Know how a vehicle needs the right type of gas to perform at its best? If you drive a Lexus or Volvo, fill it with Plus, while your 1997 Subaru can get along just fine on regular unleaded. I feel it's the same with fuel for running: Sure, I can move down the road okay on some leftover BBQ chicken and salad-from-a-bag, but it's a whole lot easier to cruise on a night-before dinner of pasta and a bit of protein.
Training for a marathon (or half-marathon, which Dimity and I are running in 2.5 weeks--hello, Disneyland Half, where I'll be part of 2:15 pace group, and Dim will be bolstering the efforts of 2:30 runners), I'm acutely reminded of this fact weekly. In what seems like the blink of an eye, it's, once again, Friday evening, and I have to make a dinner that'll pack a punch for me the next morning. I thumb through my recipe box, looking for just the right recipe that'll help me--and appeal to the four members of my family who aren't going to burn upwards of 1,500 calories the next a.m.
Lately I've been loving on pasta dishes with beans or legumes, including these two dishes. They are easy, tasty, and hearty without feeling gluttonous. Perhaps best of all: Post-run, leftovers can be nuked in a jiffy and gobbled down in that all-important "window of opportunity" for muscle recovery (the 45-60 minutes after exercise). Last Saturday I ran a strong 20 miles. When I got home, 10-year-old Phoebe was eagerly playing, "Restaurant," so she did the heat-and-serve of the penne for me. Pasta-and-beans never tasted so sweet!
Penne with Grape Tomatoes and Mozzarella
(especially love this summery recipe because you don't cook the "sauce")
Ditalini with Pesto, Beans, and Broccoli Rabe
(It's next to impossible to find broccoli rabe in Portland, so I usually sub in baby broccoli from beloved Trader Joe's)
Since I know I'm not the only one always on the prowl for tasty new recipes, please tell us what's your favorite fuel-a-run dinner dish.