Food for Fuel: Pre-Race Pasta

October 18, 2008 at 8:37 pm | Posted in Food, Nutrition, Pasta, Racing, Seafood | 6 Comments

The key to a good pre-race meal? Boredom. Now is not the time to try Ethiopian food or be a judge in your local chili cook-off. In general, I just try to get a good amount of healthy carbs, some protein, and vitamins. No grease, heavy amounts of fiber, or anything too rich/fatty.

My favorite is whole wheat pasta with chicken and a tomato-based sauce. I’m all out of fresh protein sources, so I used a Gorton’s Grilled Salmon instead. I was also going to use my favorite jarred sauce and just add a few things, but I opened the jar and it was all moldy.

Deciding that mold might not be a positive race contribution, I made my own sauce. I sauteed 1 clove of minced garlic and a little onion in a skillet, added capers, and then added:

  • Jarred red bell peppers (maybe half a small jar?)
  • Canned diced tomatoes with juices (maybe 1/3 of a can?)
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried basil
  • Dried parsley

I simmered the sauce while the fish cooked (14-15 mintutes). Towards the end, I chopped up a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese and added it to the sauce. I topped cooked Healthy Harvest penne with the salmon, added the sauce, and topped it all off with freshly grated Parmesan.

I also had a side salad with baby spinach, mixed greens, cucumbers, tomato, and baby carrots. I made a quick dressing of olive oil and red wine vinegar.  

The Gorton’s salmon tasted a lot better last time I used it. I think it needs to be marinaded or glazed. Chicken would have been much better in this dish, but I quite liked the results of my homemade sauce.

Nutrition of this Meal

This meal contains 16 ingredients from the World’s Healthiest Foods list:

  • Bell peppers
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Cucumber
  • Spinach
  • Tomato
  • Carrots
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Salmon
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Whole wheat
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Parsley

Sixteen WHF ingredients is a good pre-race number! I’m off to set out all my stuff for tomorrow and go to bed early. I haven’t raced in almost a year, so I’m a little nervous, but excited too. It’s been so long since I’ve done a 10K race that I can’t even set a goal time. I guess I’ll just see what happens. 🙂



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  1. That looks lovely! Good luck!

  2. i do the same thing for a pre-race meal 🙂

  3. Yum! Good luck!

  4. dinner looks great! good luck tomorrow!

  5. youre the only other person EVER who likes the gortons as I do.


  6. looks like you’re on the right track towards a healthier and slimmer body,keep up the good work

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