Disclosure: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Potatoes USA and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
I’ve decided to dedicate this recipe to my Mom as an early birthday present (send her a HBD message on Sunday – and yes I got her something else). It’s a rosemary packed post-workout potato dish. Her name is Rosemary, she is killing it with her running, and she is probably the reason why I love potatoes so much!
Before I completed my undergrad degree, obtained my RD credentials, and finished grad school, I had a stint where I bought into the media shaming all carbs. As an athlete, even once I realized this wasn’t the way to fuel my body, part of me was still a little afraid of potatoes and other “white” carbs. Little did I know, these tubers are a nutrient dense powerhouse, not something to exclude from my diet!
Years later as a CSSD, I recommend potatoes as part of a balanced meal rather than pasta to athletes during a carb-loading phase or the night before a mid-season race. The type of complex carbohydrate we get from potatoes is more satiating than white pasta, making it easier to control portions. Yes, I know it is called carbo-loading but endurance athletes usually do this when they decrease their volume of training so carb % goes up while total calorie needs may go down. Overeating for an athlete pre-race will lead to bloating, potential GI discomfort, and can mean a performance decline rather than improvement.
Potatoes provide this carbohydrate, plus potassium,
so you have the energy and hydration to perform your best.
Now don’t get confused. I know I said this is a post-workout recipe. Believe it or not, your post-workout meal isn’t just a recovery meal where you include protein, it is also a refuel meal, allowing you to fill your gas tank back up for your next workout, and spare your body from using muscle as an energy source. Aiming for a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein is a great place to start depending on the type of athlete you are. This recipe provides a 4:1 without the egg and 3:1 with.
An ideal post-workout meal or snack is going to be eaten within 45 minutes of your exercise bout. I continue to shock athletes and gym-goers with that stat. I realize you need to shower, maybe aren’t hungry after an intense workout, and don’t have time to cook and eat in that period. That’s another reason why this meal is great – you can make it ahead and then serve it cold! If you’ve had an extra long workout or strength session, add a hard-boiled egg or cook one in five minutes to add a bit more protein.
What else does this meal have to offer?
Typically a veggie-heavy meal isn’t one you might crave after a sweat session, but the 1/2 cup of arugula per serving won’t slow digestion and contains some nitrates. They’re the same compound that beets are getting press for as they may be able to improve oxygen and nutrient delivery to your muscles for better recovery. The chili oil and crushed red pepper contain capsaicin which has been found to reduce inflammation and support joint health. The rosemary also has anti-inflammatory properties to help your body recover. The split peas contain some leucine, an important amino acid to have after a workout, but adding the egg will provide the most complete protein.
Back to the potatoes, my favorite nutrient to tout here other than the potassium (more than a banana) is selenium. Selenium doesn’t get enough press as one of the most important antioxidant minerals for cancer prevention, but it also can slow cell damage by protecting us from free-radicals. While an athlete’s body uses antioxidants more effectively than non-athletes, all of the exercise does induce stress, so antioxidant intake is important.
Get this recipe on your list, buy the simple ingredients this weekend, and prep so you can refuel and recover easily after your tough workouts! Pair with a tall glass of H2O so your body can use the sodium and potassium for proper fluid balance to aid recovery, too.
Rosemary Split Pea Potato Salad
- 1.5 lbs baby tri-color potatoes, halved
- 1 C dry split peas
- 2 C broth or water
- 1 Tbsp Rosemary
- 2 med shallots, finely diced
- 1 Tbsp chili oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Crushed red pepper to taste
- 2 C arugula
- Bring 2 Cups broth to a boil before adding split peas. Reduce heat and simmer until cooked through but still slightly firm, about 25-30 minutes.
- Heat large cast iron pan over medium on stove with 1 tbsp of oil.
- Add shallots, stir and let cook, covered for 3-5 minutes
- Add the already halved potatoes, stir, cover and reduce heat to just below medium. Let cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the chili flakes, salt and pepper, and stir well.
- Either bake potatoes in the same pan in the oven (uncovered) for an additional 20 minutes at 350 or cook covered on the stove top an additional 25, stirring every 5 minutes, and adding water to deglaze pan from potatoes sticking as needed.
- Mix potatoes, split peas and arugula and serve
Pertinent Nutrition Information
Fat: 4 g
Potassium: 830 mg
Sodium: 370 mg
Fat: 9 g
Carbohydrate: 62 g
Fiber: 18 g
Protein: 21 g
Potassium: 900 mg
Sodium: 370 mg