What athletes eat: Runner Colleen Quigley's quinoa power bowl
Nine-time NCAA All-American Colleen Quigley spent her high school years missing school to travel the country as a professional model -- not dreaming of becoming an Olympic runner. But Florida State coach Karen Harvey talked the St. Louis native into trading a future of modeling in New York City for a collegiate running career. Three years later Quigley was a national champion in the steeplechase, and the following year she was headed to Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games. Quigley, who graduated from FSU with a degree in dietetics, shares the "power bowl" she started making in college and has been eating (and tweaking) ever since.
Day and time: I made this dish for dinner last week, for one of my best friends in Portland who is actually not a runner. We are both FSU grads and love having dinner parties together to try new, and old, dishes.
Place: My apartment in Portland
What I'm eating: Quinoa protein power bowl
Whose recipe: I've created this recipe, but there are so many other guidelines for this type of thing online. I just started sharing fun recipes with fans in my newsletter through ColleenQuigley.org so people can really see what I'm eating. One of my favorite restaurants in St. Louis, Crazy Bowls and Wraps, makes a great bowl like this, too.
Why I'm eating it: I usually find myself coming home from practice to stare at a bunch of random ingredients in my fridge -- with little creativity as to how to put those ingredients together into a recipe at 6 p.m. when I'm hungry and ready to eat ASAP. There is no time to run to the grocery store before cooking when you're already hungry.
The beauty of this recipe is that it's really just a guideline and can be tweaked in so many ways to cater to your cravings or what you happen to have on hand. If you don't have quinoa, use rice, or barley or any other grain you like. Same goes for protein -- some of my favorites are grilled chicken or grilled steak, but you can use tuna, salmon, chorizo, tofu, whatever. As for vegetables, the more the merrier. I love to put everything in a big bowl and drizzle the dressing on top, but you can also mix the dressing in before serving to coat everything.
Think of your bowl in layers. Each layer is a different category. Pick a green, then a grain, a protein and as many vegetables as you want. Then top it off with your sauce. Keep in mind these are just suggestions -- get creative.
Greens: Kale (red or green), arugula or spinach (baby or big)
I like to chop or shred my greens (especially ones with larger leaves) for easier consumption. Use about 1 cup per serving.
Grains: Quinoa (any color), rice (preferably brown), faro or barley
Follow the directions for each grain, but typically I cook my grains by placing 1 cup grain and 2 cups water in a pot, boiling, then reducing to simmer until light and fluffy. Throw in about 1/2 cup cooked grain per serving.
Legumes: Black beans, garbanzos, kidney beans, lentils
I usually buy canned beans out of laziness, but of course you could soak and cook dried beans if you have the time. Use 1/4 cup per serving here.
Proteins: Chicken, steak, salmon, tofu
Cook your protein of choice (grilled is my favorite), then chop into bite-sized pieces. I use about 1/2 cup per serving.
Vegetables (and fruits): Brussels sprouts, peas, carrots, onions, beets, asparagus, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, berries, edamame
Go crazy here, folks. If you hate the earthy taste of beets (I love 'em!), skip those and add something that makes your heart sing. You shouldn't have to choke down vegetables, so find ones you love -- you have so many options. Some must be cooked (potatoes) while others you can add raw (shredded carrots). I often grill the veggies like onions and peppers. Add at least a cup of chopped veggies.
Dressing: Pesto (make it creamy by mixing in some plain yogurt), hummus, balsamic vinaigrette, lemon miso, apple cider vinaigrette
This can be drizzled (or glopped) on top or mixed into the dish before serving. I usually try to make my own dressings homemade, but you can always have some store-bought ones on hand for when you're in a pinch. Shalane Flanagan's cookbook, "Run Fast Eat Slow," has my favorite dressing of all time: lemon ginger miso -- give it a try.
Other toppings: Toasted almond slivers, candied pecans, crumbled/shredded cheese (goat, feta and parmesan are my favorites), toasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
Here's where you can really make it unique. Add some crunch or some extra spice.