When I first decided to go gluten free to help control allergies, I struggled to get enough carbs in my diet to fuel my workouts. Without carbs, my workouts would start off ok, but would start to fall apart halfway through. Unable to make it through a 6k swim without my pre-workout bagel, I started and stopped my wheat-free diet three times before it stuck.
Achieving the latter took building a broad enough repertoire of gluten-free, high carb recipes. Having a variety of dishes—from snacks to packable lunches to quick dinners—helped me feel confident that I'd be able to make it through the most grueling workouts without bread and pasta.
Melissa, our Athlete Food editor, helped me come up with these recipes and she wrote about them in the April issue of Runner's World. Her story, "Gluten-free Meals for Better Running" provides five easy-to-prepare recipes based on some of our favorite Athlete Food flavors.
After reading Melissa's article, I was inspired to make the Black Bean Potato Salad. In my typical competitive fashion, I added a few ingredients to make add even more nutrients and calories to this already healthy salad. I topped the salad with a sliced hard-boiled egg and, instead of serving over it over typical salad greens, I used raw chopped kale.
If you choose to make this with kale, make the salad dressing first and toss it into the kale. Let it sit while cooking the potatoes and preparing the rest of the ingredients. This will soften up the raw kale a bit. If you want to lighten up the salad because you are planning to do another workout after eating, cut down the number of slices of bacon or keep all the bacon but trim some of the fat off with a pair of kitchen sheers. I used three slices of fat-trimmed bacon. It was just enough to have the bacon flavor come through.
(see recipe below the photo)
Black Bean Potato and Kale Salad
Adapted from Runners World
1 pound small red-skin potatoes
3 slices bacon, fat trimmed, cooked and chopped
2 hard boiled eggs
1 bunch fresh kale, chopped, or another hearty leafy green, like spigarello broccoli
1 can spicy black beans, drained (or 1 can regular black beans mixed with a few sprinkles of crushed red pepper)
1 teaspoon chopped shallot
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Make the dressing by combining the shallot, mustard, sherry vinegar, salt, cumin and sprinkling of pepper in a small bowl.
Place greens in a large salad bowl. Then toss it with the dressing and set aside.
Cook potatoes. Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Boil for about 15 minutes.
Allow potatoes to cool enough to handle and cut them into quarters.
Add the potatoes, chopped bacon and black beans to the salad bowl with the dressed kale and toss.
Top with a sliced hard-boiled eggs.