Healthy Boxing Day food for cyclists

Healthy recipes over the festive season to keep you in racing shape!

Christmas - the season to be jolly and overindulge somewhat. It’s also a chance to make the most of having lots of time for long rides on quiet roads while the rest of the world is making merry and snoozing in front of the fire. OK, so a lot of what we'll munch and drink our way through during the festive season isn't exactly healthy. But there's plenty on the plates of traditional Christmas fayre which is actually pretty good for us.

Turkey is a great source of lean protein and is high in beta-alanine which helps reduce the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles during exercise. Brussel sprouts are rich in vitamin C and vitamin K with broccoli containing a host of antioxidants which are important for health. Even the humble cranberry sauce is rich in polyphenols which help reduce inflammation and muscle pain.

Many of us will awake on Boxing Day with a tonne of leftovers from the big day before. And Boxing Day is a super time to take to the cycle tracks and country roads to burn off a few calories and blow away that ‘overeaten’ bloat from the festive feasting. So, combine the two and create some deliciously healthy dishes from the meat and veg you have left from the Christmas dinner.

Turkey bone broth

A Boxing Day essential, turkey bones have natural gut healing properties and joint-protecting qualities. Warming and comforting, this turkey bone broth is ideal for a little restorative TLC after a long Boxing Day ride.


  • 1 leftover turkey carcass
  • 2 onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • 1 leek
  • 1 parsnip
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • 6 chicken wings
  • 1 bayleaf
  • handful of sage and thyme


  1. Roughly chop the veg and place in a large saucepan along with the turkey carcass and the chicken wings.
  2. Cover with 2 litres of water and add the herbs and peppercorns, then bring to the boil. Turn down and simmer for 8-10 hours on a very low heat. Top up with water if the pan starts getting dry.
  3. Make sure that all of the bones have softened, once they have, stir well then drain through a fine sieve.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Parsnip and potato rosti

If you’ve lots of leftover parsnip and spuds, then try this easy to prepare twist on a traditional rosti. The parsnip adds a little sweetness to the dish.


  • 200g potato, peeled and grate
  • 200g parsnips - small, peeled and grated
  • ½ onion, grated
  • 2 thyme sprigs, leaves stripped
  • 25g butter, melted plus extra for frying


  1. Put the melted butter, parsnip, onion and thyme into a bowl. Wrap the grated potato in a clean tea towel and squeeze to remove excess water. Season well and mix.
  2. Heat a non-stick frying pan to hot then tip in the mixture and press it all down with a spatula. Cook for 6-8 minutes until the mix is golden brown and crisp underneath.
  3. Take out the the rosti and flip it over, then put back in uncooked-side down. Continue cooking for another 6-8 minutes until the rosti is completely cooked through.

Boxing Day frittata

Use up all your leftovers to make this delicious and nutritious frittata. It’s a great way to get through all those veggies left and the eggs are rich in protein and iron.


  • 500g Christmas leftovers chopped up into smaller pieces: peas, sprouts, carrots, stuffing, parsnips, cold roast potatoes
  • 1 tsp cranberry sauce
  • 50g cheese cut into bitesize pieces
  • 8 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/Gas mark 6.
  2. Line a flan dish with greaseproof paper.
  3. Arrange the cheese and Christmas leftovers evenly into the flan dish.
  4. Beat the eggs, then add the chopped rosemary, and pour over the vegetables.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the eggs are thoroughly cooked.