By Brandon McDearis
Eating properly while preparing for endurance events such as a marathon is crucial to one's success, yet many athletes do not fuel themselves as sufficiently as they should. Even with the time restraints of a strict training schedule, it is possible to consistently consume foods that will help you achieve your physical aspirations.
Nutrient dense foods can provide the ultimate amount of nutrition for the least amount of calories enabling you to get as much "bang for your buck" as possible. This should be a golden rule for everyone, even those that are inactive, but it is a most crucial guideline for the endurance athlete.
Ethnic food, such as many Asian dishes are very flavorsome ways to replenish the body, while trying to remain lean. I recently charmed a U.S. cycling coach during a business meeting with this guilt-free version of Pad Thai. This recipe can be prepared in only a few minutes, and it provides a nutrient dense meal that is perfect for anyone in the midst of training for an event. It serves 6.
- 8 oz. rice noodles
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ½ cup of honey or agave nectar
- juice of 2 limes
- 1.5 Tbsp. hot chili sauce such as Sirracha
- ¼ cup sake or rice wine
- 1.5 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1 pound firm tofu cubed
- 1 red pepper julienned
- 1 red onion julienned
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp. ginger minced
- 2 cups snowpeas julienned
- 2 cups beans sprouts
- 2 cups shredded carrot
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped scallions
- Cook noodles according to package directions and set aside.
- Combine the next 5 ingredients to make the sauce and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large sauté pan or wok and add the tofu at medium-high heat. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes until it begins to brown. Then add the red pepper and onion and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for an additional 1 minute. Add noodles and sauce and stir for about 10 seconds until everything is evenly coated with the sauce. Add the snowpeas, bean sprouts, and carrot and cook until it is mixed evenly and heated all of the way through.
- Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro and scallions.
Note: You can also add additional lime juice and/or add more chili sauce if you want to give it more kick at the end. Peanuts are a traditional garnish in Pad Thai, and another protein source such as chicken or shrimp can be added at the end as well.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 286 / Fat: 5g / Carbohydrates: 32g / Fiber: 3g / Protein: 5g
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Brandon McDearis is a personal chef working in the Charlotte area. He currently owns and operates Your Way Cuisine, www.yourwaycuisine.com. In addition to his culinary training, Brandon also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in foods and nutrition, with a concentration in dietetics. He primarily focuses on healthy cooking and addressing specific dietary needs of everyone from professional and amateur athletes, to busy families and elderly people.