Recipes to bolster your workout
By Diana Steele
With the arrival of fall, many training programs are heavy on strength. Protein requirements for some athletes can increase to 1.7-1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. Additionally, consuming sufficient protein within an hour of finishing a strength workout is essential for maximal recovery and muscle growth.
Great snack or meal ideas that include protein for recovery are Greek orzo salad with chickpeas and chicken, thai chicken salad or a lentil salad. All contain some carbohydrates to stimulate insulin production and protein for muscle growth and tissue repair. For glycogen resynthesis (replacement) after aerobic activity, try a morning glory muffin or raspberry smoothie. The far eastern spiced chicken or spicy prawns with cilantro are delicious protein meal options. Pair them with quinoa and a tomato cucumber salad with lemon juice and cumin for a dressing. Enjoy!
Thai Chicken Salad
This salad can be served as a balanced meal in one serving. It contains 3 of the 4 food groups and lots of vegetables.
3 chicken breasts (skinless/boneless)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp. ginger, crushed
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 bag baby spinach
2 green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup toasted peanuts
1 red bell pepper sliced into strips
6 cups cooked and chilled vermicelli noodles or whole wheat spaghetti
1/4 cup canola oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
1/4 tsp. dried chilies
1 Tbsp lime juice
Slice chicken breasts into strips; sauté in oil with garlic, ginger, soy sauce and teriyaki sauce, set aside. Add dressing ingredients to pan, heat and stir
Place 1 cup noodles into each bowl, top with 1 cup spinach, sliced peppers, nuts and chicken slices, add dressing, sprinkle with fresh cilantro, serve.
Per serving: 302 Calories; Carbohydrate 9.7 g; Protein 26.3 g; Fat 15.2 g.
NOTE: Although peanuts are high in fat, it is primarily monounsaturated fat, which can help improve your cholesterol profile. Be sure you are using a natural peanut butter and not one with hydrogenated vegetable oils and icing sugar added.
Serve this salad as is or with rotini pasta or chickpeas for variety.
1 1/2 cup English cucumber (cubed)
1 1/2 cup each red orange and yellow pepper (cubed)
3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes
1/4 cup purple onion (thinly sliced)
1/2 cup kalamata olives
Fresh basil leaves (optimal)
Use balsamic vinegar or a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper for a fat-free dressing. Or make your own:
3 Tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Blend dressing or shake together in a jar. Toss with salad ingredients Per serving: 160 Calories; Carbohydrate 12 g; Protein 2 g; Fat 13 g.
Tip: Colourful vegetables such as bell peppers and tomatoes are high in antioxidants such as carotenoids and contain vitamin C.
Greek Orzo Salad with
Chickpeas and Chicken
When cooking for one or for the whole family, think about making planned leftovers, for your lunch the next day to save time.
Greek Salad (see recipe above)
3 cups cooked orzo (1.5 cups dry)
19 oz. can chickpeas
2 chicken breasts baked and diced
Cook orzo until el dente, strain and rinse under cold water. Let stand to cool. Prepare Greek salad. Consider chopping vegetables into smaller (1 cm) pieces
Prepare dressing, toss salad, orzo, diced chicken and drained chickpeas. Serve as a one-dish meal. Save leftovers for your lunch tomorrow! NOTE: El dente pasta has a lower glycemic index than over cooked pasta and is therefore a slower carbohydrate.
Per serving: 374 Calories; Carbohydrate 49 g; Protein 22 g; Fat 10 g.
This lentil salad can be eaten as is or stuffed into a pita for a sandwich.
1 19 oz. can lentils (drained and rinsed)
4 oz. low-fat feta cheese, crumbled
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme or fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
In large bowl, combine lentils, cheese, peppers, onion and garlic. In small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper.
Pour dressing over lentils and toss to coat.
Per serving: 286 Calories; Carbohydrate 32 g; Protein 17 g; Fat 11 g
Tip: Use dried lentils and boil them for 45 minutes if you prefer a more crisp texture.
Far Eastern Spiced Chicken Breasts
6 6-oz chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup yogurt
4 tsp ground coriander
2.5 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp bright red paprika
1 tsp crushed ginger
Pinch cayenne pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
In large bowl combine the chicken breasts, lemon juice and salt in a bowl and mix well. Let stand for 30 minutes. In small bowl mix the yogurt, coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, ginger, cayenne pepper, garlic, green onion and oil together. Pour over chicken and stir well to coat. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or up to overnight.
Preheat the broiler to high. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and broil 4 inches (10cm) from the heat for 4-6 minutes, until lightly browned. Turn the chicken over and broil for 2-3 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
Per serving: 300 Calories, Carbohydrates 3.8 g, Fat 7.6, Protein 50.3 g
Spicy Prawns with Cilantro Bamboo skewers
1 lb prawns
1/2 cup fish sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup ground coriander seeds
2 stalks of lemongrass (white part only) ground with mortar and pestle
1/3 cup canola oil
2 jalapeno peppers
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 cup plain fat-free Greek style yogurt
Pinch of salt
Soak skewers in water for 2 hours. Mix fish sauce, sugar, coriander, lemongrass and canola oil together. Pour over prawns, marinate for 1 hour. For dipping sauce, blend jalapenos, garlic, cilantro and vinegar in food processor. Add plain yogurt. Process again until smooth and season with salt. Thread prawns onto skewers (four per stick). Grill prawns on BBQ until just pink and opaque throughout.
Per serving: (four prawns plus 1 Tbsp sauce) 263 Calories, Carbohydrates, 9.3 g, Fat 17.1 g, Protein 19.8g.
Morning Glory Muffins
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup nuts
1/2 cup coconut
1 apple (peeled and grated)
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup apple sauce
2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tin or line with paper inserts. Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Stir in fruit, vegetables and nuts.
Mix eggs, oil, apple sauce and vanilla in separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and combine until just moistened. Scoop into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Per muffin: 180 Calories; Carbohydrate 26.5 g; Protein 7.3 g; Fat 6 g
1 cup raspberry juice
3/4 cup raspberry yogurt (fat free)
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup ice
Combine all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth.
Per serving: 221 Calories; Carbohydrate 48g; Protein 6 g; Fat 0.5g.
Diana Steel is a registered dietician and nutrition consultant who speaks regularly to schools and sport teams about healthy eating. She has provided nutrition seminars to more than 500 companies and organizations including BC Hydro, Health Canada and the National Parole Board. She is co-author of Eating for Energy Without Deprivation, The 80-20 Cookbook.