Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Hi all (or some, or one… :)!

I’m just back from a quick trip home to Pittsburgh! I went pretty much for one reason– to swim a 1650 race with my mom at an Annual 1650 meet for Masters swimmers across the city.  It was a GREAT trip- full of visits with Carnegie Mellon professors/potential collaborators about my thesis, a dinner party (and cooking for it!) with my mom, a little carpentry work with my brother at a house he’s flipping (it’s AMAZING), and a quick visit with my Dad too!  Whirlwind. I will do a race report on the 1650 but I’m waiting to get some pics from a friend 🙂  Spoiler alert– it went well!

Today, however, I’m going to talk about… food. Noms. Fuel. Whatever you’d like to call it.  Recently, I’ve noticed whenever I post on the twitter about some dish I’ve barely scraped together (that shockingly turns out well) or suggestions I’ve made for friends, people tend to be interested!  Today, a friend of mine was trying to figure out his nutrition and in comparison to his very lackadaisical approach, I realized I could help… just a little.  He, like many of my friends, is fiercely athletic and would do just about anything to ensure that he gets a workout/athletic adventure every 24-hr period. He does not treat nutrition/fueling with the same kind of attention or rigor.  Though he might be an extreme example (as he was actually on the second season of America’s Worst Cooks), I thought I’d pull together a little of the advice I was giving him AND ask for your ideas!  I don’t cook NEARLY enough– I have cereal, prepared foods, soups from a can way too often.  So this is partly sharing, partly asking for advice!

Fundamentally, my “recipes” have a few requisites–

1. Must be easy, simple, not require fancy ingredients
2. Can be saved/reheated easily (fish is bad with this, but I usually try to cook fish in single portions)
3. Must taste decent enough for breakfast when I need to eat leftovers on the run (which is one of my favorite breakfasts)
4. For me, I am pretty much gluten and dairy free (though I do not suggest this approach for anyone who doesn’t have these allergies! This isn’t an athlete-diet idea, it’s that I get sick when I eat these). But in general, foods that are wholesome, not low calorie, just REAL!

So, without further ado, here have been a few of my quick ‘n’ easy dinner/leftovers-for-lunch ideas (please note: these aren’t brain surgery, just a way for me to collect my ideas and moreso- generate some from you in the comments section!!):

1. Stir Fry (obviously…):

    • Rice/coucous
    • “Sauce”: 1/3 c. chopped onion, 1 clove garlic, crushed, 1/3 c. soy sauce, 2 tbsp. sesame or olive oil, 1 tbsp. honey
    • Frozen bag of “stir fry” or just mixed peppers
    • 2 lbs turkey/chicken tenderloins (cutlets, something cut small, convenience sake) or tofu!
  • Put on your rice/quinoa/couscous (cook according to package 🙂
  • Add onion, garlic, soy sauce, 2 tbsp. oil, 1 tbsp. honey (coat pan) and add turkey or chicken.
  • Saute meat/tofu for 5-10 minutes per side (while you zap your bag o veggies for 30 seconds in the microwave to thaw)
  • Remove meat and saute veggies in the same pan
  • Add cooked couscous, cooked meat to veggie pan. Add sauces (love sesame dressing) or cheese, mix and serve!

2. Turkey Burgers!

  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons light gf teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil


  • Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Divide the turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each portion into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Combine the teriyaki sauce and water in a small bowl.
  • Place a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat until hot. Add the onion slices; cover and cook 10 minutes or until onion is golden brown, stirring frequently. Stir in 1 tablespoon teriyaki mixture. Remove onion from pan, and keep warm. Add olive oil to pan. Add patties, and cook 5 minutes over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons teriyaki mixture to pan. Carefully turn patties over, and cook for 3 minutes or until golden.
  • Note: You can freeze any uncooked turkey patties for up to 1 month. To freeze, separate the patties with wax paper; place them in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag, remove excess air, seal, and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator.

3. Garlic & lemon chicken recipe (tastes like a fancy meal, but is actually super quick and easy)

  • 1/4 cup oil;
  • 8 chicken thighs, with bones and skin;
  • 3 cups onions, sliced thin;
  • 2/3 cup minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice;
  • 2 extra lemons, thickly sliced (remove seeds with the tip of a knife) (optional);
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (I keep bouillon cupbes in the pantry to make this super easy);
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste;


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Heat oil in hot (oven-friendly!) pan  and brown the chicken pieces on all sides. It will take about 6 minutes total. Set the chicken aside.
  • Cook the onions until soft, about 3 minutes, and make sure to scrape all the chicken bits off the pan while doing so.
  • Add the garlic and cook for about a minute, until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper at this point.
  • Add the chicken stock, thyme and lemon juice and return the chicken thighs to the pan, skin side up.
  • Bring to a simmer and put the pan, covered, in the hot oven for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, add the lemon slices (optional but delicious) and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes uncovered.
  • Serve the chicken with the garlic and lemon sauce as well as with some of the lemon slices.

Ok! Your turn!  Thoughts? Recipe Suggestions?  What do you make that is quick and easy? Perhaps even healthy?