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36 Recipes to Eat After a Workout

It doesn't matter whether you hit the gym early in the morning or right before dinner. Here's what to eat after a workout, from high-protein egg wraps to vitamin-packed grain bowls!

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Tarragon Tuna Salad

It's surprising how a few herbs can brighten up tuna salad. Made with reduced-fat mayonnaise, this version gets its zip from mustard. It makes a terrific light lunch or Sunday brunch dish. —Billie Moss, Walnut Creek, California
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Ginger-Kale Smoothies

Since I started making this green smoothie recipe for breakfast every day, I honestly feel better! Substitute any fruit and juice you like to make this recipe your own healthy blend.—Linda Green, Kilauea, Kauai, Hawaii

Here’s why ginger is such a smart thing to eat after the gym.

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Fruit-Filled French Toast Wraps

Here’s my go-to whenever we have brunch guests. If I have extra berries, I just make a fruit salad for later. —Dawn Jarvis, Breckenridge, Minnesota
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Peanut Butter Oatmeal

My son and I eat this peanut butter oatmeal recipe every day for breakfast. It's a hearty, healthy way to jump start our morning. — Elisabeth Reitenbach, Terryville, Connecticut

Find more recipes for a healthy breakfast on the go.

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Stir-Fry Rice Bowl

My meatless version of Korean bibimbap is tasty, pretty and easy to tweak for different spice levels. —Devon Delaney, Westport, Connecticut
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Cashew-Curry Chicken Salad

My husband and I fell hard for the curried chicken salad from our grocery store deli, and I knew I could find a way to make something similar. This greek yogurt chicken salad has become one of our favorites to take on trips to the beach. —Janine Cooper-Moren, Portland, Oregon
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Peach Smoothie

Whip up this creamy concoction as a refreshing and nutritious snack or a quick chilled breakfast. Because you can use frozen fruit, you don't have to wait until peaches are in season to enjoy this delicious smoothie. —Martha Polasek, Markham, Texas

You can create high-protein smoothies with whole foods—here’s how.

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Black Bean Chip & Dip Burgers

I finally invented a healthy quinoa burger that wasn't dry and crumbly or really boring. These fit the bill—even my grandkids prefer them over hamburgers. They taste like chips and dip in a burger! —KT Rehrig, Allentown, Pennsylvania
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Colorful Quinoa Salad

My youngest daughter recently learned she has to avoid gluten, dairy and eggs, which gave me a new challenge in the kitchen. I put this quinoa salad together as a side we could all share. We love it for leftovers, too. —Catherine Turnbull, Burlington, Ontario
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Sweet Potato and Egg Skillet

I try to incorporate nutritious sweet potatoes in my meals as often as possible, especially with breakfast. This recipe originated with the purpose of feeding my family a healthy, hearty breakfast...and it worked! —Jeanne Larson, Mission Viejo, California
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Summer Salad by the Lake

I came up with this recipe to show appreciation to all the teachers at my son’s school. The dish had to be as special as the teachers, who always go the extra mile for their students. I think this salad did the trick! It's hearty, earthy, sweet and loaded with nothing but good stuff. —Ramya Ramamurthy, Fremont, California
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Coconut-Ginger Chickpeas & Tomatoes

This is my go-to quick dish. When you add tomatoes, you can also toss in some chopped green peppers (jalapenos, if you like heat) to make it even more colorful. —Mala Udayamurthy, San Jose, California
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Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

These pancakes have less sodium per serving than other pancakes made from mixes. Decrease sodium even further by stretching the mix with banana, oats and walnuts. In our house we just sprinkle these with a little confectioners' sugar, because the fruit is so sweet you don't need syrup. — Patricia Swart, Galloway , New Jersey

Did you know banana packs all sorts of health benefits?

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Avocado & Garbanzo Bean Quinoa Salad

This delicious quinoa avocado salad is high in protein and holds well in the fridge for a few days. If you make it ahead, add avocados and tomatoes right before serving. —Elizabeth Bennett, Seattle, Washington
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Chewy Honey Granola Bars

There's sweetness from the honey, chewiness from the raisins, hints of chocolate and cinnamon, and a bit of crunch. To save a few for later, wrap individual bars and place in a resealable freezer container. When you want a satisfying treat on short notice, just grab one and let it thaw for a few minutes. —Tasha Lehman, Williston, Vermont
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Spinach-Mushroom Scrambled Eggs

My husband and I had breakfast at a hotel and enjoyed an amazing mushroom and egg dish. As soon as I got home, I made my own rendition. —Rachelle McCalla, Batesville, Arkansas
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Curried Quinoa and Chickpeas

Quinoa contains more protein than other grains, and that protein is of unusually high quality for a plant food. That makes this a great filling main dish and the blend of flavors and colors will bring everyone at the table back for more. —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
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Classic Avocado Toast

This is such an easy way to add avocados to your diet. Use healthy multigrain bread and top with sliced radishes and cracked pepper or lime zest, or chipotle peppers and cilantro. You'll want to make this avocado toast recipe every morning! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Zucchini Crust Pizza

My mother-in-law shared the recipe for this unique pizza with me. It's just right for brunch, lunch or a light supper. Loosen the nutritious zucchini crust from the pan with a metal spatula. —Ruth Denomme, Englehart, Ontario
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Strawberry-Carrot Smoothies

My children resist veggies, but they love this carrot smoothie. It packs in lots of good-for-you fruits and veggies—but to my kids, it's just a super delicious breakfast. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Shrimp & Broccoli Brown Rice Paella

Years ago my husband and I were vacationing in France and came across an open market where a man from Spain was making paella in a skillet; we've been hooked ever since. I love to whip this up for a large group, but if the gathering is small, I know I can easily freeze leftovers for another time. —Joni Hilton, Rocklin, California
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Quick Nicoise Salad

Like the French, I pack my classic Nicoise salad with veggies, potatoes, tuna and eggs. Cooking the potatoes and beans together helps the dish come together fast. —Valerie Belley, St. Louis, Missouri
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Powerhouse Protein Parfaits

Parfaits have marvelous taste and texture, but many are loaded with sugar and leave you peckish for more. Here’s my protein-inspired option with yogurt, fruit and nuts. —Jen Hubin, Minnetonka, Minnestoa
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Asian Quinoa

I love to cook and come up with new recipes. I serve this dish at least once a month and sometimes more. For a different twist, I'll occasionally add a scrambled egg or use soy sauce instead of the rice vinegar. —Sonya Labbe, Santa Monica, California
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Black Bean Chicken with Rice

This spicy family favorite calls for just a few basic ingredients, so it’s quick and easy to stir up in your skillet on a weeknight. —Molly Newman, Portland, Oregon
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Nacho Popcorn

My husband and I like to munch on this while watching TV. The nacho flavoring is a zesty alternative to butter and salt. —Linda Boehme, Fairmont, Minnesota
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Turkey & Apricot Wraps

For these everyday wraps, I combined the traditional southern appetizer of jam and cream cheese on crackers with the turkey, apple and Brie sandwiches we ate at my bridal luncheon. I like to sneak fresh spinach into all sorts of recipes because it has such a mild flavor. —Kim Beavers, North August, South Carolina
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Green Eggs and Ham Sandwiches

This is my kid-friendly version of green eggs and ham. For my adult version, I use prosiuitto instead of ham and fontina cheese for the provolone. It's a fun sandwich for breakfast, lunch or dinner. —Beth Dauenhauer, Pueblo, Colorado
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Salmon & Feta Wilted Spinach Salad

A friend mentioned a Turkish salmon and couscous dish that sounded fantastic, so I started experimenting. I prefer this salad warm, but it's also tasty served cold. —Jeni Pittard, Statham, Georgia
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Chicken Tacos with Avocado Salsa

A few people in my family have special dietary needs, but luckily, these chicken tacos work for all of us. I toss up a simple green salad and have a meal we can all enjoy together. —Christine Schenher, Exeter, California
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Apple & Sweet Potato Quinoa

When feeding three hungry boys, I rely on quick, filling and tasty meals. The guys aren’t big quinoa fans, but the sweet potatoes and apples won them over. —Cheryl Beadle, Plymouth, Michigan
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Farmer's Market Corn Salad

I love fresh corn on the cob, especially grilled, so I am always looking for innovative ways to serve it. This recipe takes the corn right off the cob and combines it with fresh basil. —Haras Cindie, Jupiter, Florida
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Asparagus Omelet Tortilla Wrap

Since this omelet is packed with whole grains, veggies and protein, all I have to do is add a side of fresh fruit for a healthy breakfast before work. Instead of asparagus, sometimes I make this with fresh spinach. —Bonita Suter, Lawrence, Michigan
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Pan-Roasted Pork Chops & Potatoes

An easy marinade gives these chops lots of flavor, the crumb coating packs on crunch and Brussels sprouts add nutrition! —Char Ouellette, Colton, Oregon
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Fresh Veggie Pockets

One summer I worked at a health food store that sold sandwiches. We were close to a college campus, so I made lots of these fresh-filled pitas for the students. Crunchy with crisp vegetables and nutty sunflower kernels, they're a fast-to-fix lunch when you're on the go. -Linda Reeves, Cloverdale, Indiana
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Ham & Egg Wraps

This is a great kid-friendly recipe that takes only 20 minutes to prepare and cook.—Sharon Haswell, Cheshire, Massachusetts

Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.

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