Fit to Ride: Healthy horse show snacks

Drop the corndog and step away from the concession stand. Horse Nation hardbody Biz Stamm is back with some recipes that will make you (almost) forget that cheese fries ever existed.

From Biz:

I’d like to start off by thanking Leslie for filling in last week.  My biology students (I know! It’s terrifying that I’m allowed to mold the minds of young scientists!) certainly appreciated me spending the time I normally use to write this column to make them a comprehensive study guide for their final.

OK everyone.  Show season is officially here, so this month I will be talking about being physically and mentally fit to show.  My first horse show of the season is at the end of the month, and I am dreading squeezing into possibly the most unflattering piece of clothing ever invented… white breeches.  Aside from white being horribly unflattering, whoever thought it would be a good idea to wear white while handling horses had to have been on some seriously crazy drugs.  But being the optimist that I am, I’m trying to find the silver lining in being forced to wear this ridiculous article of clothing.  So I’m embracing my fear of the white breeches and using it to motivate me to make better choices about my diet and exercise.

Making good choices about food at home is hard enough, but it’s next to impossible to do at a horse show.  That deep-fried deliciousness that we’ve come to know and love as horse show food will leave you weighed down in the saddle and do your waistline no favors.  So today I have a few simple, healthy options to stick in your horse show cooler.

Sweet potato chips: These are an awesome replacement for traditional potato chips.  As some of you may remember, I am a self-declared potato chip addict.  This flavorful stand-in is packed with fiber and vitamins and has a crunch that even satisfies my cravings.


  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Thinly slice sweet potatoes.  If you have a mandolin slicer, that is ideal, but if not, do the best you can with a knife.   Place the sliced sweet potatoes in a bowl and coat with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Spread sweet potato slices on a cookie sheet and season with salt and pepper.  Preheat oven to 375° and bake for 10-15 minutes.  Let them cool, bag ’em, and then stick them in trailer for some mid-show snacking.

Vegetable quinoa salad:  For those of you not familiar with quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”), it is a protein-packed seed that cooks up like rice.  This quinoa-based salad feels light in your stomach, but will keep you feeling full throughout the day.

Ingredients (makes a lot!)

  • two cups quinoa
  • 4 cups water
  • two bell peppers (I prefer red and yellow to green)
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 4 oz. crumbled feta (or goat) cheese
  • white wine vinegar

Combine quinoa and water in a pot and place on the stove over medium heat.  Allow water to come to a rolling boil and then cover the pot.  Leave the pot covered until all water has been absorbed.  The quinoa should be fully cooked within 10-15 minutes.  Removed the quinoa from the stove, and transfer it into a bowl.  Place the bowl in the refrigerator to cool.  While the quinoa is cooling, coarsely chop bell papers, cut grape tomatoes in half, and chop your scallions.  Remove cooled quinoa from the refrigerator and season with white wine vinegar to taste.  I usually use about a tablespoon. Stir in vegetables and feta cheese.

So hopefully with these recipes you can avoid eating that greasy horse show food, because let’s face, it’s pretty tough to win blue ribbons with a belly full of corn dogs.

Go riding!

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