The Healthy Dish: Harvest Grains Salad

For a boost of flavorful runner-friendly nutrients, try this "everything-but-the-kitchen-sink" salad recipe from 2008 Olympic marathon runner Magdalena Lewy Boulet.

She created this harvest grains salad as a way to provide her son Owen with balanced nutrition in a single dish. Bonus: Preparation is quick--just like Lewy Boulet.

The Creator: Currently training for the World Championship Marathon in Berlin and logging more than 100 miles a week, Lewy Boulet schedules her training runs around coaching track at UC Berkeley and chasing after her 3-year-old son.

"I rely on food to effectively support my training and to optimize my recovery so I can do it all over the next day. This dish has everything I need to recover from a hard day of training and stay healthy," Lewy Boulet says.

Plus, she admires the presentation.

"The beautiful colors are what I love the most about this dish. It looks so gorgeous, and it tastes delicious."

The Nutritionist's Take: Matthew G. Kadey, R.D., says this dish has everything a runner could ask for. "The complex carbs from the grains boost muscle energy stores while antioxidants in the veggies and fruits help maintain a healthy immune system." Protein from the chicken aids in muscle repair, and compounds in olive oil and walnuts are known to have anti-inflammatory properties. "Plus, cacao nibs are the purest form of chocolate you can eat," he says.

Harvest Grains Salad

Two grilled chicken breasts
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups of blended grains such as couscous and quinoa
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
1 small apple, diced
1 cup cherry or plum tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup black currants
1/4 cup chopped walnuts and/or almonds
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup of raw cacao nibs
Sea salt
Black pepper

Bring 1 1/3 cups of water to a boil and add 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Mix in 1 1/4 cups of blended grains and bring back to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a large serving bowl, sprinkling in more olive oil. Add the fruits and vegetables. Pour in lime juice and the remaining olive oil. Toss.

Top with grilled chicken breasts. Add blueberries and cacao nibs. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately or chilled the next day.  Yields about five servings.
Nutritional info per serving: 441calories, 25 g fat (6 g saturated), 28 g carbs, 26 g protein

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