Thursday, October 10, 2013

Runner's World Cookbook Review

A few week's ago, Runner's World sent me their new cookbook to review.  I thought it would be pretty cool to get a few recipes that are healthy and could potentially help my training.  A few things to know about cooking in my household.  First, the wife really only cooks one day a week.  Usually Sunday night is when she cooks.  During the week, it's just so hard with work, days I'm traveling, Riley, workout schedules, etc. So, once a week I get a good meal.  Other days I have to fend for myself.  As a result, I knew that reviewing the book would take some time.

When I first got the book, I opened it up and the foreword was by Deena Kastor.  That's just cool.  I know anyone can write a foreword, but to read one from a runner such as Deena, I knew the book has some merit behind it.

For the purpose of this review, I'm going to be honest and say that the pictures are from the cookbook itself and not the actual food that the wife and I cooked. Presentation has never been a strong point of ours, but the taste is more important.  So know that the recipes and actual meals are what I'm reviewing instead of providing pictures of food that got mangled, I'd rather present nice and pretty images from the book.

The book is broken down into 10 different chapters which include:
Snacks and Smoothies
Salads and Dressings
Soups and Stews
Sandwiches, Pizzas, and Burgers
Sauces and Past
Meat and Poultry Mains
Fish and Seafood Mains

So you can see that whatever you want to make you can just go to that specific chapter and search.  The good part about this breakdown is that there are plenty of options in each section and if you have a certain desire for a specific food, I guarantee it's in there.

There is also another section on "How to Eat Like a Runner" and "What it Means to Eat Like a Runner".  These were helpful since a lot of runners don't necessarily know the proper ways to fuel their bodies and also aide in recovery.  I admit, I still don't know the best ways, but for the past few weeks, I've been following these recipes and I feel great and know my body is getting what it needs a lot more than before.

So with that, I'm going to share with you some of the favorites that the wife and I have tried within each section.  For me to review every recipe would take forever, and frankly there are recipes that I wont make, so I just want to give a handful that I think should be tried.

Egg and Bean Burrito with avocado and yogurt-lime sauce
Creamy Cocoa Oatmeal
Both of these tasted great and fueled me for a long run or bike ride so I highly recommend both of these.

Snacks and Smoothies:
Pumpkin Cherry Trail Mix- this was great to bring along during the day to snack on.  Very easy to make and easy to carry
Roasted Almond Butter- Instead of buying a really expensive almond butter, this can go on everything you want it to
Crunchy Coffee Cocoa Shake- I made this a few times and is possibly my favorite recipe in this book.  It's a great shake that gives you the jolt you need and also helps with recovery.

Salads and Dressings:
I have to admit that this section was sparsely used.  Not because nothing was good, but the wife and I just had other things we wanted to try

Soups and Stews:
The only one we tried was the Thai Avocado Soup and it was fantastic.  Just flat out great.  Highly recommended

Sandwiches, Pizzas, and Burgers:
OK, so this is where it gets good.  You can honestly pick every single one of these and you would be happy.  But here are the favorites:
Caramelized Onion and Fig Pizza
Chicken Pesto Sandwich
Salmon Salad Sandwich with Chili Aioli
Meat and Grain Burgers-the wife's favorite

Soba Noodles are a nice change than typical pasta
Sauces and Pasta:
There are 5 straight up sauce recipes.  We didn't try any since we tried the pasta/sauce combinations

Soba Noodles with Chicken and Peanut Sauce-this was fun to make and great tasting
Penne with Turkey-Feta Meatballs- great combination with the turkey and feta- highly recommended

Meat and Poultry Mains:
Since I don't eat red meat, we stuck to mostly chicken here, but the wife wanted to try a few so I'll mention those since they caught her eye

Super Easy Barbecue Pulled Pork
Chicken Mango Fajitas

Fish and Seafood Mains:
We only tried the Spicy Fish Tacos with Pineapple Slaw-  DAMN these were good.
The Fish taco's were just that good

Depending on what you like, you can pick close to 20 recipes here.  These depends on your taste buds so I don't want to influence what veggies you should try.  I say all of them

Just go ahead and make all of them.  We didn't, but I can guarantee within the next few weeks, every one of these will be made and all of them so far have been awesome.  Do yourself a favor, have dessert, and have it from these recipes. With the holidays coming up, use these recipes so you don't have that holiday weight gain.  You'll get great tasting treats, but without all the fat.

So those are some choices from each section.  It's a lot, but I didn't want to just review a book and not give suggestions out of it.

I highly recommend this cookbook for any athlete out there.  We need to take care of our bodies and fuel it properly.  Training and races depend on what we eat, so would say give this book as a gift or buy it for yourself.  Everyone in your life will benefit and your training will see improvements with better eating.

If you are looking for a one stop shop for tasty recipes that are good for you, check this cook book out. You wont be sorry


  1. I made the Meat and Grain burgers last night and they were inedible. The grain turned the meat to slop. I used two cups of cooked steel cut oats (one of the options listed in the book). I cooked the oats according to the directions on the packaging, then I measured out two cups of cooked product.

    Any idea what I did wrong?

  2. No idea. Did you use too much water to cook the oats and they got too soggy?