New Castle News

July 27, 2013

Culinary Conversation: Fuel your body with these high-energy treats

Lugene Hudson
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — All signs indicate the fifth annual Jameson 5-K/10-K Run For Your Heart was a great success. More than 600 people participated.

I had fully intended to be running in the event this year. Shoulder surgery in late March put me on the sidelines for awhile. Once the doctor gave me the green light for running again, I just didn’t feel I had enough time to prepare for the race.

To Lori Brothers, Doug Danko, Cyndee Adamo, the PR staff and everyone at Jameson who helps organize this fantastic and vital event — I’ll be there next year for sure. You can count on it.

Now that I am back to getting in a few miles three or four times a week, I realize just how important proper hydration and fuel — the kind you ingest — is. That applies to any type of physical exercise whether it be swimming, hiking, playing tennis or bicycling.

Fuel is essential for anyone who is working out. As a hypoglycemic who must eat at regular intervals throughout the day, I have learned what fuel I need to not have a rapid drop in blood sugar. But I also have learned this type of eating plan — with a focus on proteins and the right balance of carbohydrates and fats — is generally a healthy way to eat. Agreed, Lori?

I’m still a believer that breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day. But again, I know Lori and Doug can better address the importance of a good breakfast.

Hydration is so crucial, too. Two summers ago, I learned how easy it is to get dehydrated when I was out there running in nearly 90-degree temperatures. Lots of water and Gatorade are a must in that type of weather.

Today, Culinary Conversation gives you recipes that provide more energy to give you more stamina for the tasks of everyday life.

Quick Breakfast Taco

This provides 13 grams of protein and one serving is 123 calories.

Top tortillas with salsa and cheese. Heat in the microwave until the cheese is melted, about 30 seconds.

Meanwhile, coat a small nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat, add egg substitute and cook, stirring, until the eggs are cooked through, about 90 seconds. Divide the scrambled egg between the tacos.

Peanut Energy Bars

This recipe packs 5 grams of protein, 255 calories, 9 grams of total fat and 95 mg of sodium.

The recipe was adapted from a prize-winning submission in the Plains, Ga., Peanut Festival recipe competition.

Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Combine peanuts, sunflower seeds (or other nuts,) raisins (or other dried fruit), oats, rice cereal and wheat germ (if using) in a large bowl.

Combine peanut butter, brown sugar and corn syrup (or honey) in a large microwaveable bowl; microwave on high until bubbling, one to two minutes. Add vanilla and stir until blended. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until coated.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Press down firmly. (It helps to coat your fingers with cooking spray.) Let stand for about an hour to harden. Cut into bars.

Southwestern Corn

and Black Bean Salad

Make this one ahead, but if you do, don’t add salt and pepper until just before serving. You can make this a meal by serving with warm corn tortillas.

Bring one inch of water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add corn, cover and cook until just tender, about three minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cobs using a sharp knife.

Meanwhile, place pine nuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat and cook, stirring until fragrant and lightly browned, two to four minutes.

Whisk lime juice, oil, cilantro, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add corn, pine nuts, beans, cabbage, tomato and onion; toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Baked Potato Gnocchi

with Spinach and Ricotta

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat 1 1/2-quart casserole or gratin dish with cooking spray and set aside.

In small bowl, combine ricotta, basil, 1/4 cup of the mozzarella, Parmesan and egg. Set aside.

Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in dish. On top of sauce, layer half of the uncooked gnocchi and spinach. Using half of the ricotta mixture, place small dollops on top of spinach. Cover with another thin layer of sauce. Repeat process, ending with sauce. Sprinkle on remaining mozzarella. Bake 40 minutes or until top is bubbly and cheese is lightly browned. Let sit 15 minutes before serving.

Basic Tomato Sauce

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice and cook another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. Puree sauce in blender in batches until smooth. Keeps one week in the refrigerator.

(Please note: Recipes have not been tested.)