brown rice pilafThis is a simple meal which works well as a pre-training lunch or a post-training recovery meal. Just use the larger quantity of rice and smaller quantity of cheese or chicken if you are eating it to provide energy before a training session. Conversely, have a larger serving of cheese or chicken and a bit less rice if it is a recovery meal to increase the protein content – or keep rice the same if it was a session more than two hours long. If you are prone to stomach issues while running and want to eat this before training, I would recommend using white risotto rice instead of brown rice for lower fibre content.

Preparation & cooking time: 30 mins

Serves 1

Ingredients

 

60-80g brown rice (uncooked weight)

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

5g butter

1 apple

10 walnut halves

½ avocado

Handful of rocket or watercress or baby spinach

80g tinned sweetcorn (drained)

300ml vegetable stock

60g-100g of feta cheese or buffalo mozzarella OR 75g-125g pre-cooked chicken

Instructions

  1. Put the rice in a pan with the oil and butter, and stir over a low heat for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the vegetable stock and cover the pan. Cook over a low heat until the rice is cooked and the liquid has been absorbed. Check occasionally and add more stock if necessary.
  3. Chop the apple and avocado.
  4. Towards the end of cooking, stir in the sweetcorn, apple and walnuts.
  5. Place the salad leaves in a bowl. Spoon the rice pilaf on top of the leaves, and top with the avocado and the cheese or chicken.

Nutritional Benefits

– Brown rice provides B vitamins and magnesium to support energy production, as well as carbohydrate to boost or restore glycogen stores.

– Sweetcorn and apple provides additional carbohydrate and a variety of beneficial plant chemicals, eg quercetin in apple which supports the immune system

– Walnuts are a plant source of omega 3 essential fatty acids while avocado provides monounsaturated fat. Both support heart and joint health due to their anti-inflammatory properties.

– Dark green leaves such as rocket, watercress or spinach are sources of iron, vitamin C and folic acid

– The protein in chicken and cheese provides amino acids to support muscle recovery

Jo Scott-Dalgleish BSc (Hons) is a BANT Registered Nutritionist, writing and giving talks about nutrition for endurance sportBased in London, she also works as a Registered Nutritional Therapist, conducting onetoone consultations with triathletes, distance runners and cyclists to help them eat well, be healthy and perform better through the creation of an individual nutritional plan. To learn more about these consultations, please visit www.nutritionforendurancesports.co.uk