Nutrition is a key part of any athlete’s playbook when it comes to training, performance and recovery. Saucony athlete and nutritionist Elyse Kopecky has been serving up (pun intended) a cornucopia of recipes for runners and athletes that meet the demands of taste buds as well as the training load.
Elyse’s athletic background started as an elite collegiate cross country runner where she met her longtime running partner, friend and Olympian Shalane Flanagan. As her running career took her abroad, she attended cooking classes throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia. Armed with amazing recipes from around the world, Elyse began cooking to fuel her athletic endeavors.
She discovered that by incorporating more fats into her diet, she was stronger, healthier, and happier than ever before. Inspired to share her message, she has authored two cookbooks with Shalane.
From her books Run Fast. Eat Slow and Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow, Elyse shares a selection of healthy recipes for runners to keep you fueled from breakfast through supper time for a power-packed training day.
ORIGINAL SUPERHERO MUFFINS
- 2 cups almond meal
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free if sensitive)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup raisins, chopped dates, or chocolate chips (optional)
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 zucchini)
- 1 cup grated carrots (about 2 carrots)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1⁄2 cup dark amber maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper muffin cups.
In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, and walnuts, raisins, dates, or chocolate chips (if using).
In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, zucchini, carrots, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. The batter will be thick.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each to the brim.
Bake until the muffins are nicely browned on top and a tooth-pick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes.
THAI QUINOA SALAD
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups grated carrots (about 2 large)
- 2 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage
- 3 green onions, white and green parts sliced
- 1 cup packed mint leaves, chopped (cilantro works too)
- 1 cup packed basil leaves, chopped
- 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeds removed, minced (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1⁄3 cup fresh lime juice (2 to 3 limes)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce, optional
Here is a foolproof method to cook quinoa: In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring to a boil 11⁄2 cups water and the quinoa. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.
Transfer to a large salad bowl, fluff with a fork, and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, put the olive oil, lime juice, soy sauce or tamari, honey, and fish sauce (if using) in a glass jar or bowl and stir to combine.
Once the quinoa is cool, add the carrots, cabbage, onion, mint, basil, and pepper (if using) to the bowl and toss to combine. Add the dressing and toss again. Taste and, if needed, add more fish sauce or soy sauce.
Top with the peanuts. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. 5 This salad will stay fresh in airtight glass containers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
CAN’T BEET ME SMOOTHIE
- 1 steamed beet*, peeled and quartered
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 small frozen banana
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or other milk of choice
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled (use edge of a spoon)
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
In a blender, place the beet, blueberries, banana, milk, coconut water, ginger, and almond butter.
Blend on high speed for several minutes until smooth.
For rushed mornings, this smoothie can be made the night before. Simply stir in the a.m. and sip while you lace up.
*QUICK STEAMED BEETS Cut unpeeled beets into quarters. Place in a steamer basket in a small pot and fill with just enough water to reach the bottom of the basket (to preserve nutrients you don’t want the beets simmering directly in the water). Cover and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool, peel, and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
GREEK BISON BURGERS
- 1 egg
- 1⁄2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1⁄4 cup almond flour or almond meal
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground bison (buffalo) or ground beef, lamb, or turkey
- 4 whole-wheat pitas or hamburger buns, optional (or serve on top of a salad)
Optional toppings: hummus or guacamole Preheat the grill to medium-high.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg, feta, almond flour or meal, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Add the meat and use your hands to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat.
Form into 4 equal-size patties about 1 inch thick.
Grill the burgers, flipping once, until a thermometer inserted in the center registers 160°F and the meat is no longer pink, 3 or 4 minutes per side.
In the last minute, warm the pitas or buns on the grill (if using).