count), don't drink a gallon of milk a day, because you'll get fat.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:48 PM on August 31, 2009

Maybe I'm missing something here, but why not do a whole lot of chicken?

Go to the store and buy yourself a club/jumbo pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Throw a couple in a baking dish and flavor with whatever you want: tomato, onion, curry paste/powder, some lemons. Bake until the internal temp hits 165-190. These are your lunches for the next few days. Throw the rest of the club pack into the freezer, putting 3-4 into each bag. You pull out each bag as needed to roast more.

A chicken and rice casserole is good. Spinach is also good for you. Alternatively, fry with panko.
posted by knile at 9:44 AM on September 1, 2009

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