Author Archives: Janet Simpson, MS, RD, MHSW,

Endurance Foods-Spinach

How is your season going?  Mine is just beginning with a 5K Tutu run last week and the Martian 10K next week.

Even though our weather does not point to Spring, I am excited that, at least, the calendar does!

What shall we eat to get ready for the Spring season?  Spinach, of course!  (just ask Popeye, he would never lie)

Spinach is a wonderful Spring vegetable, and is definitely a SUPER FOOD!  Look what it has to offer:

Spinach (or) kale, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, turnip greens, bok choy, romaine lettuce.

They contain: A synergy of multiple nutrients/phytonutrients, low in calories, lutein/zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, plant-derived omega-3 fatty acids, glutathione, alpha lipoic acid, vitamins C and E, B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, polyphenols, betaine.

Servings: 1 cup steamed or 2 cups raw most days.

Benefits: heart health, reduce risk of cancer, reduce risk of macular degeneration, reduce risk of cataracts, reduce risk of stroke.

Of course, we always need a recipe to go along with our Endurance Food, and, of course, it will have quinoa in it…   Here goes:

Quinoa-Spinach Soup

Makes 4-5 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup water 1/2 cup quinoa 4 cups vegetable broth or 2 (14.5 oz) cans vegetable broth 1/2 chopped onion 1/2 diced carrot 2 cups spinach, washed and chopped coarsely salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:

Rinse quinoa before cooking to remove the coating of a bitter substance called saponins.

Bring water to a boil.

Stir in quinoa, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add broth, onion and carrot

Simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in spinach, allow to wilt in soup

Salt and pepper to taste

Enjoy!

Nutrition facts: 100 calories; 18 gm carbohydrates; 4 gm protein; 1 gm fat

Endurance Food-Beans

Here is our next super food-beans (all beans are included in this super food).

1. Beans

Pinto, navy, Great Northern, lima, garbanzo, lentils, green beans, sugar snap peas and green peas.

They contain: low fat protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, folate, potassium, magnesium, phytonutrients.

Servings: try to eat at least four ½ cup servings.

Benefits: Control blood sugar, weight management, help prevent cancer, heart health

What is YOUR favorite bean?

This time of year, I am longing for green beans; the ones in the summer that  I can pick right off the plant, rinse them off under the hose, and start nibbling on them.  It is not summer here in Michigan, yet, but I did find some beautiful, fresh green beans at Trader Joes yesterday.  I purchased a handful, brought them home and pretended that they were fresh picked from my garden.

Need a great recipe for green beans? Try this one:

Quinoa Gazpacho with Green Beans

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa 2 cups water 1 48-oz bottle vegetable juice 1 tablespoon Worchester sauce 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tomatoes, finely chopped (seed and peel, if preferred-but not necessary) 1 large cucumber, finely chopped (seed and peel, if preferred-but not necessary) 1 cup green beans, cut in one inch pieces and blanched. 2 green onions, sliced (use the whole onion) 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)

Directions

1. Rinse quinoa before cooking to remove the coating of a bitter substance called saponins. 2. Bring water to a boil. 3. Stir in quinoa, cover and simmer 15 minutes. 4. Chill 5. While quinoa is cooking, mix together all ingredients for the soup 6. Chill 7. Serve cold with the quinoa scooped on top of the gazpacho (I use an ice cream scoop) 8. ENJOY!

Nutrition facts: 141 calories: 24g carbs, 4g protein, 2g fat,(from olive oil)

Pumpkin in March?

The Great Pumpkin!  I remember it well; along with Charlie Brown
I do not typically think about eating pumpkin in March, but as I look out my office window at all of the snow, pumpkin soup suddenly sounds good to me!Pumpkin is definitely one of the Super Foods for all athletes!  And…a cold March day is the perfect time to indulge in it!Let’s take a look at The Great Pumpkin:

  1. Pumpkin (or) carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, orange  bell peppers.

They contain: Alpha carotene, Beta-carotene, fiber, vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium, pantothenic acid.

Servings: ½ cup most days

Benefits: reduce the risk of cancer, heart health, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, prevents free-radical complications of diabetes.

I am especially interested that the pumpkin is an anti-oxidant.  As athletes, especially runners know, that the harder we breathe, the more free-radicals oxidize and thus the need for foods which are anti-oxidents! 

Bring on the pumpkin!  How about in Pumpkin Quinoa Soup!

Pumpkin Quinoa Soup

Makes 8-10 cups

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon olive oil ½ cup chopped onions ½ cup chopped celery ½ cup grated carrots (Tip: purchase the onion, celery and carrots already chopped or grated from your local supermarket salad bar.) 1 can (29 oz) solid-packed pumpkin or 3 ½ -4 cups fresh pumpkin, cooked 4 cups vegetable broth (can be purchased or home made) 1 small apple cored, peeled and chopped 1 cup cooked quinoa  Click herefor basic directions to cook quinoa. Note: for more info on Quinoa, please click here.

Directions

1. Sauté onions, celery and carrots in olive oil until just softened. 2. Add pumpkin, vegetable broth, and apple. Simmer 10 minutes. 3. Stir in quinoa and heat through. 4. Enjoy! 5. If soup becomes too thick after setting awhile, thin with water or more vegetable broth to desired consistency.

Tip: Garnish with a dollop of yogurt, sour cream, tortilla chips or anything that sounds good to you.

Nutrition Facts: Serving size: 1 cup = 100 calories, Fat = 2 grams, Carbs = 18 grams, Protein = 3 grams

Enjoy this recipe and any other way you enjoy the great pumpkin! AND…lets hope the snow is soon gone!

Loading…

Endurance Food-Broccoli

Endurance Food-Broccoli   

Do you love broccoli as much as I do? Raw, steamed, sauted, with cheese, without cheese, any way you eat it-broccoli is the best!

For some athletes, broccoli may cause G.I distress, so you may want to save it for non-competition days.  Or…at least “test” it before a competition!

Speaking of “testing” foods, may I remind you that you do NOT want to try ANYTHING new on competition days!!!  No new foods, no new beverages, no new clothes; someone asked me about a new husband  (or wife)?  You are on your own with that one…

Back to broccoli:

Let’s see what “Super Foods” has to say about the broccoli and its side-kicks:  brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale, turnips, cauliflower, collards, bok choy, mustard greens, Swiss chard.

These amazing veggies contain: Sulforaphane, indoles, folate, fiber, calcium, vitamin C, Beta-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, vitamin K.

Servings:  ½ – 1 cup daily

Benefits: reduce risk of cancer, cataracts, build bones, heart health

Need a recipe for broccoli?  Try this one.

Quinoa-Broccoli soup Makes 4-5 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup water
1/2 cup quinoa
4 cups vegetable broth or 2 (14.5 oz) cans vegetable broth
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup diced carrot
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups broccoli, broccolini, rabe or broccoflower, (or try a mix) washed and chopped coarsely
salt and pepper to taste.

Directions

Rinse quinoa before cooking to remove the coating of a bitter substance called saponins. Bring water to a boil. Stir in quinoa, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add broth, onion and carrot Simmer for 10 minutes. Add broccoli and simmer 5 more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste Enjoy!

NOTE: Reduce cooking times for a crunchier vegetable.

Nutrition facts: 110 calories; 20 gm carbohydrates; 4 gm protein; 1 gm fat

Variations: Add any additional vegetables you desire. Try other flavored broths. I love mushroom broth with broccoli and quinoa!