Ready, set, go: 6 supper recipes you can get on the table in 30 minutes or less.
We all know the feeling: You get home from work after a jam-packed day of meetings, errands, and exercise to find your family (not to mention your own tummy) hungry and waiting for dinner. On these days, we wish we had the time and energy to cook a gourmet (and nutritious) dinner. If you are struggling to get dinner on the table in between training runs and family commitments, you don’t have to throw in the towel and order pizza just yet — or at least every night.
Sports dietician Jackie Dikos has some great solutions to the conundrum that time-pressed athletes face on a weekly basis. A 2:45 marathoner, Dikos manages a career as a sports dietician and family commitments (she has a husband and two kids). With so much on her plate, she understands the importance of fast and nutritious meals. Dikos proves with her recipes that great nutrition can be achieved in a speedy meal. It doesn’t take long to throw together a hearty carbohydrate, such as whole grain pasta or quinoa, a lean protein source and a variety of nutrient-dense vegetables. If you’re pinched for time, Dikos has some guidelines for balancing a great meal for athletes.
“Any quick meal should have a good source of quality carbohydrates, a source of protein and a source of healthy fats,” Dikos said. “I encourage athletes to think along that frame of mind whenever they feel rushed or pinched to create a meal.”
One superfast meal that Dikos whipped up in less than eight minutes is a hearty and filling salad made with a microwavable quinoa and brown rice blend and vegetables. Dikos explained, “I’m a big fan of quinoa for athletes partly because it’s got its own source of protein built in to a wonderful grain.” This Quick Grain and Veggie Salad gives athletes and their families a fast dose of fiber, protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fat. Each serving of this meal, or side dish, offers more than one cup of fresh vegetables. The quick-cooking quinoa and brown rice mix also serves up plenty of heart-healthy whole grains, packing a nutritional punch with 60 grams of fiber-full, satiating whole grains.
Another excellent and lightening-quick meal that Dikos recommends is Gnocchi Primavera. This meal is ideal for those runners that need plenty of carbohydrates, either to fuel up for a long run or race, or to restock stores after a hard effort. Dikos recommends this meal especially for those who are preparing to run a marathon, ultra marathon, or half ironman. It is a low-fat, high-taste dish that combines easily digested vegetables with the carbohydrates you require.
Dikos stresses that no matter what you make for dinner, you should strive to eat a healthful mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
“I’m going to suggest athletes to be at least around 60 grams of carbs with their meal,” she said. Dikos explained that this is a general number and actual needs vary greatly by how many miles a runner logs per week, their body weight, and other factors.
Check out four more of our favorite recipes from Dikos by following the links below to her website Nutrition Success.