athlete cutting zucchini prepping meals

Warm up with healthy winter meals!


Let’s face it, winter foods are hearty and heavy. Trudging through the cold, with cutting winds and grey skies, makes a person ready for a stew or some braised-and-sauced chunk of meaty goodness. But, hark! We can have heartiness and healthiness all in the same body-warming meal. To boot, we’ve found some great options for prep ahead of breakfast, making sure you’ve got the boost you need without giving up those precious morning minutes. Here are a few bound-to-please recipe ideas:


Fartlek Chili – Shalane Flanagan dazzles on the track and in the cookbook section. This is a nutrient packed chili that can be cooked in your slow-cooker!


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef (ground turkey or tempeh may be used)
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground red pepper/cayenne (optional, if you like it spicy)
  • 2 cups Classic Chicken Bone Broth or store-bought, low-sodium chicken or veggie broth
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) black, pinto, or kidney beans; drained/rinsed


  • Heat oil in large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, and salt. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until veggies are soft but not brown.
  • Add bell peppers, beef (or turkey or tempeh), garlic, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and red pepper/cayenne (if using). Stir continuously, breaking up the meat into bite-size pieces, until meat is browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Add broth, tomatoes, and beans. Bring to a simmer. Cook on low, cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes but preferably an hour.
  • Taste and add salt/cayenne to taste. If too thick, thin with broth.
  • Serve bowls steaming hot and top as you wish (scallions, sour cream, kale, spinach, etc.) Or, better yet, serve topped with Avocado Cream, if desired.
  • For slow-cooker cooking, complete the first two steps then combine all ingredients in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.



Wild Salmon Sweet Potato Cakes – Shalane is at it again. This recipe delivers great protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs for a burst of all the goods your body craves.


  • ½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup orange-fleshed sweet potato puree, homemade or store bought
  • 8 oz. wild salmon, skin and pin bones removed; flesh finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges (optional)
  • Avocado Cream* (optional)


  • In 12-inch cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottom pan, heat 2 tbsp. coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and 1/4 tsp. of sea salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft but not yet brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stirring constantly, and cook for 1 minute.
  • In a bowl with the sweet potato puree, combine the onion mixture, salmon, eggs, almond flour, parsley, lemon juice, mustard, cumin, pepper, and remaining ½ tsp. of salt.
  • Preheat oven to 250˚F. Line baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels.
  • Wipe out the pan onions were cooked in, then add ¼ cup oil and warm over medium heat. When oil begins to shimmer, but not yet smoking, scoop ¼ cup of salmon batter and gently tap upside down on side of the pan to slide batter into the oil. Use a spatula to press lightly so the cakes are about 1-inch thick. Cook until nicely browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip each cake over and cook until the bottoms are browned and patty is cooked through, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Transfer the salmon cakes to baking sheet. Keep warm. As or if needed, carefully wipe skillet clean and add more oil to cook additional cakes.
  • Serve on individual plates, garnished with lemon wedge and Avocado Cream.

*Avocado Cream


  • 2 small or 1 large ripe avocado, halved
  • 1 small or ½ large jalapeno pepper, stemmed and quartered
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt


  • Scoop meat from avocado and place into food processor with Chile pepper, lime juice, olive oil, and salt. Process until smooth and transfer to a bowl.
  • You may also mash avocado with fork until smooth. Then, in medium bowl, combine with finely chopped Chile pepper, lime juice, olive oil, and salt. Stir to combine.
  • Use right away or cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 day.


Make Ahead Breakfast:

Breakfast is great. It gets your metabolism churning, sets the healthy tone of the day, and, frankly, is responsible for some great recipes! If you like a sweet note in the mornings, revisit these amazing energy treats Shalane and another chef/athlete, Thomas Cox, shared with us last summer. We also love this idea: make your breakfast for the week all on a Sunday afternoon!


Muffin-Tin Eggs (we’ve taken liberties with this easy recipe)


  • 1 dozen eggs
  • Whatever you like in your eggs


  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • Butter/grease each cup of a 6-cup muffin tin.
  • Prepare “whatever you like in your eggs” as though you were making an omelet. Cook bacon or sausage. Sautee veggies.
  • Divide “whatever you like in your eggs” into cups of a 6-cup muffin tin.
  • Whisk the eggs as if you were going to make an omelet. Pour evenly over the contents of each muffin cup.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes until eggs are just set.
  • You can serve this immediately or refrigerate and warm a “muffin” each morning. The muffins will last all week. Use it on a sandwich, by itself with some hot sauce, or broken into a tortilla for a breakfast wrap.


We hope these ideas have whet your appetite and got you thinking about ways you can get that hearty, winter-full feeling without abandoning your nutrition plan. There are great recipes out there that will save your macro/nutrient counts and your precious time. We love to share some of our favorites from time to time, so keep in touch—here, on our blog and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Bon Appetit!

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