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A medley of clean, light flavors and fresh ingredients makes this an ideal pre-race dinner.
4 6-ounce steelhead filets
1 T Montana Mex Picante Salt*
1 T agave
1 bunch baby carrots
1 bunch baby beets
8–10 cipollini (small onions)
2–4 portabella mushrooms
1½ cups quinoa
2½ cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 head garlic
4 T coconut oil
1 T sea salt
*Can substitute with a touch of sea salt
For the roasted veggies, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Scrub the beets and carrots well in fresh water and remove the fronds. Cut beets into quarters and carrots in half. Peel and halve the cipollini, and leave the mushrooms whole. Put about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a baking dish, and place in the oven for 1 minute, or until it melts. Remove the pan and add the veggies, sprinkle with salt, and mix. Put it back in the oven for about 30 minutes. To prepare the steelhead, give the filets a light wipe with a paper towel and season with the Montana Mex salt and a splash of agave. In a nonstick or cast iron pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Carefully add the seasoned filets to the pan and cook for approximately 3 minutes per side. Squeeze a splash of lemon juice on the fish just before removing from the pan. To prepare the quinoa, in a towel or hand strainer, rinse and strain the quinoa. In a medium pot, brown the garlic cloves lightly for a minute or two in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, then add rinsed and drained quinoa, broth and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook an additional 15 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and add a spritz of fresh lemon or grated lemon zest. Serves 4.
Notes From Chef Garcia
“I’ve noticed that leading into a big event my body craves clean, whole foods that are easily digestible and leave me feeling light, like this dish. The other beauty of this meal is that if you’re traveling for a race, as we often are, most restaurants—when asked nicely—will whip up a similar version with very little effort.”
Meet the Triathlete-Chef
You may not equate Montana to a chef’s paradise, but Eduardo Garcia is no ordinary chef. He describes himself as a “hunting, gardening, foraging, seasonal chef,” so with nearby woods, streams and a 1-acre garden in his backyard, the state is the ideal place for him. What also differentiates Garcia has to do with an accident in 2011—he suffered severe electrical shock, which led to 48 days in the ICU. In addition to a slew of injuries, his left hand was amputated. He now has a bionic prosthesis and relearned to cook, earning the nickname “The Bionic Chef.” Before the accident, Garcia had gone to culinary school, worked as a private chef on yachts for 10 years and started his own business, Montana Mex, which sells salsas, hot sauces and gourmet salts. It was actually his amputation that steered him toward triathlon—he did his first with the Challenged Athletes Foundation and has continued racing, including a half-Ironman. His near-death experience has renewed his zest for life: “I’ve had emotional moments—‘I should have died three years ago, and now I’m running the New York City Marathon,’” he says. “It’s just incredible what the body is capable of doing.”
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