I can’t believe race day is almost here! A few weeks out and I have so many butterflies in my stomach it’s not even funny. Eeep! It’s not helping that with the most intense part of my training now complete, the shorter distances and lower intensity cross training have my thoughts wandering a bit too much. One minute I’m rocking chatarunga push-ups with all sorts of “strong” mantras singing in my brain, but as I rest in down-dog and my mind goes quiet, suddenly it shouts, “Not 13 miles, 13 point one miles! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!” Before full scale panic mode can ensue, however, I have been able to talk myself off the ledge. “Ruth,” I say, “You were thinking you can handle anything life throws at you. ” Or now, “Hellloooo, Ruth, you ran 13 point TWO miles just a few days ago. Obviously you can do it.” Obviously…
Thankfully I’m not doing this alone! Sue and I are running this half-marathon together. Originally it was us and my sister…until my sister found out she was pregnant. By that time she had already set up a private Facebook page for all our runner friends where we’ve been posting our runs and workouts to motivate each other. After I started posting articles on running, race training, and fitness in general, I became the go-to person for information. Our forum’s hottest topic? Food!
In all honesty, although I have my race day “fuel plan” ready, I have been horrible with fueling my overall health. This is my usual conundrum, if you’ve read Emilie’s and my About page. Of course, as a consequence, for nearly half of my training I have felt fatigued and sluggish in between runs and workouts. It got really bad, actually, but my resilient nature kicked in just in time with the help of a little inspiration. I saw this recipe in Self magazine for Kung Pao salmon with sweet potatoes and broccoli and really liked the idea of roasting the vegetables. So I gave the technique a try with my favorite stir-fry combo: broccoli and bell peppers.
This is a winning runner’s combination! Not only is it full of delicious Asian flavor, it is packed with some key nutrients that help keep your body ready to lace up, such as anti-oxidants, beta carotene, Vitamin C, potassium, and protein. I am so grateful I was able to break out of my nutrition rut, because with dishes like this I am so going to ROCK THIS RACE!
Roasted Vegetable “Stir-Fry” with Chicken and Quinoa
serves about 4
• 1 large head of broccoli, chopped into florets
• 1 red bell pepper, diced large
• 1 yellow bell pepper, diced large
• 1 large chicken breast, sliced thin
• 3-4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
• Sea salt and ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
• 1/4 cup rice vinegar
• 1 tablespoon agave syrup
• 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
• 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- Prepare quinoa according to package directions.
- Pre-heat oven to 375°.
- On a baking sheet, toss broccoli and bell peppers with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the vegetables with a pinch of salt and pepper, toss again, and then arrange in a single layer. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, but al dente. Set aside.
- While the quinoa and vegetables cook, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, agave, garlic, ginger, and Sriracha in a bowl and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Stir fry sliced chicken cook salmon until browned. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Lower heat to medium high heat and add soy sauce mixture to pan. Simmer until slightly thickened, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add chicken back into the pan along with the roasted vegetables. Toss gently so that everything is coated in the sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Serve hot over quinoa.