Our Friday Five: Quick and Easy Meals for Athletes

By: Scott McMahon

In our society today, we just never seem to have enough time to enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal at home. Our busy schedules keep most of us on the run and unable (or unwilling) to put the effort into creating something homemade.

To combat this, we’ve put together a list of 5 quick and easy recipes that cover each meal of the day, and for snacking in between. Whether you’re looking to gain experience in the kitchen or just want to eat something besides fast food, this guide will surely help you spice up your culinary repertoire.

And of course, feel free to add your own recipes and quick meals in our comments section!

Breakfast

The most important and delicious meal of the day in my opinion. Whether or not you have time to prepare a full breakfast, grabbing something is better than nothing at all.

Quick and easy fruit smoothie (my personal breakfast of choice when I’m in a rush)

Ingredients:

1 cup milk

1 cup frozen fruit (any kind- I prefer berry medley)

1 banana

1/4 cup oats

dash of vanilla

In a blender, add the milk first, followed by the rest of the ingredients. Blend on a higher setting until smooth.

Lunch

Salads and sandwiches are perfect options for a hearty lunch that will keep your energy up for the rest of the day.

Apple Chicken Salad

Doesn’t get much easier than this. Dice the veggies the night before and you’re good to go.

Ingredients:

1/4 lb chicken, cooked and diced

1 apple, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

3 tbsp lemon juice

1/8 tsp cinnamon

other spices to taste

Mix ingredients together, sprinkle with cinnamon. Chill for 20 minutes. Serve.

Source: Cookeatshare.com

Dinner

Baked Salmon

One of my personal favorite meals from my childhood. I still make it whenever I can.

Ingredients:

1 lb salmon (or however much you want)

1 lemon

lemon juice

spices (to taste)

Preheat the oven to 425. Slice the lemon and place half of the slices on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Place the fish on top of the lemon slices and season. Put the remaning lemon slices atop the fish, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Wrap the foil around the fish, covering the entire salmon. Bake for 22-24 minutes.

Santa Fe Chicken with Black Beans and Rice

If you’re feeling more adventurous, try this mixture loaded with carbs, protein, and vitamins.

Ingredients:

1 cup instant brown rice

1 cup water or reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 4-oz can chopped green chilies

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Put the rice in a large saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients and set the pan over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan with a lid, and cook for 10 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove the pan from heat and fluff the mixture with a fork to separate the ingredients.

Source: Runner’s Web

Snack

Yes, we all get the urge to eat between meals. But why not put that snack to good use?

Granola Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients:

2 tbsp honey

4 tbsp peanut butter

2 cups granola

2-4 tbsp milk, or as needed

In a large bowl, mix together the honey and peanut butter. Using a spatula, stir the granola. Add enough milk to just moisten- you want it to stick together. Form into balls. Chill until ready to serve.

Source: Nancy Clark, Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 3rd ed. 2003

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