Quick and Easy Pasta

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  • 1 cup white flour pasta, dry
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 cups broccoli, frozen
  • 1/4 cup walnuts


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add the pasta to the boiling water. Stir occasionally.
  3. Place the broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl and thaw in microwave just until defrosted.
  4. Add marinara sauce to broccoli, cover the bowl with wax paper, and set aside.
  5. As pasta is nearing readiness, microwave the broccoli and sauce until desired temperature.
  6. While the broccoli and sauce are warming, remove the pasta from the heat and drain it.
  7. Immediately add the pasta to the broccoli and sauce mixture.
  8. Garnish with walnuts.

When consumed the day of or the day before a race, meals lower in fiber tend to be better tolerated; hence, the white flour pasta. Broccoli may similarly cause gastrointestinal distress for some runners, so feel free to switch in your favorite vegetable(s).

Regardless of the meal you intend on eating the night before your race, be sure to try it the night before a practice run in order to make sure you tolerate it well and feel your best.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal

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  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter


  1. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Add oats and cocoa.
  3. Reduce heat. Stir occasionally until desired texture is reached.
  4. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter.

Depending on personal tastes, you may want to add a little sugar for sweetness or adjust the volume of cocoa or peanut butter.

Pan-Glazed Chicken with Basil

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Courtesy of Cooking Light’s 5-Ingredient 15-Minute Cookbook.


  • 4 4-oz. skinned, boned chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly-ground pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil


1.     Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.

2.     Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

3.     Add chicken; cook five minutes or until lightly browned.

4.     Turn chicken; cook six minutes or until chicken is done.

5.     Stir in vinegar, honey, and basil; cook one additional minute.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

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Courtesy of Angela Whitford-Downing, Owner and Founder of Lovin’ the Oven Personal Chef Service!


  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp of good maple syrup
  • 6 Tbsp of 2% milk or milk substitute (I’ve used almond milk and hazelnut non-dairy creamer… both were great.)


1.     Scoop out the avocado and discard the pit.

2.     Put the avocado into a blender or food processor and add the remaining ingredients.

3.     Blend until the mixture is pudding consistency (2-3 minutes).  Make sure to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to fully combine the ingredients.

4.     Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed for up to 48 hours.  May need to stir before serving if consuming the following day.

Quick and Easy Pumpkin Hummus

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  • 1 can (15 oz.) of garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 can (15 oz.) of pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup tahini paste
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin


1. Put garbanzo beans into a food processor.  Add salt, pumpkin puree, tahini paste, lemon juice, and cumin.

2. Pulse until combined.

3. Turn on food processor and stream in olive oil.  Blend until hummus is creamy.

4. Enjoy with pita chips, vegetables, or crackers.

Quick and Easy Rice and Beans

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  • 1 can (15 oz.) of no-salt-added black beans
  • 1 bag (16 oz.) of frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 of 12-oz. bag of frozen brown rice
  • 1 tsp olive oil


1. Empty all contents into a sauce pan.

2. Stir in olive oil.

3. Stir over low to medium heat until rice and vegetables are thoroughly thawed and warm.

4. Serve immediately.

5. Use the leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.

This recipe is truly quick and easy.  No prep, mere minutes start to finish, and only one pot to clean at the end.  Yet, it provides plenty of vegetables, protein, and fiber, while keeping sodium and saturated fat very low.

Switch up the kind of beans, vegetables, and grain for variety.  Based on this one format, even just two options for each of these three ingredients will yield eight different meals!

Quick and Easy Apple Sandwich

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  • 1 apple, any variety
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp peanut or almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp granola
  • 1 Tbsp mini chocolate chips


1. Core the apple and slice it in half.

2. Spread the nut butter on one of the apple halves and then top it with chocolate chips and granola.

3. Place the other apple half on top and press down gently to make a sandwich.

Quick and Easy Sports Drink

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  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups coconut water
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt


1. Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher.

2. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Tailor the recipe to your particular needs, preferences, and tolerance.  For example, some athletes may need to add more salt or prefer lime juice to lemon.

As written, this recipe will yield approximately the same volume as a 32-oz. bottle of Gatorade and provide virtually the same amounts of calories, sodium, carbohydrates, and sugar.  The potassium in this mixture is significantly higher than in Gatorade.

Quick and Easy Chocolate-Covered Banana Pops

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  • 2 medium bananas
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp canola oil


1. Cut each banana in half, lengthwise.

2. Insert a popsicle stick into each banana half and then place them in the freezer on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

3. After the bananas are frozen, put chocolate into a microwave-safe coffee mug and microwave until just melted (about 30-45 seconds).  Mix until creamy.

4. Add canola oil to chocolate to thin it out and make it easier to spread.

5. One by one, dip each banana pop into the chocolate, covering it completely and scraping off excess chocolate back into the mug.

6. Put the pops back onto the wax paper and return the cookie sheet to the freezer until the pops are frozen and ready (about 30 minutes).

7. Enjoy!

Quick and Easy Summer Salad

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  • 1-2 cups pre-washed greens (such as Olivia’s spring mix)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp almonds, unsalted
  • 1 peach
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries


1. Place the salad mix in a bowl (or portable container if bringing to work/school for lunch).

2. Drizzle the olive oil over the greens.

3. Add the almonds.

4. Wash the peach, slice it as desired, and add it to the salad.

5. Wash the raspberries and blueberries and add them to the salad.

6. That’s it, you’re done!


Salads are so quick to make (We defy you to spend more than five minutes making this one.), and you can save yourself more time by making two at once: one to eat immediately, and one for the next day.

Also, the parts are easily interchangeable.  Don’t feel like almonds?  Add walnuts or peanuts.  Olive oil is too flavorful?  Use soybean or canola oil.  Your raspberries went moldy?  Use strawberries.  Your wife fed your spring mix to your pet rabbit?  Use baby kale or spinach.

Tailor your salad to your likes and change it up on occasion to give your body a wide variety of nutrients and your taste buds fresh new flavors!