Monday, February 25, 2013

Quick & Easy Healthy Meal

I originally started this blog to document my journey from heel striker to forefoot runner. Along the way I started posting about running in general, and cycling and triathlons. I also intended (and will at some point in very near future do so) to blog about my profession of athletic training. Recently I hit upon another topic to write on that actually relates to all of it, nutrition, more specifically cooking nutritious meals. I’ve been cooking fairly nutritious meals for a long time and keep playing with new recipes, and over time I’ve come to realize that many people I know are astounded by how easy it is for me to make healthy but tasty meals. So, I’ve decided to start sharing some of my more successful experiments with food on here.
We all know that healthy usually means fresh, but also frozen and to avoid processed foods. But keeping fresh foods at home means constant trips to the grocery and we don’t always have time for that. I try to the go with frozen, but occasionally I will throw in a can of something, as I did for this recipe.
I took a couple of turkey Italian sausages that we had in the freezer and lightly thawed in microwave until I could chop them up. I heated a large skillet and dropped in the sausage to brown with about 1/2 a diced white onion and 2 minced cloves of garlic, salt & pepper.
While that was cooking I put 1 3/4 cups (w/ splash more) of water on to boil. Once boiling I added in 1/4 cup farro, 1/4 cup bulger wheat, 1/4 cup quinoa, and about 1/4 cup of whole wheat spaghetti broken into ~1" pieces. (water ratio on grains: farro 3:1, bulger wheat 2:1, quinoa 2:1, and the splash was for pasta (needed more)).
Once sausage was cooked I added can of diced tomatoes (with liquid), 1/2 cup frozen peas, 1/4 cup of chia, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, dried basil (prefer fresh herbs, but go with what you have...), and more salt & pepper.
When grain/pasta mixture had absorbed all the water I added it with some additional water (about 1/2 cup as grain was a little too al dente) into the sausage, onion, tomato, pea mixture and let simmer for a few minutes until water was absorbed and grain done.
I served with a topping of fresh grated parmesan cheese. It was quite yummy. Sorry I didn't get a pic to share (camera/phone temporarily out of order). From start to finish took about 25min and there was enough food to serve four. Nutritious, delicious, easy and quick, what’s not to like?

**(the grains chosen were partially for flavor but also because they had about the same cooking time as the spaghetti so it would all be done at the same time)
**(regular Italian sausage, or about ½-2/3 pound of ground meat could be substituted for turkey Italian sausage)

Don't forget, March is National Athletic Training Month: Every Body Needs An Athletic Trainer. (posts about #NATM2013 coming soon!)