Tex-Mex Fighter Casserole
Cheap & Easy Fight Diet Meal Prep.
by V. R. Masai-Aspaas.
If you're a fighter, you have to make weight. You might get intimidated by the diet regimen, or how you can take care of your own dietary needs on a budget. I've seen fighters and wrestlers suffer through bad nutritional decisions, but it doesn't have to be hard and it doesn't have to taste bad to cut weight. I'm not a chef or a nutritionist, I'm just an athlete that has had to make weight for bouts over the past 8 years. I eat this casserole all the time when I’m fight dieting. It’s super easy to make, and it’s got everything a fighter needs to recover between training sessions. It’s a great recipe to start with if you “don’t like to cook,” but you’re an athlete, so you’ll just have to figure it out. This recipe is packed with lean protein (meat n’ beans), good carbs (quinoa), and tons of vitamins and minerals by way of flavorful veggies.
This meal is great for a regular lunch break, because it will fuel you through the rest of the work day and right into your evening training session. It’s also dairy-free and gluten-free. You can even make this recipe vegetarian/vegan by replacing the ground meat with tofu.
You can easily replace the canned ingredients with fresh ones if you have the time, money or care to do so. The ingredients as listed are cheap and easy to find at your local grocery store. However, even if you have to spend a little extra on some bell peppers or you want to indulge in an expensive avocado, it’s good to remember that making food at home is always going to save you money in the long run.
If You’ve Never Used a Slow Cooker:
A slow cooker (crock pot) is a useful tool, because you can just put whatever into the pot, turn it on and walk away. Seriously, just leave it alone. Don’t keep opening the lid to check on it. It’s fine. Let it cook. If you keep opening the lid and letting out the heat, it will take longer to cook. You can throw the ingredients in, go train, and when you come back your food is ready. If you don’t have a crock pot yet, you could grab one for about thirty bucks just about anywhere. It’s a solid investment, because it will help you meal prep. Meal prepping will not only save time and money but it keeps you on your fight diet regimen so you're training on clean-burning fuel and shaving off those pounds to make weight. It's easier than you think. More on that later. Here's the recipe.
Prep time: 10min
Cook time: 2-3hrs on high / 5-6hrs on low
- 1 onion
- 2 bell peppers (any color)
- 1lb lean ground meat (turkey/chicken/venison/etc.)
*Vegetarian option: (1 pkg. tofu, drained)
- 1tsp olive oil (or whatever oil you like)
- 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
- 1 can (20oz) red enchilada sauce
- 1 can (10oz) diced tomatoes and green chilis
- 1 can (15oz) black beans (drained)
- 1 cup of corn
- 1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- Salt & Pepper (to taste)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 squirt of Sriracha (optional)
- Dice the bell peppers and onions. Set aside.
- In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium. Add onions, stirring occasionally. Add the ground meat and/or tofu. Add a little bit of salt and pepper. Cook this up for about seven minutes, breaking it up as it cooks, until there is no more pink.
- Drain the water from the meat/onion mix.
- Throw the meat/onion mix into the crock pot.
- Add all the other ingredients (bell peppers, enchilada sauce, corn, beans, diced tomatoes and chilis, quinoa, spices, water). Mix it all together.
- Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours. You’ll know it’s ready when the quinoa is done.
- A batch yields about 5 servings, depending on what you consider a "serving."
- chopped avocado
- hot sauce
- a fried egg
- diced green onions
- sour cream
- plain Greek yogurt (a healthier alternative to sour cream)
- tortilla chips
- diced fresh tomatoes