Professional cyclists DO NOT eat a healthy diet. Especially not the riders over in Europe. Mike and I saw this first hand when, while following the Giro d’Italia, we picked up their discarded feed bags on the side of the road. All we found were pastries and “energy bars” full of refined sugar and bad carbohydrates. It was unbelievable to us that their team directors think it acceptable and, above all, profitable to fuel their riders with these kinds of food. How much better would they perform on a 5 hour race day if their bodies could actually use the food they were given?
This weekend I met two of my favorite chef’s: Dr. Allen Lim and Chef Biju Thomas. They co-authored “The Feed Zone Cookbook.” Allen Lim was the director of sport sciences for professional cycling teams, Radioshack and Garmin. He introduced the idea of gluten-sensitivity and the importance of a healthy diet in a training plan. Biju Thomas is an avid cyclist and chef to some of the top riders in the US. The cookbook is based on very simple but very healthy meals that could be cooked with 3-5 ingredients on one stove-top while on the road. I love it.
One of my favorites (and now perfectly adapted for me) recipes is their Chicken Tikka Masala. Their version uses lots of yogurt which is fine if it’s raw (or at least organic) but I wanted to see if I could get rid of it altogether. So I replaced it with canned coconut milk and OH-EM-GEE. Really, really yummy.
I was always nervous about cooking curry because it’s so tasty that I figured it would be complicated. Absolutely not the case. This is one of the easiest dishes I’ve ever cooked and it now holds a preferred spot on our meal planning menu.
Ingredients (3 servings, double this to make 6 servings and last a couple days)
- 4 cups of cooked quinoa for the base
- 2 lbs chicken, cut into bite sized pieces (I used my leftover chicken from my roast last week)
- 1-cup tomato sauce
- 1 12oz can organic coconut milk (shake before opening)
- 2 Tbsp curry powder
- 1/2 a sliced onion
- 1 tsp salt
- a dash of cayenne pepper or 2-4 green chiles, cut into strips (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and, if you can, let marinate in the fridge for at least an hour. I didn’t have time for this and it was still delicious.
- Pour all ingredients into a deep pan and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat for 30 minutes.
- Spoon on top of your quinoa and enjoy!
It’s the simplest and most delicious meal. Definitely one of our favorites. Try to pair it with a spinach salad to get your raw veggies in.
Let me know how it goes! I hope you’re all having very fun and spicy days 🙂