This post contains a sample from The No Meat Athlete Cookbook, which hits the shelves in just over a week! But first, a quick intro.
It’s been almost four years since my first book, No Meat Athlete, came out.
That first book wasn’t a cookbook, but it did include 50 of the recipes I’d picked up as a marathoner who was still fairly new to a vegan diet.
Today, over 30,000 copies later, I’m so proud of what that little book has become.
And at the same time, a lot has changed since then. Enough that I decided it was finally time for another.
I’ve learned so much in these past four years. About nutrition, mainly, but also about cooking and, with two high-energy young kids who also eat this way, the importance of practicality. I’ve undergone a ruthless streamlining of my own routines … and that includes those in the kitchen.
More than just about anything else, this focus on practicality is what sets The No Meat Athlete Cookbook apart.
Sure, it’s one of the only 100% vegan cookbooks that’s geared towards athletes.
And yes, it’s almost exclusively based on whole foods, including (and I fought hard for this one) an oil-free option for every single recipe, so that you can choose your own adventure when it comes to oil.
But more than anything else, the difficult conversations my co-author Stepfanie Romine and I had during the process of developing and testing recipes for this book centered around the issues of simplicity and ease of use.
I say “difficult” because we both have incredibly high standards.
For both of us, whole-food nutrition was paramount, of course. To Stepfanie, a plant-based chef, it was also crucial that every recipe be delicious. And I, a dad in that phase of life where trying to do to way too many things is par for the course, wanted to make absolutely certain that our recipes made sense for busy, athletic families, and people who can’t easily get to specialty health-food stores to do their grocery shopping.
That “Quick, Easy, and Family Friendly!” burst at the top right of the cover? Well, we mean it.
With few exceptions, if an ingredient couldn’t be found in a regular grocery store (and I’m not counting Whole Foods as “regular”), either it didn’t make the cut or we made sure to provide a substitute.
Similarly with cooking techniques: if a recipe was difficult or required equipment most people don’t have — spiralizer, potato ricer, etc. — then we changed it.
In trying to balance all of that emphasis on simplicity and practicality with the need for top-nutrition and of course, food that makes you actually want to keep eating this way, this was a project. But we did it, and I’m so happy with how it has turned out.
I’m pleased to share some sample content with you today, but before we get to that, I want to remind you of just a few things:
– We’ve put together a really great packages of bonuses for anyone who pre-orders the book (meaning you’ve got to order before Tuesday, May 16th and forward us your receipt). The bonuses include a 30-day meal plan, an ebook of my favorite quick staples and condiments that make it way easier to be vegan, my 46-minute presentation on the 7 Foods Worth Eating Every Single Day, and a special video series on oil-free and microwave-free cooking (a bonus offer that was so popular we’ve brought it back). You can see all the details about book and pre-order package here.
– Although this sample content is from our chapter on real-food recipes for before, during and after workouts, the actual book includes lots of food that’s for the rest of the day — breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and desserts. (See the Quinoa Primavera featured on the Forks Over Knives blog.) On that note, I did go ahead and include our recipe for Olive-Chickpea Waffles into the sample since it would work as long-run fuel, even though it’s technically not in Chapter 7.
– We’ve had a ton of great press on this book, including making Sports Illustrated’s and People’s lists of “The 7 Best Health & Wellness Books of 2017,” and already being included in VegNews, Vegan Health & Fitness, and Publisher’s Weekly … with features in several other mainstream fitness magazines slated for the summertime. Keep an eye out for lots more as the release date approaches!
And so, if I may make a direct request: If you’ve gotten something out of No Meat Athlete — the free blog and podcast content every week, the running groups, and everything else we’ve done over the past 8 years (!), I’d really appreciate if it if you’d consider adding our new cookbook to your collection. It has the potential to make a huge splash for this movement, but that won’t happen without your help. Thanks for thinking about it.
With that, enjoy this sample bit of Chapter 7, including four recipes!
Chapter 7: Fuel & Recovery
REAL FOOD FOR BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER YOUR WORKOUTS
Don’t undermine your workout by fueling it with processed junk that barely qualifies as food! Instead, let our recipes for natural, homemade versions of sports nutrition staples take you further so you can get the most from every workout.
To Eat or Drink Your Carbs? That’s the Question
As you read in Chapter 1, you should usually only consider using added sugars and quick carbs to fuel before, during, or after a workout. For years, the only “sports drinks” on the market were loaded with refined sugar and designed to replenish carbohydrates as well as electrolytes. But for various reasons, more of today’s athletes are choosing instead to eat their carbs or to forgo them altogether during workouts. As such, more lower-carb, electrolyte-only sports drinks have hit the market.
We think there’s a time and a place for both types of drinks. Our new favorite sports drink, switchel—which actually isn’t new at all—embraces that flexibility. Our base recipe for switchel uses just 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (100 calories, 27 g carbs), so it has about half the sugar of a traditional sports drink.
For lighter training days when you don’t need an immediate energy source to get you through the workout, reach for the lower-sugar versions of switchel. On long run days, when you need more fuel, we have other switchel recipes suitable for your increased carb needs.
Our base recipe also contains 481 mg sodium from ¼ teaspoon sea salt (that’s slightly lower than table salt, which has 560 mg per ¼ teaspoon), plus 129 mg potassium. It’s right in line with commercial sports drinks, which typically provide 427 g sodium and 120 mg potassium in 32 ounces.
Need to customize a drink recipe? Here’s a quick guide:
¼ teaspoon sea salt = 481 mg sodium
1 teaspoon umeboshi (salty-sour Japanese plum paste) = 340 mg sodium
1 tablespoon maple syrup = 50 calories, 13 g carbohydrates
1 tablespoon sugar = 45 calories, 13 g carbohydrates
If you prefer another sweetener, such as dates or agave, feel free to experiment with those as well.
As you read through this chapter, you’ll notice that we call some beverages “sports drinks” while others are “electrolyte drinks.” The former are akin to what you’d buy at the store; the latter are designed primarily to hydrate, rather than to fuel.
Sports Drinks: Designed to be carb replacements with electrolyte
Electrolyte Drinks: Lower in carbs than traditional sports drinks
Check out this list to get started (with grams of carbs per 16 ounces):
Cucumber-Lime Electrolyte Drink: 14 g
Lemon-Lime Electrolyte Drink: 14 g
Switchel: The Original Sports Drink: 14 g
3 Switchel Mocktails: 14 g
Umeboshi Electrolyte Drink: 18 g
Miso-Maple Electrolyte “Broth”: 21 g
Cranberry-Citrus Electrolyte Drink: 22 g
Fruit Punch Switchel Sports Drink with Juice: 22 g
Very Berry Switchel Sports Drink with Juice: 31 g
Orange Switchel Sports Drink with Juice: 32 g
Grape Switchel Sports Drink with Juice: 33 g
With any of these sports drinks, feel free to adjust the sweetener-to-salt ratio as needed to suit your needs and palate.
In addition, we offer recipes for solid-food fuel that contain mostly carbohydrates, or a combination of protein and carbs for extremely long workouts.
Solid food that contains mostly carbs or a combination of carbs and protein (used during very long workouts to prevent crashes)
Calorie Bomb Cookies (page 219)
Chocolate-Coconut-Pecan Chewy Bars (page 220)
Green Energy Bites (page 215)
Key Lime Pie Rice Bites (page 217)
Piña Colada–Almond Butter (page 213)
Sesame-Tamari Portable Rice Balls (page 214)
Strawberry Shortcake Rice Bites (page 216)
Vegan-Edge Waffes (page 51)
Switchel: The Original Sports Drink
Good for: hydration • before, during, and after a workout
Makes: about 4¼ cups (1 L) // Time: 5 minutes to prep, plus resting overnight
Switchel is the original sports drink, what farmers drank in the fields to stay hydrated during the summer. It’s a clever combination of simple, real ingredients. Maple syrup contains magnesium and potassium, which help to prevent cramps, and the apple cider vinegar prevents nausea, stomach upset, and indigestion. (You really want raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar here, so you get the minerals and other good stuff.) The ginger adds flavor and also helps with nausea. The drink is refreshing, mildly sweet, and tangy and, when made with fruit juices, tastes surprisingly like the convenience store sports drinks we grew up with. You’ll want to refrigerate it overnight to allow the flavors to mellow and mingle. This recipe makes an entire pitcher; it’ll keep for a few days in the fridge.
- 4 cups (960 ml) water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1-inch (2.5 cm) piece ginger, minced
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
Shake all the ingredients together, refrigerate overnight, strain, and drink.
Nutrition info (for the entire recipe): Calories 110 Total fat 0 g Sodium 481 mg Potassium 129 mg Total carbohydrates 28 g Dietary fiber 0 g Sugars 24 g Protein 0 g
Calorie Bomb Cookies
Good for: fuel • before (as treat), during, and after (as treat) a workout
Makes: 12 giant cookies (or 24 regular cookies) // Time: 15 minutes to prep, 30 minutes to bake
These cookies fueled the BSM cycling team (cofounded by Stepf’s husband, Sam) through a ten-hour road trip and epic adventure ride a few summers back. They’re hefty yet easy to eat and digest in the saddle or driver’s seat; they’re also packed with as much real food and as many calories as possible, hence the name.
- 4 cups (385 g) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1½ cups (225 g) whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 cup (200 g) raw sugar or coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) coconut oil (Oil-Free: coconut butter)
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 ml) water
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds or ground flaxseeds
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (225 g) dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup (120 g) raw walnut pieces
- ½ cup (75 g) raw sunflower seeds
- ½ cup (40 g) unsweetened shredded coconut, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place 2 cups (195 g) of the oats in a food processor or blender and pulse until they are finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl and add the flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining oats.
- Combine the bananas, sugar, oil, water, chia seeds, and vanilla in the blender or food processor. Add to the oat mixture and stir with a sturdy wooden spoon until combined. Add the chocolate chips, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and coconut.
- With wet hands, form about ½ cup (60 g) dough into balls for giant cookies, about ¼ cup (30 g) dough for regular cookies. (There should be 6 balls on each baking sheet if making giant cookies.) Flatten them to ¾ to 1 inch (2 to 2.5 cm) thick.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before removing from the baking sheets. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. Wrap in parchment paper for on-the-go eating.
Variations: Use coconut extract in place of the vanilla. Swap carob for the chocolate. Dice mini peanut butter cups and add to the mix.
Nutrition info (for the entire recipe; with shredded coconut): Calories 5,893 Total fat 291 g Sodium 1,371 mg Potassium 2,471 mg Total carbohydrates 819 g Dietary fiber 97 g Sugars 359 g Protein 97 g
Green Energy Bites
Good for: fuel • before, during, and after a workout
Makes: 36 energy bites // Time: 15 minutes to prep
The distinct flavor of spirulina is somehow masked in this simple energy bite—and that’s no easy feat! Inspired by the green bites sold in bulk at health-food stores, these chunks are intended for on-the-go snacking and mid-race fueling.
Spirulina is blue-green algae that’s incredibly high in protein (by weight). More than 60 percent of it is protein! In lab studies, it has been shown to boost probiotic growth. It can absorb undesirable heavy metals from the water where it grows, so choose a reliable source that tests for such things.
- 1½ cups (220 g) pitted dates, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes and drained
- ½ cup (75 g) raw sunflower seeds
- ½ cup (60 g) roasted, unsalted cashews
- ¼ cup (40 g) carob or chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons spirulina powder or another greens powder
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
- Pinch of salt
- Pulse the dates in a food processor until they form a paste. Add the sunflower seeds and cashews. Pulse until roughly chopped, then add the carob and spirulina. Pulse a couple of times, then process until thoroughly combined.
- Transfer to a rectangular glass dish (we used a 6-cup/1.4 L glass storage container) lined with parchment paper. Press down, using a small piece of parchment to keep your fingers from sticking to the bars. Sprinkle with the coconut and salt.
- Pull the parchment out of the container and slice into 36 pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Nutrition info (for the entire recipe): Calories 1,729 Total fat 79 g Sodium 6 mg Potassium 1,951 mg Total carbohydrates 231 g Dietary fiber 18 g Sugars 160 g Protein 33 g
Makes: 4 to 6 waffles // Time: 10 minutes to prep, 30 minutes to cook
Soccas are Mediterranean flatbreads made with chickpea flour. But although they are quick to make and full of nutrition from the chickpeas, they typically call for quite a bit of olive oil to add flavor and richness. Inspired by socca but seeking something lighter, we created these savory waffles.
- 2 cups (240 g) chickpea flour (garbanzo bean flour)
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary or thyme
- 1 teaspoon GF baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup (90 g) pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
- ¼ cup (15 g) sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (Oil-Free: omit)
- 1½ cups (360 ml) hot water
- Hummus or Weeknight Marinara (page 81)
- Preheat a waffle iron. (Oil-Free: See page 49 for baking directions if your waffle iron isn’t truly nonstick.)
- Combine the flour, rosemary, baking powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the olives and sun-dried tomatoes, then whisk in the oil followed by the hot water. The batter should be thick but thoroughly combined.
- Spread about ½ to ¾ cup (120 to 180 ml) batter onto the waffle iron, close the lid, and cook through, according to waffle iron directions, about 6 minutes.
- Top with hummus and serve.
Variation: Substitute ½ cup (30 g) chopped flat-leaf parsley for the olives and fold in ¼ cup (40 g) chopped red onion.
Credit line: Recipe from The No Meat Athlete Cookbook: Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes to Fuel Your Workouts and the Rest of Your Life © Matt Frazier and Stepfanie Romine, 2017. Photographs copyright © Ken Carlson, Waterbury Publications Inc. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. theexperimentpublishing.com
I hope you’ve enjoyed this sneak peek! To pre-order The No Meat Athlete Cookbook and take advantage of our great pre-order bonus offer (or just to learn more), click here.