Eat Like a Bear

Here are some of my favourite recipes for high protein, high nutrient food. I generally look for a good balance of protein and greens, as well as things I can cook in large batches to eat throughout the week. But most importantly: good food doesn’t have to taste terrible. I try to cook food that I’m going to enjoy eating, rather than focusing on reducing nutrition to a bland, mechanical exercise. Food should be something you love, not something you have to force yourself to eat.

Snacks

Protein Pudding

I found this recipe on Laurence Shahlei’s  Facebook page. Gave it a try for myself and it’s absolutely delicious. Think something akin to a chocolate pudding or mousse. but low in fat and loaded with protein.

Why I Love It:

  1. Easy to make – seriously. Dead easy. (Can be a little rough on your blender, though)
  2. Tasty – this is certifiably delicious stuff. Fact.
  3. Nutritious – high protein, low fat; what else could you really want out of a snack?
  • Fat-Free cottage cheese
  • Almond Milk
  • Your favourite protein powder (I used chocolate)
  • Chocolate Sauce (optional)

       Blend until smooth, chill and serve.

You’ll have to play with the ratios a little to get the consistency you want, but you can adjust the serving size to suit your needs. I usually make a blender full, then pack my fridge with individual servings to nosh on after work or a good gym session. Delicious, guilt-free indulgence.

Meals

Chanko-Nabe

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I owe this recipe to Vice’s Munchies series. Interesting stuff, covers quite a few diets and dishes from different high-performance athletic fields. This recipe comes from their Sumo Wrestler installment.

Why I Love It:

  1. The meatballs. Don’t believe me, try for yourself. Seriously. Damn.
  2. The simplicity: this recipe is dead easy, and makes a very solid flavour base. Easy to play around with and add your favourite seasoning or ingredient.
  3. Quantity: again, this recipe makes quite a bit. But it reheats well, and serving it on rice means I tend to have two or three bowls following a solid workout.

When cooking this, if you don’t have the time to make your own fish stock you can buy it pre-made. Or, if you don’t have access to fish stock you can substitute dashi, which is a little easier to find. Or, honestly, you can use beef or chicken stock. I had trouble tracking down nira, so i simply added more green onion. And finally, this is only one of many dozens of Chanko-Nabe recipes. Feel free to play around with it, the broth takes well to white fish as well as chicken. I find the broth a tad bland, and usually add some soya sauce, and sriracha or sambal oelek while simmering.

Mac and Cheese, Strongman Style

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Props to Muscle and Fitness for putting this one up. The addition of chorizo and roasted tomatoes to this childhood classic instantly put it on my Must-Eat list. Whole grain pasta, whey protein, and meat; this is a perfect recovery meal after a day of heavy lifting.

Why I Love It:

  1. Mac And Cheese: Do I really need to go on?
  2. Quick: because no one hates waiting hungrily for food to finish cooking more than me.
  3. Hearty: Loads of protein and carbs for building and fueling.

Hearty pasta dishes like this are basically the reason I’m alive. Nothing beats chowing down on cheesy heaps of delicious noodles. Also: DON’T CHEAP ON THE CHEESE! When you buy mild cheddar, the terrorists win. Extra Old or Old for that mad flavour. If you can’t find chorizo, you can easily substitute hot or mild italian sausage or, for those looking to go a little leaner: chicken or turkey sausage.

Stir Fry

Let’s talk about stir fry. For those of you who have never had the pleasure, here is a good introduction to the dish, by someone as excited by stir fry as me.

For those of you who know your stir fry, you know why it’s excellent food for a bear: quick, tasty, low-fat, and with the added bonus of endless customization. My favourite stir fry is chicken, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower and onion, with a spicy garlic teriyaki sauce.

I like to stir fry with chicken, although any of your base meats take well to the dish. Broccoli, cabbage, carrots and celery make excellent additions, as well as much-needed dietary fibre and vitamins. For added protein, you can add egg, (tamagoyaki if you’re feeling adventurous) tofu, or just go heavier on the meat.

Bottom line is: stir fry is the perfect dish for the strength athlete on the go.

SLOW COOKER POWER CHILI

Everyone knows chili. Most of you love it. This recipe will help you turn your chili game up to 11. Ground beef? Forget that noise. Pulled pork as the basis for this meat bonanza will have you going back for seconds, and thirds. This is my own recipe, created after 2 entire afternoons of haphazard chili experimentation. It has never let me down.

Why I Love It:

  1. Chili is a great comfort food, warm, and filling. Great for after those mid-winter workouts
  2. Keeps quite well in the fridge, and you can play with the ratios and even add more fixings to keep you fed for several meals or more.
  3. Flexibility: you can re-purpose leftover chili into damn near anything. Has your  nacho game gone stale? Chili. Have some spare buns about to go? Chili. Too much leftover rice? Chili.

Loaded with protein, and carbs from beans, chili is a great meal to keep you fueled and full of energy.

SWEDISH POTATO BACON DUMPLINGS

So I whipped up a batch of these this week with roast chicken and spice-rubbed, oven roasted vegetable. While the recipe recommends serving these little delights with lingonberry preserves, I found they go just as well with gravy. These little babies are an absolute win, hearty and filling. The spice blend combined with the bacon and onion reminds me a little bit of one of my favourite dishes: tourtiere.

Why I Love it:

  1. Simple: cheap, fairly easy to make.
  2. Hearty: filling and satisfying.
  3. Repeat Value: they don’t turn chewy or dry reheated the day after.

All in all, these are a great side dish, and reheat well. Make a batch to have hearty snacks on hand for post-workout feasting.

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