For us living in the northern hemisphere, fall/winter is upon us meaning colder weather &
darkness. Food to be eaten during this time tastes best when it’s comforting: hearty, warm,
and gives you a feeling of being home.
Fall/winter also commonly means bulking season for (aspiring) gym bros. Given this, why not
combine the two themes of the season into one? Because who doesn’t want to get big while
eating food that’s perfectly suited for this time of year?
With that said, these are some of my favourite recipes to make and are a staple for my fall
This is one of my all-time favourite foods. It’s hearty, decadent, and packed with the good
stuff. People give British cuisine a hard time, but in this specific scenario the Brits got it right.
This dish works best when it’s cold outside, and is also great for meal prep, treating a group
of friends or cooking for a date.
Mince typically has less protein than other forms of beef, that’s why it’s important to either 1)
Increase the amount of beef used in this recipe, or 2) Make sure you don’t miss the
protein-rich ingredients added to the mashed potatoes.
Ready in 1 hour
For the mince
● 1,5 -2 kgs minced beef
● 2-3 carrots (grated)
● 1 large onion (finely diced/grated)
● 3-5 cloves of garlic, pressed
● 1 cup of beef/chicken stock
● 1 glass of red wine
● A few splashes of worcestershire sauce
● Tomato puree
● Fresh thyme & rosemary
For the potatoes
● 8 – 10 mid sized potatoes
● 150 grams shredded cheddar/parmesan cheese
● 2 egg yolks
● 1 – 2 tbsp of quark (or high protein yoghurt)
● Salt and pepper
- Preheat and oven to 200c/400f
- Peel the potatoes and cut into smaller pieces and add to boiling water. Season with a
pinch of salt
- In a pan, fry the mince and season with salt and pepper
- When almost cooked through, add the onion, garlic and carrot and fry for another 5
- Add the tomato puree and fry off for 2 minutes.
- Pour in the red wine, stock and worcestershire sauce together with the fresh herbs.
Reduce until almost gone.
- When finished, mash the potatoes with a masher and add the cheese, egg yolks,
quark/yogurt and salt & pepper. Mix together until fully combined.
- Add the mince to an oven dish and press it down. Top with the mashed potatoes and
spread so it covers the mince entirely. Grate parmesan cheese on top and lightly
season with salt and pepper.
- Bake in the over for 30-40 minutes or until golden and crispy on the top
Pro tip: if your pan is too small, cook the mince in 2-3 separate batches to get a good sear
on the beef and not overcrowd the pan
Chilli is probably one of my favourite dishes of all categories. Tasty, spicy, and packed with
protein. The best part is that it takes little to no effort to make; 10 minutes of preparation and
after that, you have time freed to do whatever you want or need.
Bonus: chuck is a cheaper cut of beef, so it’s great if you’re on a budget!
Ready in 6-8 hours
● Large piece of chuck, at least 1kg
● 2-5 chilis of your choice
● 1 red onion
● 2 bell peppers, preferably green and/or red
● 5-7 cloves of garlic
● Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
● 1 tbsp Cumin, 1 tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tbsp dried oregano
● 6-10 tomatoes
● Large chunk of cilantro
- Set your oven to 150c/300f
- Season the chuck with salt & pepper, and sear it on all sides in a hot pan. When
done, ad to a crock pot
- Dice the tomatoes and add to the crock pot
- Dice the onion & bell peppers and slice the chilis and ad to the crock pot
- Add 1/2 cup of water together with the lemon juice and spices, pressed garlic cloves
and half the cilantro
- Place in the oven for 6-8 hours
- Remove and pull the beef apart. Serve with rice, sweet potatoes, or use as your
protein of choice for tacos/burritos
(Chicken) Tikka Masala
Yes, I’m in all likelihood doing this wrong as every single recipe I’ve checked out and tried
has comments from people from India saying how it should really be done. In any case, after
trying a multitude of different versions, this is the best one that I have found. In any case, it’s
a lot healthier than what you get from your local take-away restaurant.
Ready in 20 minutes (overnight prep optional)
For the chicken
● 1kg of chicken breast or chicken thigh fillet
● 2 tbsp Garam masala
● 1 can of coconut milk
Note: feel free to substitute the chicken with beef or lamb
For the sauce
● 5 tomatoes
● 1 red onion
● 5 cloves of garlic
● 1 – 3 chillies
● 1 large knob of ginger
● 1 tsp turmeric
● 1 tsp sugar
● 1 tbsp paprika
● 1 tbsp tomato puree
● 1 tbsp garam masala
● 2 cups greek yoghurt/quark
- Grate the ginger and the garlic and mix together in a small bowl.
- In a large bowl, add the chicken/protein (diced) and mix with half of the ginger/garlic
puree, garam masala, and coconut milk. Leave to marinate for 1 hour or preferably
- When ready, in a hot pan, sear the protein on all sides. Move to the side
- Slice the onion and chilli and add to a frying pan with some olive oil on medium high
heat. Sweat for 5 minutes
- Add the remaining ginger/garlic paste and the dry spices and stir for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato puree and fry for 1 minute.
- Dice the tomatoes and add to the pan, lower the heat slightly and let simmer for
- Using a stave, or a blender, mix the sauce until smooth and consistent.
- Add the chicken to the sauce with the yoghurt/quark and mix. Top off with
- Serve with rice.
Thai-spiced coconut salmon
Instead of spending money on a takeout made with the same type of ingredients as every
other similar takeout place, make the time for this instead. You’re in control of what goes in,
and it tastes amazing! This recipe is also very flexible as you can substitute the salmon for
any other meat you prefer. Good for when it’s warm, cold, a weekday, or on the weekend;
this recipe is great.
Ready in 45 minutes
For the sauce:
● Large fillet of salmon
● 1 can (400ml) coconut milk
● 2 bell peppers, 1 red & 1 green
● 1 tsp turmeric
● 2 green chilis
● 4 garlic cloves
● 1 tbsp thai red curry-paste (seed oil free)
● 1 large thumb of ginger
● 1 red onion
● 100 grams cashew nuts
- Preheat an oven to 200c/400f
- Slice the bell pepper and the red onion into thin strips, slice the chilis at an angle and
cut the ginger julienne. Add to a frying pan with some olive oil at medium-high heat.
Allow to sweat for 5 minutes.
- Add the thai curry-paste and press the garlic cloves and stir into the vegetables. Fry
off for 2 minutes.
- In an oven tray, add the side of salmon, season with salt & pepper, then pour the
- Pour in the coconut milk and add it to the oven. In the meantime, dry roast the
cashews in a separate pan.
- Remove from the oven after 35 minutes.
- Pour the cashews on the salmon
- Serve with rice
As these are bulking recipes I’d recommend you serve with rice or potatoes given that they are the
ultimate source of carbs. I’d recommend preparing them in one of the following ways:
Smokey sweet potato wedges
- Preheat your oven to 200c/400f
- Slice the sweet potatoes into wedges
- In a bowl, mix the wedges with olive oil, a large pinch of salt, pepper, a tbsp of smoked paprika and a tsp
of cayenne pepper
- Spread put on a baking sheet and put into the oven for 45 minutes
- OPTIONAL: with 10 minutes left, remove the potatoes from the oven, grate with parmesan cheese and
return for the final stretch
- OPTIONAL 2: add a pinch of cinnamon to the spice mix
I can’t be the only one who had a really hard time learning how to make perfect rice without a rice cooker, right?
Well, no more! For 4-5 portions, I usually go for the following:
- Wash 3dl of rice and add to a pan
- Fill with 5dl of cold water
- Season with salt & pepper . OPTIONAL: add a cinnamon stick and/or star anise for extra flavour
- If using an electric stove: bring the water to a boil, then turn the stove almost off and leave for 20
If using a gas stove/induction: bring the water to a boil, then turn it down to low. Leave for 20 min
- When done, fork through the rice and it’s ready to serve
Tastier than french fries, and a way to literally spice up potatoes a bit, try your hand at this dead-simple
- Dice potatoes and part-boil in salted water.
- After 10 minutes, remove the water and add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp of smoked paprika along with a
pinch of salt and pepper. Toss in the pan.
- Add butter to a hot pan. Once melted, add the potatoes to the pan and fry on a high heat for roughly 5
- Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro. Enjoy!
That’s it, pretty simple! Stick to these meals during bulking season and watch your muscles swell.