How many other runners struggle with getting in enough protein when they are training for marathons? I understand we need about .8 x our body weight in ounces as an athlete. So that means I need about 90 grams of good quality protein daily. GEEZ!
The other night I hosted a party for 14 runners to celebrate another successful running season combined with a baby shower. Two of my friends in running class had babies less than a week apart. How cool is that! I think it’s pretty awesome they’ll grow up together and probably attend running class with their MaMa’s at some point.
The party was a huge success! My friend Sarah made yummy Crock Pot Chicken Tacos with all the fixings, and I furnished a few sides: my famous guacamole, fresh green salad with pesto dressing, sugar snap peas, rice, and fresh corn-bread. Everything was delicious. We had plenty of food and not much left because we all know, runners love to eat.
The only dish we had a bit excess of was my rice. So the next night I decided to pull together a few other ingredients I had in my fridge and make a summer salad I remembered having in Italy. I confess, this recipe isn’t really from Sicily – I just invented it myself. However, there’s no denying the southern Italian heritage of the ingredients, and like much of the region’s cooking, my “Sicilian” salad is bold in flavor!
In my salad I used one left over grilled chicken Breast, two balls of fresh buffalo mozzarella, capers, red onion, Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies, salt, fresh black pepper, and pine nuts. However, I wanted to increase the protein amount in the salad since I was aiming to get in another 25 to 30 grams. Why not make a dressing with Greek Yogurt and Pesto vs my traditional olive oil and lemon juice dressing. It worked perfectly! Happy Runner😋.
Greek yogurt is high in protein and goes good with just about anything😊.
“SICILIAN” RICE SALAD WITH PESTO AND YOGURT DRESSING
- 3 cups of left over rice
- 1/4 cup crispy pine nuts
- 1/3 cup drained and chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of drained capers
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- 1 to 2 left over chicken breasts chopped
- 1 to 2 fresh mozzarella balls cut in cubes
- 1 2-ounce tin anchovy filets, drained and minced (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 bunch of fresh basil sliced thin
- 1/2 cup of store bought or homemade pesto
- 3/4 cup of plain greek yogurt
- juice of half of a lemon
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the yogurt, pesto, salt and pepper.
- Put the rice in a large glass or stainless- steel serving bowl.
- Stir in the crispy pine nuts, the sun-dried tomatoes, capers, onions, chicken, mozzarella, and anchovies into the rice.
- Toss the Rice Salad with the Pesto Yogurt Dressing and lemon juice.
- Gently stir in the fresh basil and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve with a side of fresh sugar snap peas if desired on a bed of arugula.