Best Of Chicago

Ask A Chicago Expert: Best Workout Recipes

April 17, 2013 8:00 AM





By Elizabeth SanFilippo

Healthy eating is a part of healthy living. No matter what the time of year, you can eat healthy — and still enjoy your food — whether it’s a pre-workout meal, workout snack or a recovery meal. Chef Kara Sigle of Nostalgic Catering offers three healthy options that can, and should be, an important part of your fitness plan.

Chef Kara Sigle
Nostalgic Catering
456 W. Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 551-1711

As the owner of Nostalgic Catering and a trainer at The Total Body Boot Camp, Chef Kara Sigle knows a thing or two about not only healthy eating but also healthy living. She graduated from Kendall College, where she was trained in classic French cuisine, and she appeared as a finalist on Food Network’s “Food Network Star,” where her POV was all about healthy food. She’s also interned in a variety of California restaurants. Today, as a caterer that focuses on hearty and sophisticated home-style cooking, she not only plans events but also diet plans for her clients.



Protein Shake

  • 1 scoop of chocolate protein (Isopure or Muscle Milk Mix are examples)
  • 1/2 cup of skim milk
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup of ice


  1. Blend all ingredients until they’re smooth.
  2. Serve.

Pulled Pesto Chicken

  • 3 to 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 pint of diced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 minced red onion
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of pesto
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise (low fat)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. On medium heat, warm stock to rolling boil.
  2. Add chicken and continue to watch the heat to make sure it does not boil. Cook between 20-30 minutes, pull when you can fork apart the chicken.
  3. Strain and move to a bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit while preparing remaining ingredients.
  4. Combine diced tomatoes, onions, pesto, mayonnaise and add salt and pepper.
  5. Once mixed, start pulling your chicken with hands or two forks.
  6. Once all chicken is pulled, combine all ingredients.
  7. Serve on bread or eat it alone.


Quinoa Salad

  • Sauteed or grilled asparagus
  • 1/2 orange pepper
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • Scallions
  • Tomatoes
  • Dried cranberries
  • Pecans


  1. Finely dice all the vegetables
  2. Mix the vegetables in with the quinoa (which you have already cooked).
  3. Season with salt and olive oil.

Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s scribbling novels, and TV show reviews and recaps. Her work can be found at


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