Delish During Down-Time

Posted on: July 31st 2016

Last post, we shared some easy healthy foods that were summery and that could be made quickly, since early summer can be prime game and tournament time. But what about later in the summer? When things are winding down and there are less games and practices to attend?  How can you shift your habits so that you keep up your healthy habits all year long?

First things first – if you don’t have practice, you don’t need to eat like you have practice.  Yes – you still want balanced meals with carbs, proteins and healthy fats (especially if you’re keeping up with your offskates training, which I’m sure you are).  But since you’re not going to be quite as active if your league is on a summer break, you can re-calculate your daily caloric needs based on your new level of activity (see this whole series of posts about how to do that). Simply put, if you’re not quite as active, you’ll likely need less fuel.

Next, make use of your free time! Have you struggled to make it to the market, prep your food, or meal plan for the coming days/weeks/months? Now’s your chance! Use the time that you would have been at practice to develop your kitchen skills, and to prep meals and snacks in advance. Seek out fruits and veggies that are in season, and freeze or can them for later in the year. Write out menus for your week and try to stick to them. In the next few posts, Booty and I will be sharing some real-life examples of how to make food prep work for you!

Finally, experiment! When you’re deep in the derby grind, familiar meals and snacks are often all we have time time and energy for. If you have some down-time this summer, use it to try out some new recipes you’ve been curious about, but haven’t had the time to make. Add new spices to an old dish, switch your proteins in a favourite recipe, learn about substitutions (for sugar, butter, flour, etc.) in your baking and give it a go!

So, about those new recipes… Here are some summery dishes that won’t take a lot of time or skill to prepare, but will give you balanced nutrition and some bold new flavours! 

Herbed Chicken Burgers (makes 4-5 patties)

Making your own burgers is nutritious and delicious (and easy)! It gives you the freedom to spice them however you’d like – custom burgers every time! This recipe can easily be used with any other ground meat as well. Please note: since homemade burgers aren’t processed, they can often fall apart on the barbeque unless they are really thick. To solve this, you can either pan fry them, or sear them in a pan before bringing them out to the grill. 

Ingredients: 500 grams ground chicken, 1 egg, 1 clove diced garlic, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 tbsp chopped parsley and 8 chopped basil leaves (preferably fresh, not dried), salt and pepper to taste

Chop your herbs by hand or in the processor. Mix the meat and egg by hand in a bowl. Add garlic, Worcestershire sauce, herbs  and incorporate well. Form the mixture into patties and put on a plate. Pan fry (or sear in a pan then barbeque). Place on bun or bed of greens, top as desired and enjoy!

Thai Steak Salad (serves 4)

Spicy steak over greens will give you tons of protein, along with tons of fibrous carbs, and tons of flavour!

Ingredients: 1 pound flank steak, 1 thinly sliced onion, 1 handful of 1″ sliced chives, 1 handful roughly chopped cilantro, 3 peeled garlic cloves, 1-2 red chilies, 4 tbsp fish sauce, 4 tbsp lime juice, 1 tbsp sugar or honey 

Grill the unseasoned steak to your desired level of done-ness. Let it rest while you prepare the rest of the dish. Blend or mash chilies and garlic together into a paste and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add lime juice, fish sauce and sugar, mix well. Next add the onions (raw or precooked, I prefer cooked) and herbs and toss. Next, thinly slice the steak into the bowl and mix again. Let the whole thing sit for 30 minutes, then serve over greens (steamed bok choy, yum!) or rice.

Green Gazpacho (serves 4)

Cold soup (with spicy shrimp) for hot days!

Ingredients Soup: 1C green tomatoes or tomatillos, 1C chopped cucumber (about half of a large one), 2 tbsp chopped sweet onion or chives, 1 clove garlic, diced, 1 celery stalk, 1 tbsp fresh chopped mint, 1 tbsp fresh chopped basil, 1/2 peeled avocado, 2 tsp red wine vinegar, dash salt

Ingredients Shrimp: 1/2 large shrimp (cooked or uncooked), 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp garlic salt.

For soup – blend all ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Check the seasoning, add salt, vinegar, herbs as needed and re-blend. Chill.

For shrimp – Mix spices together and distribute evenly over shrimp. If the shrimp is uncooked, grill for roughly 2m per side until the shrimp become opaque and pinkish – you can let them cool if you wish. If cooked and frozen, run them under hot water long enough to defrost them and pan fry if you want the garnish to be hot, but stop before they get rubbery. Garnish the soup with the shrimp (can be hot or cold) and serve!

Do you have any favourite summer recipes?  Is your league taking a break?  What will you do with all the time?  Let us know – we love to hear from you!

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