Friday, January 18, 2008

Importance of eating well on rest days

Training is starting to get easier now I have finally got over my jet-lag and my legs, or rather knees, are recovering from the pounding they suffered due to 8 solid days of challenging sking in Jackson Hole. Did 9 miles yesterday, a general aerobic run. I need to get faster if I am going to get anywhere near my target of 3:35, but things are going in the right direction. The weather is still dreadful, in fact I had to stick to the pavement as off-road is just too water-logged.

We all know that it is crucial to eat well during training, but remember that rest days are just as important as work-out days. Your body not only needs to recover from the previous day, but energy levels must also be topped up for the following days' endurance. I am really into Cavolo Nero at the moment. There is a new veg shop here in Bristol (Charlie Hicks), where they sell great bunches of the stuff. You can get it in the supermarket as well, but it is generally not quite as tender. It looks so beautiful that you could almost give it to someone as a bunch of flowers. But, of course, it is much better to eat....and packed with vitamins. I made a delicious healthy pasta dish for my rest day - the night before my 9-miler.

Green spinach tagliatelle with cavolo nero and lardons:
Serves 5-6
Pack of spinach tagliatelle (I used supermarket fresh, which I was disappointed with. Try a better quality version, or some decent dried taglietelle...or make your own!)
Bunch of cavolo nero
Red pepper, sliced
Couple of spoonfuls of creme fraiche and a splash of milk
Crushed garlic clove
Black Pepper
Glug of good extra virgin olive oil
  1. Cook the cavolo nero gently in a large pan but with a small amount of water until tender.
  2. In a large non-stick frying pan, fry up the lardons and red pepper. You could add some mushrooms as well.
  3. Spoon out the cavolo nero with a slotted spoon and add to the lardon pan.
  4. Add the garlic.
  5. Bring some salted water to the boil for the pasta (I use the cavolo water as well) and cook the pasta according to pack instructions.
  6. Meanwhile add a couple of spoonfuls of creme fraiche and a splash of milk to the lardons pan, bring to the boil and turn down to a low simmer.
  7. Season well with salt and black pepper, spoon the pasta into the mixture with a pasta spoon and combine. You may want to add a little of the pasta liquid to keep a nice consistency.
  8. Finally pour over a glug of olive oil - it will go beautifully glossy - and serve decorated with a couple of basil leaves.


Mark O'M said...

Hi Kate,
have you thought about using Rape seed oil instead of olive oil? There are a few places selling posh "extra virgin farm pressed" varieties, including Charlie Hicks. You can buy a nice one at Waitrose, Mellow Yellow, but there are cheaper versions. Generally lighter than olive oil, but masses of omega 3 and 6, for those of us who dont get round to eating oily fish daily.
Best wishes

kate said...

Thanks for that, Mark. I haven't really experimented with rape seed oil so I'll give it a go as an alternative. Have you ever tried pumpkin seed oil? It's really delicious in salads...Kate