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Roasted Beet & Potato Salad

For someone who doesn’t like beets, this one is pretty tasty. You can eat it hot or cold, so it’s good for lunches, too.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium beets
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dry lentils
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • feta cheese
  • bag of arugula

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Dice beets and potatoes and place in 9 x 13 baking dish.
  2. Dice/mince garlic and onion and add to beets and potatoes. Stir in thyme, salt, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
  3. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until beets are soft.
  4. While beets and potatoes are baking, cook lentils on stovetop.
  5. When the beets and potatoes are done, add lentils and goat cheese. Serve over arugula.
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Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you want to be a stickler, then yes, these have chocolate chips in them so they’re not completely healthy. But other than that, what’s not to love?! Breakfast, snack, or to smash that sweet tooth craving, you shouldn’t feel guilty about eating these.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients thoroughly.
  3. Drop rounded tablespoon fulls of dough onto un-greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

Note: For bars, heat oven to 300 degrees and smooth dough into 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.

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Aussie Bites

These powerful morsels are one of my favorite snacks! Store-bought they can be pretty expensive and usually have at least one ingredient that you wished they’d left out. Here’s a generalized recipe that you can mold around dietary restrictions.

  • 1 3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar (or honey, or maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup warmed coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 24-count mini muffin pan.
  2. Pour 1 cup of rolled oats into a food processor and process for about 1 minute until oats are pulverized into oat flour.
  3. Add in the remainng 3/4 cup of rolled oats, and the rest of those delicious ingredients. Pulse until thoroughly combined.
  4. Divide mixture among the prepared muffin tin. I usually end up only getting 22 filled.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes.

Note: You can use a regular size muffin pan to make aussie “bombs” (because they are so much bigger) but they tend to fall apart due to extra moisture. Using 1/4 cup of UNcooked quinoa will help.

ALSO – use whatever dried fruit you want!

There’s approximately 110 calories per bite.

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Split Pea Soup

One of my favorites, and not just because it’s probably the easiest, but it does take a little extra planning. You need to soak the split peas overnight.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry split peas
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • About 5 cups of liquid (I use water)

Directions

Soak the peas in water overnight. You will probably need about 1 inch of water on top. In the morning, the peas will have expanded. Drain any extra water and put them in a slow-cooker. Add 5 cups of water or broth along with the salt. Dice, chop, or puree the garlic and onion and toss them in as well. Set your cooker to low for 6 hours.

Peas are a complete protein so if you’re vegetarian, this is a good choice. It’s a great post-run meal to have before bed.

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Lentil Stew

I know, I know. This looks DISGUSTING! But it actually tastes pretty good, and it’s a vegetarian dinner full of complete protein lentils that you can spend 10 minutes on in the morning and have dinner ready before you even come home.

Ingredients

  • 5-6 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup dry green lentils
  • 3/4 cup dry red split lentils
  • 1 cup dry rice
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded swiss cheese (optional…Parmesan tastes good with it, too)

Directions

Either spray the inside of a slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray or put a little oil in with the stew. Combine all ingredients except the cheese (if using). Cook on low for 6 hours. You might find you’ll need to add more liquid if you’re going to be out of the house for longer. Give it a quick stir before you devour.

Makes approximately 4 servings – depending on how hungry you are

 

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Hot German Potato Salad

I’m not sure why this is called a salad. It’s just potatoes with a dressing. But I love the tang!

Ingredients

1 cup water

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 small onion

3 tablespoons parsley

4 medium red potatoes, sliced

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients (except potatoes) in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Layer sliced potatoes in a baking dish (8×8 would do).
  3. Pour “sauce” over potatoes and bake in oven at 350 F for about an hour – until the potatoes are tender. The mixture you poured over them will thicken and become more sauce-like.
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Sweet Potato Salad

This dish is simple, but flavorful. It’s a great one to take for a potluck and can be used as a side dish or a main meal.

Ingredients

5 medium sweet potatoes, diced

1 medium red onion

1/2 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 garlic cloves

1/4 cup lime juice

1 cup fresh cilantro

2 cups cooked black beans

2 medium red bell peppers, diced

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400 F. Spread out sweet potatoes and onion on a large baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, turning occasionally, until potatoes begin to brown on corners and are just tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven.
  2. Put olive oil, garlic, lime juice and cilantro into food processor. Blend until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, dressing, black beans, and bell peppers. Serve warm.
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Quinoa Salad

This recipe is super easy to make and it’s great for packed lunches or 1st dinners.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 cup sliced raw almonds
  • 2 medium granny smith apples, diced
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 cup parsley leaves

Directions

  1. Cook quinoa and set aside. Combine garbanzo beans, sliced almonds, apples, and grapes in a large bowl.
  2. In a food processor, combine olive oil, lemon juice, salt, garlic, green onions, and parsley. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour dressing over beans and diced fruit mixture and stir in the quinoa. Chill in refrigerator until ready to devour.
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Pumpkin Pie

What’s for breakfast? Pumpkin pie! Actually, second breakfast, post-run. This recipe is healthy and delicious, but not really a pre-workout sorta thing. I’m not going to sit here and list all the benefits of pumpkin, but besides that – think about it. You can have a good, whole-grain crust that may not taste as good as buttery, white flour dough, but still does the job. And the filling is super easy to cut out the crap and still taste like “real” pie. Add all these awesome ingredients, and you’ve got yourself a wholesome meal that tastes like desert.

THE CRUST

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup warm water

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl to form dough. You may have to warm the coconut oil first to make sure it mixes well. Transfer the dough ball to a 9-inch pie plate and press out evenly. The dough will not be sticky enough to roll out.

THE FILLING

1 large egg

1 tablespoon buckwheat flour (okay, it doesn’t have to be buckwheat…it can be any kind, I just like to use something different because it’s such a little amount you can’t taste it anyway)

1/4 cup plain, whole-milk, greek yogurt

1/2 cup brown rice syrup (or whatever other sweetener you want, i.e. honey, maple syrup, agave, mix and match)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 16 oz. can of pure pumpkin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Whisk all this goodness together in a bowl and pour into pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes.

Take note, that if you don’t eat the whole pie after it’s been cooled, when you take it out of the fridge the next day, the crust will make it harder to cut (cold coconut oil). Also, another option I’ve done with this recipe is to make parfaits. Bake the crust by itself and crumble to pieces, dice up some green apples and bake on a cookie sheet, bake the filling by itself, and viola! Layer away. If you must use whip cream, make sure you whip it yourself. None of that canned crap.

 

 

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Banana Bread

Banana bread doesn’t have to be on your “do not eat” list when you’re training hard for a race. If you make it with the right ingredients, it can actually be a runner’s superfood! Bananas, of course, have many health benefits, but some key nutrients are potassium, vitamin B6, managanese, magnesium, and yes, even a little vitamin C. Coconut oil is an immune booster, having antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid, and capryilc acid which have antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Yogurt (cow’s milk) is a complete protein, with calcium and probiotics. Cinnamon works as an anti-inflammatory and is high in antioxidants. Below is a recipe that I use:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup whole milk greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup agave nector, honey, OR pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups of flour (I use, 1 cup wheat flour, 1 cup coconut flour, and 1/4 cup sprouted rye flour, or some other random grain flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • If you want, you can add chocolate chips, cocoa nibs, sliced almonds, dried blueberries, etc. Use your own judgement on how much you want in there.

Directions

  1. Grease/spray baking dish(es) and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine all ingredients except whatever additive you decide to use (if any).
  3. Make sure all ingredients are mixed thoroughly, then stir in additive.
  4. Bake for approximately 30 minutes.

Helpful tips

This recipe makes two loaves, but you can also use an 8×8 baking pan. If you do, try baking it at 325 degrees F for 35 minutes instead.

I use frozen bananas (thawed) because they are much easier to mush. But because they are cold, they tend to harden the coconut oil, making it impossible to mix. So what I do, is heat up the oil on low in a sauce pan with the bananas and get that mixture warm before stirring it into the rest of the batter.

The batter is kind of thick, so you’ll probably need to smooth out the top with a spatula before you put it in the oven.

This is a great post-run, second breakfast meal. It has the carbs to replenish your body and fuel to move on to the rest of your day. It’s calorie dense, but filled with very useful calories. You can also use it as an alternative to common baked goods, if you’re slowly trying to step away from the sweets. If you add chocolate chips, it definitely could pass as a dessert, and then all you have to feel guilty about is the chocolate. Ha! Enjoy.

 

 

 

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Chocolate Covered Power Balls

These fueling bombs are my “go to” after a hard strength workout or in the middle of a busy workday. They are super easy to make and lunch tote friendly. I prefer using Vega Sport (in chocolate, duh) protein powder in them because of the beneficial nutrients (listed below), but you can use whatever protein powder you want. Or, you can add an extra ½ cup of each almond meal and flaxseed meal and forego the protein powder altogether – you do you. The nutrition numbers listed below, using my recipe, are for each ball:

Carbohydrates: 5 grams          Protein: 5.5 grams          Fat: 11 grams          Calories: 140(ish)

The good stuff:

½ cup almond meal – biotin, vitamin E, manganese

1 cup Vega Sport protein powder – turmeric, tart cherry, probiotics, glutamine

½ cup flaxseed meal – Omega-3s and fiber

½ cup shredded coconut – immunity booster

¼ teaspoon salt – don’t forget this

1 teaspoon vanilla – or almond or whatever

1 tablespoon honey – “liquid gold” (but that’s another topic) vitamin B6, niacin, thiamine

½ cup peanut butter – more protein, and magnesium and potassium

1/3 cup coconut oil – makes all your hopes and dreams come true! But also aids digestion and improves bone health

1 8 oz. box unsweetened baking chocolate (melted, to dip) – more than half of the saturated fat in cocoa butter is stearic acid, which aids in muscle repair and growth

 

Combine all ingredients (except chocolate) and roll into balls. Freeze for 15 minutes. Melt chocolate and dip frozen balls to cover. Put back in freezer for 15 more minutes, then store in the fridge.

Makes approximately 24 balls

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Chocolate Milk

Chocolate milk is said to be one of the best post workout drinks to aid recovery. The carb/protein ratio is usually pretty good (aim for 4g carbs to 1g protein), and the glycemic index is high. In post workout fuels you want a high glycemic index because it will get to the muscles faster and replenish glycogen stores. So if you think about why they say chocolate milk is so good for recovery, then why can’t you make your own recovery drink using the same basic nutrition principles (4:1 ratio; high-glycemic)? Well you can, and a lot of athletes do, but…CHOCOLATE MILK! I’m not vegan (yet), I’m not lactose intolerant, and chocolate milk is delicious. Milk also has other vitamins and minerals that are important for muscle function including:

Water-soluble vitamins Thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B12
Fat-soluble vitamins Vitamins A, D, E, and K
Minerals Calcium, magnesium, and potassium

I separated the water- and fat-soluble vitamins because whether or not you get all of these vitamins depends on what percentage on milk fat you get. There is a lot of controversy on milk fat right now concerning the missing vitamins and extra processing and what not, so just be aware of what nutrition you’re actually getting and don’t assume skim milk simply has less fat but the same vitamins. Whole milk will also offer leucine, which is an amino acid that stimulates muscle protein synthesis. I do, however have a problem with most store bought chocolate milks so I make my own using this recipe:

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups organic whole milk

2 tablespoons organic raw cacao powder

1 ½ tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

1 teaspoon maca powder (optional)

Directions:

Combine ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat on LOW stovetop. You don’t want to

actually cook your chocolate milk. Whisk together until just blended. This should only take

about a minute.

My recipe isn’t perfect. At 258 calories, it has about 51 grams of carbs and 14 grams of protein (not quite 4:1, but close). I encourage you to try your own variations, keeping the same nutritional guidelines – find your “chocolate milk.”