I am not one of those noble people.
The number one reason that I run is simple: I like to eat whatever I want and I also like to be thin. If my eating habits were super healthy, maybe I wouldn't have to run as much as I do to maintain my weight. But alas, the foods that I love the most are the baddies: pasta, cheese, fried chicken, bread, ice cream, hamburgers, McDonald's french fries, wine, cupcakes, pizza.
|Give up this greasy salty goodness? NEVER.|
Don't be fooled - these things are not what I eat every day. Not by a long shot. They are my splurge foods and when I splurge, baby, I splurge.
I know that serious runners are very careful about the foods that they eat. I understand that - if you're going to push your body into running 25+ miles a week, you need to put good fuel in the tank. As I continue to push myself to become a "real" runner, I'm trying to do better on this front. I dutifully clip recipes from my Runner's World magazines with the intention of trying them (I haven't tried a single one... yet). I am becoming friends with the salad bar, smoothies, greek yogurt, and almonds. I take a second to think before eating that one of the red velvet cupcakes that my very kind co-worker took upon herself to bring in for the office. I even gave up drinking Coke.
But sometimes, you just need a big fat bowl of pasta in cream sauce.
Luckily, I am married to an Italian man who not only loves to eat pasta, but also loves to cook it. Last night we tried a new recipe that indulges my love of pasta and cream sauce - without all the guilt. I'm a seafood lover but my husband is not, so we made this with chicken. We've done the shrimp version before - it's also excellent.
Find the recipe after the jump.
Creamy Cajun Shrimp (or chicken) Linguine
from Cooking Light, September 2006
Total prep and cook time: about 30 minutes
Ingredients (for 4 1 1/2 cup servings)
1 cup water
14 oz can fat-free, reduced sodium chicken brother
6 oz uncooked linguine (whole wheat for a healthier option)
1 pound medium shrimp or cubed chicken breast
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 oz sliced mushrooms (portabello or cremini work well)
1 large red bell pepper cut into slices
2 tsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp Cajun seasoning (more if you like it hot)
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup half and half
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Combine 1 cup water and all of the chicken broth in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Break pasta in half; add to pan, and cook according to package directions.
While pasta cooks, heat olive oil in saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute chicken or shrimp for 5 minutes, then add mushrooms nad pepper to pan until chicken or shrimp is cooked through and peppers are tender. Drain excess liquid. Return to heat. Add flour, cajun seasoning, and salt; saute for 30 seconds. Stir in half and half; cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Add drained pasta to chicken and vegetable mixture; toss with parsley.
Approximately 365-400 calories per serving (depending on shrimp or chicken) and 11 grams of fat. Not too shabby for a cream based pasta.
Of course if you have a big run scheduled for the next day, you want to steer clear of cream based foods.