When most of us are trying to consume less calories each day, Olympic athletes are on a concerted mission to consume double or triple the amount of calories an average male or female eats on a given day.
Sounds like a dream right?
For these conditioned athletes, what they eat or don’t eat can make or break their performance. The onus of what the 2008 U.S. Olympic team noshes on goes to U.S. Olympic Committee Executive Chef Jacque Hamilton. Her responsibility of feeding this hungry and elite group of 600 delegates includes abiding by certain nutrition guidelines. Every dish and snack she prepares must be void of butter, trans fats, low in sodium, and of course yummy.
Here is Chef Hamilton’s signature dish, Baja Chicken Salad, which is a favorite of U.S. Olympic judo fighter, Myles Porter.
• 1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
• 1 Tbs. curry powder
• 1 tsp. ground ginger
• 3/4 tsp. salt
• 3/4 tsp. cumin
• 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
• 1/4 tsp allspice
• 2 eggs (combined with 4 Tbs water)
• 6 4-oz chicken breasts
• 6 Tbs. flour
• Canola cooking spray
• 6 oz. fat-free ranch dressing
• 3 oz. mango chutney
• 3 Tbs. water
• 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
• 2 Granny Smith apples
• 1 Tsp. lemon juice
• 6 cups romaine (cut into bite-size pieces)
• 6 cups watercress
• 2 Tbs. golden raisins
• 2 Tbs. walnuts
• 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
1. Combine panko, ¼ the amount of curry powder and ½ the amount of ginger with all of the salt, cumin, red pepper and allspice. Coat chicken with flour.
2. Dip chicken in egg mixture and dredge in the panko. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
3. Combine the rest of the curry powder, ginger, ranch dressing, chutney, water and oil in food processor; process until smooth.
4. Spray baking pan, and lightly coat chicken with cooking spray on both sides.
5. Bake chicken for 8-10 minutes or until crisp and temperature reaches 165 degrees. Slice into ½-inch slices and set aside.
6. Cut each apple into 15 wedges and toss with lemon juice. Combine romaine and watercress and place 2 cups on each salad plate.
7. Top with 5 apple slices, 4 oz. of chicken, 1 tsp. of raisins, 1 tsp walnuts. Sprinkle with black pepper and drizzle 3 Tbs. dressing over each serving.
Dive in and enjoy as you dine like an Olympic athlete!