I’ll write more about the half marathon I ran Sunday later this week (it was awesome—so fun!), but I wanted to start off with one of the best part of training for a long race: carbo-loading.
While I don’t believe in eliminating entire food groups from my diet (everything in moderation!), I do try to avoid eating carbohydrate-heavy meals for dinner. Since minimal physical activity occurs after dinner and before bed, I like to keep this meal packed with veggies and protein rather than pasta and bread. So it was a welcomed change in my cooking routine to put together a linguine dish for my pre-race-day carb load.
I also wanted to pack some protein in the meal, so I decided to add chicken—yet another rarity for me. I’m by no means a vegetarian, I just have never really cared for meat (aside from seafood, which I would eat all day every day if I could). It just grosses me out that you can’t really eat red or white meat raw without a high chance of getting sick. And when you cook with it, it’s just so slimy and bloody…
I’ll stop before I totally ruin your appetite, because this pecan pesto linguine is absolutely delicious and you must make it ASAP.
Pecan Pesto (will make roughly ½ a cup)
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
Linguine (I used whole wheat)
Chicken breast(s), cut into small, thin pieces
Put all the pesto ingredients in a food processor. Voila! You’ll have enough pecan pesto for roughly four servings. Being a family-less single person, I had lots left over and stored it in the refrigerator for later (it’s great to use with spaghetti squash for when the race is over and I no longer have an excuse to eat massive amounts of pasta for dinner).
Boil the pasta (I used whole wheat linguine but you can substitute with any type). While it’s cooking, cut the chicken breast (I probably used ¼ of a breast because I was only making one serving) into thin strips. Heat some olive oil on a skillet on medium heat and toss in the chicken and mushrooms (about a handful of mushrooms per serving). Squeeze half-a-lemon’s worth of juice on top while it cooks.
When the pasta has been boiled and drained, the chicken and mushrooms are cooked, and the pesto has been processed, toss it all together on a big plate of deliciousness.
I added some extra lemon juice on top right before serving.