After a tough day of cycling, or a hard session at the gym, there's nothing like coming home to a hot shower and a warm meal in the belly.
When you train, you're body breaks down stored sugars and protein to use as fuel for your muscles. After a workout, you need to eat within a 90-minute window to replenish your fuel reserves in order to aid with muscle recovery. The best foods for a post-workout meal will contain a balance of protein and carbohydrates with some fibre and veg to ensure you hit your vitamin and mineral needs.
On these cold winter days, we often find ourselves craving warm strews as opposed to the cold fruits, epic salads and filling sandwiches in summer.
Here are 5 of our favourite winter post-workout meals which are easy to prepare in the morning, and even easier to cook in the evening.
Winter Vegetable Soup
Nothing says a winter meal more than a bowl of hot chunky soup with a crusty roll on the side. Soup has to be one of the easiest meals to cook, store and reheat. It's also brilliant for tailoring your own flavours and favourites too, so you can get all the necessary nourishment, and enjoy it!
Winter vegetables are your earthy root vegetables, like carrots, parsnips, potatoes and turnips, but you can also add onions, cauliflower and leeks. All you need to do is chop up your chosen veg and onions, and add them to a hot pan with 1tsp of vegetable oil. Let them cook for 5 minutes on a high heat whilst stirring regularly.
Mix 1 litre of boiling water and a vegetable stock cube in a separate jug, then add to the saucepan of vegetables. Add seasoning as desired, then turn the hob down to a low heat and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes (or when the vegetables are soft). Et Voila!
The soup can be stored in the fridge and heated up when desired, or even frozen in batches in the freezer.
Tomato Beef Pot
After an intense workout, you need to satisfy your aching muscles and refuel the energy stores. Tomato beef pot is just for you. It's quick to cook, tastes great and give you the protein and carbs you need for a full body recovery.
For this dish, you'll need 250g of chopped up beef chunks, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a red onion, crushed garlic and a couple of carrots.
Begin by chopping up the carrots into chunks, and cooking them for 30 minutes until soft. Meanwhile add the chopped onion, crushed garlic and beef to a hot pan and cook through. When the carrots are ready, add them to the pan with the beef and mix in the tin of tomatoes.
Season with salt, pepper and herbs for flavour and simmer until everything has been mixed and cooked through. Then serve up with some rice or bread, and enjoy!
Slow Cooked: Spicy Pork and Beans
Slow cookers are an athlete's secret weapon. More often than not, the last thing you want to do after a hard training session, or a long day out, is to come home and slave over a hot stove. Slow cookers do just that, slowly cook your food throughout the day so it's hot and ready to serve when you walk through the door.
Red beans are naturally gifted for having everything you need: potassium, carbohydrates and protein. So this recipe will surely keep you feeling full and feeling good.
For this dish, you'll need a tin of red beans - 1 litre of water - 400g of diced pork - 1 chopped red onion - crushed garlic - chopped peppers - cumin/spices.
Pre-cook the pork in a pan with some oil on a high heat, then drain off the fat and add to the slow cooker pot. Mix in all the other ingredients and put on to cook for roughly 10 hours. When cooked, serve over cooked rice.
Mac and Cheese Pasta Bake
A traditional pasta bake, like mac and cheese, is a staple dish in many households because it's packed with carbs, protein and flavour.
You'll need 60g of butter, 450ml of milk, 100g of uncooked macaroni, 4tbsp plain flour, 300g of grated cheddar. Start off by pre-heating the oven to 190C. Boil the macaroni for roughly 8-10 minutes, or until al dénte. Melt the butter, milk, flour, and 200g of cheese in a saucepan and then add the cooked macaroni. Stir thoroughly and pour into an oven dish. Sprinkle the remaining 100g of cheese on top and pop in the oven for 35 - 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper for seasoning.
If you want a little more protein in the dish, you can cook some diced chicken and add it to the sauce before baking it in the oven.
Breakfast foods for dinner = brinner! Eggs are a brilliant source of protein and are frequently used for post workout meals. We especially like omelettes because you can add so much to them to provide you with the ample nourishment you need while keeping you full for the evening.
You'll need 2 large eggs - chopped red onion - chopped peppers - grated cheese/or feta - herbs/spices/ seasoning.
Crack the eggs into a dish, and using a fork, mix the yolks and whites together. Add seasoning to the mix, such as salt and pepper, herbs or spices. With a frying pan at a high temperature, melt a little butter, and pour the egg mixture into the pan so it's evenly spread. Let this cook for a few moments so the base of the omelette sets.
Simply add the cheese, and other ingredients, and let it cook. Once the cheese has melted and bubbles begin to show, fold the omelette in half and leave to cook for an additional 30 seconds. Then serve and tuck in!
Omelettes are super versatile, so you can add ham, tomatoes, mushrooms and anything else you fancy that are high in protein and carbohydrates.
All of these meals can be adapted to your dietary requirements and personal preferences, which is why we love them!
These 5 post-workout winter meals provide you with the perfect balance of protein and carbohydrates which are essential for muscle recovery, as well as being tasty meals to keep you full for the evening.
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