Cooking for Fitness is James Haskell’s latest book, packed full of nutritious and delicious recipes that have kept him at the peak of physical fitness during his 15 year career as a professional rugby player.  During his time at Wasps James would often wander into the kitchen to talk about food with Team Chef Omar Meziane as he wanted to learn how to cook tastier and more nutritious meals for himself at home

IN Covent Garden asked James for his favourite recipe from the book and why?

Massam beef curry – this dish is a winner at the end of a hard training day. It hits the spot every time and is awesome for recovery and the spices in this are an unbelievable combination. People demonise red meat but it’s s an incredible source of protein, and for me it’s a vital part of my diet.

Why did you write your latest book?

My first two books received some great responses, but they also made me realise lots of people already had great exercise and training plans but struggle to create delicious and nutritious meals. Often the recipes you come across online for healthy eating can do you more harm than good and end up being needlessly complicated and expensive. I wanted to show how you can eat amazing delicious food that’s really simple and still get the results you want and hopefully Omar and I have done that.

What do you hope that people will get out of it?

70% of fitness is what you eat, but people can have quite skewed concepts of what you need to eat to get performance results. Nearly all of the ingredients we suggest are already in your cupboard or sold in a local supermarket, so putting together something you really want to eat after a workout, training session or a busy active day has never been easier.

If you do “fall off the wagon” what’s the one thing you can’t resist?


Massaman Beef Curry

Serves 2; prep time 15 mins; cook time 1 hour 40 mins; Difficulty – easy; GF DF
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon coconut oil; 350g diced beef (chuck steak); 200ml reduced-fat coconut milk; 450ml cold water; 2 Maris Piper potatoes, peeled; ½ small bunch coriander, finely chopped; 2 spring onions, finely chopped.
Curry Paste: 1 teaspoon ground cumin; ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg; 4 cloves; ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon; 1 tablespoon ground coriander; ½ onion; 1 tablespoon coconut oil; 4 garlic cloves; ½cm piece ginger; 2-3 red chillies; 1 tablespoon shrimp paste; salt and pepper.
Place all the ingredients for the curry paste in a food processor and blend until you have a fine paste. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a high heat. Carefully add the diced beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook the beef for 4-5 minutes ensuring it is browned all over. Now add the curry paste and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously. Pour over the coconut milk and add the water. Bring the curry to the boil, before turning down to a gentle simmer. Cook the curry for 1 hour. Cut each potato into 4 wedges and add them to the curry. Continue to cook the curry for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through and the beef is tender. Sprinkle the coriander and spring onions over the top of the curry and serve.

Cooking for Fitness by James Haskell and Omar Meziane is out now in hardback for £19.95.  Or buy now at our exclusive price…