You Can’t Run on Empty

Every pathetic jogger runner has their own pre-race rituals.

You eat the same meals, you go to bed at a certain time, you have lucky items you have to wear, use, whatever and what have you.

For me, it’s always Tomato Macaroni Soup for dinner the night before, almond butter on a bagel or english muffin the morning of, but I’m pretty flexible in terms of what I’ll wear to run in, but I admit I do have a few favourite shirts.

But for Around the Bay and Harry’s Spring Run Off, I had a few monkey wrenches thrown into the mix in terms of what I could eat before the race.

See, I stayed in Hamilton the night before the race thanks to the generosity of the lovely benefactor who wears amazing shoes, and although there were facilities available to me to cook my own dinner, I didn’t want to cart around food and any dishes for the prep and clean up afterwards as I was traveling on the GO Train. So it was the first time I left my running fate in the hands of a chain restaurant, something I’ll never do again as I ended up with pasta SWIMMING in a disgusting sauce that I actually ended up rinsing out in hot water once I got back to my hotel room.

Money not so well spent and lesson learned, kiddies.

So although Harry’s was in the Tdot and you’d think everything would be just ducky for my pre-race rituals, Canada Running Series goes and throws a curve ball at me by planning the race for a Saturday and not your typical Sunday. And not just any Saturday, my friends. This one was of the holy variety between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, a day where good Catholics abstain from meat.

And where just about every grocery store is closed and an unprepared mouse with no Recipe of Pasta Toss in April Issue of Runner's World Magazinefish in her freezer but lots of chicken and ground beef stands there, smacking herself in the forehead.

Now, before she shouts, “SCREW IT!” and trots on over to Chippy’s or, better yet,  Duckworth’s, for some greasy fish & chips,  she plops herself on the couch to pout fot a bit and finds herself thumbing through the April edition of Runner’s World where she comes across a Pasta Bean Toss that doesn’t include any meat, but is heavy on the lentils, an idea that doesn’t seem so bad because we all know about that crazy need to have protein, starches and veggies in every meal.


Luckily, the ingredients were mostly what I had in my fridge and cupboard with the exception of a a couple of cans of beans, which I could get at Rabba (which never seems to close!), so off I went to the store to pick some up and create the monstrosity.

I actually made about half of what the recipe called for, used grape tomatoes instead of plum and one can of mixed beans just for variety (you know me and rules).

Pasta Bean Toss in the pan - Beans, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes and...other stuff. mmmm

It was actually pretty good. I ate it both hot that night and cold for dinner the next night. It was super filling.

I’m generally not a huge fan of beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc., but sucked it up for this as I wanted the protein and something moderately healthy.

I still want the fish and chips, though.

Maybe another day…after a 30km or something :P

RECIPE – from Runner’s World

Pasta Bean Toss
created by Joan Salge Blake, nutrition professor at Boston University.

1 pound whole-grain penne
2 medium red onions, thinly sliced (I omitted)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon vegetable oil (I used EVOO)
5 carrots, cut julienne-style
2 cups raw broccoli florets
12 ripe plum tomatoes, diced
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans
1 15-ounce can white kidney beans
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package. While pasta cooks, in a large frying pan saute onions and garlic in oil until tender (two minutes). Add remaining vegetables, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, and basil. Simmer for four minutes. Add beans and simmer for two minutes or until veggies are tender. Add pasta and cheese, and toss. Serves six. 

A nutritional breakdown for the recipe can be found here, but it’s always best if you do it yourself as you always adapt a recipe for YOUR taste, right? :)


Jaime said...

Holy, now that's a food baby in the making! Looks super yum to me!

Rob Dyess said...

Nice improv!!!!

Not a big fan of beans myself... I am a pretty big chili fan though.

Great blog!! I enjoy!


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