Tag Archives: pasta

Pre-Stamina Day Carbo-Loading

5 Feb

Today, I may well go through hell on earth. As I’ve mentioned- I have 90 minutes of dance, break, then 2 and half hours more of dance. Add in the fact that I have a 3 mile walk in between and no ride next week, and that sounds bad enough. But oh, it gets worse. Several of us are competing in a little over a month, so our teacher has decided to work on our stamina until then. Our other teacher (the stricter and “I don’t care if you’re so exhausted that you’re about to pass out keep doing it perfectly” teacher) is coming back and our current teacher has warned us that tuesday will be a stamina day. If my powers of prediction are correct, I’m gonna go ahead and guess that every class in february will be stamina day. Shoot me.

The point of saying all of this is to a) warn you this may be my last post as I anticipate not being alive tomorrow and b) the more pertinent option, explain to you why I carbo loaded this weekend

In order to get through stamina day, I’m going to need all the energy I can get. To read more about how your body reaps energy from carbohydrates, click here! (I LOVE biochemistry and I had way too much on the subject to put it in this post). But my point is, carbohydrates (and lots of them) are not only great but necessary before a show or competition, or even a long rehearsal.

I was going to write out an eating game centered around a TV show (read: Doctor Who) – a manifestation of a drinking game but the goal being carbo-loading instead of getting wasted. Not as fun, but a more productive use of the hours I’m spending watching Doctor Who. The only problem is I got to the end of season 2 (of the newer series that began in 2005), where SPOILER ALERT Rose and the Doctor say goodbye and confess their love (or almost) and whatnot and I literally started bawling. I can’t even. I love Rose Tyler more than words can describe. I thought losing Christopher Eccleston was bad, but losing Billie Piper, and tearing apart Rose and the Doctor- man that broke me. I am actually so glad my flatmate went out tonight because she’d think I’m mental. All hysterical over a TV program. Either way, any plans of doing anything productive while watching that show have been derailed as I try and come to terms with the end of the era of Rose. Plus, right now the game would look something like “Eat a sandwich every time you cry”… and I would run out of bread.


For the full heart breaking effect, click on it!

So- new plan! I’m going to present some of the best foods to eat while carbo-loading. But be warned- consumption of all of these in a short amount of time (what I’m doing) should only be done in the face of serious energy expenditure. Not your average workout. Just remember, if you’re eating it, you have to do enough exercise to work it off. (And likewise, you need to eat enough to fuel your work out, so plan accordingly).

1. Rice! Rice is great. It should be a staple in EVERYONE’S diet. I mean honestly what’s not to like. It has 45 g of carbohydrates per serving- 0 of which are from sugar, 205 calories- 4 of which are from fat, 0 g of fat- saturated and trans. Best part- it’s composition is 90% carbohydrate. Take a look at this make up:

Screen shot 2013-02-04 at 10.19.20 PM

I mean it just doesn’t get better than that. All of the data I gave above was for 1 serving, but if you know me and my inability  to determine serving size, I ended up eating about 3-4 servings of rice over the weekend. Still not as much rice as I ate when I went to China for 3 weeks in the summer- literally it was all I ate when we went out to eat. Me being the fussy eater I am barely ate anything of the main meals (I’m sorry but I REFUSE to eat crunchy chicken, when by crunchy they mean talons and heads), so my god, when that rice dish came out at the end, I enjoyed it.

2. Pasta. Pasta has the ability to get quite fatty quite quickly if you’re generous with the butter or sauce, but if you are a person with refined tastes such as myself (and by refined I mine childish), then pasta is perfect just plain (hello alliteration!) When served plain, 1 serving provides almost 200 calories, and 39 g of carbohydrates, none of which come from sugars. The make up is pretty much the same as rice with a tad bit more fat and a tad less protein. Either way- GOOD STUFF. I’d be lying if lunch and dinner on two separate days this weekend weren’t simply big bowls of plain pasta.

3. Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. I’m a cereal gal. I could eat all day, every day. Every meal, every snack, give me cereal I’d be happy. With milk, without milk. Don’t care. I will ALWAYS welcome cereal.  Back when I was in a dorm and had a meal plan, if I didn’t feel like walking (all of 3 minutes) to the dining hall, it would be cereal for dinner. And if I didn’t have milk, it was generally cereal out of the box for dinner, because going to get milk was almost as much hassle as getting “real” food from the dining hall. ( Yeah, I know, I’m a lazy bum, I got that) Anyways I think you get my point. I never really considered it particularly nutritious, but believe it or not, rice krispies are full of carbohydrates. They boast a 91:2:7 carb:protein:fat percentage ratio, with each serving providing 128 calories, 28g of carbohydrates (3g from sugar), and almost 300mg of sodium. I specify sodium, because I don’t get close to enough sodium in my diet. I’m not a huge meat eater a lot of the time, and I only really use salt with fries (which I avoid), so I don’t come close to the recommended 2500 mg a day. I’d barely get that in a week!

4. Potatoes. Oh man, talk about superfoods. Potatoes are fantastic! Just fantastic. If you’ve noticed, they’re in most of my recipes for a reason. They’re a staple of my diet (and now it’s not hard to figure out where I’m from, I bet), and for good reason. They 93% carbohydrates with very low fat content. 1 serving provides about 260 calories, 60 g of carbohydrate, and a whopping 72 mg of sodium. Warning: this is quite a high sodium content, which can be dangerous who are getting sufficient amounts of sodium elsewhere in their diet. If you have significant sources of sodium elsewhere, just beware that potatoes are a big source. If you’re like me and not getting enough sodium, potatoes are just fantastic.

5. Grapes! These fruits are made up of almost entirely carbohydrates. Now- the downside to them is  that most of their carbohydrates come from sugar (they’re simple carbs) but they are a great source of vitamin C, and if you’re not eating any other sweets regularly, then you don’t really have anything to worry about.

Ok those are my top 5. I’m not a particularly sophisticated eater so these are kind of the basics, and the most you’ll see in my apartment. I don’t have a wide variety, but I eat a hell of a lot of what I have 🙂


Poultry, Pepper and Pasta, Oh My!

21 Jan

This is probably the most adventurous meal I’ve ever tried to make. Now now, don’t be intimated. The former statement seems a lot less impressive when you realize just how easy this is to make. Seriously- if I’ve made it successfully and posted it here- it has to be easy enough for anyone to do because let’s be real I’ve cooked a grand total of 3 meals for myself, I’m no expert.

Enough about me- onto my masterpiece- Chicken and pasta bake!

Pro tip 1: Avoid the “baked” jokes, if you know what I mean. I know there’s so many, and they’re just so easy, I know. But if you’re cooking for someone else, it’s probably safer not to ask them to guess your secret ingredient, even if it is only just mixed herbs. And if you don’t know what I mean….don’t worry about it.


1 chicken fillet chopped into small pieces

1 portion of whole wheat* pasta

1 pepper (sliced with seeds removed)

1 clove of garlic (crushed or sliced)

1 shot glass of milk

100 ml chicken stock

1 glug of oil

1 tsp flour

Mixed herbs**

3 slices of whole what bread

* I’ve mentioned before that I try to buy whole wheat anything if I have the choice as it’s typically healthier, but by all means substitute regular pasta or bread if you so prefer.

** I’ve also mentioned by lack of desire for any taste stronger than garlic, so I left out the mixed herbs, thus I cannot speak to their addition to the recipe. They were, however, included in the original one so I left them in and you can use them, or not, as you wish.

Pro tip 2: I use a shot glass of milk because it measures out at about 40 ml which is what is required. I would’ve put 40 ml in the recipe, but if we’re being honest it’s way more likely a broke college student as shot glass than a recipe cup. At least that’s how it works in my apartment…


1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C

2. Measure out a portion of pasta based on the packet instructions and bring to a boil on the stove. Drain it in the sink and let it sit until the rest is ready.

Pro tip 3: Unintentionally, I cooked about 2 portions worth if not 3, so go easy on the pasta. That being said, I’m looking forward to a delicious left over lunch tomorrow, so maybe don’t go easy and you can enjoy leftovers.

3. Pour your oil onto a pan on the stove and throw in your chopped peppers, garlic, and chicken. Mix together (and stir pretty constantly) until chicken is thoroughly cooked (it should be white all over).

4. Add flour, milk, and chicken stock. Keep mixing for another 5 minutes or so- until it is well melted and mixed in.

Pro tip 4: This part looks disgusting- I know. Don’t be deterred. Milk swirling around in a pan with chicken and peppers is a little off putting but once it gets all mixed up and in the pasta, oh man it’s so good you won’t even mind it looked like chunky…yeah you know where I’m going with that.

5. Pour pasta into oven-safe bowl, add chicken concoction Stir around until they are well mixed in together.

6. Crumble up your slices of bread over the pasta, covering the top.

Pro tip 5: The original recipe only called for 1 slice of bread, but I needed 3 to cover my pasta. Every creation is different, so use however much you need, not what my recipe says. I’m just giving you a guideline based on how it turned out for me. I also took the crusts off, but mainly because I got hungry while waiting for this to cook…

7. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top until your heart is content.

8. Put in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. The bread on top should be a golden brown.

And that’s it! Take it out of the oven and enjoy this delicious meal! Word of advice though: let yourself get reallllyyyy hungry before eating this because man it is filling.

Have at it, internet!


P.S. Apologies for the lack of professionalism in my food photography- the pan is messy, you have all kinds of background distractions and it’s an iPhone picture edited on instagram. Welcome to the real world.


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