marathon feed

It’s The Bentham Marathon month

And I have been doing a little reading on nutrition for running. In preparation for a marathon it is essential to get your nutrition right for the week before to get the best out of your body.

One general rule is to carb load in the 48 hours prior to race day to give your body maximum fuel stores and recovery, it doesn’t mean snacking on carbohydrate rich foods all day, it means introducing healthy carbs into each meal.

So this month I have found a couple of healthy dinner recipes full of flavour and with plenty of carbs to get you on your way.

Cajun chicken with Supergreen salad

2 chicken breasts (about 120g each)

generous pinch of Cajun spice

2 tbsp olive oil

160g quinoa

1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced

20g spring onions, chopped

100g baby spinach leaves

small pack mint, roughly chopped

small pack coriander, roughly chopped

20g pomegranate seeds

40g edamame beans

30g peppers

100g beetroot (not in vinegar), sliced

1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

50g feta, cut into cubes

80g mango, cut into chunks

lemon zest, to serve (optional)

sesame seeds, to serve (optional)

lime wedges, to serve (optional)


Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Rub the chicken with the Cajun seasoning until coated. Heat a heavy-based griddle pan over a medium heat and add the oil. Add the chicken and colour on both sides. Transfer the chicken to a baking tray and bake for 20-25 mins or until cooked.

Meanwhile, boil a saucepan of water. Rinse the quinoa under cold water, then put in the pan. Cook for 15 mins, then drain in a sieve. 3 In a food processor, add nearly all the chilli, spring onions (reserve some of each to serve), the spinach, mint and coriander, and blend to a smooth purée.

Add the purée to the quinoa and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients, except the chicken, and combine well. Season to taste. Divide the quinoa mix over 2 plates, top each with chicken and serve sprinkled with the lemon zest, sesame seeds, reserved chilli and spring onions and lime wedges, if you like

Bacon, mushroom and tomato Pasta

400g penne (or other tube shape) pasta

250g pack chestnut or button mushrooms, wiped clean

8 rashers streaky bacon

10 cherry tomatoes

4 tbsp pesto

(fresh from the chiller cabinet if possible)

200ml carton 50% fat crème fraîche

handful basil leaves


Cook the pasta in boiling water in a large non-stick saucepan according to pack instructions. Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms and snip the bacon into bite-size pieces with scissors or a sharp knife.

Reserve a few drops of the cooking water in a cup or bowl, then drain the pasta and set aside. Fry the bacon and mushrooms in the same pan until golden, about 5 mins. Keep the heat high so the mushrooms fry in the bacon fat, rather than sweat.then drop in the cherry tomatoes for the last minute.

Tip the pasta and reserved water back into the pan and stir over the heat for 1 min. Take the pan off the heat, spoon in the pesto and crème fraîche and most of the basil and stir to combine. Sprinkle with the remaining basil to serve.

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