Monday, 20 July 2009

Foodie Fuel

About fives months ago I took up running as a way to help me get a bit fitter. My husband is a keen runner and has run several marathons and for a long time he has encouraged me to have a go. So I donned a pair of trainers and went for my first run at the end of March. I found it extremely hard to start with and struggled to even get to the end of the road. I began my running with a combination of running and walking and gradually I was able to increase the time I was running for. Within about 6 weeks I was able to run for half an hour which I was really pleased with.

I then decided to join my husbands running club as they had just set up a group for beginners. So along I went and was extremely nervous and worried that I wouldn't be able to keep up. I have found it absolutely brilliant and in the three months that I have been going, I have really improved. Two weeks ago I managed to do a ten mile run. I was so pleased with myself as a few months ago I could never have imagined running so far.

I have picked up a lot of hints and tips from my fellow runners. One of the biggest topics we seem to discuss is what to eat prior to a race or a long run. I haven't been running all that long and so for me there is still a lot of trial and error. I have learnt not to drink orange juice before I go running though as it makes me a feel a little queasy. According to my fellow runners and advice I have found on the Runners World website, pasta is one of the best things to eat before a run. The slow release of carbohydrate is an excellent source of energy.

As I am now running more often and longer distances I have been trying out lots of different pasta recipes to give me some energy. The other day I was in a local book shop and picked up the Cook Yourself Thin Quick and Easy book. I often don't get home till quite late and this book looked as though it was full of quick and easy recipes that could be made in a few minutes. I'm really impressed with it and have made lots of the dishes already. The book is just as it says on the cover and is full of quick and simple recipes that are very healthy.

Orecchiette all Pugliese

This is a great healthy pasta dish that I made the other day. It originates from Puglia in Southern Italy. Traditionally the Italians make this dish with a type of brocolli called rapini. It is difficult to find in the UK but sprouting brocolli makes a great substitute.

This recipe serves 2, takes 5 minutes to prepare and about 15 minutes to cook.
  • 200g sprouting brocolli chopped into 2cm pieces

  • 125g orechiette pasta

  • extra virgin olive oil spray

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 mild red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

  • salt and pepper

Boil the brocolli in salted water for about 3 minutes until it is just yielding. Drain and then refresh in cold water and set aside to dry.

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions until al dente.

Heat a spritz of olive oil in a non stick frying pan. Add the garlic and the chilli. When the garlic is just staring to colour, add the brocolli. Saute for about five minutes until cooked. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the brocolli mixture to the cooked and drained pasta. Spritz once again with olive oil, stir together and serve.

This was a lovely dish and we'll definately be having it again. Another tip I've picked up from my running buddies is to take a few Jelly Babies sweets with you. If you are running out of energy near the end of your run they give you a little boost.


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George said...

I love this pasta dish, it's one of my favourites. Yours looks lovely.

Coby said...

Mmm, I probably couldn't run to my letter box, but I would put up a good effort if it meant I got to eat this pasta!

♥Rosie♥ said...

Well done you for taking up running!! Your pasta dish looks gorgeous!