Fuel up the night before your long run or big race with one of these five energy-packed meals.
If you’re planning to grill, set aside one grilled chicken breast to use for this recipe. Otherwise, you can use a rotisserie chicken breast. You can also substitute leftover grilled vegetables for the fresh capsicum, tomatoes, and mushrooms.
4 whole wheat naan flatbreads
½ cup marinara sauce
4 teaspoons pesto
1 cup shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese (113 grams)
1 yellow capsicum, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ red onion, sliced
½ cup sliced mushrooms, such as cremini (about 55 grams)
1 grilled chicken breast, diced
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
8 large fresh basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
Preheat the oven to 205°C.
Arrange the naans on 2 baking sheets. Spread a thin layer of marinara across the breads. Top each with a teaspoon of the pesto and swirl into the sauce. Sprinkle the naans with the mozzarella. Top with the capsicum, tomatoes, onion, and mushrooms. Add the chicken and finish with a sprinkle of Parmesan.
Bake the naan pizzas for 12 minutes, or until the breads brown, the vegetables are softened, and the cheese melts.
Serve the naan pizzas garnished with the basil. Serves 4.
Kilojoules per serving: 2,118
Total fat: 19g
Saturated fat: 7g
2. Spaghetti with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
This no-cook sauce comes together quickly in the blender while the pasta cooks on the stove.
½ cup almonds
1 box (450g) bucatini or spaghetti
1 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 anchovy fillets
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
½ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or a pinch of dried
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
While waiting for the water to boil, place the almonds in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Toast for 7 minutes, stirring or shaking the skillet occasionally, until fragrant and slightly golden. Set aside.
When the water boils, salt it and add the bucatini. Cook according to the package directions.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the toasted almonds, sun-dried tomatoes, oil, anchovies, garlic, basil, oregano, and salt and process about 1 minute, until just blended.
Reserving ½ cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta in a colander and return it to the pot.
Add the ½ cup pasta cooking water to the sauce in the food processor. Pulse a few times until combined. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss well to coat. Serve topped with the Parmesan. Serves 6.
Kilojoules per serving: 2080
Total fat: 21g
Saturated fat: 3g
3. Pizza Margherita
Pizza doesn’t get simpler or more delicious than this. Fresh mozzarella melts beautifully and, thanks to its high water content, is naturally lower in fat than many hard cheeses. If you don’t want to make tomato sauce and don’t have any on hand, substitute 2 fresh plum tomatoes, sliced crosswise.
450g homemade or store-bought pizza dough
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup homemade or jarred tomato sauce
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, patted dry and torn into 2cm pieces
6 large basil leaves, roughly torn
¼ cup grated or shaved Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 260°C. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Roll the dough into a 12 x 23cm rectangle no more than 0.6cm thick. Brush 1 teaspoon of the oil over a 2.5cm border all around the rectangle.
Spread the pizza sauce over the dough, leaving the 2.5cm border uncovered. Lay the mozzarella pieces on the sauce. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden and crisp and the cheese is bubbling. Top with the basil. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and pepper. Serves 4.
Kilojoules per serving: 1,620
Total fat: 17g
Saturated fat: 5g
4. Soba Noodles with Peanut-Sesame Sauce
You can serve the noodles slightly warm or at room temperature. If you make it ahead and chill it, let it come to room temperature to serve. You can also use this no-cook peanut-sesame sauce in a stir-fry.
Quick tip: While buckwheat is a gluten-free whole grain, many brands of soba noodles are made with wheat as well. Gluten-free runners should be sure to read labels closely.
1 package (227g) buckwheat soba noodles
1 cup (85g) snow peas, halved
¼ cup no-sugar-added creamy peanut butter
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 clove garlic
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. When the water boils, add the soba noodles. Cook according to the package directions, adding the snow peas during the last minute of cooking.
While the noodles cook, in a food processor, combine the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger and process for 30 seconds, or until smooth.
When the noodles are done, drain them along with the peas in a colander and rinse them well under cool water until the water runs clear. Drain well again and return the noodles and peas to the pot. Add the sauce and scallions to the noodles and toss well to coat.
Serve garnished with the sesame seeds. Serves 4.
Kilojoules per serving: 1,637
Total fat: 17g
Saturated fat: 2g
5. Pasta with Peas and Prosciutto
“This is an easy pasta to whip up when short on time,” says Runner’s World contributing chef Nate Appleman. If you can find fresh, in-season peas, use them here. Otherwise, frozen peas will work just fine; add them 1 minute sooner in the recipe.
Sauteed onions add a note of sweetness to this classic Italian dish, while peas provide a pop of colour and nutrients.
1 box (450g) cavatappi or other spiral pasta
1½ cups fresh spring peas
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon ground black pepper, or more to taste
½ cup grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese
Juice of ½ lemon
113g (about 8 thin slices) prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When it boils, salt it and add the pasta. Cook according to the package directions. Two minutes before the pasta is cooked, add the peas.
Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly browned.
Reserving ¼ cup pasta cooking water, drain the pasta and peas in a colander. Add the peas, pasta, and reserved cooking water to the frying pan, toss, and heat through, about 1 minute. Add the pepper, cheese, and lemon juice and toss to combine.
Serve the pasta in shallow bowls and place the prosciutto over top, letting the heat from the pasta warm the meat. Serves 6.
Kilojoules per serving: 1,687
Total fat: 8g
Saturated fat: 2.5g