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10 Metabolism-boosting dinners

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Pump up your meal time

Feeling tempted by a pint of Ben & Jerry's when you arrive home from spin class? We spoke with several fitness and nutrition experts to gather their recipe ideas that satisfy cravings and complement workout routines.

Protein-rich meal ideas

Jackie Keller is a board-certified professional wellness coach, nutrition educator, culinary expert and the founding director of Nutrifit. "No food magically boosts metabolism, but eating protein-rich meals provide the body with nutrition to repair and build muscles, which increases metabolic rate over time," Keller said. She offered these recipes to use for your post-workout nutritional needs. You can find the full recipes on her blog.

1

Soba stir fry with shrimp and peas

Soba stir fry with shrimp and peas

Looking for a jazzed-up recipe on the fly? Shrimp is a great alternative to other protein sources like chicken or beef because it cooks in just a few minutes. This shrimp dish is full of protein and healthy carbohydrates from fresh vegetables.

2

Plum chicken

Plum chicken

The flavors of plum, ginger and hot sauce mix together to form a sweet and spicy glaze for protein-rich chicken breast. You'll have this dinner prepared in just 45 minutes from start to finish. Place each chicken breast over a serving of brown rice for a delicious meal.

3

Grilled turkey breast and provolone sandwich

Grilled turkey breast and provolone sandwich

This delicious little sandwich boasts a hearty helping of protein-rich turkey and good carbohydrates from the wheat bread to help with your workout recovery. Not only that, it also includes a helping of vegetables with the addition of tomatoes. Enjoy with fresh carrots and broccoli for a well-rounded meal.

4

Mango-edamame salsa

Mango-edamame salsa

Edamame is more than just a Pei Wei appetizer. Mix shelled edamame with fresh fruit and spices to create a salsa that's perfect on top of fish or chicken or by itself. Even though the name is fancy, edamame kernels are just soy beans, which means that they're full of lip-smacking protein.

Full of fiber

Josh Anderson of Always Active Athletics underscored the importance of fiber in a meal plan. Fiber moves food through the digestive system and also leaves the stomach feeling full. You can find the recipe for both the hummus and omelet on Anderson's blog.

5

Homemade hummus

Homemade hummus

You don't need to spend $5 on a pre-prepared jar of hummus. Just mix together a can of garbanzo beans with olive oil and spices to taste, and you'll be the queen of dips! Hummus packs enough protein and fiber to work as a main course. Just serve with veggie dippers or baked chips for a tasty and easy dinner. Get the recipe here.

6

Spinach omelet

Spinach omelette

Breakfast for dinner is a time-tested trick for a quick dinner. Instead of waffles and syrup, Anderson suggests serving eggs with veggies. The eggs are a great protein source and spinach is fiber at its best. Get the recipe here.

Spicy is nice-y

Heather Stouffer of Mom Made Foods knows a thing or two about churning out healthy meals in a small window of time. Her recipe ideas feature meals with plenty of interesting spices and flavors, like citrus and cumin, which can ramp up metabolism.

7

Rainbow wraps

Rainbow wraps

Any recipe that is built around leftovers is a fantastic time-saver. For these rainbow wraps, you'll use the leftover protein source from a fajita night to create a sweet and spicy wrap full of fruit, protein and delicious cream cheese. You'll be done in just five minutes of prep time! Get the recipe here.

Linda Watson, author of Wildly Affordable Organic, provided us the following delicious and spicy recipe for an interesting take on a main course:

8

Stuffed kabocha squash

Stuffed kabocha squash

Chipotle and cinnamon? Don't mind if I do! The sweet and savory mix of spices lends a heartiness to this vegetarian dish that's perfect for a fall or winter day. Get the recipe here.

A vegetarian smorgasbord

Even if you love to eat meat, a vegetarian dinner will benefit your health and your wallet. Vegetarian meals are also full of fiber and can replenish lost hydration. You can find these recipes and more on Linda Watson's website.

9

Cuban black beans

Cuban black beans

(used with permission from De Cappo Lifelong Press, 2011)

Beans aren't just a side dish. They are so full of protein, fiber and vitamins that they deserve a second look as a main course. Place a heaping helping of these Cuban black beans atop a serving of rice and serve cucumbers and tomatoes on the side for a tasty and nourishing dinner. Get the recipe here.

10

Chickpea and quinoa salad

Chickpea and quinoa salad

If you're looking for a colorful meal, look no further than this chickpea and quinoa salad. The salad is bright pink from the addition of beets, and the mixture of grains with chickpeas will leave you feeling satisfied. Get the recipe here.

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