Transform Takeout: Homemade Beef and Broccoli for Athletes

This version of the classic Chinese food takeout dish won’t weigh you down.

When you’re an athlete, weekend mornings are often met with long training sessions, events, or races. A well-balanced Friday night dinner of good carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats is key to making sure that you wake up feeling fresh and ready to move.

A long week calls for an easy dinner, and takeout can be a tempting option on a Friday night. Unfortunately, many takeout meals are loaded with unwanted ingredients (gluten, sodium, dairy), setting you up for a sleepless night or an uncomfortable pre-race preparation. Nobody wants to be rushing to the porta-potty from the start line or in the middle of a long run.

Ideally, a pre-race meal will not upset your stomach or sit heavy the next day. For athletes with food allergies, this homemade version of “takeout” beef and broccoli minimizes bloat and digestive issues by using light, fresh, and gluten-free ingredients.

Remember, endurance athletes need a larger-than-normal store of carbohydrates prior to events lasting more than an hour. You can add cooked rice noodles to the recipe if you need more carbs. Enjoy this meal any night of the week or for lunch before an evening training run.

Homemade “Takeout” Beef and Broccoli

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Serves about 4


  • 1 bunch of broccolini (chopped into 2 or 3 segments each), or roughly chopped broccoli florets
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1-2 Tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce*
  • 4-5 Tablespoons Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1lb ground turkey (85/15 or 90/10 lean-to-fat ratio)
  • Optional: cooked rice noodles


  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add broccolini, olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, and coconut aminos. Mix until broccolini is evenly covered.
  2. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until broccolini is just getting soft.
  3. Add half of the green onions and remove pan from heat.
  4. Adjust the heat to low, cover the pan, and place it back on the burner to let the broccolini steam for 10-12 minutes, or until fork tender.
  5. Transfer the broccolini to a bowl, reserving the liquid in the pan.
  6. Adjust the heat to medium and add in the ground turkey. Season with salt and garlic powder, and add more coconut aminos, olive oil, or soy sauce, if desired. Cook until the meat is browned all the way through.
  7. Combine turkey, broccolini, and remaining green onions in a bowl. Serve on top of cooked rice noodles, if desired.

*If you are not sensitive to gluten, feel free to use your favorite soy sauce or teriyaki sauce. Just be aware of the sugar content in many sauces.

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Photo courtesy of Kristina Goldman.

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