Tell Me Tuesday: Easy, Healthy Recipes for Runners

What mother runners know to be true--and what leads to the very best kind of running.
What mother runners know to be true--and what leads to the very best kind of running.

Last fall we asked for simple, nutritional recipes as part of our cookbook giveaway—we happily passed along copies of The Runner’s World Cookbook to two lucky winners—and the tribe’s delicious-sounding, go-to meals and snacks got our mouths watering big time.

We all know how eating well leads to feeling better and to fueling stronger, more satisfying runs, which is why we wanted to share several of these reader recipes here. (And if you’d like to check out the 200+ (!) recipes mother runners generously offered up, scroll through the comments section of the original giveaway post.) Happy cooking and baking—and eating!


This is Kirsten’s favorite “easy and healthy pre-run breakfast:

Overnight Oatmeal


- 1/3 cup Old Fashioned Oats

- 1/3 cup plain Greek Yogurt

- 1/3 cup milk of your choice (I use soy or almond)

- 1/2 banana (can be frozen)

- 1/4 cup berries of your choice (can be frozen)

At night, place all ingredients in a small bowl with a lid. Put in the fridge. In the morning, mix it all up and eat. Sometimes if my banana and fruit are frozen they are not completely thawed by morning, so I will microwave for about 25 seconds. It’s meant to be eaten cold though.

Here's a very easy morning meal. Ali calls it “Anytime Delish Protein Breakfast”: Toast, slathered in avocado, sprinkled with Sriracha sauce and sea salt, topped off with a fried egg.


Midday meal:

What you'll need to make Joyce's black bean quinoa toss. /
What you'll need to make Joyce's black bean quinoa toss. /

Joyce, a runner and food blogger, shared her recipe for black bean and quinoa toss:


- 2 green peppers, cored, seeded and cut into quarters

- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked

- 2 cups water

- 1/4 tsp salt

- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter

- 1 onion, diced

- 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

- 1 cup of corn

- 2 Tbsp fresh basil, shredded

- 1/4 cup olive oil

- 1 Tbsp sugar

- 2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar

- Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 475. Place green bell pepper quarters on a baking sheet and roast for 7-10 minutes, until tender. Remove and set aside to cool. In small sauce pan, combine quinoa with 2 cups of water and salt; bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Transfer cooked quinoa into a shallow dish to cool (can be made ahead of time and stored in refrigerator).
 In a skillet over medium-high heat, roast corn in butter for about 3-4 minutes until browned and slightly charred; allow to cool slightly.
 Cut cooled roasted pepper quarters into 1/2 inch pieces. In a large bowl, toss peppers with remaining ingredients and fold in cooled quinoa. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.

Sarah’s 6-step mango kale salad sounds delightfully quick and easy:

 1. Rinse and chop a bunch of kale. Massage the kale with about a 1/4 cup of olive oil using your hands.

2. Dice up a mango and add to kale.

3. Toss in a 1/2 cup of dried fruit like cranberries or cherries and a nut of your choice i.e. sliced almonds, pecans.

4. Make a dressing using 1/4 olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons of honey, salt and pepper.

5. Pour dressing over salad and chill.

6. Enjoy!


Yum. /
Yum. /photo credit:

Amberly turns to the slow cooker for this cilantro lime chicken dish (adapted from this recipe).

In a slow cooker, mix together:

- 4-6 boneless chicken breasts (frozen or thawed)

- One 24-ounce jar salsa verde

- Juice from one lime

- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

- One 1.25-oz. package taco seasoning

- 2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (optional)

Cover and cook on Low for six hours. Shred chicken & enjoy in tacos, over a green salad or by itself. Delicious!

Lauren says her rice-and-spinach dish is a hit with her entire family (“this isn’t always easy to accomplish”) and it comes together quickly as well as can be modified. “Vegan? Toss the cheese? Need some extra protein for muscle recovery? Add some chicken. If you have left over asparagus toss it in."

“I love using fresh bell peppers, wilted spinach, and an easy box of long grain and wild rice for this quick and satisfying meal.”


- 2 boxes long grain and wild rice (Don’t judge me for making it easy. You can use your own homemade concoction or even quinoa if the mood strikes)

- 2 boxes frozen or fresh spinach

- 2-4 colored bell peppers, diced (Load up, friends)

- 1-3 Tomatoes of your choice

- Diced
green olives to taste

- Feta cheese to taste

- Fresh squeezed lemon Juice, to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare the rice according to package instructions.
Prepare frozen spinach according to package instructions or wilt the fresh spinach.  Dice your peppers, tomatoes, and green olives while the rice and spinach are cooking. Once you have your ingredients are prepped, toss them all into an oven safe baking dish, squeeze your lemon juice all around, and top with as much or as little feta cheese as you’d like. Bake at 375 until the cheese begins to brown-ish

And something sweet…

We’ll end with two (super simple) desserts. Mother runner Kazi shared her “most cherished recipe” that was given to her by a dear friend who passed away years ago. “It just so happens to be a reasonably easy and healthy treat”

Keegan’s No-Bake Yummies

Combine in a pan and boil:

- 1 cube butter

- 1/2 cup milk

- 3 T. cocoa

- 2 cups sugar (can be cut in half)

Add and mix:

- 1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)

- 3 cups uncooked oats

- 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Drop on to wax paper and cool.

Then there’s Kristin’s Healthy Banana Cookies:

- 1 ripe banana

- 1 cup quick cook oats

Add ins: chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, etc.

Mix together.

Roll into 12 balls. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes on a greased sheet. Enjoy!


What's something healthy and delicious you've made lately? 

10 responses to “Tell Me Tuesday: Easy, Healthy Recipes for Runners

  1. Slow cookers are the best. I got about 10 slow cook recipes off of the pintest that were super healthy. Mix up the ingredient in a zip lock bag and freeze it. Now all I have to do is thaw it enough to remove bag. Dump it into a crockpot and when I come home I add salad and rice or a steamed veggie. Dinner is served! I spent one afternoon putting together 10 meals. Each one has been healthy and delicious! Just what a busy running mom wants for her family!

  2. My go-to recipe:
    saute garlic, pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes and spinach in olive oil
    serve with pasta
    add chicken if you want

  3. I’ve become hooked on a pumpkin-oatmeal-yogurt concoction for breakfast — instant (reduced sugar) maple oatmeal microwaved with ~1/2 cup canned pumpkin sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice then topped with a container of vanilla Greek yogurt mixed with pumpkin pie spice then topped with a handful of fresh blueberries (if available & not too expensive…) Looks messy but tastes yummy!

  4. MMmm…I found this in one of my magazines and adopted it/altered it slightly (Shape, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, or Women’s Running…can’t remember which). Been eating it for salad at lunch a LOT lately. When lacking pre-cooked lentils at 10 p.m. the night before (yes, I prep my lunches at night), I toss in 1/4 c of quinoa and 1/2 c or so of chicken/turkey/veggie broth and cook it like a pilaf.

    Saute 1/2 onion, 1 small chopped apple. Add in 1/2 cup of pre-steamed/cooked lentils and 1 chicken sausage (sliced). Season with black pepper to taste. Serve warm over fresh spinach or arugula (+/- 2 c greens) w/ a mustardy vinigarette 🙂

    There’s a recipe for baked oatmeal floating around the FB world and it is awesome! Since I made it for my kiddos, it is possible to make it allergy** friendly – 3 bananas, vanilla extract, 2 c unsweetened applesauce, 1/2 c honey, 5 cups oatmeal/rolled oats (or 3 oats and 2 steelcut oats), 1/2c flaxseed meal, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger (all spices to taste), 1 tsp salt, 3 tsp backing powder, 2-1/2 c soy/rice/nut/dairy milk (I used rice). Mix this all together, drop into muffin pans lined with papers, bake at 350-ish for 30 minutes or so. Tester will come out clean. Cool. (** My household’s allergies include dairy, egg, tree nuts, peanuts, and shellfish)

  5. I am currently eating an egg, chicken, stir fry breakfast. I took left over chicken and veggie stirfry, (no rice or grains) mixed with an egg and cooked up for breakfast. Yummy!

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