When you've been training hard, you need to eat well to help your body feel the benefit of all that extra work. These tasty dishes give you all the natural protein you need to refuel and repair so you're ready to ride the next day.
We've partnered with Olive Magazine (also published by Immediate Media) to bring you the very best recipes for cyclists. All the recipes are easy to follow and take you through step-by-step how to create everything from homemade nutrition products to tasty and hearty post-ride meals.
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Protein is an important part of the diet for anyone who is training or riding hard. The body needs it not only to repair muscles after exercise, but also build new muscle tissue and to help replenish energy stores.
Protein comes from many sources; most people are familiar with red and white meat, but fish, eggs, nuts, beans and pulses are also excellent sources, with beans and pulses in particular having the advantage that they are also low in fat.
1. Red quinoa, feta and spinach salad
This protein-rich dish is perfect for a mid-week lunch, fending off those afternoon hunger pangs. It also works well whipped-up in the evening for dinner that provides your body with the fuel it needs to repair itself.
2. Quick quinoa and black bean chilli
There are so many reasons to love this dish! It's hearty, warming and satisfying. It's also vegan, high in protein and comes in at 343 calories per portion. The smokiness of paprika, the chilli kick, and the freshness of coriander combine to create a lip-smacking effect. It's so delicious that Olive Magazine's web editor Charlotte has declared it her favourite recipe ever!
3. Vegan quinoa sushi
The beauty of these tasty sushi treats is that you can make them in advance so you have them ready to go when you need them. Whip up a batch and take them for your lunch, a post-ride dinner on the go, or even just as a snack. The protein-rich quinoa gives your body the fuel it needs to repair itself and the colourful vegetables provide a rainbow of essential vitamins and nutrients.
4. Butternut squash chilli
Another tasty low-fat chilli recipe, this time with butternut squash as the main ingredient and a slightly milder taste. Chunks of butternut squash soak up the chilli flavours and it's ready in just 30 minutes.
5. Black bean cakes with quinoa and avocado salad
With both the black beans and the quinoa providing a good dose of protein, these tasty savoury cakes are perfect for preparing in advance so they are ready to chow down on when you get back from a ride. Or you can whip up a batch and have them for lunch. The quinoa salad tastes fresh and light, with lemon to zest things up — it's the perfect nutrient-rich, high-veg accompaniment.
6. Tuna, red onion and white bean salad
Sometimes when you're in a rush the last thing you want to do is start cooking. Luckily, this easy-to-make salad requires minimal preparation: open some cans of tuna and cannellini beans, chop a red onion, and mix the dressing. The fish and beans provide plenty of protein, and the fresh mustard and lemon dressing add plenty of zesty flavour.
7. Three bean soup
A dish that's both light and comforting, this works well for colder evenings and is super-simple to whip up. Cannellini beans, broad beans and green beans are the legumes in question and can be cooked in a vegetable or chicken stock, depending on your preference. A handful of fresh basil and a dusting of Parmesan cheese add satisfying Italian flavours.
8. Chicken dhansak
A high-protein and highly tasty dish that satisfies Indian food cravings, and with significantly fewer calories than your favourite takeaway! It's simpler to make than you might imagine and can be prepared in under an hour, which gives you enough time to get that cycling kit in the washing machine and take a quick shower before sitting down to something delicious.
9. Three bean, tomato and spinach stew
When you come back from a cold, wet ride you want something substantial that tastes good and warms you up. This tasty stew is not only rich in protein, it's also vegetarian and comes in at under 153 calories per portion!
10. Cajun salmon with herb bulgar wheat and yoghurt dressing
A dish that looks good enough to serve up to guests, but is secretly pretty easy to prepare. Salmon is not only a great source of lean protein, it is also packed full of nutrients and good oils that can help your body repair itself after exercise. The bulgar wheat, fresh coriander, dill and mint provide a filling and flavoursome base to the dish.
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