Let Them Eat Pizza!

Like many runners, you probably consider pizza more of a splurge – a food to be eaten only occasionally to avoid an expanding waistline. But a recent issue of Runners World featured an article all about pizza. Healthy pizzas. Runner friendly pizzas. It got us thinking, why shouldn’t we eat more pizza? After all, it’s a great source of carbs and protein and doesn’t have to be laden with calories and fat like ones from the fast food joints.

If you’re careful about what you put on your pizza, it could even be just the thing to fuel up with the day or night before your next long run or race. Here’s one of our favorite ways to make runner friendly pizza.

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Chicken Sausage & Sweet Potato Pizza

Serves 4

1 sweet potato, diced

1 Tbsp olive oil

Garlic Powder

Cayenne Pepper

2 chicken sausage links, Italian style (we used Trader Joe’s)

4 pieces of Naan bread (we used Trader Joe’s)

8 Tbsp pizza sauce (we used Trader Joe’s)

2/3 cup mozzarella cheese (we used 2 percent)

1 red pepper, diced

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, diced

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put the diced sweet potato on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the garlic powder and cayenne pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

While the potatoes are roasting, slice the chicken sausage links and add to a small, nonstick skillet. Cook until heated through.

To assemble the pizzas:

Spread 2 Tbsp pizza sauce on each piece of Naan bread. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, then top with the chicken sausage and sweet potato. Finish by adding the diced red pepper and grape tomatoes.

Bake the pizzas on a cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Join our pizza party: What’s your favorite way to make pizza healthier? OR What are your favorite pizza toppings?

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

The Great Pasta Roundup

Call us traditional, but we love pasta to refuel after a workout as well as fuel up the night before a long run or race. But sometimes, the same old spaghetti with marinara sauce gets a tad . . . boring.

Fortunately, it’s possible to meet your nutritional needs, while also satisfying your tastebuds. Here are a few of our favorite pasta recipes from local bloggers who run:

Chicken Orzo Pasta Salad – A lighter pasta dish that can be made in advance so all you need to do after your run is open your refrigerator, spoon a serving on your plate and devour!

Creamy Avocado Pasta – Who doesn’t love Fettuccine Alfredo? The things we don’t love are all the cream, butter and fat. This recipe is a lightened-up version of a classic pasta dish and we think it’s even better than the original. It’s impossible to go wrong with avocados!

CLM_9809Photo by Capture Life Moments

Gnocchi with White Beans – We recently read that Killian Jornet sometimes fuels up with gnocchi, so if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for us. This flavor packed recipe is easy to make and energy dense.

Mexican Style Quinoa – While technically not pasta, this dish had to be included. Perfect for vegetarians and great for everyone looking for a recipe with Mexican flair.

CLM_9747Photo by Capture Life Moments

Quick & Easy Turkey Ragu – The thing that sold us on this recipe were the words “quick” and “easy”. Fellow runners will understand – after cramming in a 10 miler after work, the last thing you want to do is slave over the stove.

Spinach Artichoke Mac & Cheese – Comfort food that’s been lightened up a bit. You might want to save this one for after a long run or race.

All this pasta talk is making us hungry! Does anyone else have a pasta recipe they’d like to share? If so, comment below or send us an email at keeprunningmke@gmail.com – we’d love to hear from you!

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Wanted: Recipes That Fuel Your Miles

Variety is the spice of life. And that’s especially true when it comes to eating healthy to fuel your miles. After all, who wants to eat the same boring plate of spaghetti every night? That’s right, no one.

So let’s spice it up, MKE! We want to include your favorite recipes in future posts about what real local runners eat. Whether it’s an old family recipe or something you found online, send it our way at keeprunningmke@gmail.com.

To get you started, here’s a recipe we recently discovered at The Fit Girl’s Kitchen (authored by an MKE runner!).

Red Quinoa Avocado Salad with Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette

via The Fit Girl’s Kitchen (Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine)

Ingredients

3 Tbs. raisins (preferably a mix of dark and golden)

2 Tbs. dried apricots, thinly sliced

1 cup red or white quinoa, rinsed well

1 large lemon

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp. ground coriander

1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. sweet paprika

2 medium firm-ripe avocados (6 to 7 oz. each), pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

2 medium scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

2 to 3 Tbs. coarsely chopped toasted almonds

Freshly ground black pepper & kosher salt

Instructions

In a medium bowl, soak the raisins and apricots in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a 2-quart saucepan, bring 2 cups water, the quinoa, and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent and tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Immediately fluff the quinoa with a fork and turn it out onto a baking sheet to cool to room temperature. (FGK note: Make sure to do this step – if you don’t and try to mix it all right away, the quinoa becomes sticky and mushy.)

Finely grate the zest from the lemon and then whisk the lemon zest and 1 Tbs. lemon juice with olive oil, coriander, cumin, paprika, and 1/4 tsp. salt. In a large bowl, toss the vinaigrette with the quinoa, raisins, apricots, avocado, scallions, and almonds. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Check out Kat’s blog for more great recipes.

That’s all we’ve got for today. Stay tuned for another runner profile later this week.

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!