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Cooking With Skratch Labs: 4 Easy, Athlete-Friendly Recipes

Skratch Labs’ Dr. Allen Lim has some pretty radical thoughts when it comes to nutrition for athletes. Among them are eating food that tastes good and putting your body’s feedback above the latest articles in nutrition journals—not to downplay his devotion to research or his extensive credentials. The Feed Zone Cookbook, written by Dr. Lim and Chef Biju Thomas, is packed with 150 simple, delicious, athlete-friendly recipes that provide excellent fuel for endurance workouts. The book includes breakfasts, portable snacks, post-run-or-ride dishes, dinners, desserts, and recovery drinks. Below are four favorites (and if you love these recipes, you’ll love the new Feed Zone Portables, a cookbook designed specifically for athletes who want to eat healthy on the go).


Blueberry & Chocolate Coconut Rice Cakes
Crispy Rice Omelet
Fig & Honey Rice Cakes
Leige Waffles

Blueberry & Chocolate Coconut Rice Cakes

You’ll need:

3 cups uncooked sticky rice
4 ½ cups water
¾ cup canned coconut milk
¼ cup raw sugar
Juice of 1 lemon or other citrus (~3 tbsp)
1 ½ tsp coarse salt, or to taste
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips (half a regular bag
1 pint fresh blueberries

Combine rice, water, and a dash of salt in a rice cooker and let it cook.

When the rice is finished cooking, transfer it to a large bowl and add coconut milk. Begin seasoning the rice with the sugar. The mixture should be slightly sweet to your palate (sometimes we use up to ½ cup of sugar). Squeeze in the lemon juice gradually, giving the mixture just a little bit of bite. Stir the rice mixture thorough and add salt to taste.

Once the rice has mostly cooled, spread half of the mixture into a 9 x 13in baking pan and press flat with a rice paddle. The sprinkle the chocolate chips and berries evenly atop the rice. Gently press the remaining rice mixture onto the berries and chocolate to create a second layer.

Let the mixture set up for a few minutes, then cut into squares and wrap.


Energy: 249 cal
Fat 6g
Sodium 194mg
Carbs 45g
Fiber 2g
Protein 4g

Crispy Rice Omelet

If you’re looking for a quick and easy (and super yummy) source of natural protein that you can take when you’re on the go, give this simple Feed Zone Portables recipe a try.

You’ll need:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup cooked rice
6 eggs
1 1/2 tsp grated Parmesan
Coarse salt and pepper

Liberally coat a medium nonstick saute pan with olive oil and place it over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the cooked rice, spread evenly, and cook until crisp (about 3 minutes). Lightly beat the eggs in a medium bowl and pour over the rice. Mix gently, then let the eggs begin to set up.

Loosen the edges of the omelet with a spatula as you tilt the pan, allowing the uncooked eggs to fill in around the edges. Cover and cook until the eggs in the center of the pan set up, or finish in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 5 minutes. Top with the grated Parmesan and a hearty amount of salt and pepper.

Cut into 6 triangles. Let cool to the touch before wrapping.


Energy: 133 cal
Protein: 8g

Fig and Honey Rice Cakes

fighoneyricecakeAllen and Biju’s tip: We’ve put a gluten-free spin on the classic fig cookies that many of us grew up eating. These cakes make a sweet portable snack, but because of the excellent fiber in the dried fruit, they work even better as a snack following a workout or between meals. If figs aren’t your favorite, try raisins or dates instead.

You’ll need:

2 cups uncooked calrose rice
1.5 cups water
1 cup toasted pecans
1 cup chopped dried figs
2 tbsp honey
Brown sugar to taste

Combine rice and water in a rice cooker.

To toast the nuts, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the pecans on a baking sheet and toast 8-10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, pecans, and figs.  Add the honey and stir thoroughly. Press the mixture into an 8- or 9-inch square pan to about 1.5-inch thickness and sprinkle with brown sugar.

Cut and wrap individual cakes. Makes about 10 rice cakes.

PER SERVING (1 cake)

Energy: 268 cal ›
Fat: 10g ›
Sodium: 20mg ›
Carbs: 41g›
Fiber: 3g ›
Protein: 6g

Leige Waffles

bcwaffle_largeWhat makes a Liege waffle so special? Well, other than it being frickin’ delicious, it’s made from dough while traditional American waffles are made from batter. Why should you care? Because you can make a large amount of dough at one time, cut it into portions and freeze it for easy use when you don’t have time to cook from scratch. You can’t do this with batter. Plus, did we mention that they’re super yummy?

Liege waffles are one of Chef Biju’s favorites because, hey, who doesn’t want to eat a waffle during a long workout or travel day instead of a processed bar designed to have a three-year shelf life? Reach for these any time you need a last minute snack, and pack some wrapped waffles to take on the go. They’re great for long travel days to help you avoid dreaded airportor even more dreaded: airlinefood, too.

Make them your own by adding more or less sugar, and don’t forget to play with toppings. There’s a definite yeast flavor that comes through and plays well with syrup or honey.

You’ll need:

3/4 cup 2% milk
2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) dry active yeast
1 tbsp cane sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3 large eggs
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
Pearl sugar

Warm milk in a saucepan or microwave. Combine milk, yeast, cane sugar, and 1 cup flour in a mixing bowl and set aside in a warm place (such as inside your oven with only the light turned on) for 15 minutes. In another bowl, whisk together eggs (yes, bachelors, you can use a fork for this if you don’t own a whisk), honey or maple syrup, butter, and vanilla. Add egg mixture to dough along with salt and remaining flour. Mix into a soft sticky dough. Cover and let rise for 1 hour (again, in a warm place).

Punch down the dough and scrape it from the sides of the bowl. Loosely cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Separate dough into 12 chunks, roll each into a ball, then roll balls in pearl sugar. Cook according to your waffle iron’s directions (we suggest the Oster Flip Belgian Waffle Maker, which has a nonstick surface, adjustable temperature control, and a body that rotates for even cooking).

As you remove waffles from the iron, place them in a 250-degree oven in a single layer on a baking sheet until the entire batch is ready to be served. Freeze leftover waffles and reheat them in the toaster for a quick weekday breakfast. Or lunch. Breakfast for dinner works sometimes, too.

Serves six. Serving size: 2 waffles.

PER SERVING (2 waffles)

Energy: 421 cal
Fat: 19g
Protein: 11
Carbs: 53g
Sodium: 245mg


Feed Zone Cookbook
Feed Zone Portables Cookbook


Running Nutrition: It’s a Process, Not a Formula