Post-Gym Meals: Quick, Simple Dinners To Accommodate Weeknight Workouts

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

We’ve written a post in the past covering great after-workout dinners that boast the proper nutritional make-up that your body needs after a long run or tough workout. But this post is different. This post is all about quick, simple dinners to have on hand so you don’t have to think through dinner when you return from the gym. Or, alternatively, meals that are easy to throw together with ingredients you may already have at home. 

A Few Quick Post-Gym Dinner Ideas:

  • Whole-Grains: If I have a pot of whole grains in the fridge, I feel like I always have a quick dinner. I’ll often pan-fry whatever seasonal vegetables I have on hand, and fold in a little goat cheese or feta and dinner is served!
  • Pasta Salad with Protein: Making pasta salad ahead of time and keeping it in the refrigerator for instant dinners is a great weeknight strategy. I recently made this one over on my personal blog, and it’s been getting a lot of play in our house. Toss in some tuna or shredded chicken for a bit more protein if you’d like. 
  • Grilled Chicken Breasts (with Seasonal Veggies): While it’s easy to tire of chicken if you prepare it a lot at home, I do like to have a few grilled (or baked) chicken breasts in the refrigerator to turn into quick meals. Slice them and toss into greens for a more substantial salad or fold them into leftover grains or pasta. Alternatively, eating a chicken breast on its own with a big bowl of herbed vegetables is a simple pleasure I rarely tire of. 
  • Chili: A big pot of chili is a protein-packed savoir on busy weeknights — especially after the gym. I like to grate a little cheese on top of mine and serve it with a warm corn tortilla. 
  • Pan-Seared Salmon: Cooking salmon on the stovetop is one of the quicker, more delicious things I know to do for a more special weeknight feast.
  • Frittata or Omelettes: There’s nothing like breakfast for dinner, and on nights when I need something fast, I’ll often turn to a hearty scramble, omelette or oven-baked frittata (great to bake while showering after the gym). 

This post requested by Sarah Janester for Reader Request Week 2013.

(Images: Faith Durand)