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Workout Fuel Recipe: Chicken and Quinoa Salad

A great post-workout fuel recipe with carbohydrates and protein for optimum performance.

2 Servings
Time to cook: 30 minutes


  • 12oz Chicken Breast
  • 1 Persian Cucumber
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • ½ Cup Quinoa
  • 1 Tablespoon Sherry Vinegar
  • ¼oz Mint
  • 1 Roma Tomato
  • 1Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1oz Pistachios
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Stock Concentrate
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil


  1. Cook the quinoa: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the vegetable stock concentrate, quinoa, 1 cup water, and a pinch of salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes, until tender.
  2. Prep and cook the chicken: Roughly chop the pistachios. Pat the chickendry with a paper towel and place onto a lightly oiled baking sheet. Season with saltand pepper. Spread a thin layer of mustard evenly on top of the chicken breasts.Press the pistachios into the mustard to adhere. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the juices run clear when pierced with a knife.
  3. Make the salad: While the chicken cooks, dice the cucumber. Halve, peel, and finely dice the shallot. Core, seed, and dice the tomato. Roughly chop themint leaves. Zest and halve the lime. Dice the jalapeno, removing the seeds and ribs if you prefer less heat. In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber, tomato, shallot, lime zest, half the mint, and as much jalapeno as you like. Season withsalt and pepper and toss with a squeeze of lime and a drizzle of olive oil.
  4. Slice the chicken: When the chicken is cooked through, remove from oven to rest for 3 minutes before thinly slicing.
  5. Season the quinoa: When the quinoa is ready, fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Stir in a splash of sherry vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil, to taste.
  6. Finish: Serve the pistachio-crusted chicken on a bed of quinoa. Spoon the cucumber-jalapeno salad over the top. Garnish with the remaining mint. Enjoy!

Rebecca Lewis, in-house registered dietitian for HelloFresh says, “I love this recipe because it’s a perfect balance of calories (587) including healthy whole grain carbs (quinoa), lean protein (chicken), and good for you fats (nuts).  Plus, it’s loaded with flavor from the pop of sherry vinegar, fresh herbs, and jalapeno.

In order to optimize the benefits of a training session and jump-start recovery, within 30-45 minutes of exercise, plan to consume a post-workout recovery meal like the salad that combines carbohydrates and protein. For a cardio-heavy workout, the ideal post-workout meal will have a higher ratio of carbohydrates to protein Comparatively, if the workout was focused on weight training, the ideal post-workout meal will have a higher ratio of protein to carbohydrates.


Carbohydrates help maintain blood glucose levels during exercise and replace muscle glycogen afterwards. Consumption of carbohydrates within 30 minutes of exercise results in higher glycogen levels.


Consume protein due to an increase in protein breakdown during exercise. Additionally, protein (and amino acids in particular), are needed to support and repair muscle.


Dehydration decreases exercise performance, so it is important to consume fluids before, during, and after exercise. After exercise, drink adequate fluids to replace sweat loss during exercise, approximately 16 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight.

Plan Ahead

Make time to plan and prepare snacks/meals ahead of time to stay at your peak.

Workout Fuel Snacks

  • Whole wheat toast with half a banana + a dash of cinnamon
  • Carrots/celery/bell peppers + hummus
  • Egg + avocado
  • Fruit + nut butter
  • Hard-boiled eggs + cheese
  • Greek yogurt + almonds
  • Grilled chicken + veggies
  • Salmon + sweet potatoes
  • Tuna dip with lemon + whole wheat crackers
  • Oatmeal + berries
  • Spiced beans + feta
  • 4 oz. low-fat chocolate milk 

HelloFresh, the leading meal kit delivery brand globally, provides households the opportunity to enjoy healthy home-cooked meals without the associated hassle. HelloFresh takes care of the recipe planning, grocery shopping, and ingredient prepping, shortcutting customers straight to the stove.



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