Enjoy the best that spring has to offer and boost your training game with this easy-to-make entrée and dessert, optimized for swift recovery. Packed with antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and omega three fatty acids, this pasta dish and seasonal dessert, created by a top chef from the Culinary Institute of America, provides the perfect showcase for two of the season’s tastiest vegetables, arugula and asparagus.
Why it’s perfect for triathletes: Not only is this dish satisfying, it provides the perfect balance of carbohydrates, protein, and heart-healthy fat.
When: Make this in time to dig in right after a workout, or up to 3.5 hours before an easy to moderate-intensity training session. Delicious right off the stove, this dish also makes for tasty leftovers, so be sure to save some for later.
Tips: For an extra vegetarian-friendly protein boost, swap the pappardelle for edamame pasta. Pine nuts can be substituted for walnuts, and if you aren’t a fan of asparagus, no problem—opt for 3 fresh zucchini cut very thin lengthwise. You can do this by hand or, for a thinner, more precise cut, with an inexpensive mandoline.
- 3/4 cup of walnuts
- 2 cups of arugula
- 3/4 cup of olive oil
- 3 large cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 ounces of wheat pappardelle or edamame pasta
- 1 pound of asparagus cut into 2-inch sections
- 1 pound of ground chicken
- 1/2 cup of halved grape tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 ounces crumbled Ricotta Salata (a pressed, aged cheese with a slightly salty flavor)
- In a small skillet, toast the walnuts over moderate heat until they begin to turn golden. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Combine the arugula, olive oil, grated cheese, walnuts and garlic in a food processor until you achieve a paste-like consistency. Season this arugula pesto with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Cook the ground chicken in a skillet until browned. Set aside.
- Boil the asparagus in 5 cups salted water for 1½ minutes, drain and set aside.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water until al dente. Drain.
- Combine the pasta, pesto, asparagus, lemon juice, tomatoes and chicken in a large bowl. Gently toss to distribute the ingredients.
- Plate the pasta and garnish with Ricotta Salata.
Grilled Peaches with Blueberries, Yogurt and Mint
Taking advantage of juicy stone fruits, antioxidant-packed blueberries, and fresh mint, this dish is quick and easy and provides an extra boost of flavor by grilling the peaches.
Serves up to 4
- 2 large, ripe peaches, halved with the pit removed
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons mint cut in very fine strips
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Brush the inside of each peach half with olive oil.
- Grill the peaches flesh-side down over high heat for 2 minutes to achieve a dark grill mark and caramelized flavor.
- Plate the peaches with the grilled side up, and add a healthy dollop of yogurt over each peach.
- Spread fresh blueberries over the peaches.
- Top off with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a ½ tablespoon of mint.
Sam Knoll, a top honors graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, has over 25 years of restaurant experience and created the recipes in this article.
Susan Kitchen, MPH, RD, CSSD, is a Registered Sports Dietitian, Certified USAT and Ironman Coach. Follow her at www.racesmart.com