Spice up your pre-race prep period with recipes that combine out-of-the-pasta-box carbs with lean protein so you can up your training game without getting weighed down by too much of one macronutrient.
Turkey Meatballs, Hold the Pasta1 of 8
Whether you're gluten-free or just sick of the same-old, same-old spaghetti and meatballs pre-race dinner, this meatball recipe combines carbs and protein into one nutritious package. The quinoa replaces the breadcrumbs in a traditional recipe, yielding a moister meatball with more than twice the fiber.
Pancakes Get a Makeover2 of 8
While delicious, fluffy and filling, pancakes made from all-purpose flour and plenty of melted butter don't provide much nutritional bang for all of those calories. Power up this breakfast staple with sweet potatoes, quinoa, raw honey and coconut oil.
Chicken Salad Hearty Enough for Athletes3 of 8
No chicken bits weighed down by oily mayonnaise here. This salad combines contrasting flavors and textures—moist rotisserie chicken, plump strawberries, peppery arugula, the sweet-and-acidic pop of cherry tomatoes and the chewy crunch of toasted bread cubes—to create a robust meal that's quick to assemble.
Healthier Take on a Bar-Food Appetizer Fave4 of 8
Slightly sweet, crisp and golden coconut shrimp can make you feel like you're on vacation. Pair it with a pina colada or mai tai, and you probably won't mind the toll the popular appetizer can take on your waistline. Compared to the coconut shrimp featured at Outback Steakhouse, the following slimmed-down version saves you roughly 500 calories and 22 grams of fat.
Veggie- and Protein-Packed Portable Meal5 of 8
Ideal for busy weeknights filled with afterschool practice and homework or for the busy triathlete who just finished a post-work brick workout, quesadillas are a quick and portable dish that everyone likes. Underrated possibly for its simplicity, the humble quesadilla can be elevated to a nutritious all-in-one meal if made with the right ingredients. This sweet-and-savory version combines plenty of vegetables with lean chicken, whole-grain tortillas and a dollop of fruity salsa.
Snack Smart With Protein-Enhanced Dips6 of 8
A smart post-workout snack includes protein to repair damaged muscle tissue and some carbohydrates to restore lost muscle glycogen. You might be tempted to toss a sports drink or energy bar in your gym bag as your recovery treat, but a homemade protein-packed dip is just as easy to tote, and you can get an extra boost of carbs if you eat one of these dips with whole-grain crackers, pita or raw vegetables. From traditional hummus to Asian-spiced edamame dip, these vegetarian recipes will satisfy diverse palates.
Creamy Cream-Less Chicken and Mushrooms7 of 8
No, this recipe doesn't suggest swapping fat-free half and half or 2-percent milk for real cream because we know those just aren't comparable substitutes. We crave high-fat foods because they're memorable—fat coats the tongue and clings to the tastebuds. Replace the fat from dairy products in traditional recipes with a vegan secret: cashew cream, which mimics the unctuous luxury of full-fat dairy but with far less saturated fat and more unsaturated fat than heavy cream.