Since the Channel 4 TV programme Food Unwrapped aired last month in the UK, featuring a piece with Professor Andrew Jones from Exeter University on how drinking beetroot juice can enhance performance by up to 4% (https://twitter.com/andybeetroot – well worth a follow if you are interested in Sports Nutrition), I’ve seen a lot more people visit my blog post on how to use beetroot to enhance endurance sports performance – click here to read it. I’ve also had people ask me for recipes to help them eat more beetroot. Here’s one of my favourites: Beetroot Tabbouleh. You can eat it hot or cold, so it makes a good packed lunch which you can cook up the night before and take into work with you. Or make double quantities and have it for both supper and lunch the next day. It’s pretty quick to make as the beetroot is grated and eaten raw, saving on cooking time.
Ingredients: makes two portions
120-140g of uncooked quinoa
2 tsp bouillon powder or half a vegetable stock cube
2 tsp olive oil
1 large red onion
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 small raw beetroots
150g soft goat’s cheese
Handful of chopped parsley
Bag of watercress, rocket and spinach leaves
- Place the quinoa in a saucepan with the bouillon or crumbled stock cube. Add the water and bring it to the boil. Cover and leave to simmer for 15 minutes until most of the water has been absorbed. Add more water if necessary.
- While the quinoa is cooking, chop the onion and use the olive oil to sauté it gently in another pan for 10 minutes.
- While the onion is cooking, grate the beetroot, squeeze the lemon juice and slice the goat’s cheese.
- When the onion is cooked, stir the balsamic vinegar into the pan, let it bubble and remove from the heat.
- Once the quinoa is cooked, mix it and the beetroot into the onions then add the lemon juice and parsley.
- Place the salad leaves in individual bowls, add the quinoa, onion and beetroot, top with the slices of goat’s cheese and eat warm, or allow it to cool and eat for lunch the next day.
You can also use pre-cooked quinoa – half a 250g sachet per person, which will save some time, but it’s important not to cook the onions too quickly.
This meal works well for lunch on a day when you are training early in the evening. I suggest having a carbohydrate-rich snack shortly before you head out as well, such as a banana, some dried fruit or toast and honey.
Jo Scott-Dalgleish BSc (Hons) is a BANT Registered Nutritionist, writing and giving talks about nutrition for endurance sport. Based in London, she also works as a Registered Nutritional Therapist, conducting one–to–one consultations with triathletes, distance runners and cyclists to help them eat well, be healthy and perform better through the creation of an individual nutritional plan. To learn more about these consultations, please visit www.nutritionforendurancesports.co.uk