Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My #HatTrickHigh Required Bowtie Pasta! #RWHalf #MealsOnTheRun

Because doesn't everyone wear their medals and
Finisher Beanie to the grocery store the day after
Runner's World Half & Festival when it's 70 degrees outside?
     I had such an AMAZING weekend last weekend at Runner's World Half & Festival presented by Altra! I woke up Monday morning collecting my thoughts, uploading my photos and *trying* get somewhat back to reality.  After I loaded up my Mom taxi and took my kiddos to school, I unpacked my suitcase and had to make a quick trip to the grocery store.  You know when Mom goes out of town...all of the groceries somehow manage to magically disappear. ;)

     Okay. I'm kidding just a bit when I say that I'm trying to get back to reality. In my mind, I'm still in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on my #HatTrickHigh but I'll pretend for the next few paragraphs that I'm here in Alabama. Hehe.

     Reality Check: As I was walking through the grocery store (wearing my medals and my Finisher's Hat of course), I realized that I was starving. I had one thing on my mind. Bow-ties with Tomato, Basil and Avocado Sauce! I have been thinking about this pasta since I left a luncheon that I attended with Runner's World and the oh sooooo amazing Deena Kastor! (More to come on Deena Kastor in a future post---remember I'm starving and need pasta ASAP in this post!)

     The luncheon menu consisted of 150 healthy recipes from the new Runner's World cookbook "Meals On The Run" by Joanna Sayago Golub and foreward by Olympian Kara Goucher.  Each recipe in the book is designed with the runner in mind and can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. How awesome is that?! As a mom and a runner, I can appreciate this. I don't have all day to spend in the kitchen and I would be willing to go out on a limb and say that I'm probably not alone in this.

From the Introduction:
     "No matter which recipes appeal most to you, you'll quickly notice a common thread trying them together:  They all feature fresh, minimally processed ingredients. Building your diet on wholesome, natural foods is a key tenet of our nutrition philosophy at Runner's World.  These foods offer the best in terms of nutrition and taste--we believe that just because you only have 30 minutes to cook, you shouldn't have to compromise on either.  That's also why every recipe in this book has gone through the rigors of the Rodale Test Kitchen.  The result is a comprehensive collection of easy-to-follow recipes that fit within your busy lifestyle.  Once you get cooking, we think you'll quickly agree that fast meals can be synonymous with good taste, good health, and good running."

     The nice thing about attending a weekend hosted by Runner's World Magazine was that there was definitely not a shortage of healthy food options. #RunnersLikeToEat ;)

Mediterranean Turkey Burger
High-Protein Chocolate Pudding
Bow-ties with Tomato, Basil and Avocado Sauce
(substituted with Penne Pasta)
My lunch was DELISH!
Cheers to a super healthy lunch!
        I decided to test out the 30 minutes or less claim for myself and see if I could do this. Truth?? I failed. I failed for good reason though. I was taking photos for this post and got a little bit sidetracked because one of my kids called me and was at school trying to fake a "stomach ache". I think someone was missing Mom and knew that she was home and wanted to come home. Oh well. I wasn't busy so I was cool with failing on my 30 minute challenge. I'll try again later with a new recipe.

     Needless to say, I bought a few things that I knew I would need to make this pasta happen.  I had most of the ingredients in my pantry so this was going to be an easy recipe to create!

Makes 4 Servings:
1 Box (12 ounces) whole wheat bow-ties, fusilli, penne, or shells
1 Pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 Avocados
3 Cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)
1/4 Teaspoon ground black pepper

     "Bring a large pot of wather to a boil over high heat.  When the water boils, salt it and add the bow-ties.  Cook according to the package directions.

     Meanwhile, put the tomatoes in a small bowl and sprinkle with the salt.  Add the oil and basil and toss to coat. Set aside."

Tomatoes, basil, salt and extra virgin olive oil.
     "Reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta and cover to keep warm. Set aside."
Boiling the pasta.

Reserving one cup of water from the boiling pasta.
Scoop out the middles of the avocados.
     "Add the avocados to the empty pasta pot and mash with a potato masher or fork.  Add the garlic (I used minced) and lemon juice and stir to combine."

Adding in garlic and lemon juice.
     "Whisk in the reserved pasta cooking water, creating a light sauce."
Whisking in the reserved pasta water. 
Light and creamy avocado sauce.
     "Add the pasta and tomato mixture and toss well to coat.  Add the Parmesan (if using) and pepper and toss again."
Adding in the tomatoes and basil. 
Adding in the pasta.
Sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese.
The Finished Product!

     Because I'm pretty frugal, I could not stand the thought of wasting an entire lemon. I cut it up and added it to my water. I will keep those lemons in my glass all day and continue to refill with water. Love lemon infused water!
Meals On The Run and Lemon Infused Water.
     "Thanks to its mono- and polyunsaturated fats, avocado gives this pasta dish a heart-healthy richness. When swapped with trans and saturated fats, unsaturated fats reduce levels of LDL, or so-called "bad" cholesterol. Vegan runners should omit the Parmesan.

NUTRITION PER SERVING: 485 calories, 75 g carbs, 13 g fiber, 13 g protein, 16 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 231 mg sodium"

I really like how this cook book gives "Quick Tips" through out the book.

This "Quick Tip" can be found for this recipe on page 128.

"Quick Tip: All the recipes in this chapter provide a hearty portion of pasta per serving.  For a more prerun-friendly meal, simply reduce each portion by about half."

     I am convinced that this pasta will quickly become one of my "go-to" pasta dishes. It is DELICIOUS!!
Meals on the Run is the perfect gift for any runner!

Disclaimer: I was hosted by Runner's World Magazine and Altra Running to attend Runner's World Half & Festival.  I received this cookbook and was asked to give an honest review. All opinions are my own and I absolutely loved this pasta!

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