Food for Fuel: Brian Sell’s Hearty Minestrone

August 18, 2008 at 8:55 pm | Posted in Food, From The Runner's Cookbook, Literature, Nutrition, Poultry, Vegetable Side Dishes | 7 Comments

Are you getting tired of recipes from The Runner’s Cookbook yet? Should the editors be cutting me a check for all this publicity?

Brian Sell will be representing the U.S. in the 2008 Olympic Marathon. He makes a very Hearty Minestrone. Also, a delicious one. Actually, it says in his notes that it is one of his favorite meals that his wife, Sarah Sell, makes, so I give her full credit. Shame on him, it’s not like he has a day job 😉

I had to scale down this recipe quite a bit, and I will still be getting two meals out of it. Cooking for one can be difficult when following recipes. I used my last small chicken breast instead of ground turkey, but I think ground turkey would have been even better. I omitted the celery because it bores me so I didn’t feel like buying it.

Because I was starving and needed to use up some eggplant, I made eggplant pizzas! I just sliced my remaining eggplant, covered it in jarred sauce, and sprinkled on Asiago and fat-free mozzarella. Baked at 425* for about 15 minutes. I put my eggplant pizza on a bed of baby spinach and chopped olives stuffed with garlic. I used some Mandola’s bread to scoop up the soup, which I cannot wait to have again for lunch tomorrow.

Nutrition of this Meal

This meal contains 14 ingredients from the World’s Healthiest Foods list:

  • Whole wheat (ziti)
  • Eggplant
  • Olives
  • Garlic
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Summer squash
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Kidney beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Chicken
  • Low-fat cheese

Enough vitamins to fuel an Olympic marathon.



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  1. Answers to questions 1 and 2: No, and yes!

    Eggplant pizzas are a great idea. And I find that homemade soup is always even better the next day. Enjoy your leftovers!

  2. Wow the soup looks delicious and the eggplant pizzas look even better! I’ve been craving cheese lately…like the really expensive good stuff with a piece of crusty bread. But, I’m pretty lactose intolerant so I don’t know that it’s worth it. Anyway…
    Just wanted to say congrats on deciding to run the marathon! I’m jealous. I have to wait until April to do the half again (thats what happens when brothers decide to get married on race weekend) Oh well. My own personal victory? I did a ten miler on Sunday and it felt GREAT. Though my legs are a little tempermental now. Congrats again…and good luck!

  3. ps. one more quick question…do you know about how many calories you were consuming when you were running 25-ish miles a week? I’m working up from there, but I don’t know that I’m getting enough fuel. Since I’m unsure, I’m probably not…but who knows 😉

  4. tfh: I so enjoyed those leftovers.

    sara: I don’t really count calories but just aim to eat healthy foods. I’m also struggling with knowing if I’m getting enough fuel. I think I eat about the same as I did when I was running 25 mpw, but now I’m running around 45 so obviously I need to take in more food. Let me know what works for you, because seriously, I need help with this too.

    Congrats on the 10-miler! Sounds like you’re in shape already. Too bad your race isn’t until April! Can you find another?

    I also crave cheese on a regular basis. I have like, 6 kinds in my fridge right now.

  5. I am considering doing the philly marathon or steamtown and I followed the FIRST Marathon training guide by the Furman Institute you can just google it.. but I followed the harder one for Boston and 2 years ago when i did hartford I did the easier one and ithink the easier one was better because i was over trained for boston

  6. […] may notice that roasting veggies and topping them with cheese, be it a bell pepper, a tomato, or an eggplant, is a slight obsession of mine. Tonight’s victim was a portabello mushroom, around which I […]

  7. […] for Fuel: Eggplant Pizzas November 14, 2008 at 1:53 pm | In Uncategorized | Ok ok, I’ve made eggplant pizzas before, even as a sidedish to soup like last night. But I just had a fantastic lunch with my leftover […]

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