Just finished a run and looking for a post workout meal to restore your energy? These tasty and nutritional salads from chef and keen runner Billy White, are perfect post-exercise pick-me-ups…
Post workout meal #1: Watermelon, charred asparagus and feta salad
This salad is hard to beat after a hot summer run. The slight bitterness of the asparagus and saltiness of the feta balance out the sweetness of the watermelon nicely.
- Cucumber 1, sliced lengthways
- Asparagus 2 bunches, woody parts removed, halved
- Extra virgin olive oil 4 tbsp
- White wine vinegar 2 tbsp
- Watermelon 1 medium, peeled and chopped into 2cm pieces
- Feta 200g, crumbled
- Red onion 1, sliced into thin rings and rinsed for 1 min in cold water
- Basil leaves bunch
- Turkish chilli flakes dried, to taste (optional)
- Heat a dry, cast-iron frying pan over a high heat until smoking hot, then put the cucumber in,flesh-side down, and cook for 3-4 mins until the flesh is slightly charred. Remove from the pan, cut into uneven bite-size chunks and set aside in a large bowl.
- Add the asparagus to the same pan and cook on a high heat, stirring continuously, for 4-5 mins until the asparagus has softened slightly and is evenly charred.
- Mix the asparagus with the cucumber in the large bowl, along with the extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar and a pinch of salt. Add the chopped watermelon, then check that you are happy with the seasoning.
- Divide the watermelon and asparagus salad among 4 salad bowls, then top with the crumbled feta, thin onion rings, basil leaves and Turkish chilli flakes (if using).
Thirst-quenching and gut-calming: Watermelon is great for rehydration, and full of natural sugars and vitamin C, while the asparagus is high in fibre and, as a prebiotic, it encourages healthy gut bacteria.
Post workout meal #2: Endive and gorgonzola salad
This is a play on the classic 1970s Waldorf salad. The pear and dried fig bring sweetness to balance the bitterness of the endive and salt from the cheese, while also adding some slow-burning sugars as a source of energy.
Remember to remove the cheese from the refrigerator at least 30 mins before you plan to eat this salad, to allow it to get to room temperature.
- White endive 4 heads, leaves separated and halved
- White wine vinegar 1 tbsp
- Extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp, plus extra for drizzling
- Figs 6, dried and quartered
- Pears 4, ripe, cored and sliced
- Gorgonzola 200g
- Parsley handful, flat leaf and very coarsely chopped
- In a mixing bowl, dress the endive leaves with the white wine vinegar, olive oil and some salt.
- Divide the leaves between 4 shallow bowls or plates, then top each with the dried, quartered figs and slices of pear.
- Spoon several blobs of gorgonzola onto each serving and finish with a sprinkling of the chopped parsley and an extra drizzle of olive oil.
A prebiotic boost: The endive and gorgonzola are both prebiotics, helping to promote healthy and diverse bacteria in the stomach.
Post workout meal #3: Squid, tomato and avocado salad with lime and coriander
Pan-fried or grilled with a salad, squid is impossible to beat. It’s a good source of protein and, although it may look intimidating, is easy to cook. If you ask nicely, your fishmonger or fish counter will clean and score the squid for you.
- Squid 2, cleaned and scored
- Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Red onion 1, finely diced
- Limes 2-3 – 1 juiced, 1-2 cut into halves or wedges to serve
- Tomatoes 1 kg, mixed (ideally on the vine) and chopped into chunks
- Romaine lettuce 1, coarsely chopped
- Corianderbunch, fresh and chopped
- Avocados 2 ripe, flesh only and cut into bite-size chunks
- Chilli flakes pinch (optional)
- Combine the squid in a large bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Set aside to marinate for 5 mins.
- Combine the red onion in a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt and the lime juice. Leave the ingredients to get to know one another for 10 mins.3Add the tomatoes, lettuce and fresh coriander to the onion mixture.
- Heat a cast-iron frying pan over a high heat until smoking hot, then add the marinated squid to the pan (you may want to do this in 2 batches). Sear for 1 min on each side until the body flesh has curled up and the tentacles have a little golden colour, then remove from the pan.
- Chop the squid into bite-size pieces and add to the salad.
- Finally, add the avocado to the salad, along with a glug of olive oil, then taste to see whether you need to add more salt or lime juice. Arrange in 4 shallow bowls and serve sprinkled with chilli flakes (if using), with lime halves or wedges on the side.
Superb squid: When not served fried, squid offers many health benefits. The seafood is low in calories and fat, while high in protein and a good source of vitamin B12, iron, phosphorus and copper.
Post workout meal #4: Rainbow trout, potato and egg salad with horseradish dressing
Rainbow trout is an excellent source of protein and is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for a healthy heart. The horseradish gives this a great kick and the salty little bursts of trout roe is lovely.
- New potatoes 400g
- Eggs 4
- Sour cream 100g
- Extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp, plus extra for drizzling
- Dijon mustard 1 tsp
- Lemon 1, juiced
- Horseradish 50g, fresh and peeled
- Watercress 100g, loosely picked
- Rainbow trout 400g, steamed
- Red onion 1, sliced into rings and rinsed in cold water for 1 min
- Trout roe 50g (optional)
- Boil the new potatoes in a saucepan of lightly salted water until just tender– about 10 mins. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, boil the eggs for 6 mins in a separate saucepan of water. Drain and cool under running water, then peel and halve.
- In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, olive oil, mustard and lemon juice. Use a fine grater or microplane to grate in the horseradish, reserving some for the garnish (put in as much as you feel comfortable with). Add a pinch of salt, then gently mix in the potatoes, trying to avoid breaking them up too much.
- Divide the dressed potatoes among 4 salad bowls or plates or spread over a large serving dish. Top with the watercress and gently flake over the trout. Top with the egg halves, red onion rings and a few dots of trout roe (if using). Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and the reserved grated horseradish.
Did you know? Cold or room-temperature boiled potatoes are higher in dietary fibre and a slower burning carbohydrate than when eaten warm. This is because of the resistant starch, which increases when potatoes are cooked and then cooled.
Post workout meal #5: Roast cauliflower, chickpea, olive and pomegranate salad with houmous
This salad is commonplace in Turkey. Chickpeas, and in fact all pulses, are an excellent source of vegetarian protein, while the cauliflower is high in fibre.
- Cauliflower heads 2, separated into quite small florets
- Extra virgin olive oil 3 tbsp, plus extra for drizzling
- Chickpeas 400g, canned, drained and rinsed
- Kalamata olives 200g, drained, stones can be left in or taken out
- Lemon 1, juiced
- Pomegranate 1, seeds
- Parsley large handful, flat leaf, leaves
For the houmous:
- Chickpeas 200g, canned, drained and rinsed
- Tahini 2 tbsp
- Cumin seeds 1 tsp, crushed and roasted
- Garlic clove 1, crushed with a little salt
- Extra virgin olive oil 4-5 tbsp
- Lemon a squeeze
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7.
- Put the cauliflower florets into a roasting pan, drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and season with a pinch of salt. Roast for 10-15 mins until golden brown, stirring once or twice so that they colour evenly.
- Meanwhile, make the houmous. Pulse the chickpeas, tahini, cumin and garlic in a food processor until slightly broken down. Add the olive oil and process until smooth (you may need to add a little extra olive oil). Season with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice, then taste to see if you need to add more salt, lemon or garlic. (If you are planning on running later in the day, be careful how much garlic you go for!) Set aside.
- Remove the cauliflower from the oven and transfer to a salad bowl. Mix in the chickpeas and olives, then dress with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and the lemon juice. Season with a pinch of salt and a few grindings of black pepper. Leave the ingredients to get to know one another for 5 mins or so, before gently mixing in the pomegranate seeds.
- To serve, spread the houmous over 4 plates. Pile the cauliflower salad on top of the houmous, top generously with the parsley, and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.