Mitch is a veg-centric chef and runner. Currently the personal chef to Sam Smith & Metallica, his cooking style focuses on presenting seasonal vegetables as the headliner using the most nutritious & creative methods possible, surrounded by lip-smacking flavour bombs & colourful gnarly sauces. By treating meat & dairy more like condiments than centrepieces, his recipes will keep you performance ready at all times.
A Healthy High-Protein Dinner for Runners
Gather the ingredients and do all the prep to make this recovery meal before you set off on your long run. Inspired by munching through several pan con tomate in la Boqueria market in Barcelona, this recipe is clean but oh so satisfying.
It also contains everything you need to recover after putting the miles in. The savoury crumble, courgettes and chicken provide plenty of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and protein, whilst the tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful anti-oxidant.
My nut-based aioli is a guilt-free flavour bomb too. If you have any leftover, it makes the perfect dip for leftover vegetables or a healthy spread to go on your toast in the morning, topped with sliced avocado and some fresh chilli. Enjoy!
Pan-roasted Chicken Breast Con Tomate, Chilli Cashew Aioli, Quick Courgettes, Savoury Crumble
Prep Time: 30 mins (N.B. Soak your cashew nuts and sunflowers seeds for a minimum of 1 hour before you start cooking)
Cook Time: 20 mins
2 free-range chicken breasts
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Chives to garnish
1 lemon (zest only)
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp hemp seeds
2 tbsp pecans
1tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp fennel seeds
Chilli Cashew Aioli:
50 g cashews (soaked for a minimum of 1 hour)
25 g sunflower seeds (soaked for a minimum of 1 hour)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp non-dairy milk such as almond or oat
½ lemon (juice only)
1 tsp white miso paste
½ clove of garlic
½ tsp chilli flakes
“Choose the happiest chickens possible here, to support higher welfare farming and to optimise your recovery.”
Start with the aioli. Strain your soaked cashews and sunflower seeds, and place in a food processor. Peel the garlic and add to the processor along with the remaining chilli cashew aioli ingredients. Blend for a good minute or so and then take a look. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and blend again. Repeat until smooth. The smoothness of your aioli will depend on the power of your processor, and how long the cashews have been soaking.
For the tomate, split the tomatoes in half horizontally and place a box grater into a large bowl. Rub the cut faces of the tomatoes over the large holes of the box grater, grating the flesh off and leaving the skins intact in your hand. Discard the skins. Add a generous pinch of sea salt, stir to incorporate, and then transfer into a sieve resting over another bowl. This draws out the excess moisture of the tomatoes and intensifies their flavour. Keep the excess tomato water for flavouring the courgettes later.
For the savoury crumble, put a heavy based cast-iron pan or oven-proof non-stick pan on a medium heat and toast the pecans, pumpkin seeds & hemp seeds for a minute or so, tossing as you go. Add in the fennel seeds, and toast for one more minute.
Place the contents into a pestle & mortar, and lightly crush. Then put into a small bowl with the lemon zest, oregano & sesame seeds. Set aside.
Place the same pan back on a medium heat and add the rapeseed oil in preparation for the chicken breasts. Place the chicken breasts on a piece of cling film, cover with another piece, and bash the thicker part with a rolling pin or mallet in order to flatten the breast out and allow for even cooking. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, and place both breasts into the pan and fry one side for 2 minutes. Flip over and then place in the oven to fry the other side and cook the inside of the chicken for another 5 – 10 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken breasts. If you have a thermometer, take the chicken breasts out when the thickest part of the breast reads 60°C. Place them on a plate, covered, to rest while you make the quick courgettes.
Slice the courgette no more than ½ cm thick to ensure a rapid cooking time. Using the chicken pan, place on a medium-high heat, add the extra virgin olive oil, and then add the sliced courgette. Season and stir, coating all the slices in the oil. Cook for 1 minute until the courgette starts to become translucent. Add a drizzle of the tomato water and deglaze the pan, scraping any remaining chicken juices from the pan with a wooden spoon, coating the courgettes.
Divide the courgettes between two plates and spoon on the tomate. Place the chicken breasts on top of the tomate, sprinkle on the savoury crumble and top with the aioli. Garnish with chopped chives and chilli flakes.
We've partnered with Mitch Mitchell, personal chef to Sam Smith & Metallica, to bring you nutritious and creative recipes that will keep you performance ready at all times.