Ten Top Meals for Distance Runners
Moroccan Chicken Tagine with roasted sweet potato and steamed broccolini
The lovely spices that come bursting from this dish are enough to make your mouth water and your body ready to reap the rewards of the often overlooked benefits from a variety of spices.
Top of the list is turmeric, which acts as a powerful antioxidant having anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It also has a synergistic effect with the body’s own antioxidant compounds.
Ground coriander and ground cumin contain trace minerals such as iron, copper, calcium, potassium and zinc but because you only use small amounts of these spices you need to rely on other sources to meet the RDIs for these nutrients.
Ground cumin has been found to help the digestive system while cinnamon may helps keep blood sugar levels balanced (plays a key role in supplying energy to the body’s cells) although information on dosages remains scarce..
This meal boasts a healthy serving of vegetables not to mention the additional side serve of veggies which are nutrient dense and are great sources of dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and the all-important carbohydrates.
Sweet potato and carrot provide rich sources of vitamin A (a powerful antioxidant) in the form of beta-carotene. Sweet potato especially is a good source of energy giving low GI carbohydrate helping to fuel your muscles.
Broccolini is a valuable source of iron but as with all plant sources of iron you need foods high in Vitamin C to aid absorption. Even though Broccolini contains vitamin C some is lost through cooking. That’s why we suggest lightly steaming the broccolini as the best way to maximise it’s Vitamin C content.
Skinless Free Range chicken is an excellent source of good quality protein and a great low fat option. Chicken breast is lower in fat than thigh, but chicken thigh is considered juicier and more flavoursome and higher in iron.
Chickpeas provide another good source of protein, and soluble dietary fibre which can help reduce cholesterol re absorption They are a low GI which means it supplies the body with slow-burning carbohydrates to fuel the body for longer. This dish may be better for some runners as a post-run meal as the fibre content from the chickpeas may cause gastrointestinal distress.
There are also benefits with adding the garlic and ginger in the last stages of cooking to help maintain the nutritional benefits that these spices bring.
Fresh herbs are also a rich source of antioxidants (and are best added to your meal at the end of cooking or topped as a garnish)
Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Roasted Sweet Potato & steamed broccolini
1 large brown onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small knob of ginger, grated
1 medium carrot, 1cm dice
1/2 medium zucchini, 1cm dice
1 cup of 1cm diced pumpkin
100g green beans, top & tailed, halved
1 tsp Grd Cumin, Grd Coriander, Paprika & Turmeric
¼ tsp Cinnamon & Grd ginger
Few shakes of Cayenne pepper (optional)
500g Skinless chicken thigh or breast, diced (Free Range preferred)
1 x 400g tin Crushed Tomato
2 Tbls Tomato Paste
1 x 400g tin Chickpeas, drained & rinsed
50g Dates, roughly chopped
1 Tbls Lemon juice
1 Tbls chopped parsley
1Tbls chopped coriander
Salt and pepper- to taste
1 medium Sweet Potato, chopped into large chunks, seasoned and roasted
1 bunch broccolini, steamed
Step 1 Heat oil in large saucepan and sauté onions and carrot for 5-6 mins then add all spices, cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Step 2 Add diced chicken and allow to be covered in spices and browned.
Step 3 Add pumpkin, dates, tomato paste and crushed tomato. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 4 After 10 minutes, add zucchini and chickpeas and cook for a further 15 minutes.
Step 5 Finally add garlic, ginger and lemon juice for the last 2-5 mins of cooking. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley and coriander.
Step 6 Serve with roasted sweet potato and steamed broccolini.
Alternative serving suggestions: The tagine can be served with steamed rice or couscous.
Short on time?
Dineamic has their own version of delicious, nutritious and fast Moroccan Chicken Tagine.
To view, click here