Quinoa Recipes

Quinoa is a great option for runners because it's a seed that is a complete protein (it contains all 9 essential amino acids). So, it's great for just about everyone, including those who are gluten free and vegetarian.  Below are  two of our favorite quinoa recipes, one for the morning and one for the evening. Both are easy to make and great for pre and post runs. 

Quinoa Kale Salad - this salad is easy to make and you can incorporate whatever veggies you like best. We recommend cooking quinoa ahead of time and then using it throughout the week. 


  • 2 cups kale, finely chopped
  • 4 oz grilled chicken or firsh
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • Unlimited veggies


  • Cook quinoa according to instructions
  • Cook protein until cooked through
  • Toss kale, quinoa, protein and veggies together and top with your favorite salad dressing
Great post run meal or bring it for lunch to power you through your afternoon run

Great post run meal or bring it for lunch to power you through your afternoon run

Morning Quinoa Bowl - this is a great breakfast option for a long run day. Cook your quinoa ahead of time.


  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tbs silvered almonds
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk (almond, rice or regular)
  • 1 tbs maple syrup


  • Combine all ingredients in a 2 quart saucepan
  • Heat on medium-low, stirring, until the quinoa has soaked up the liquid
  • Add more milk until the consistency suits you.

Easy Sweet Potato Chili

Easy Sweet Potato Chili with Black Beans


Meghan Reynolds

photo 4.JPG

This is one of my go-to meals during the colder months. It's full of flavor, protein and very easy to make. Great lunch or dinner for runners and athletes.

1 tablespoon


1/2 medium red or yellow onion

finely chopped

3 medium celery stalks

finely chopped

3-4 medium garlic cloves

finely chopped

2 teaspoons ground chili powder

1 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried chipotle spice

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 (28 ounce) can

diced tomotoes

1 cup

water, veggie broth or low-sodium chicken broth

1 pounds sweet potatoes

medium diced (about 2 -2.5 cups)

1 can black beans



chopped (optional) for garnish

Crumbled feta, Cotija cheese or your preference (optional)


  • Reduce the heat to medium-low, stir in the beans, and simmer, partially covered, until the liquid is slightly thickened, the potatoes are cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes. 
  • Taste, and add more salt and/or a squeeze of lime juice, as desired.

Makes 4-5 servings.

Garnish with scallions, cheese, avocado, sour cream and tortilla chips as desired. I like to serve over a bed of quinoa.

#TastyTuesday - Our Favorite Smoothie

We love finding new ingredients for smoothies and learning about new combinations. However, there's one that we always come back to, because it's tasty, it's filling, it's packed full of vitamins and it's easy. We call it our Can't Miss Smoothie. It's great for breakfast, an afternoon snack or a post-run recovery shake.

Here it is:

1 handful spinach
1/2 banana
1/2 cup of pineapple (we use the frozen kind)
1 scoop of Designer Whey vanilla protein powder
8-10 oz of water (and a few ice cubes)
Blend and enjoy!

Best Granola Recipe - #tastytuesday

A year ago, a good friend of mine gave me (Jessica) a huge jar of homemade granola for my birthday from a recipe off of Molly Wizenberg's blog, Orangette. Since then, it's the only granola Meghan and I (of course it was our morning & afternoon snack for a few days) want to eat and I've made the the recipe too many times to count. In preparation for little bird's arrival (the unofficial, official due date is today!), I spent Sunday making what feels like a month's supply to use as tasty, healthy toppings in protein packed yogurts mixed with chia seeds during the first few weeks of motherhood. 

Here's how to make our favorite version of this granola adapted from Early Bird's granola:

preheat oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

3 cups whole grain oats
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips or flakes
¾ cup raw pecans chopped
¾ cup raw almonds chopped
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
¾ cup maple syrup, preferably Grade A
½ cup olive oil
Dried cherries, cranberries, blueberries (sulfur-free) 

Instructions: Combine the oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, pecans, almonds, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. Add in the olive oil and maple syrup, mix and spread evenly over the baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and lightly toasted, stirring every 10-15 minutes (takes approximately 40-45 minutes total). Cool completely and add in dried fruit. Store in airtight container at room temperature.



#TastyTuesday - A Smoothie Challenge

Jessica and I love smoothies - for breakfast, for a quick lunch, an afternoon snack and sometimes even as dinner after a late workout. I pretty much drink a smoothie a day but definitely find myself making the same one over and over and over again. I decided to do the August Colourful Smoothie Challenge, hosted by Charissa of the blog Colourful Palate, as a way to mix it up and get some new ideas.

The contest is pretty simple. All I have to do is have a smoothie every day and tweet a picture. Pretty simple and there are some great prizes at the end.

Our smoothies tend to be protein smoothies, especially after a workout. We use Designer Whey protein powders. You can make your smoothies without the protein powder - it just helps us get our daily allotment of protein! Below we've listed our favorite fruits, veggies, liquids and fun additions. Mix and match and find variations that you love!

Spinach, cucumbers, kale (just blend a lot!), parsley,
Bananas, blueberries, pineapple, mango, strawberries and avocados. Seasonal fruit is great - peaches, apricots, raspberries
Almond milk, water, coconut water (we stay away from dairy)
Fun additions:
Ginger, hemp seed, chia seeds, coconut flakes, cocao powder, cinnamon, almond butter

What's your favorite combination?

Grilled Tempeh Kabobs - #TastyTuesday

This week, our #TastyTuesday recipe comes from Kiersten, the writer behind the blog twenty-six for a twenty-something. We knew she'd be a great fit for our blog because she's a runner! On her blog, she writes about her quest to run a marathon on all 7 continents (which is Meghan's goal!) and chronicles her daily life between marathons, training, racing, and creating yummy recipes. The recipe she is sharing today is easy and one her new summer favorite!

My boyfriend moved in a few months ago, and it has been a challenge to make dinners that satisfies both my love for veggies and his love for meat. Although this recipe is meatless, the tempeh has the same chewy texture as meat, so even he likes it! It is also super quick to make, and easy to customize depending on what vegetables you like. It's a quick, easy summer meal that is full of all the things runner's need- protein, veggies, and whole grain carbs.

Grilled Tempeh Kabobs:


5 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil (or just regular vegetable oil if you don't have sesame oil)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (8oz) package organic soy tempeh, cut into 16 pieces
2 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package cherry tomatoes (around 16 tomatoes)
1 8oz package baby bella mushrooms (cut in half if some are really big sto they are all about the same size)
1/2 sweet onion cut into chunks

To make:
1. Combine 3 teaspoons vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic in a small zip-top plastic bag and then add the tempeh. Marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours, turning occasionally.
2. Combine remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar, honey, lime juice, canola oil and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook 2 minutes or until the honey mixture is slightly thickened.
3. Preheat grill to high heat
4. Thread tempeh, tomatoes, mushrooms and onion alternatively onto skewers. Place skewers on grill and grill for minutes or until browned; turn after 5 minutes and basting occasionally with half of the honey mixture. Drizzle the remaining honey mixture over the skewers.
We like to serve the skewers with brown rice or quinoa. I like to take everything off the skewer, put it on top of the rice, and add a little more of the honey sauce.

Check out her blog to see what else she is up to these days!  


Chia Seed Pudding - #TastyTuesday


I've been playing around with this recipe for awhile now - adding and subtracting ingredients and amounts. I think I finally figured out the perfect ratios!

Why do I love this snack? 1) It's healthy (good source of protein and Omega 3s) 2) it's sweet and 3) it's easy to make. Each serving is about 125 calories, 8g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 94mg sodium, 9g dietary fiber, 0g sugar, 3.5g protein.


  • 2/3 cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almondmilk (or any milk substitute)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a deep bowl, combine the almond milk and the vanilla extract. Add the chia seeds seeds and whisk. Cover and refrigerate until very it thickens and becomes pudding-like, about 4 hours or overnight. Stir occasionally to help break up chia clumps.

Makes 4 servings. Add on your favorite toppings. I like unsweeted coconut flakes, bananas, fresh raspberries and maybe a little maple syrup!

Chocolate Almond Smoothie - #TastyTuesday


I've been in Florida for the past few weeks and it's been crazy hot and humid here (funny saying this, but "unseasonably" humid). I've been getting some runs in but if I wake up past 8am, it's not a fun run. Today, I woke up a bit late so I decided to head to a Pure Barre class. I've been going to a studio here in Sarasota, Florida and really enjoying it. (I highly recommend Chaz's classes!) After, it was 11am and instead of doing a fruit smoothie, I decided to try a chocolate smoothie. Designer Whey has a recipe for peanut butter but I don't like peanut butter so I used almond butter from Trader Joes. It was a frothy delicious drink and kept me full for a few hours. It's 240 calories, 21 g protein and 15 g fat.


8 oz Almond Milk

1 scoop Designer Whey Sustained Energy Chocolate Velvet

1 tbsp Almond Butter

3-4 Ice Cubes

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Good Morning Chia Ginger Smoothie - #TastyTuesday

by Meghan Reynolds

I've become a bit bored with the smoothies I've been making. I checked out what I had in my cabinets and searched around for some new ideas and voila, (thanks Pinterest!) I found loads of recipes. I found a bunch that included chia seeds and thought that sounded interesting -adding a bit of crunch to a smoothie. I gathered what I had in my fridge and cabinets (another reason I like smoothies- endless combinations, just need a bit of inspiration sometimes) and decided on a strawberry, ginger, chia seed concoction. I like ginger because t's a natural digestive aid and chia seeds are packed protein and Omega-3s - a perfect morning boost, in my opininon :)

Here's what I created - the Good Morning Chia Ginger Smoothie


1 cup almond milk

1 banana

1 cup berries (I used strawberries & raspberries; use both, one or add blueberries!)

1 tbsp Chia seeds

1 inch fresh ginger

2 shakes cinnamon (who really measures that anyways!?)

A handful of ice

Blend up, pour and enjoy!

Healthy Eating While Traveling - #TastyTuesday

 by Caitlin Grams

Living a healthy lifestyle can be fairly easily done at home. You are in control of where and when you grocery shop, you can prepare your own meals and know exactly what goes into them, and you are familiar with local restaurants. Traveling can throw you off in more ways than just dealing with jet leg - being in a new city you may be unfamiliar with means that eating well can be a challenge. But summer travel plans shouldn't mean you throw in the towel on maintaining a healthy diet! Here are the Hot Bird's top tips for staying healthy on the road:

*Plan ahead! We can't stress that enough. Bring healthy foods with you  - fresh and dried fruit, jerky, healthy sandwiches or wraps, energy bars, nuts - there are so many options for healthy, portable snacks that don't need to be refrigerated and travel well, especially for long flights or car trips. Being prepared will help you avoid fast food pit stops and unhealthy options available at airports and on planes! 
*Shop at a local grocery store on the road or when you arrive at your destination. Even if you are only going to be traveling a day or two, having healthy snacks or meal options on hand will not only save you money on meals out but you will be prepared and well equipped to eat healthily. I like to seek out the nearest Whole Foods or Trader Joe's when I am in a new place and pick up fruit, veggies and hummus, Greek yogurt, oatmeal, and other healthy meal options that I know keep and transport well and don't require more than a hotel fridge or cooler! 
*If you are traveling by car (road trip!), pack a big cooler full of healthy meals and snacks. It's easy to pick up ice at gas stations along the way and your meals will stay fresh. Again, yogurt, hummus and cut up veggies, fruit, healthy sandwiches or wraps and individual packets of almond butter are all your best friend on a long drive! And make sure you bring a large water bottle that you can refill at gas stations or rest stops. 


Here's a favorite homemade trail mix of ours that we bring on every trip - a healthy snack if eaten in proper portions. If you have a favorite of your own, share it with us in the comments section! 

Trail mix:
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup walnuts or raw cashews
1/4 cup dried cranberries, blueberries, raisins or cherries (or a combination of the three)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (or vanilla chips)
Combine all ingredients and enjoy!


Tasty Tuesday

Watermelon is in season May - September. It's a great postrun thirst quencher because it's 92% water. Buy one, cut it up and you've got a great low calorie snack. One cup of diced watermelon is only 48 calories, a 1/4 of your daily vitamin C needs adn 10% of your vitamin A needs.

Want to see more of our recipes and food suggestions? Search #TastyTuesday on Twitter and Instagram!


#TastyTuesday - Chocolate Raspberry Dream

by Meghan Reynolds

I enjoy my chocolate and have been trying different ways to get my "fix". This recipe comes from the Biggest Loser. I had 1/2 the ingredients and raspberries were on sale so I went for it. I adapted a few of the amounts and added the chocolate chips :) I LOVED it!

Here it is (makes 4 servings):

1 cup all-natural fat-free cottage cheese
3 Tablespoons 100% fruit raspberry spread
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 6 oz container fresh raspberries
2 Tablespoons Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips

Blend the first 3 ingredients until smooth. I used my Cuisinart blender. Put it into a container and put it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours (next time, I'm going to put it in the freezer). When you are ready to serve, put 3-4 raspberries into a dessert or martini glass, spoon 1/4 of the chocolate mixture over and top with 2-3 raspberries and 1⁄2 a tablespoon of chocolate chunks. Enjoy!

Nutrition for Base Training: Stocking Your Fridge/Pantry

By Caitlin Grams

When taking on something new, you will experience the greatest success if you come prepared. Take running, for example: without shoes or a mapped out running route, a great run would be near impossible. Cleaning up your diet is the same way - you have to come prepared in order to succeed. In order to kick off your base training properly fueled and energized for a successful training season, here are my top 3 tips: 


1. Clean it out. Get rid of anything that might tempt you to stray from a clean diet. Chips, candy, processed foods, ice cream, sodas (even diet sodas), high fat meat and dairy products - avoid most things in packages and with additives. Toss them out, bring them to a food bank, donate to friends - but get it out of your kitchen.


2. Restock. Head to a grocery store or better yet a farmer's market. Choose foods that don't come in a box and that are fresh and in season. Fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats are the building blocks of a healthy diet. Find healthier replacements for your old unhealthy favorites - make kale chips instead of regular potato chips, frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, sparkling water instead of soda.


3. Prepare! Chop vegetables for salads and snacks, grill or bake enough lean protein for the week, make a large batch of quinoa, black beans or brown rice, and roast vegetables. Pre-portion nuts and fruits for snacks. Keep healthy snacks and meals at the office or in your car so you are never tempted to stray from a clean diet. 


Now that your kitchen is clean and stocked, you are ready to take on your base training and start cooking up some Hot Bird Recipes!

Tasty Tuesday - Hemp Kale Salad

Hemp Kale Salad
Although kale salads are a staple in our diets, this one is a new favorite and will be making it's way into regular rotation! Caitlin added a twist by added hemp seeds in place of nuts or sunflower seeds. Like flax, hemp is a high protein and fiber seed and contains all 9 essential amino acids - and provides good texture to a salad! This is a great post workout meal because of the protein and veggies.

2 c kale, roughly chopped
1/2 small avocado
3 oz grilled chicken, diced
1/4 red pepper, chopped
2 tsp hemp seeds
2 tbsp dried cranberries
1/2 lemon, juiced
Add kale and avocado to a mixing bowl and mix with your hands until the leaves are coated in avocado. Add remaining ingredients and toss with lemon juice. Enjoy!

Tasty Tuesday - Taco Tuesday

Caitlin has perfected the guacamole and margarita recipe. We just had to try these out and weren't disappointed! This is a great treat and provides the avocados provide the good fats that we all need to keep our energy up. Try these tonight or next week and let us know what you think!

Taco Tuesday at Home

One of my favorite traditions since moving to LA has been to meet friends for Taco Tuesdays, where many restaurants offer cheap tacos and margaritas - two of my favorite things. Recently I decided to try to take the tradition to my apartment - saving both money and calories, since I'm not tempted by endless baskets of tortilla chips at home! Two of the most important parts of the meal: guacamole and margaritas!
Classic Spicy Guacamole
2 avocados
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 tomato, diced
1/2 jalapeno, diced (I keep the seeds, but discard them if you don't like things too spicy!)
1 lime, juiced
Chipotle Tabasco 
Scoop avocados into a bowl and mash with a fork until mostly smooth. Add onion, tomato, jalapeno and lime juice and mix well. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a few shakes of Chipotle Tabasco and mix again. Test for preferred spiciness and adjust if needed.
Spicy Pineapple Coconut Margaritas
1 shot white tequila
1/3 cup pure pineapple coconut juice 
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4 jalapeno, chopped (again, I like it spicy so I keep the seeds)
Add all ingredients to a shaker or a cocktail glass and mix well. If not using a shaker, muddle jalapeno in the glass before adding other ingredients. Enjoy! 


Healthy Holiday Celebrations

by Caitlin Grams

Valentine's Day, like so many other holidays, can quickly get out of hand with sweets and indulgent treats. This year, try something different. No matter if you're celebrating with someone special (a spouse or partner) or with family or friends, here are a few ideas on how to make this Valentine's day a bit healthier:
  • Take your valentine for a run or organize a group run with friends. Better yet, find a themed race and dress up! 
  • Try a new fitness class together - do something different. 
  • Plan an active outing - go hiking, rock climbing, skiing or snowshoeing. 
  • Cook a healthy, hands-on meal at home. Not only will you save time, money and avoid crowded restaurants, but you'll have a blast trying your hand at a new meal together and can control everything that goes into it, making sure it's full of fresh ingredients. 
  • Instead of traditional chocolates and candy, melt dark chocolate and make your own fondue by cutting up pieces of fresh fruit to dip in it. 
Happy Valentine's Day!

On-the-Go Snack Ideas

Caitlin shares her favorite snack ideas to keep you satisfied and on track with your health goals!

I've always been a big snacker, so I've learned to keep healthy options around so that when I do snack, I have lots of filling, nutrient-dense choices to tide me over until my next meal. When picking a snack, I try to always include either a fruit or vegetable, a protein and a healthy fat. Here are a few of my favorite combinations:
Before a Workout:
*A handful of nuts or trail mix - Almonds, cashews, and pistachios are my favorite nuts to keep around. I also like to make my own trail mix with a combination of nuts and dried fruit - just be sure to watch the serving size here because nuts are high in (good) fats.
*Fruit and nut butter - Apples or bananas and almond butter are my favorite combinations, especially before a workout. If I'm craving something sweet. I'll slice and apple and sprinkle it with cinnamon, and serve with a tablespoon or two of almond butter and chocolate chips! 
After a Workout:
*Greek yogurt is always a quick and healthy snack that's high in protein. My favorite is Trader Joe's Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt with fresh berries. 
*A few slices of turkey and avocado are the perfect ratio of protein and healthy fats and very satisfying after a workout. 
*Chocolate Milk - one of my favorite after workout snacks. I drink Soy Chocolate Milk with added protein from Trader Joes. 
*Veggies and hummus - carrots, snap peas, celery, jicama - anything crunchy is my veggie of choice, and there are SO many hummus options out there. Anything spicy or the edamame hummus from Trader Joe's are my favorite store bought varieties, but as I discovered,  It's also incredibly easy to make your own
*Smoothie - Smoothies are one of my favorite snacks, and I add or subtract ingredients based on the time of day, pre or post workout, my mood...but generally there's almost always banana, frozen berries, almond milk and some kind of protein (either powder, almond butter, etc).


Tasty Tuesday: 3 Post Workout Smoothies

It's important to refuel your body after a workout. This is even more important in the summer months becuase of the heat and humidity. The more you sweat, the more dehydrated and depleted you become. If you are like us, sometimes food is the last thing on your mind after a hot, humid hour long run. What to do?

We turn to smoothies! They are refreshing, light and an easy way to refuel your body. Plus, summer is a great time to experiement with different fresh fruit. We recommend using fruit that is in season and organic when possible. Below are our 3 favorite post workout smoothies. What are your favorite smoothies? Comment below and let us know!

Banana Smoothie
-1 small banana
-1 scoop vanilla protein powder (Meghan likes NeoCell Collagen Sport)
-6oz water
-2 oz of CalNaturale Svelte French Vanilla Protein drink (substitute milk or almond milk)
-4 ice cubes 

Chocolate Smoothie
-1 banana
-4 oz low-fat chocolate almond milk (or regular milk)
-4 oz water 
-1 scoop chocolate protein powder (can substitute vanilla)
-4 ice cubes 

Berry Smoothie
-1 cup frozen mixed berries (we buy Trader Joe's frozen mixed berries)
-1 scoop vanilla protein powder (Trader Joe's Whey Protein Powder or Designer Whey)
-4 oz water
-4-6 oz almond milk 
-4 ice cubes

Cait's Plate: Pineapple Fried Quinoa

Caitlin Grams of Caitlin Lives Well, brings us delicious recipes inspired by her New Year’s Resolution “to make one new recipe a week”.  This week, Caitlin takes on makes her favorite Thai dish a healthy dish! We are huge fans of quinoa and can't wait to try out this recipe.

My favorite Thai dish is Pineapple Fried Rice, but there's a reason why I rarely order it - huge portions, white rice, fried tofu...nothing about it is healthy. So I decided to try to make my own healthy version, using my favorite grain, and it turned out surprisingly well! This dish is light yet hearty and full of protein, carbs and healthy fats. 
Pineapple Fried Quinoa with Tofu - adapted from this recipe
1 cup quinoa, prepared according to package directions
1 head broccoli, roasted 
1 block extra firm tofu
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 eggs
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 shallots, chopped 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup pineapple, diced
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil 
1/4 cup cashews

While quinoa is cooking and broccoli is roasting, heat oil in pan and add shallots and garlic until heated through. Add eggs, cook and stir until scrambled. Remove  from heat. 
Press tofu to remove excess water and cut once crosswise, then into 1 inch squares lengthwise. Dip each piece into soy sauce to evenly coat and spread onto baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
Toast cashews in small saucepan over high heat for 2-3 minutes until shiny. 
In a large serving bowl, toss quinoa, tofu, broccoli, pineapple and sesame seed oil. Top with cashews and enjoy!