Quick and Healthy Weeknight Meals: Shredded by July 4th Challenge

In this video, the host shares three healthy and delicious meals that can be prepared in under 30 minutes. The first meal is a steak gyro, made with a homemade feta garlic sauce, cucumber salad, and grilled steak wrapped in a pita. The second meal is tikka masala, made with a flavorful marinade of Greek yogurt and spices, cooked with chicken and served with rice. The third meal is chicken alfredo, made with a cauliflower-based sauce and served with pasta and optional sautéed zucchini. The host also provides macro breakdowns for each meal, making them suitable for those on a diet.

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Key Insights:

  • Eating healthy can be convenient and delicious with the right recipes.
  • Meal 1: Steak Gyro – Quick and easy recipe using flank steak, feta garlic sauce, and a refreshing cucumber salad.
  • Meal 2: Tikka Masala – A flavorful dish made with boneless chicken breasts and a yogurt-based marinade.
  • Meal 3: Chicken Alfredo – A lighter version of the classic dish using cauliflower sauce and whole wheat pasta.
  • All three meals can be prepared in under 30 minutes.
  • While not macro-friendly, the meals are calorie-conscious.
  • Using low-fat ingredients like yogurt and skim milk can help reduce fat content without sacrificing taste.
  • These recipes can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet and can be adjusted for individual dietary needs.


Let’s be honest, eating healthy is not always the most convenient. You come home after work, sling your bag on the floor, and you want something easy but more importantly, something healthy but delicious. So here’s my solution.

At the beginning of this year, I set out with the goal to become shredded by July 4th, and the clock is ticking. With my Trader Nor who’s yoked, watching my every move, I have to stay consistent. These are the top three meals that are all done in under 30 minutes. Nor is here to clarify if we are on a diet or not. Let’s begin.

I’ve got three meals you can make any weeknight that will keep you feeling like it’s the weekend, if you know what I mean. I don’t know what you do on the weekend, but I hope it’s legal.

Option one: steak gyro wrap. Option two: tikka masala. And option three: chicken alfredo.

None of these seem macro-friendly, but their calorie and price breakdowns will come at the end. As we finish each of these, first, steak gyro.

Now our 30-minute timer begins. A very basic feta garlic sauce. In a blender, combine 4 ounces (113 grams) of feta, 8 cloves of garlic, half a cup (140 grams) of low-fat Greek yogurt. Pause. I’m not a huge fan of low-fat ingredients. I think they’re typically gross and gimmicky. But I do think yogurt is one of the few exceptions because it’s simply made with milk that’s been skimmed of its high-fat heavy cream. Add a splash of water and blend on high speed until as smooth as possible. Anyway, follow that with one tablespoon (14 grams) of extra virgin olive oil. Yeah, I know, right? After talking about keeping it low fat, add a splash of water. Now season that mixture to taste with salt. Optionally, strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer, season it with salt, and whisk together.

And you’re done. This makes a lot of sauce, and you’re only going to use about two tablespoons of this per gyro.

Alright, we’re five minutes in, 25 minutes left. Next are toppings. In a medium-sized bowl, add half a seedless English cucumber, thinly sliced. You can use a hand death trap or you can use a knife, whichever you prefer. Half a red onion, also thinly sliced. Optionally, you can rinse your onions under water to tone down the spiciness. One teaspoon (half a gram) of finely chopped fresh oregano. One tablespoon (three grams) of finely chopped fresh parsley. One finely chopped jalapeno, salted to taste. And one tablespoon (15 grams) of red wine vinegar. Toss together till combined, and it’s like a little refreshing, crunchy garden waiting to sit atop your perfectly luscious gyro. And that took, like, what? Maybe five minutes? Leaving us with 15 minutes remaining.

Look, our steak is simple. Make a very basic rub consisting of two teaspoons (five grams) of fresh ground black pepper, one teaspoon (three grams) smoked paprika, one tablespoon (15 grams) of kosher salt, half a teaspoon (one gram) of coriander powder, and half a teaspoon (one gram) of ground cumin. Mix together all your spices, rustle yourself a 12-ounce (340 grams) flank steak, pat it dry with paper towels, split your steak into two evenly sized pieces, and season both sides generously with your steak rub. Now, to cook the steak, you can use a regular pan, a grill pan, or just a grill. I went with a cast iron grill pan because, well, I couldn’t find my grill. Don’t ask why. I don’t know. Heat that over medium-high, grease the grates generously with cooking spray, and then one at a time, add your steaks here for about three minutes, give it a flip, and sear for an additional two to three minutes. Now we’re sitting at around nine to ten minutes left, give or take. Your steak should be a beautiful medium-rare and is ready to come out of the pan, unless you want to leave it in there longer and hurt my feelings, so you can take it to medium if you desire. That’s fine. There is no well-done allowed. Now, take it out of the pan, rest for three minutes, and we’re sitting at around 24 minutes total. So take your remaining six minutes, slice your steak, heat your pita bread over an open flame until hot and lightly charred, about 15 seconds per side. Now, look, this serves two people, so you only need two pitas and your two pieces of steak. So, slap half your sliced steak on a hot pita, about two tablespoons of your feta garlic sauce, followed by your cucumber salad as much as you like, and maybe a little fresh parsley for garnish. Repeat on the other pita. Boom! All done in 30 minutes or less. Now let’s get our macro calorie assessment.

Look at that. I like it. Nor will confirm later.

Next, our tikka masala. Start the 30-minute timer. This serves up to six people, but if you’re eating it by yourself, it’s arguably better after sitting in the fridge and allowing the flavors to marry.

Looks like the tikka is getting more action than you are. First, in a large bowl, combine one cup (300 grams) of low-fat Greek yogurt, a half-inch knob of ginger (grated), 4 cloves of garlic (grated or minced), two teaspoons (8 grams) of garam masala, one teaspoon (2 grams) of turmeric powder, one teaspoon (3 grams) of paprika, one and a half teaspoons (4 grams) of ground cumin, two teaspoons (10 grams) of kosher salt, and one teaspoon (3 grams) of ground black pepper. Whisk together ‚til combined, and then add two pounds (900 grams) of boneless and skinless chicken breasts that have been cut into one and a half-inch cubes. Mix together until nicely coated.

First, we’ll quickly sear all of our chicken. Preheat a shallow pot or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Grease the bottom with cooking spray. Now, once that’s hotter than a seatbelt sitting in direct sunlight for hours in a parking lot, add your chicken and go ahead and sear it all at once. Look, in most cases, I recommend against doing that, but this is a weeknight meal. Let’s be honest. You want to get it done and in and out. And if you have your temperature at max heat and do not touch, you’ll get at least one side of most pieces to get a decent color. Now sear that for about two minutes, flip each piece, sear for one more minute. We’ve got 21 minutes left. Get out of your cooking vessel. Yes, it’s still raw. I’d advise you don’t have a little taste test quite yet.

Reduce the heat of your pan to medium and add one medium yellow onion, sliced. Season lightly with salt, four cloves of very finely chopped garlic, and a one-inch knob of ginger, grated. Sauté for three minutes or until the onions have begun to soften. Then add one teaspoon or two grams of ground coriander, one teaspoon or three grams of ground cumin, half a teaspoon (one gram) of cayenne powder, stir it around, let that sauté till fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then add half a cup (120 milliliters) of chicken stock, a 15-ounce can (425 grams) of crushed tomatoes, and a splash of water. Season lightly with salt. Increase heat to medium-high, bring that to a boil, and as soon as it starts boiling, add all that to a blender. Blend on high until as smooth as possible. Then return to your pan with a splash of water, reduce your heat to low to a nice slight simmer, add your chicken back, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken’s cooked through and the mixture has reduced. Now finally, add one cup (240 milliliters) of half-and-half, not heavy cream, unless you want to blow out the calories on this. Simmer for three more minutes, season to taste with salt, and serve immediately.

Look, optionally, you can serve this with one cup of rice per person. Obviously, you want to start the rice at the very beginning. And we’re done with five minutes to spare, which I guess you could say that time could be applied to cutting onions or measuring or whatever else needs to be done. But let me be honest, I think this one cuts it a bit close to the 30-minute mark. It depends on your skill level, but I think that’s still pretty good, pal. Now totaling out at a macro calorie composition of this. I mean, are you kidding me?

Last, and arguably our easiest, is chicken alfredo. 30 minutes begins now. Look, you want this to go quick. Heed the advice of how we work in restaurants. If multiple things take time, then do them at the same time, right? If you have multiple things working at the same time, don’t, like, start your pasta and then just stand there playing with Chet GBT on your phone. Get multiple things working at the same time, and they’ll finish at the same time. So first off, our pasta.

Get two large pots, fill them with water, and add to your stove, and bring them both to a boil. Season both of them generously with salt. Now look, it’s gonna take about five minutes for them to come up to a boil, so while you’re waiting, go and do something else. In this case, you’ll take one pound (450 grams) of a large boneless skinless chicken breast. Split those bad boys in half so they’re thin and flat, and now we have 25 minutes left. Drop your pasta in the boiling pot number one and one whole head’s worth of cauliflower that’s been cut into florets in pot number two. Boil your pasta for nine minutes and your cauliflower for about the same amount of time. You want your cauliflower mushy.

Now while those are cooking, heat a 12-inch pan over medium-high heat, previously sprayed with pan spray, then pat your breasts dry. The chicken breast… Season them with whatever you want, spices, salt, and pepper. I don’t care. Once they’re seasoned, add them to your pan and sear for three minutes per side. Because we split them in half to thin them out, by the time you flip them and cook them for another three minutes, they should actually be fully cooked with an internal temperature of 165 Fahrenheit. Take them out and let them rest until we are done.

After all that is done, let’s say 10 minutes have elapsed and we have 15 minutes left. Good thing the rest of this is actually extraordinarily simple. Now, once your cauliflower is done and very tender, add it to a blender along with five cloves of garlic, a quarter cup (22 grams) of Parmesan or Reggiano, a quarter cup (22 grams) of pecorino Romano (grated), half a cup (120 grams) of skim milk, salt and pepper to taste. Add two tablespoons (28 grams) of unsalted butter and blend everything until as smooth as physically possible. Then, to season, taste with salt and pepper as needed. The whole process should take less than three minutes, honestly.

Then, once your pasta is done and al dente, drain it out of your water. Surprisingly, you actually don’t need the pasta water in this scenario, although you could use it if you wanted. Place your drained pasta into an empty container or the original pot that you used. Add as much of your cauliflower sauce as you like, toss to coat, which leaves you with a grand total of seven minutes to spare.

Look, you can go ahead and plate it up now. But if you do have time, you could totally dice up one large zucchini, grease a skillet with cooking spray, heat it over medium heat, and cook your zucchini with a little bit of salt and pepper to taste, maybe some spices or herbs, and cook for about five minutes, tossing occasionally, until browned and just cooked through. That’s optional. I like it. You know, I think when you add the pasta to a plate, a little vibrant green squash, maybe a little extra Parmigiano-Reggiano, that tiny tinge of extra salty umami having you scream „umami“ seems like a pretty good idea. And it’s done very easily for under 30 minutes. In a grand total caloric breakdown of this for four servings.

So here we are. I feel pretty good. You know, everything I would say, for the most part, passed the taste test. Now let’s begin the Nord test.

So we have three things here. Nor is our analyst and our verifier.

How do you feel?

Feeling good, man. Ready to eat.

Steak gyro.

This on the other hand, there’s a trick I did with this. Okay, I want you to try it first, then I’ll tell you what the trick was.

And then tikka masala.

Cheers! Macro-friendly. That would have about 10-12 grams of fat. Boom! On diet. Let’s go!

Next one.

Go right into it.

Chicken Alfredo.

This, is like… you use whipped cream cauliflower. Cook the cauliflower down, and you just blend it with a little bit of milk. In reality, like in this whole plate of pasta, there’s probably like, I don’t know, two tablespoons of milk, maybe. It is balanced, you just have to portion out the pasta, I guess. If you’re trying to lose weight, one cup of pasta, probably six ounces of chicken, two to three ounces of veggies.

Alright, last one.

You’re really going to eat all of that?

So, this is Tikka Masala. Obviously, you give it a little stir. We can’t use heavy cream, so I used half-and-half instead. 12 grams of fat for the whole recipe. Again, this is my favorite out of all three. High protein, low fat. It’s got a lot of flavor.

This is the big one. This has the most flavor, I agree. And it’s the easiest to make, goat bigger. One cup of carbs.

You’re on diet, period, end of story.

In under 30 minutes. Baby!

Would you make this?

I told you, I’ll cook better than you sometimes.

And on the next episode of Get Shredded, I’m gonna get my kick.

If you’re on a diet, don’t think of it as a diet. Think of it as a moment to get creative with your food and enjoy it.