6 Simple Power Recipes for Vegetarian Athletes

Vegetable Risotto
Vegetable Risotto


Oatmeal goji-berry balls and lentil burgers might sound exotic and complicated, but prepping these dishes can be just as easy as those ground turkey burgers and sweet potatoes you’ve been chomping down on, provided you’ve got the right directions. Use the following recipes—provided through the courtesy of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which sponsors the health initiative TeamingUp4Healthto add some nutritious, delicious, veggie-licious variety to your fueling strategy.

1. Sweet Potato Pudding

Makes three 1/2-cup servings


  • 1/3 cup rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup fortified soy or rice milk

  • 1 cup cooked sweet potato or yam

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition Per Serving

Calories: 119
Fat: 1.3 g
Protein: 3.7 g
Carbohydrates: 23.9 g

Source: Healthy Eating for Life to Prevent and Treat Cancer, by Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D.; recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.D.

2. Lentil Burgers

Makes eight 3-inch burgers


  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup dry short-grain brown rice

  • 1/2 cup dry lentils

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped

  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons stone-ground mustard

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 vegetable oil spray


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine onion, rice, lentils, salt and water.

  2. Bring to a slow simmer, then cover and cook for about 50 minutes, or until rice and lentils are tender and all the water has been absorbed.

  3. Add carrot, celery, mustard and garlic powder to the hot lentil mixture. Stir to mix, then chill completely. You can make the patties while the mixture is still warm, but forming is much easier once it is chilled).

  4. Form mixture into 3-inch patties.

  5. Lightly coat a large non-stick skillet with vegetable oil spray.

  6. Cook patties over medium heat for about 4 minutes per side, or until lightly browned.

Nutrition Per Serving

Calories: 89
Fat: 0.6 g
Protein: 4.3 g
Carbohydrates: 17.3 g

Source: Foods That Fight Pain, by Neal Barnard, M.D.; recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.D.

3. Going Green Smoothie

Makes approximately six 1-cup servings


  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or drained canned pineapple chunks

  • 3 cups green grapes

  • 1 1/2 bananas

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 1 1/2 cups ice


  1. Combine all ingredients in blender.

  2. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes until he mixture is smooth.

Nutrition Per Serving

Calories: 106
Fat: 0.4 g
Protein: 1.9 g
Carbohydrates: 26.9 g

Source: Vita-Mix Corporation, Inc. Reproduced and reprinted with the permission of Vita-Mix Corporation, Inc.

4. Blueberry Barley Breakfast

Makes two 1-cup servings


  • 1 cup brown rice and barley, hot or cold

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

  • 1 cup fortified vanilla soy or rice milk

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup


  1. Heat brown rice and barley, if desired, then add blueberries, non-dairy milk and maple syrup.

  2. Stir to mix.

Nutrition Per Serving

Calories: 328
Fat: 3 g
Protein: 8.4 g
Carbohydrates: 69.8 g

Source: Healthy Eating for Life for Women, by Kristine Kieswer; recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.D.

5. Rainbow Risotto

Makes six servings


  • 4 cups vegetable broth, divided

  • 1 cup dry arborio rice

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cups broccoli florets

  • 1 cup finely chopped zucchini

  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed

  • 1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

  • 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach

  • 1 freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Place 3 1/2 cups broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

  2. Stir in rice, reduce heat, and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed (about 15 minutes).

  3. Meanwhile, place remaining 1/2 cup broth in a large non-stick skillet. Add onion, broccoli, zucchini, corn and bell peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

  4. Add soy sauce and spinach. Cook about 3 minutes.

  5. Combine rice and vegetable mixture. Season with black pepper.

Nutrition Per Serving

Calories: 185
Fat: 0.7 g
Protein: 5.2 g
Carbohydrates: 41.1 g

Source: Mary McDougall of the McDougall Program,

6. Oatmeal-Goji Berry Balls

Makes three dozen balls.


  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats or quinoa flakes

  • 3 medium ripe bananas

  • 1/3 cup raw almonds or walnuts, ground in a food processor until coarse

  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates (chopped to same size as goji berries)

  • 1 cup goji berries, soaked for 15 minutes in warm water, then drained

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

  2. Place oats or quinoa flakes in a blender or a food processor and pulse until oats or quinoa flakes turn into coarse crumbs/flour.

  3. In a medium bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Add ground almonds or walnuts, dates and drained goji berries. Mix well. Add salt, vanilla and ground oats or quinoa flakes and stir well to combine.

  4. Use wet hands to form tablespoon-size balls. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through bake time.

Nutrition Per Serving (2 Goji Berry Balls)

Calories: 110
Fat: 2.2 g
Protein: 2.9 g
Carbohydrates: 20.9 g

Source: Therapeutic Chef: Recipes to Prevent Cancer, Heart Disease and Diabetes, by Kristin Doyle.