Ellen Clifford
November 01, 2014 11:00 am

To be honest, I am really not into diets. They presume that everyone needs the same exact nutrients in the same exact proportions at the same exact times of day, rather than acknowledging that we are all unique individuals with different dietary needs.

Despite choosing a vegetarian diet for myself because I love animals too much to eat them, I don’t deny that some people’s bodies thrive more when they include meat in their meals. One of the things I really dig about The Athlete’s Cookbook, by Corey Irwin and Brett Stewart, is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all deal. There are a few different plans and even with the variety they provide, they acknowledge that if you are trying to be, say, paleo or vegan, you should choose an entirely different book. That’s generous.

Nor are the authors dogmatic about being strict —they are all about health in the long run. They are fans of the “everything in moderation” rule, both for food and exercise. Any healthy thing can be overdone, no matter how healthy it seems. AHEM, people who eat too many carrots turning orange, *cough cough*. Not that I’d know. Nope. Not me.

The Athlete’s Cookbook outlines three different eating “programs,” and gives eating schedules and menus to go with them using the recipes in the book. The programs are “Body Fat Loss,” “Strength,” and “Endurance”. I thought it was a good (as well as refreshing) thing that the first one is not called “Weight Loss.” They point out that it is more important to become strong and healthy than to solely shed pounds.

The recipes are well-spiced and incorporate more than a few genres of cuisine. They include Portuguese Rice, Huevos Rancheros, and Caribbean Stew, just to name a few. Before each recipe, Irwin and Stewart provide a note explaining why some of the ingredients are good to be eating, which is super helpful. I ended up making the vegetable and protein-packed Mexican Potato Egg Salad because I wanted something delicious and spicy.

It’s also the perfect meal to make after all that Halloween candy binging (don’t worry, I’m guilty too!).

Mexican Potato Egg Salad adapted from The Athlete’s Cookbook by Corey Irwin and Brett Steward

Salad:

  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup scallions
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, tightly packed
  • 1/2 pound red-skinned potatoes (I had fingerlings on hand so that is what I used)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced (I cut the slices into more manageable chunks)
  • There is supposed to be 1/2 tablespoon of capers, drained, soaked for ten minutes, then drained again but I forgot the capers. I think they would have added a nice salty touch though
  • There isn’t supposed to be more salt but I’d advise adding some sea salt to your own liking at the end of making this

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (shameful secret: I melted butter instead)
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. paparika
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper (I recommend freshly ground)
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne

Put the tomatoes, scallions, cilantro and, if you are using them, capers in a bowl. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and carefully put the potatoes in. Let them cook until you can spear them easily with a fork, but don’t let them get to the falling-apart-tender state. Drain, then put them aside to cool.

Put all the stuff for dressing in a small container and mix until emulsified. If you have a blender that can handle that tiny amount of ingredients, use that (I just whisked). Pour this over the tomato mixture and stir. Allow to marinate until the potatoes are still warm, but have cooled enough to handle. Dice the potatoes into chunks. I made mine each about a 1/2 to 3/4 inch big. Add them to the tomato mixture and mix well. Then gently mix in the eggs. Cover and put the salad in the refrigerator. You want at least a couple of hours for flavors to get friendly with each other. In my experience this was even better the next day. Taste and add a nice sprinkle of sea salt if you think it needs it.

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