Real food to really boost your sporting performance.
It may be a little early to start thinking about getting down to your optimal racing weight for the season, but it’s certainly not too early to check out this cookbook. You may even want to use it year round.
Matt Fitzgerald is the author of Velo Press’s Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance and the Racing Weight Quick Start Guide. His new cookbook — created in concert with registered dietitian and pro nutrition coach Georgie Fear — is the ideal complement to the series.
The book kicks off with a simple, solid discussion of nutrition and diet for athletes of all kinds — runners, cyclists, triathletes, etc. This will aid you in dialing in the right mix of protein, fat, and carbs to stay both lean and competitive.
The central piece of the book is 100-plus recipes designed for any athlete, regardless of his or her skill in the kitchen, from reluctant cook to novices to foodies. And the recipes look good as well, which is what matters.
The book’s divided into sections on breakfast, lunch, and dinner, each complete with color photographs certain to inspire. There’s everything from granolas to salads, burgers to more-complex main courses. And, yes, there are dessert options too.
We tried the Vegetable Frittata as well as the Soba Noodles With Beef, Asparagus and Mushrooms. Not only were they tasty and good enough that we’d make them again, but our kids also liked them. And they left us ready to exercise.
Autumn Stuffed Acorn Squash
Oven-roasted vegetables offer great flavor if you have the time to cook them. In a crunch, you can cook the squash in the microwave. Simply cover with damp paper towels to trap the steam and cook for 5 minutes or until tender.
4 Servings // 45 Minutes Cook/Prep
- 2 acorn squash (about 1 lb. each)
- 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 onion, chopped
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
- 1/2 pear, chopped
- 6 white mushrooms, chopped
- 1/4 cup (1 oz.) walnuts or pecans, chopped
- 1/4 tsp. each salt, cinnamon, allspice, and dried sage
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the two squash into halves and scrape out the seeds. Place cut-side down in a glass dish with 1/2 inch water. Bake for 30 minutes, or until squash is tender.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet; add onion and chicken breast. Cook over medium heat, stirring every few minutes, for 8 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
3. Add pear, mushrooms, walnuts, and seasonings. Cover the skillet with a lid and turn heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn off heat.
4. When the squash is finished baking, stuff each half with the chicken-and-pear filling.
Per serving: 284 calories, 8 g fat, 27 g total carbohydrate, 4 g dietary fiber, 26 g protein
White Bean, Tomato & Cucumber Salad
This delicious high-fiber salad can be a delightful change of pace from lettuce-based salads. Allowing it to sit for at least 30 minutes before enjoying helps the flavors meld, and it’s even better the second day.
2 Servings // 10 Minutes, Plus 30 Minutes to Chill
Recipe profile: Vegetarian
- 1 15-ounce can white beans (Great Northern or cannellini), rinsed and drained
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1 large cucumber, chopped (seeded and peeled, if desired)
- 2/3 cup red onion, chopped
- 2/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup white or red wine vinegar
- 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir gently to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Tip: When buying canned tomatoes and beans, look for varieties without added salt. Store leftovers in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Per serving: 379 calories, 16 g fat, 45 g total carbohydrate, 15 g dietary fiber, 16 g protein
Oat Bran With Cherries and Almonds
2 Servings // 15 Minutes Cook/Prep
- 3 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups oat bran
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cherries
- 2 tbs. (1/2 oz.) almonds, slivered
- Milk (optional)
1. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add oat bran and cook uncovered until the mixture begins to thicken, 5–10 minutes. Stir periodically to keep oat bran from sticking to the pan.
2. While oat bran is cooking, cut each cherry in half and remove pit with a paring knife.
3. Season oat bran with salt, vanilla, and sugar and stir to blend. Remove from heat and divide between two bowls. Top with cherries and almonds and a splash of your favorite milk, if desired.
Per serving: 422 calories, 10 g fat, 74 g total carbohydrate, 13 g dietary fiber, 15 g protein
Tip: Save time by combining water, oat bran, salt, vanilla, and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds, stir, and microwave for an additional 90 seconds. Let rest a few minutes before topping and serving.
Recipes republished with permission of VeloPress from Racing Weight Cookbook. Try more recipes at www.racingweightcookbook.com.
Photo credits: Peter Bagi, Courtesy VeloPress