Mediterranean Pasta

Key Features

  • low fat
  • high carbohyddrate
  • fairly easy
  • super tasty

This dish was inspired by the classic Greek combination of feta cheese and olives. It is a tomato based pasta sauce with the added mediterranean flavour of fennel. Fennel is one of my favourite vegetables, I love to eat it raw, and I cook with it to. Olives added to a pasta dish is a great way to add some flare and colour to a pasta.

 

INGREDIENTS
(Serves 2 hungry athletes)
  • 250g dried pasta
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 1/2 fennel, finely sliced
  • 1 clove or 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • fresh red chilli, 1/4 – whole depending on desired spice level
  • 500g tomato passata (sugo)
  • 10-15 pitted olives, halved
  • 50g fetta, 2cm cubes
  • 3 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • pepper to taste

This meal is a really high carbohydrate meal that would be ideal before an event or game. It has buckets of flavour with the inclusion of naturally salty foods of olives and feta. There are lots of  changes you can make to this dish to make it more simple (use dried parsley and dried chilli), or more tasty (include fennel seeds at the onset of cooking), or a bit naughty and higher in fat (add 2 tsps of cream to make a softer rosa style sauce).

Method

  1. Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water till al-dente
  2. Cook the onions and garlic in a splash of oil in a large frypan until transluscent
  3. Add the fennel and chilli, cook for a further 3-4 minutes
  4. When the fennel is slightly soft, add the pasatta and olives
  5. When heated through and the liquid has reduced a little add the cubes of feta, pepper and parsley
  6. You can add the feta a little earlier and cook it for two minutes if you want the cheese to melt and make a creamy cheese consistency
  7. Toss the sance through the cooked pasta and serve.

Stuffed Squid with Olive Salad

Key Features

  • More gourmet
  • Variable carbohydrate content
  • Very low fat

This recipe is a fabulous light summery meal, with a slightly higher degree of difficulty in making, but well worth it! The idea came from the Masterchef series, where the stuffed squid was a pressure test. I have changed it to make it a bit easier to prepare at home, lower in fat, and higher in carbohydrates. Buying already prepared squid tubes is much easier than having to prepare a whole squid – my kitchen is not big enough for that! The salad is so simple and tasty, but I thought after making it that you could combine the rice into the salad to make a great rice salad. The squid stuffing has a great lemony bite.

 

INGREDIENTS
(serves 2 medium sized meals)
  • 2 squid tubes, cleaned and gutted by a fishmonger
  • dash of olive oil
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 100g green beans, blanced
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup plain white rice

Keep the rice seperate from the salad if you want to manipulate the carbohydrate content of the dish to suit your different levels of training and sport. This dish is suited to the more skilled athlete in the kitchen, as the stuffing can get a bit fiddly.

Method

  1. put the rice in a pot with 2 cups of cold water, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to simmer till the rice is cooked. There should be no water left
  2. cook the garlic, anchovies and onions in a dash of oil, until soft
  3. combine this mixture in a bowl with the lemon rind, juice, parsley and breabcrumbs
  4. spoon the mixture into the squid tubes, and seal with toothpicks at the ends
  5. grill or panfry the squid over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, till golden and just cooked through
  6. meanwhile, combine the tomato, green beans, olives and vinegar in a bowl
  7. slice and serve the squid, with 1/2 the salad and adequate rice.