Carbo load never tasted this good!
By Lynda Diamond
Photo by Teddy McCrea
The big day is approaching. You have trained hard and fuelled your body in anticipation for your race. We all know how important it is to fuel properly and the pre-race day is possibly one of the most important meals to consider. During this time, our requirements for carbohydrates increase along with a lesser need for protein.
Aim for a higher intake of calories from carbohydrates at your pre-race meal, keeping proteins and fats low as these nutrients will only take up space better utilized by carbohydrates. At the same time, you may want to include some non-grain starches from vegetables and fruits.
It’s wise to choose complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and brown rice as the starch is broken down into sugar more slowly than refined products. Eating higher amounts of carbs prior to race day will help maximize muscle glycogen stores.
This recipe for Paella Salad is delicious and nutritious and is equally enjoyable as a warm lunch or cold supper. We make extras and enjoy it in wraps, as well.
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. sundried tomatoes chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
½ cup olive oil
Combine lemon juice, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix well. Add olive oil in a steady stream until blended. If you have a food processor, use it for this step.
Main recipe ingredients:
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup clam nectar
1 cup dry white wine (optional)
1 tsp. saffron threads
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 red peppers, diced
2 yellow peppers diced
2 Italian sausages, sliced diagonally
into thick slices (optional)
3 cups uncooked brown rice (or brown basmati rice)
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
4 medium tomatoes, diced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups peas, thawed
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
¾ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lb. prawns, peeled and cooked
Pour broth, clam nectar and wine (if using) into a large bowl. Stir in saffron and leave it to steep.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and the red and yellow peppers. If using sausage, add them to this mixture and cook until sausages are lightly browned.
Stir in rice, paprika, thyme and oregano. Pour in the saffron mixture. Increase heat to high and bring it all to a boil, stirring often. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low.
Simmer, stirring occasionally until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, approximately 30 minutes.
Add the black beans, corn and peas and cook for another five to seven minutes.
Spread out on a large surface such as a baking pan to cool the rice quickly.
Refrigerate the rice mixture uncovered until cool (20 minutes or so).
Put the rice mixture into a large bowl and add the tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro. Toss well.
Pour in the salad dressing, add the prawns and mix just to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy with a slice of whole grain bread to boost the carbohydrate content by 45 grams.
Per serving: Calories 452, Fat 14.2 g, Cholesterol 106.0 mg, Sodium 681.8 mg, Potassium 962.3 mg, Carbohydrate 56.9 g, Fibre 10.8 g, Sugars 3.5 g, Protein 27.6 g.
Makes 6 generous servings.
Chef Lynda Diamond is a graduate of SAIT Polytechnic’s Professional Cooking program. She owns and operates Island Estuary B&B in Ladysmith, B.C.