Living in a runner's paradise

Yes, I happen to be singing that to the tune of Gangsta’s Paradise as I write about my Monday dinner, a garlicky, cheesy pasta bake. Monday’s run was pretty spectacular in the sense that it was awful in parts, amazing in parts, I pushed it, and felt kind of wobbly and tired in a good way afterward. I would give this run a solid 12 points: 9 for distance/time and 3 full points for hills because I sought out every hilly area I could, then repeated. The only major problem with the run was my stupid inability to fuel at the right time. My diet for the day: GM at 7:15, 1/2 Greek yogurt, 3 scoops Trader Joe’s almond butter at around 10:00, a huge bowl of quinoa, chickpeas, peppers, and tomato soup at 1:30, a bag of cherries at 2:30, and then about 20 almonds at 4:00. By the time I left the office at 4:50 (snuck out 10 minutes early, don’t tell!) I was STARVING! I ran through it because really, what else could I do? I had moments of feeling really hungry which reminded me that I need to have a Gu or something on me, but the rest of the time I thought about dinner.

As soon as I got home, drank about 12 ounces of Stonyfield organic 1% milk, stretched, and showered, I got started on post run bliss, a pasta bake.

Easy peasy, delicious, warm, and comforting. It started with 6 cloves of garlic and some crushed red pepper, along with a can of Pastene pureed tomatoes.


I gathered a couple of bags of random Trader Joe’s organic pasta that were nearing their ends. Yep, my Tostitos lime chips also snuck on to the counter and into the photo. They are one of my major weaknesses, especially after a run. Add Goya habanero sauce, and I am a happy girl.




And for protein, calcium, and fat, some Breakstone’s cottage cheese and Sargento shredded mozzarella.




While the pasta was boiling, I whizzed the garlic and red pepper with the tomatoes in the Cuisinart and lined the bottom of a baking dish with a ladle full of the sauce.




Once the pasta was perfectly al dente, I drained it and transferred it into the baking dish. I poured in the rest of the sauce, scooped in half of the container of cottage cheese, stirred it around so that all of the pasta was coated, and then topped it with mozz. I put the whole lot into the oven at 375 for about 10 minutes, and then for about 3 minutes I turned the oven to broil. The result, a bubbly melty, browned, fragrant, garlicky dream.


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I ate it while watching My Antonio, the WORST SHOW EVER. But I thoroughly enjoyed the mindlessness. Thoroughly.


This dish could easily be made with tofu and veggie cheese and would be just as comforting. The secret is in a hearty pasta and a flavorful sauce. Nom.


What is your favorite post-workout meal??

  1. Gina’s avatar

    We typically have our longer runs on Saturday mornings, so my favorite way to start the weekend is to go for a great run with my husband and then come back to make a big breakfast together!


  2. Shelly’s avatar

    Holy Yum! I will have to make this soon! (maybe prior to my next race which is a tough 4 mile on Sunday. It goes across a bridge so a full half of it is uphill.)
    My favorite form of carbo loading is veggie mac- macaroni and cheese (velveeta brand now provides a box mix with whole wheat noodles, which makes me happy b/c I LOVE that goopy orange fake cheese) healthy-fied with the addition of a bunch of sauteed veggies. My favorite additions are onion, garlic, peas, tomato, and broccoli.


  3. Allie (Live Laugh Eat)’s avatar

    I like a big wrap or sandwich! Sometimes if I’m not hungry (which happens a lot after working out), I’ll go for a big smoothie. That pasta bake looks spectacular!


  4. Andrea@WellnessNotes’s avatar

    Your pasta bake looks great! I can almost smell and taste it! :)

    I sometimes crave oatmeal with almond butter after a tough workout.


  5. burpexcuzme’s avatar

    MmM! Love all the melted cheese on top! That has my name written all over it!
    Fav post-work out meal…probably something quick yet substantial, preferably brunch-style! :-)


  6. Maria’s avatar

    Yum yum, I just made a similar pasta dish yesterday, except I used ricotta instead of cottage cheese :)

    I love oatmeal or green smoothies after a workout


  7. Ruby’s avatar

    Must. Have. Pasta. Cheese. Melt…. now…. Delish!


  8. traveleatlove’s avatar

    Oooh I didn’t know Velveeta had whole wheat noodles. . . oh how I love those silver cheese packets. Sounds like just what I will be craving in the cold, running months to come!


  9. traveleatlove’s avatar

    I looove ricotta! I can eat it alone or with honey for dessert, so yummy!


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