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With my mom’s name being Rosemary and her absolute favorite food being potatoes, I decided she should have a rosemary potato recipe dedicated to her and here it is! This rosemary potato salad with split peas is a flavor-packed post-workout meal with options to increase protein further for those invested in more strength-based training.
Disclosure: This recipe was originally posted for a recipe contest sponsored by Potatoes USA and was eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
Carbohydrates for Optimal Performance
Before I completed my undergrad degree, obtained my RD credentials, and finished grad school, I had a stint where I sadly bought into the messages shaming carbs. Once I was in my sports nutrition class, I realized the right way to optimally fuel my body as a student athlete, and finally got over the “white carb” thing. Thankfully, because these tubers are a nutrient dense powerhouse, that I should be working on including more of in my diet, not less!
Years later as a CSSD, I consistently recommend potatoes to athletes as a regular carbohydrate source to support training and as part of a balanced meal during a carb-loading phase or the night before a mid-season race. The type of complex carbohydrate we get from potatoes is more satiating than white pasta or rice. This means being more aware of when you’re body has gotten what it needs and maybe even avoiding the overeating that could lead to bloating on race day. In addition to carbohydrates, potatoes also offer more potassium than a medium banana, so you have the energy and hydration support to perform your best.
Now, don’t get confused – this rosemary potato salad is a post workout recipe! Your post-workout recovery meal shouldn’t just include protein. It is also a time to refuel, allowing you to fill your tank back up for your next workout, since exercise depletes muscle carbohydrate stores. It also spares your body from using muscle or the protein you eat as an energy source, improving your net protein balance so it’s better used for muscle recovery. Aiming for somewhere between a 3:1 to 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein is a great place to start depending on the type of athlete you are. And did you know potatoes offer 3 grams of protein per serving? This recipe provides a 4:1 without the egg and 3:1 with. The former may be better for those engaging in longer endurance activities with the latter better supporting those strength training.
An ideal post-workout meal or snack is going to be eaten within 45 minutes of your exercise bout. I continue to shock athletes and gym-goers with that stat. I realize you need to shower, maybe aren’t hungry after an intense workout, and don’t have time to cook and eat in that period. That’s another reason why this meal is so great – you can make it ahead and then serve it cold! If you’ve had an extra long workout or strength session, add a hard-boiled egg or two, or you can cook one in five minutes to add more protein.
Rosemary Potato Salad Exercise Recovery
In addition to the potassium in potatoes, they also deliver selenium. It doesn’t get enough press as an important antioxidant involved in defenses against free radicals in the body. While an athlete’s body may use antioxidants more efficiently than non-athletes, they may still benefit from a slightly higher intake of them to deal with the additional stresses of exercise.
On top of that, the arugula in this rosemary potato salad contains some nitrates. They’re the same compound that gives beets their research support for improving oxygen and nutrient delivery to muscles for improved endurance and recovery. The chili oil and crushed red pepper contain capsaicin, which has been found to reduce inflammation and support joint health. The rosemary also has anti-inflammatory properties to help your body recover. The split peas contain some leucine, an important amino acid to have after a workout, and adding the egg will provide even more.
Rosemary Potato Salad with Split Peas
This flavorful make-ahead rosemary split pea potato salad is crafted to help you recover post-workout and fuel your active lifestyle.
- 2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- 1 cup dry split peas
- 2 tbsp chili infused olive oil (or plain EVOO), divided
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- 1 ½ lbs baby tri-color potatoes, halved
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper optional
- to taste salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried), minced
- 2 cups fresh arugula
Bring the broth to a boil before adding split peas. Reduce heat and simmer until cooked through but still slightly firm, about 25-30 minutes.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet or sauce pan before adding shallots, stirring and letting cook, covered for 2-3 minutes
Add the halved potatoes, stir, cover and reduce heat to just below medium, letting cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the chili flakes, salt and pepper.
Either bake the potatoes in the same pan in the oven (uncovered) for an additional 20 minutes at 350 or cook covered on the stove top an additional 25, stirring every 5 minutes, and adding water to deglaze pan from potatoes sticking as needed.
Toss potatoes and split peas with the remainder of the olive oil as well as rosemary. Fold in arugula and serve, with egg if desired.