Here are my favorite cheap and easy recipes. I like ‘em ‘cause they taste good and deliver big-time nutrition for athletes without a lot of fuss.
I talked in an earlier article about the body’s unfortunate need for salad. Salad, let’s face it, is a pain in the butt. Who wants to spend all that time chopping, grating, and dicing, when we can simply grab a burger, burrito, or a bag of chips and some dip?
Sadly, when we omit salad from our (daily) diet, the body lets us know. Try it – after 2-3 days without greens, you’ll find that you’ve got significantly less energy.
Carbs and fats may be the athlete’s power fuels, but salad has vital elements that help the body turn the spuds and grease into energy.
Salad Wars. Easy ways to eat your veggies.
Salad Wars, Part II: Salad Soup. An even easier way to get your veggies.
I’ve got a toothache of fierce proportions. I’m able to subdue it with ibuprofen, but I’m pretty well out of it where salads are concerned. So I’ve been getting my greens with the…
Weird Salad Smoothie
Try this when you’re in a rush or your teeth hurt. You’ll find most of the ingredients conveniently at Trader Joe’s.
- A bag of Trader Joe Organic Tuscan Kale; alternatively, a bag of Trader Joe Baby Spinach.
- Organic carrot
- An avocado
- Sea salt (I like Real Salt, sold at Whole Foods)
- Frozen pineapple juice. TJ’s doesn’t sell it, nor do most supermarkets. Here in Mt. View/Palo Alto, I have to ride my bike over to Piazza’s to find it. Fresh-squeezed orange juice will do just fine – it’s actually better, because it’s higher in vitamin C which makes the iron in the greens more easily available to the body.
- The really weird among us can add salad dressing. Throw in a small cube of blue cheese, or a small dollop of Trader Joe Goddess Dressing (beware, both add a powerful jolt of flavor so don’t overdo it).
- Lemon or lime juice for some extra tang.
Blend, pour, drink.
- A bag of Trader Joe Quinoa Superfood Blend. Delicious but somewhat garlicky – might want to cook it when the family isn’t around. Contains quinoa, kale, sweet potato, carrot, and seasoning.
- Trader Joe’s 99¢ soup bowl (Garlic, Mushroom, Spring Onion). Thailand has the world’s best cuisine, and these absurdly cheap soups taste great. (They aren’t Thai-spicy.)
- Any combination of green beans, canned beans, corn, etc. to taste.
- Finely chopped spinach, grated carrot, zucchini, or other healthy raw vegetables per taste.
- Frozen pineapple juice
- Half a bouillon cube (optional)
Cook the Quinoa Superfood Blend as directed. After starting the quinoa, add the beans. Toss in the ingredients of the Trader Joe soup bowl flavor package, including rice noodles as desired. Add half a bouillon cube. Or omit if you prefer a lower-salt dish.
While the quinoa cooks, throw the finely chopped raw spinach (or other veggies) in a bowl with a dollop of frozen pineapple juice.
When the quinoa is cooked, let it cool for a bit, then pour it over the fresh veggies in the big bowl.
As you can see, this recipe gives you a ton of room for personal tinkering. If you find the Quinoa Superfood Blend totally disgusting (I don’t, but Ishani does), try another of TJ’s packaged prepared dishes, or make your own.
- 1 or 2 eggs
- 1 Praeger’s veggie burger patty (sold at Whole Foods; I like the gluten-free kale burgers).
- 1-2 cups of frozen organic peas (optional: cubed cooked potato)
Pre-heat skillet on medium, then switch to low.
Throw in the burger patty and brown on both sides. Praeger’s instructions say to cook for 5-7 min., but that’s ridiculous; the burgers are pre-cooked and just need to be warmed and browned.
While the burger cooks, pour peas around the patty.
Beat the egg and pour it over the peas. When it’s ready to turn, mash up everything in a big gloppy patty-like shape.
Flavor with salt, cumin, grated cheese, etc. to taste.
- Trader Joe’s frozen mango cubes. Try to find the ripest mangoes – they’ll be a rich orange rather than pale yellow.
- A banana and some frozen pineapple bits (or your own favorite fruits). I prefer Whole Foods frozen pineapple chunks over Trader Joe’s pineapple bits (they tend to be riper and sweeter).
- Half a can of organic full-fat un-refined coconut milk. (Trader Joe or Whole Foods)
- Stevia or other sweetener
- Ground cinnamon or other spice, to taste
Blend the coconut milk with the stevia and cinnamon (or other spice).
Chop the banana in small cubes.
Throw banana cubes, frozen mango, and other frozen fruit in a bowl.
Pour the blended coconut/cinnamon liquid over the fruit.
The coconut milk will solidify and you’ll have to chop and prod to separate the fruit cubes.
I think you’ll find this healthy dessert surprisingly delicious.