Butter Butter Soup; this tasty and wholesome combination of butternut squash, butterbeans and ginger makes a very comforting, sustaining and healthy training lunch. I have to admit that, as is the case with many good culinary discoveries, this soup combination evolved as a result of a mistake. I had put too much stock in my butternut squash soup and luckily struck upon the idea of using a tin of butterbeans to make it less runny.
When you’re training hard it’s important to be vigilant about keeping up your intake of vitamins and minerals as levels can become depleted with intensive workout, just as you need to ensure your glycogen levels are topped up by eating plenty of carbohydrate. The ingredients in this soup all work hard together to provide
Whilst playing around with butternut squash recipes I fell upon the idea of grating it up and making a cake, just like you might do with carrot or courgette. It works! In fact, it works really, really well and what’s even more surprising, my daughter, who will normally extract any trace of butternut squash from her meal, absolutely adores it!
I think butternut squash is a fabulous vegetable and an excellent addition to any training diet. Bell-like in shape, it has a beautifully smooth, creamy-coloured skin which protects its dense, rich golden-yellow flesh. Its texture is deliciously soft; its taste sweet, buttery, nutty. It
I really didn’t like rice pudding until I started running. It was too sweet, too creamy and just too much like nursery food for my liking. How things have changed…I can’t get enough of the stuff now! Rice Pudding is FANTASTIC recovery food!!!!! After a big bike ride, swim or long run out in the cold, it not only warms you up but it has a great combination of fast-acting high G.I. carbohydrate (short-grain pudding rice) to replenish your depleted glycogen stores, plus protein and calcium from the milk to help towards muscle repair.
Rice pudding is particularly good as it takes minutes to prepare before you leave the house – pop it into the oven at a low temperature and its ready two to three hours later on your return! All you have to do it take it out of the oven and eat it up. Yum Yum.
Take a look at Go Faster Food for some more rice pudding ideas, but here’s a basic version you can just leave in the oven while you are out for your long training session:
- 100g short-grain pudding rice
- 1.2 litre semi-skimmed milk (you can use skimmed, full fat, soya milk, rice milk, whatever you prefer)
- 3 tbsp demerara sugar (less if using sweetened soya or rice milk)
- good grating of nutmeg
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- Preheat the oven – fan oven 130
Pappardelle with Prosciutto, Flat-Leaf Parsley, Sweet Red Peppers and Brie de Meaux
Just a quickie post to jot down a delicious pasta dish I’ve just made for lunch after a joyful 13 miler this morning (I actually sprinted the last mile home, let’s hope the training stays so positive). This pasta took moments to make (and eat), was really fresh-tasting and incredibly healthy, with a good balanced of vitamins and slow-burning carbohydrates, plus a little protein. Brie de Meaux is quite high in saturated fat, so you might want to go easy on this. On the other hand, a little goes a long way and it really does add to the dish.
Serves 2 hungry people or 4 smaller portions:
- 250 g fresh pappardelle ( I used fresh lasagne sheets which I cut into thick strips)
- 80g pack of prosciutto cut into thin strips – even better if you can buy some cut freshly at the deli, but I used the pre-packed stuff
- 25g flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- a couple of sweet red pointed peppers, or one large standard red pepper, sliced finely
- about 150g good quality brie, like brie de Meaux, sliced into
It’s a fairly tough week
A lovely lady called Annabel Lee at a new start-up sports nutrition venture called Orbana very kindly sent me some samples of their new energy drink to try out. Many of my followers will know that I am not one to get enthused by commercial sports nutrition products, all of which seem to claim that their product will be your answer to improved performance/recovery because of its unique blend of carbohydrate, minerals, protein etc etc. I find that most of these drinks and gels wither play havoc with my stomach or make me gag. They also tend to leave a sweet and sickly artificial taste in your mouth. I am much happier with the home made variety
BEST (Bristol English Channel Swim Team)
I’ve been given the great privilege of helping out on the foodie front for BEST (Bristol English Channel Swim Team), a totally inspirational group of 11-12 year olds who are training to be the youngest ever relay team to cross the English Channel.
Anyone feeling disillusioned with the youth of today should take a look at the BEST website. These kids are phenomenal! 11 year-old Lewis decided that he would like more than anything to swim the English Channel and the idea blossomed from here – his parents took him seriously and established a superb professional team to take this initial idea to a whole new level. This team includes
Mark and I decided to go to Snowdonia over the kids half-term break and as the weather seemed OK, we thought we’d brave it and camp – the site is beautiful, set on a lake at the foot of Snowdon…. and completely empty as there are few people nuts enough to camp in late October in North Wales.