• Amy Jordan

The favourite vegan dishes of 3 elite athletes and how to make them


An increasing number of celebrities and athletes are turning to a vegan diet in a bid to boost performance and aid recovery.

Some of the biggest names in world sport, the likes of Lionel Messi, Venus Williams and Lewis Hamilton, have turned to a vegan diet and thrived. With research proving the benefits more and more, these high-profile advocates of veganism are helping to open the eyes of people across the world.

There are a great range of recipes on Karina's site, including a delicious vegan mac and cheese recipe, but what if you want to eat like a sports star? Well, now you can, by following these three recipes as enjoyed by some of the world’s top athletes.

Lewis Hamilton

Photo credit: Jake Archibald / Wikipedia

Lewis Hamilton recorded his sixth World Championship win at the U.S Grand Prix in November and is one of the most successful Formula One Drivers of all time.

He told Business Insider that he’s a fan of vegan pancakes, as well as tofu garlic stir-fry with vegetables and wholegrain rice.

On his Instagram page, Hamilton regularly posts meals he enjoys, including slow-cooked zucchini with toasted pine nuts alongside and a salad, a variation of which we will show you how to make below.

Zucchini ribbons with lemon dressing and pine nuts

Ingredients

1/3 cup light olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

2 medium zucchini

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Preparation

Whisk lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of coarse salt, oil, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper in a bowl to blend.

Using vegetable peeler slice zucchini into ribbons. Place ribbons in a large bowl and add basil and nuts, then dressing; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Venus Williams

Photo credit: Anna Bialkowska / Wikipedia

Tennis star Venus Williams has 10 Grand Slam titles to her name and is widely regarded as one of the greatest female players of all time.

A Coral article on successful vegan athletes explains how Williams changed to a plant-based diet after being diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Sjögren’s syndrome.

One of Venus’s favourite dishes is a jalapeño vegetable burrito, something she claims “keeps me energized even through the toughest workouts.”

Jalapeño veggie burrito

Ingredients

2 tsp. olive oil

1 small red onion, diced

1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup sliced button or crimini mushrooms

1 cup cooked jasmine or brown rice

1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed

Sea salt

4 whole-wheat tortillas

2 cups shredded romaine lettuce

1 cup guacamole

1 cup tomato salsa

1/4 cup jalapeno cashew cream

Preparation

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and just beginning to colour for about 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the mushrooms to the skillet, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook until soft (about 2 minutes). Transfer the mushrooms to the bowl with the other vegetables. Stir in the rice and black beans and season with salt.

Lay out the tortillas on a clean surface. Divide the vegetable-rice mixture evenly among the tortillas, spooning it neatly down the centres. Top with the lettuce, using about ½ cup on each. Spoon the guacamole and salsa over the top, using about 1/4 cup on each. Drizzle with the cashew cream.

Serves 4.

Madi Serpico Whalen

Photo credit: Impact Magazine

Canada’s 25-year-old triathlon star found an immediate improvement in her health when she moved to a plant-based diet. Along with her husband, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Griff Whalen, she promotes veganism as much as possible.

On her social media pages, she confesses her passion for ‘Love Balls’ which she says are a great post-workout snack. Vegan energy balls are quick to prepare and can include a mix of different ingredients, such as the nut-based ones we suggest here.

Energy balls

Ingredients

100g flaked almonds

50g desiccated coconut

50g Macadamia nuts

50g hazelnuts

3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

4 tablespoons coconut oil

4 tablespoons good quality nut butter (e.g. peanut or almond)

4 tablespoons agave nectar

1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract)

Preparation

Put all the dry ingredients into a blender and whizz/pulse until evenly blended (don’t over blend, as you want a grainy consistency). In a saucepan over a low heat melt the coconut oil. Remove from the heat and add peanut butter, agave, and vanilla. Stir well to combine all the ingredients into a wet paste.

Put into the fridge or freezer to completely cool and harden. Roll into balls the size you like and then roll in various toppings of your choice (e.g. cocoa powder, flaked coconut, ground peanuts). Pop back into the fridge for up to three hours to harden.


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Your online vegan personal trainer and nutrition coach. A friendly kick in the butt that inspires and motivates you to live your best, healthiest, most plant-strong life.

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